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Erna Wiens

Erna Wiens

Friday, August 27th, 1926 - Saturday, September 26th, 2020
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Obituary

Wiens, Erna (nee Janzen):

Passed away on September 26, 2020 at Trinity Village Long Term Care in her 95th year.
Beloved wife of the late Henry (1990).
Loving mother of Louise (Ernie) Epp, Fred (Susan), Alan (Barbara), and Philip (Marian).
Cherished Grandma of 11 grandchildren and Cherished Nana of 20 great-grandchildren.
Dear sister of Lena, Elsa, Ed and Art (Darlene).

Our Mother was born on August 27, 1926, here in Kitchener, in a small apartment on King Street which she pointed out every time we passed until it was torn down. She always said that she would never move away, and she never did. Erna was the third child born to Henry and Katharine (Andres) Janzen, but their first one born in Canada. She had two older brothers, Rudy (who died as an infant in the Ukraine), and another Rudy. Her parents immigrated to Canada in 1925 and had five more children after Erna, Walter, Lena, Elsa, Edward and Art. Erna was not certain where her name came from but was proud of the fact that there was an opera singer named Erna around that same time. As a child with six siblings, one of her main chores was to take apart hand-me-down clothes given to her family so that her mother could sew new outfits for them. She also learned to darn socks, and multiple generations have benefitted from her amazing sock darning skills!

Erna attended Courtland Avenue and Suddaby school up until grade 8. In her report cards, it said her ‘work was good and she had the right attitude’. Her favourite subjects were art, spelling, and reading. She loved to play with her dolls and all her siblings. After grade 8 in June 1940 she was given a certificate that said she met all the requirements for admission to high school but only completed part of grade 9. When they informed her that she would have to repeat grade 9 math, she replied “See ya!”. Life was interesting being a Pastor's Kid. Her parents were always telling her to behave! One time Erna was caught standing on the dining room table spying on some youth dancing next door. She would not have been familiar with dancing until later in school when she participated in a square dancing lesson. She quite enjoyed it, but never told her parents. Erna always knew she was in trouble when her father called her 'Ernachin'. Erna gave her life to Jesus with her parent's guidance at the age of 15 and was later baptized by her own father at the Kitchener Mennonite Brethren Church. This was her family's church, and like the city she lived in, she never left it.

Henry Wiens had eyes for Erna when they both attended youth group together. He thought she was beautiful and didn't waste much time before asking her out. They enjoyed skating in the winter and walking in the summer together. Erna's younger sisters, Lena and Elsa, were quite nosy of her relationship and spent much time spying on the two lovebirds. A skill they perhaps learned from Erna? Henry and Erna were later married on June 14, 1946 when Erna was 19 and Henry 23. Erna's father married them at KMB Church. Dad and mom were blessed with four children. Louise came home on their first wedding anniversary, followed by Fred, Alan and Philip. They believed in the importance of family and loved to travel together; visiting her brother Rudy and his wife Erica in B.C., Walter and his wife Edith in N.D., and Lena and her husband John in Detroit and N.M. When they became empty-nesters they enjoyed a Europe trip in 1975 with friends and her sister Elsa and husband Wilf as their tour guides. Florida was another favourite where they owned a condo for five years.

Erna spent time serving at KMB Church in their Pioneer Girls program, complete in her sky blue suit. In the summer she served in the VBS program. When she was no longer able to serve in person, she spent many hours preparing materials for both church programs. She enjoyed singing in a Ladies’ Trio during the German service at KMB also. Later in life, Erna made somewhat of a name for herself at KMB Church when she started her own ministry as a ‘Phone Deaconess’ calling church members on special occasions like birthdays and anniversaries. At age 91 she retired from her 'Phone Deasoness' position and wrote a note in the KMB bulletin that said these conversations made her day and she would continue to keep her church family in her thoughts and prayers. A pastor of KMB once said of her, "You're upbeat and friendly and fill the loneliness of others.”

Many memories were made when the families were together at Mom and Dad’s for dinner. Her famous chicken became famous more because of its frequency than anything else as she much preferred baking over cooking. She will always be remembered for her Zweibach, Paska, delicious chocolate cake with pudding filling and her most amazing Danish roll-ups filled with jam! Erna loved to care for all her grandchildren. She loved playing games and doing crafts with them. She loved to knit doll clothes for them.

Henry had his first stroke in 1985, and several years later in 1988 they moved from their home to a condo called Eastwood Community. We celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary with a big celebration at KMB not knowing that Dad would pass away four years late in 1990 from a second stroke. Mom missed Dad terribly. She missed the little things like their Saturday afternoon trips to the donut shop. Erna continued the tradition at Tim Horton's for many years alone, often eating a muffin or donut for dinner, because as we all know, she had already had her main meal at noon! It wasn't long before her children and brother Ed soon joined her and when she could no longer get to Tim Horton's they all brought Tim Horton's to her. We celebrated Mom’s 70th birthday at Phil and Marian’s with a Wheel of Fortune theme where she won the game and a trip to Edmonton to see her sister Elsa! For Erna's 80th birthday we threw her a party at KMB with a Tim Horton’s theme complete with a tractor wheel painted like her favourite donut, a honey cruller, filled with Tim’s certificates! And for her 90th we had a celebration at Parkwood, complete with a cake Fred had her picture screened onto.

