Dec 6, 1916 – Nov 4, 2017
Susie Alice Derksen (nee Giesbrecht)
After almost 101 years of courageous living, Susie Alice Derksen died peacefully on November 4, 2017 at her residence in Chilliwack.
Born the 7th child to Elisabeth (Wittenberg) and Peter P. Giesbrecht on December 6, 1916, in a Russian village east of the Black Sea, Susie experienced war, revolution, and homelessness early in life. Her family’s flight from Russia ended when they settled in the new Fraser Valley village of Yarrow in 1928.
Susie, and later her husband Jacob G. Derksen, made Yarrow their life long home. Since 2013, when Susie needed too much assistance to live on her own, she has been lovingly cared for by the staff at Cascade Lodge and regularly visited by many family members and friends.
Susie and Jake lived vibrant, compassionate lives, which came to include 2 sons, Jack (Jenny Froese), Edward (Dianna Moe); 2 daughters, Caroline (Juan Vila), Susan (Alan DeLong); 8 grandchildren; and 11 great grandchildren.
They also welcomed Laszlo Kocsis, a Hungarian refugee, into their home. The seeds of love they planted in their offspring continue to grow in the current generations of the Derksen/Vila/DeLong families. We have a rich legacy of love, faith and cooperation. “To lend each other a hand when we’re falling…Perhaps that’s the only work that matters in the end” (F.Buechner).
Susie was predeceased by 9 of her siblings and continues to be loved by her 2 brothers, Cornie and Johnny (Beatrice) Giesbrecht, as well as the large Giesbrecht clan of nephews and nieces.
She will be buried in the Yarrow Cemetery, which she and others were inspired to renovate after Jake died in 1994.
Her funeral service will be held on Friday, November 17, 2017 at 1 p.m. at Yarrow Mennonite Brethren Church, Yarrow Central Rd. Reception immediately to follow. In lieu of flowers, donations to the MCC will be gratefully received.