Annie June Giesbrecht
Annie June Giesbrecht, being the fifth of six children, was born in Gem, Alberta on September 28, 1933, three years after her parents, Herman and Maria Klassen, arrived in Canada. Anne counted it a privilege to have grown up in a Christian home and she realized the many blessings she received because her parents made hard choices. As a carefree and happy little girl, Anne loved to play dolls and school by the hour with her sisters. Anne was in Grade 3 when her family moved from Alberta to Yarrow. At home, Anne was taught the value of a strong work ethic as she learned to work hard on the family's farm, picking berries, milking cows, driving the tractor and helping around the house.
When Anne was about 14, she went forward to receive Christ as her personal Saviour at an evangelistic meeting. The verse that was given to her when she was baptized and accepted as a member into the church was Isaiah 43:1 – 'Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are Mine!'
Anne always found learning difficult, but her Dad insisted on his daughters getting a good education so they would be able to support themselves. Anne determined to graduate from high school and become the nurse that her Dad wanted her to be. She graduated from St Paul's Hospital School of Nursing in 1955. While attending UBC in 1958, Anne received a letter unexpectedly from Dave Giesbrecht. Dave and Anne were engaged on the banks of the Vedder River and were married in Yarrow MB Church on May 15, 1959.
When Dave and Anne were living in Vancouver, James and Howard were born. After living on a city lot for three years, Dave and Anne knew it would be best if they moved out of the city. They bought ten acres and moved from their clean comfortable house into one of the oldest houses in Richmond. It was during these years in the old house, that Elaine and Joyce were born. It was five years before a new house was financed.
Anne did relief work for VON (Victorian Order of Nurses) for approximately ten years, then nursed at Shaughnessy and Delta Hospitals. In between, she did take a few years off to stay at home. It was in the 1980s when money was tight that Anne went back to work again, this time at Holy Family Hospital, where she retired from in 1994.
Dave and Anne were charter members of Killarney Park MB and Richmond Bethel MB churches, where she served God in many capacities, including Sunday School teacher, leader of several women's groups, and hosting many youth events. Anne loved a good joke, flower gardening, poetry, writing and was a wonderful cook and baker, especially of Mennonite foods.
In preparation for retirement, Dave and Anne sold the farm at 9851 Finn Road in 1989. They kept one acre and built a big house for resale purposes. Anne thoroughly enjoyed living there. In 1994, they moved to Greendale, which Anne found difficult and it took her a few years to leave the past behind. In retirement, Dave and Anne traveled quite a bit, the highlight for Anne being the trip to Russia, where they visited the area where her parents had lived. Anne joined a Writers' Club in Greendale and several of her articles were published. In 2003, Anne was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease, which progressively limited her activities.
As a family, we are thankful for the well-lived life of our Mother. After Dad died on September 22, 2016, Mom started to decline. She fell and broke her hip only four days after Dad's funeral. On November 12, 2016, Mom died peacefully. She is now reunited with Dad and has begun her new life in heaven with her Lord and Saviour. Predeceased by her husband, her parents and siblings Peter, John and Elizabeth, she leaves to mourn:
Jim (Sirpa) Giesbrecht
Hudson (Kristi) Giesbrecht, Hank & Lise
Kathleen (Brian) Bell, Sienna & Jameson
Trevor Giesbrecht (Rachel Hart)
Howard (Elaine) Giesbrecht
Jonathan, Allison & Jenelle Giesbrecht
Elaine (Paul) Warkentin
Douglas & Kevin Warkentin
Joyce (Duncan) Harrison
Mark, Lindsay & Jennifer Harrison
Sisters Agnes Thiessen and Katie Giesbrecht and a large extended family.
The family would like to thank Dr. David Fitzpatrick for the gentle way he cared for Anne and his home visits. Also, our appreciation goes to the great nurses and staff at Cascade Lodge.