In December 2009 mom had a heart attack which had to be repaired with surgery and a long recovery. She was nervous to live alone at this point and moved from Eastwood to Parkwood in 2010 where she lived for eight years, until her second stroke in September 2018 at which point she moved to Trinity Village. She loved to doodle, and at Trinity loved taking the art class called OMA! Journaling at the end of the day was also very healing for mom especially in her lonely times as a widow for over 30 years. She continued to play games by herself, especially Scrabble. She would play for Dad and always made sure he won!

Mom considered it such a blessing to have her four children, eleven grandchildren, and twenty great-grandchildren very close by, in the city she said she would never leave. They will miss her dearly along with her 4 remaining siblings, Lena, Elsa, Ed and Art (Darlene).

Erna's family will receive relatives and friends from 9:30 to 10:30am on Wednesday, September 30th, 2020 at the Henry Walser Funeral Home, 507 Frederick Street, Kitchener, 519-749-8467. Service will be held in the chapel at 11am. Private Family Interment at Woodland Cemetery. Those wishing to attend the visitation and service for Erna must RSVP and face masks are mandatory. For those unable to attend, Erna's service may be viewed via livestream at https://www.henrywalser.com/live-streaming.

As expressions of sympathy, donations to the Gideons International in Canada, MCC Disaster Relief or a charity of your choice would be appreciated by the family (cards available at the funeral home).
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Service Details

  • Visitation

    Wednesday, September 30th, 2020 | 9:30am - 10:30am
    When
    Wednesday, September 30th, 2020 9:30am - 10:30am
    Location
    Henry Walser Funeral Home Ltd.
    Address
    507 Frederick St.
    Kitchener, ON N2B 2A5
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
    Notes
    *Please note that face coverings are required. Non-medical masks, bandanas, paper disposable masks or scarves and cloth can be used. Please keep 2 metres (6 ft) apart.*
  • Service

    Wednesday, September 30th, 2020 | 11:00am
    When
    Wednesday, September 30th, 2020 11:00am
    Location
    Henry Walser Funeral Home Ltd.
    Address
    507 Frederick St.
    Kitchener, ON N2B 2A5
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
    Notes
    *Please note that face coverings are required. Non-medical masks, bandanas, paper disposable masks or scarves and cloth can be used. Please keep 2 metres (6 ft) apart.*

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DF

Dianne Friesen

Posted at 12:45pm
Dear Wiens family, The funeral service was a wonderful tribute to your Mom, Grandma and Great-Grandma. It was very evident that you were a blessing to her, just as she was a blessing to all of you.
Mrs. Wiens was also a blessing to many others, including our family. Throughout the years of Albert’s infirmity, she would make sure that I knew that we were in her prayers, for which I was very thankful.
Just last year my mom, Lillian, and I enjoyed a couple of lovely visits with Mrs. Wiens at Trinity Village, the most recent one taking place during the last Christmas season. Maintaining a close friendship was important for our moms and they also kept in touch by calling each other frequently.
I want to express my condolences to all of you and pray that you would experience the comfort, love and presence of the Lord in a special way at this time. Dianne Friesen
SR

Sharon Reimer

Posted at 06:55pm
Sending my deepest condolences to everyone. My thoughts and prayers are with you all at this sad time. Wishing you gentle comfort and sweet memories.
Sincerely, Sharon Reimer
EP

Ed Penner

Posted at 05:45pm
Our Condenses on the loss of your Mother, and sister, many fine memories of greeting her at KMB, and then the birthday calls for quite a while, for our family, a true prayer warrior, she genuinely cared for her immediate and extended family, last time we saw her was at the nursing home as we were touring homes for my Mom. May God comfort you in the days to come. Ed and Barb Penner.
LH

Louise Harback

Posted at 02:53pm
What a beautiful tribute to your Mom in the service this morning! She was indeed a very special lady, and so much more for each one of your family. My condolences to you all; may the memories of your dear Mom and Grandma and GreatGrandma be dear, and may you experience the love of our heavenly Father in a special way at this time. Louise Harback
MD

Mary-Lynn Dedels

Posted at 08:55am
My sincere condolences to all of you. It is so hard to lose a loved mother and grandmother. Erna was very special. I have many fond memories of her during our times in Pioneer Girls and of course at church. My heart goes out to you Lou and the whole family. My prayers are with you during this time. God bless!
Mary-Lynn Dedels and family
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