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Abram (Abe) Leonard Goertzen

May 24, 1927 - October 2, 2021


Honoring the Life of Abram Leonard Goertzen

May 24, 1927 – October 2, 2021


Abe entered into the presence of the Lord after an agonizing 3 1/2 week battle with Covid-19.  During this difficult time in hospital Dad would express to us what a friend he had in Jesus and how grateful he was for the solace and reassurance it provided him in his hour of need. This was a comfort to us as being with him was limited due to the pandemic.

He is survived by his wife Anna, whom he loved dearly, his daughter Marilyn, and sons Bill (Florence) and Dan, his oldest sister Tina, his grandchildren Terrina, Lars, Cassidy and Melissa, daughter-in-law Linda (widow to John) and husband Don with children Gabe and Carmelle.

He was predeceased by his parents Abram and Elizabeth Goertzen, his sisters Marta, Betty, Mary and half brother Menno, his parents-in-law Herman and Elizabeth Olfert, his son John in 1975 and daughter Roxanne in 2003.

Abe began life in the village of Chortitz, Manitoba. Farm life and school in the village took up his early years. We enjoyed listening to many stories of his life on the farm prior to electricity, transitioning from horse power to tractor power and hearing of his dad’s ingenuity and problem solving in providing for the family. Dad entertained us often reciting poetry and singing songs of his youth.

If it wasn’t for a snowstorm in the late 1940’s Abe and Anna’s paths may never have crossed. He was part of a search party for a young woman who became lost in the snowstorm. Dad walked up the driveway to the Olfert farm where Anna resided to warm up and rest. Anna must have caught his eye. After dad left, her mother commented in Low German “that young man would return”. The rest is history… Occasionally when dad visited Anna at the farmhouse, he discovered the date was officially over when her father knocked on the ceiling with the broom handle!

After a brief time in the Winkler area, Winnipeg became home for the young couple. The majority of Abe’s working years in Winnipeg were with Manitoba Telephone System where he became known as “Honest Abe”.  Abe took pride in his work and enjoyed taking time, often during his coffee or lunch breaks, to listen and talk with customers or his colleagues.

Although Dad worked hard, putting in many hours of overtime, he enjoyed spending time with the family including outings and picnics at Assiniboine Park, numerous scenic day trips or doing diy projects around the home. He made a skating rink in the backyard where Dan learned to skate at the age of 4 and drove him to many hockey practices and games, also taking Roxanne to Ringette games and piano lessons.

Dad’s faith was an integral part of his life and he enjoyed sharing it enthusiastically with others.  We were inspired with Dad’s resilience and strength as he encountered numerous challenges during his lifetime. Dad was grateful for his salvation. It was as if it had occurred yesterday.  He loved singing and listening to the classic hymns of faith.

He was involved in a number of churches where he served as a deacon, treasurer and Sunday school superintendent. In earlier years he involved his children in various ministries such as Union Gospel Mission (he’d preach and Marilyn and John would assist with the music) and Managatogan Outreach.  He and Anna also loved to volunteer at the Kelowna MCC Thrift Store, where they made many new friends.

For vacations, the family often headed west for camping adventures. Initially we only made it as far as Banff and then eventually traveled through the mountains to Kelowna, B.C.  Dad and Mom enjoyed Kelowna’s climate and chose to retire there in 1989.  In 2016 they moved to Menno Place in Abbotsford, B.C.

Dad loved playing games including Crokinole, Greed, Skip-Bo and Phase 10 with family and friends.  He was quite proficient at Sudoku.  Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy were among his favorite television shows. He enjoyed outdoor activities such as Golf, Horseshoes and Bocce Ball even into his later years. He was a life long learner, loved to read, text, and discuss politics. He followed the Toronto Blue Jays and couldn’t understand why we weren’t watching the games as well.

Dad made friends wherever he went. He was an attentive and loving care giver to Anna.  Abe was a relatively healthy, energetic and compassionate 94 year old. After successfully evading the virus for 18 months, it was a surprise to all of us that he would eventually succumb to it in the manner he did.

This September Dad’s words of encouragement to his daughter Marilyn were “Love each other until Jesus comes”.  On the evening prior to his passing, he recited John 3:16 word for word as he struggled to ration his breath. “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”  These were the last words we would hear dad say.

Despite his declining health Abe was determined to hold on until October 2, 2021, as this was his and Anna’s 72nd Wedding Anniversary!  We are so grateful for the many memories Dad has given us and for the lives he has touched.  We will miss him dearly until we meet again.



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