Bill Janzen, passed away peacefully, on September 20th, 2018.
He will be deeply missed by his wife, Joyce Friesen; children, Dennis (Cheryl) Janzen and Angela (Dave)Dick; grandchildren, Kristin (Landon) Stephenson, Trevor (Kaelyn), Derek (Rachel) Janzen, Ashley (Andreas) Gerhard, Braedon and Scott Dick; great-grandson, Pace Stephenson; sisters, Kathleen (Art) Driedger and Gredi (Homer) Janzen; brother Albert (Hedy) Janzen; sister-in-laws, Erna Froese and Margaret Heinrichs; Joyce’s children, Barb (Odd), Gord (Jacquie), Donna (Ken) and David (Errin); and six grandchildren.
Bill was predeceased by his parents, Abram and Aganetha Janzen, step mother Maria (Warkentin) Janzen, brothers, Henry and John, and his wife of 55 years, Ella (Heinrichs).
Bill was born at Turtle Mountain, Manitoba, on January 27, 1929. He was 8 when they moved to a farm near Dominion City and later, they moved a few miles east of Arnaud, to what they called the home farm. He was baptized upon the confession of his faith, on May 23rd, 1948 at Arnaud Mennonite Church.
Bill worked in southern Ontario during the winter months, in the early 1950’s. Bill met Ella at the youth group of the Niagara United Mennonite Church in 1952 and after two years of courting, they were married in the same church on October 30th, 1954.
Bill and Ella spent their early years working in Ontario in the winter and the summers, farming in Manitoba. During this time, Bill did some trucking, delivered fuel, worked on the hydro dam project at Niagara Falls and even did a short stint as a car salesman with Niagara Motors. In 1963, they made their permanent home in Arnaud, where they farmed and trucked for many years with Bill’s two brothers. Later he farmed with his son, Dennis. Bill and Ella enjoyed a rich community of friends in Manitoba, Ontario, Saskatchewan and Florida.
Bill spent many years on the Franklin Municipal Council, the Morris Hospital Board, International Child Care Board and in various capacities in the Arnaud Mennonite Church. Dad always taught us the importance of community and getting involved.
Bill spent endless hours with his grandchildren, out in the field, on the truck, four wheeler and golf cart. As long as he was driving and it included one of his grandchildren, he was a happy man! He also loved to spend time with family and friends in Florida; digging for sea shells by the ocean, taking the tricycle into the wild groves to pick oranges and grapefruit, playing shuffleboard, Menno luncheons on Saturdays at Palm Beach.
Ella passed away in the spring of 2010. This was very difficult, as you can imagine, after spending 55 years of marriage. Dad was extremely lonesome, and so it wasn’t long after, that Bill started courting Joyce Friesen. They had many similar interests, including walking, golfing, baseball, and reading, to name a few. They were married on January 29th, 2011. Dad’s family expanded and he enjoyed many good times with Joyce’s family. He surprised us all, in how he adjusted to city life, but that included driving several times a week, to the farm.
Dad often mentioned, especially in more recent years, his regret of not completing high school. He was very proud that his two children and all 6 grandchildren, graduated from Mennonite Collegiate Institute. He was able to attend his last grandchild’s graduation, just this past June.
In Bill’s memory, in lieu of flowers, donations can be made to either Mennonite Collegiate Institute or Canadian Food Grains Bank. Both of these organizations were very close to his heart