David Peter Giesbrecht

David Peter Giesbrecht

As a family, we are thankful for the well-lived life of David Peter Giesbrecht, who began his new life in heaven with his Lord and Saviour on September 22, 2016, after being hospitalized with several health issues.  Dave was born in Yarrow on April 28, 1934 to Peter and Aganetha (nee Derksen) Giesbrecht.  He was the oldest of nine children, growing up with six brothers and two sisters.  Being part of a Mennonite family, he learned to work hard on the family's dairy farm, in the raspberry patch, the hop fields and the kitchen.


With his parents' guidance, Dave became a Christian when he was a teenager.     Dave wrote:  “I have never regretted that decision.  The Lord has been with me all these years, forgiven my failures and blessed me in my Christian life.”  He and Anne were charter members of Killarney Park MB and Richmond Bethel MB churches, where he served God in many capacities, including usher, deacon and Sunday School teacher.  Dave was involved with Transport for Christ (TFC) for 35 years.  In his retirement, he served as a chaplain at the Lickman Road Truck Stop.


At his Grandmother's suggestion, Dave began dating Annie Klassen.  They were married on May 15, 1959 in Yarrow.  They bought their first home on Lancaster Street in Vancouver, but city life didn't suit Dave, so in 1963 they moved to a ten-acre hobby farm on Finn Road in Richmond.  There was an old house on the farm and before they bought the land, Dave asked Anne if she could live in there for a year.  But that one year became five.  As it turned out, Dave and Anne lived in five new homes, one for every year in the old, drafty one.


Dave had a strong work ethic.  He first worked in heavy construction on the pipeline up north, the Upper Levels Highway and on the George Massey tunnel.  Then for 34 years, he was a long shore-man and truck driver at Johnston's Terminals.  If a trucker couldn't get the trailer backed onto the barge, Dave was the guy to get the job done.  Anne bragged that her husband could get a truck in places that no one else could.


Dave and Anne were blessed with four children:  James, Howard, Elaine and Joyce.  Dave's philosophy as a father was:  “It's better to build children than to repair men”.  In one of his final comments before his death, Dave said, “That was a good dream I had...to raise a family on a farm.”  Even with so much farm work, Dave had time to play catch in the backyard, push his kids on the tire swing, make a go-cart track, take Anne on weekend getaways, take his family to Osoyoos each year and make sure his daughters' kittens got warm cow's milk.  While living in Richmond, Dave would sometimes talk about moving to Fairfield Island.  In 1994, after his retirement, his dream was just a few miles short when they moved to three acres in Greendale.


Because they loved to travel, Dave and Anne took many trips together.  His favourite sport was baseball, playing on a team in Yarrow in his youth and then with an old timers' group in his retirement.  He loved to watch sports, especially when his favourite team was playing...the Toronto Blue Jays.  Dave loved Borscht and Green Bean Soup with homemade bread, fresh picked cucumbers with buttermilk, country and gospel music, tulips and family gatherings.


Predeceased by his parents and two brothers, Edward and Peter, David died peacefully surrounded by his family, which he leaves to mourn:


Anne, his wife of 57 years
Jim (Sirpa) Giesbrecht
Hudson (Kristi) Giesbrecht, Hank & Lies
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


His extended family:
Hank (Ellen) Giesbrecht, Katie Giesbrecht, George (Diane) Giesbrecht,
Elizabeth (Norman) Hladun, Cathy (Ben) Penner, Gerry Giesbrecht,
Martin (Judy) Giesbrecht, Bill (Marie) Giesbrecht, Agnes Thiessen, Aunt Susie,
Uncle Corny, Uncle Johnny (Aunt Beatrice) and many nephews and nieces.


The family would like to thank Dr. David Fitzpatrick for being such a wonderful doctor to a patient who, at times, thought he knew better.  Also, our appreciation goes to the great nurses and staff at CGH, especially on 3 North and in the PATH unit who looked after Dave on-and-off since February.


Dave's Funeral Service will be held at 11:00 am on Monday, October 3, 2016 at Yarrow MB Church, with Pastor Ron Braun, officiating. A luncheon and the interment at Yarrow Cemetery will follow.  A Viewing will take place prior to the service beginning at 10:00 am in the church foyer.  In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to MCC or a charity of your choice.

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