September 10, 1933 – May 22, 2020
“I will walk by faith, even when I cannot see” 2nd Corinthians 5-7
It is with sad hearts that we announce the passing of our Dad, Leonhard Bartel on Friday May 22, 2020 at Agassiz Seniors Community Care home, Agassiz, BC.
Len Bartel, our Dad, was born on September 10, 1933 in Deutsch Kasun, Poland; a farming community; to Kornelius and Eva Bartel. He had younger siblings whom he cared for, and older siblings whom he spoke of as ‘hard-working’ and told stories of rides to town behind draught horses, and adventures of childhood beside the Vistula river. He had great admiration for his mother, who worked hard to meet the needs of her blended family and spoke fondly of her wonderful baking, incredible faith and perseverance of spirit.
The Second World War interrupted Dad’s childhood and he was ever so grateful to the Mennonite Central Committee for their help in aiding the family’s immigration to Canada in 1950.
Dad and his family settled in Niagara-on-the-Lake and he worked for the Boese farm while taking night English classes until his family was able to see him spread his own wings and take a job with the Train company. He worked on the trains heading west, seeing the country and ‘getting ahead’.
In 1964 after corresponding with a beautiful girl from Ontario, Lydia Unger became Len’s wife, in Vancouver BC, where they settled.
In 1965 with Dad still employed on the trains, they were blessed by the birth of their son, David Ivor.
Dad continued his education while working and in 1968 received a Bachelor of Arts from UBC.
In 1970 prior to the birth of a daughter, Heather, Dad took a job at the Canada Post Office. Their family was complete for now and life was filled with work, church, family and friends.
In 1978 Len and Lydia moved to Greendale BC where they purchased a little blueberry farm and lived for almost 30 years.
Here, Dad was blessed with becoming a grandfather to six and he truly enjoyed the little ones. Dad also enjoyed his faith walk and attended the First Mennonite Church regularly.
Dad retired from the post office work in 1994, and enjoyed the pruning and weeding and grandkids on the farm, where his love of nature and the outside was evident.
During the late 90’s and early 2000’s Dad started a different journey as well, a difficult one of slow disability of mind, hardly noticeable at first.
In 2007 with Lydia’s health failing they moved from the farm into a condo on Knight Rd, Sardis.
Lydia passed in 2010 and Dad was left to journey through the next ten years without his lifelong partner.
Dementia became a constant companion and the search for things and words became a daily struggle, despite this, there were many good moments.
As Dads body broke down over his final days, we were allowed to be with him, and for this I am grateful.
We will miss him dearly.
Predeceased by his brother, Sigmund Bartel and sisters Anne Woelke, Helene Koppert, Maria Drath, Henry (Heinz) Bartel, Edmund Bartel.
He leaves behind his sister-in-law, Justina Bartel and brother-in-law, Udo Woelke, his son, Ivor Bartel (Angie Engel) daughter; Heather (Rick) Friesen, grandchildren; Kyle and Cody Bartel and Joshua Friesen (Elizabeth Wilson), Matthew Friesen (Rachel Mackintosh) Michael Friesen and Bethany Friesen, as well as his great-grandchild, Theodore Friesen and extended family and friends.
A small private family memorial will take place due to restrictions.
If friends so desire donations may be made to the MCC Canada Society.