Mary BARKOWSKY (nee Goerzen)

Our loving Mother, Grandmother, Great-Grandmother, and Great-great Grandmother passed into the presence of her Lord and Savior on January 8th, 2005 in Abbotsford, B.C. Mom was born on February 17th, 1907 in Klippenfeld, Ukraine, the 6th of 7 children to Heinrich and Anna Goerzen (nee Dueck).

Mom was raised in a Christian home with a strong faith and work ethic which were attributes she would later pass down to several generations. As a statement of her faith Mom was baptized on June 15th, 1925 in Klippenfeld by Elder G. Plett.

She married Johann Barkowsky on November 15th, 1931 and together they were blessed with four healthy children. Dad only had the chance to see three of his children as he was taken by Russian soldiers on September 6th, 1941 and was never seen again by his family, the fourth child being born 3 weeks after Dad was taken. He passed away in a Russian prison camp in October 1943, but the family would not be notified of his death until 1956.

With the war raging, Mom, with her four small children, fled the Ukraine to Germany, and from there immigrated to Canada. The family landed in Quebec on November 14th, 1948 and were sponsored by Mom’s cousin Daniel Goertzen in Yarrow, B.C. where they arrived on November 19th, 1948.

On November 13th, 1950 Mom purchased a home and acreage on Martin-Simmon’s road in Yarrow, where they lived for three years. Mom then purchased 2 acres on First (now Community) Street in Yarrow, and moved the house onto this property – which would be her home until June 1997. After being hospitalized for one month, returning to her home was no longer an option, and she moved into the Bevan Lodge in Abbotsford for 6 months. She then moved to the Tabor Home where she resided until her death.

Mom was a member of the Yarrow United Mennonite Church for over 50 years; and had been active in the Ladies’ Aide, music groups and choir. Mom had a love for music and enjoyed playing her guitar and singing with her children and grandchildren. She had a passion for gardening, and took great pride in her roses. Mom had a generous spirit, giving freely of her time and what money she had – she supported MCC and missions.

Mom cherished times with her family – celebrations that brought her children and grandchildren together. She lovingly nurtured and tended to the needs of her family – faithfully praying for each of them. Even when physical limitations slowed her down – she felt that her work was to continue to pray for her children and their families.

She was predeceased by her parents, six siblings, her husband Johann, her daughter Irmgard and son-in-law Henry Fleming.

She is survived by three children Ed (Stella) Barkowsky – New Denver, B.C, Veronica (Ike) Thiessen – Yarrow, B.C. , John (Myrna) Barkowsky 108 Mile House, B.C.; 18 grandchildren; 36 great-grandchildren; and one great-great-grandchild. Although Mom is in a better place, she will be deeply missed by her children and their families.

A special thanks goes to all the nurses and aides from Unit #2 at the Tabor Home. Their tender and loving care of Mom will forever be appreciated.

A celebration of Mom’s life will be held Friday, Jan. 14th, 2005 at 11:00 a.m. at the Yarrow United Mennonite Church, Yarrow, B.C. Pastor Ron Braun officiating. Internment to follow at the Yarrow Cemetery.

Those wishing to make a donation in Mom’s memory may do so to the Mennonite Central Committee (MCC).

Wiebe and Jeske in charge of arrangements.

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