March 22, 1929 – June 26, 2020
Abraham “Abe” John Thiessen passed away suddenly on 26 June 2020 in Chilliwack.
Abe was born on 22 March 1929 in Prangenau, Molotschna, Ukraine, the oldest of six children of Johann and Maria (Delesky) Thiessen. He along with his mother and siblings fled from the Soviet Union in 1943 and settled in Poland. While his mother and siblings were repatriated by the Soviet officials and exiled to Kazakhstan in 1945, where they were reunited with his father, Abe escaped and was able to settle in western Germany at the end of the war.
At the age of 20, Abe was able to immigrate to Canada. After one winter in Winnipeg, he moved to Yarrow in 1950 and lived with his relatives, Aron and Elizabeth Wiebe, who added him to their family. He eventually moved to East Chilliwack, where he met and married Anne Esau in 1959. They settled into the home he built on Windsor Street, where they lived from 1959 until 2017.
Abe worked as a faller for Cattermole Timber for a number of years in various locales, including Ruby Creek and Spuzzum, hauled gravel during the construction of the Trans-Canada Highway, and worked in a fish cannery. He began working part-time at the East Chilliwack Co-op in the maintenance department in the mid-1950s, and began working full-time in 1965. Abe oversaw the maintenance department at the Co-op until his retirement in 1993.
Abe could fix anything, and enjoyed helping his family and friends with various projects around the house. He enjoyed woodworking, vegetable gardening, and taking his family on road trips.
Abe injured his back several times in his life, and eventually these injuries caught up with him, reducing his mobility to the point where he needed to be hospitalized after his 90th birthday. Abe spent the last year of his life at Waverly Seniors Village, where he was well cared for by staff. He never complained about his circumstances, didn’t ask for much, and always appreciated the visits of family and friends.
Abe is survived by his wife of 60 years, Anne, two sons Richard (Karen) and Gerald (Ann), five grandchildren Abram (Mattea), Solomon (Kaylee), Kyle, Isaac, and Kate, and “adopted” siblings Kay Isaaks, Martha Wiebe, and Frieda Andem. He was predeceased by his parents and all of his siblings.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions a private graveside service will be held at Greendale Cemetery on July 18.