It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Richard Engelbrecht, our beloved husband, father, Opa and Gross Opa, and friend to many.
He peacefully left this world to be with our beloved Saviour in the early morning hours of October 6, 2007, at the age of 81.
He was born in Stepanovka, Russia on April 18, 1926. He is survived by his wife of 57 years, Dina; his children: Rita (David) Bilan, Harry (Darlene) Engelbrecht, Erika (John) Rimschneider, Ron (Karen) Engelbrecht, Lawrence (Marie) Wilde and Helmut (Barb) Gerhard; 11 grandchildren, four great-grandchildren and three brothers. He was a very loving and caring father and his family was very close and dear to his heart.
Richard was predeceased by his parents. Ewald and August, and his precious sisters Gerda and Hildegard, with whom he is now rejoicing in heaven.
The funeral and graveside services were held on Thursday, October 11, 2007 at 1:00 pm from the German Church of God, 45815 Lewis Ave. Chilliwack, BC; Pastor Gerry Krebs officiant. A visitation for family and friends was held on Wednesday, October 10, 2007 from 6 -9 pm from Woodlawn Mt. Cheam Funeral Home, 45865 Hocking Ave. Chilliwack, BC. Pall Bearers were Marc Bilan, Jeff Engelbrecht, Mike McKay, Justin Engelbrecht, Lawrence Wilde and Helmut Gerhard. Honourary pallbearers were Dwayne Engelbrecht, Dave Derksen and Chris Bray.
Richard’s life was a very interesting and at times difficult one, but through it all, his love for Christ gave him the strength to persevere. During his childhood in the Ukraine, his family was persecuted and they fled many times to escape. Starvation was a constant threat. The Lord miraculously guided the family and in 1948, brought them to Canada, where the family settled in Chilliwack.
Here he met his wife, Dina, who truly was the love of his life. He worked hard to provide for his family and his abilities were many. In the early years he worked as a logger, then a farmer, a contractor and finally a land developer.
Richard loved the Lord with all his heart, and this love shone through his family, friends and community. His generous spirit touched many lives. When he saw a need, he stepped in to help in whatever way he could.
Our family gatherings were many, and often included friends and neighbours. He had an open door to all.
He was an avid beekeeper and sat for many hours at his hives, watching his beloved bees. Ron’s cows are now missing the chopped apples he would deliver. When they heard his truck coming down the road, they came running. When the family went camping on Texada Island, Dad tirelessly kept the fire going, and shucked the oysters for all of us. Near the end, when his body would no longer allow him to be as active, he would sit for hours and crack walnuts for his family. His hands were never idle.
He was a true example of a prayer warrior for all God’s people and especially for his family, and these prayers will be greatly missed.
During the last year of his life, his health failed due to cancer. His wife lovingly cared for him to the end and Dad drew great comfort and strength from her presence and touch. We often heard him say to her “When I have you, I have everything”. He spent the last week of his life in hospital, where his family was always by his side.
The family would like to extend a warm thank you to all those who were so supportive during Dad’s courageous battle with cancer. Your visits, phone calls, cards, flowers and meals were greatly appreciated.
Also a warm thank you to Dr. Melanie Madill, Theresa Adams, Lucille McCarthy, Coletta Holmes, the Home Support Staff and the staff at Chilliwack General Hospital for the kind care they provided. A special thank you to his grandson, Marc Bilan who spent nights with Opa so Oma could rest.
In honour of his kind, charitable character, if so desired, donations may be made in Richard’s honour to the German Church of God Building Fund.
“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day, and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.”
2 Timothy 4: 7-8
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