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Ernst Quiring

August 1, 1929 - January 17, 2022

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Our dad, Ernst, was born on August 1, 1929, in Köppental, Am Trakt, Russia, to Alexander and Anna (Dyck) Quiring, the fourth of six children. His youngest sister, Alice, died in infancy. They were very difficult times in the years after the Russian Revolution; Anna wrote to her sister in Canada that they called the baby Ernst because “the times were serious.” In 1933 his parents fled to central Asia because someone had let them know their father was to be arrested. They escaped to Kirgizstan through a window the same night, while the children were taken in by relatives. In 1935 the family was sent to the desert in Tajikistan, where they were ordered to establish a collective farm. Much of Dad’s childhood and youth were spent in the village they established, and, in his heart, it remained “home” for life. Despite the great challenges, he had good memories of his mother’s singing and his dad telling them stories. In 1938, the dreaded knock came at the door one night and Dad’s father was taken away, never to return. Dad was asleep and missed the event, not finding out about it until breakfast the next morning. In 1964 the family received notification from the government that his father had been arrested despite being innocent and that he had died in 1942; although this obviously did not bring his father back, the acknowledgment was important to Dad. After his father was taken away, life became even more challenging as his mother worked two jobs to try to feed the family. The deprivations and exhaustingly hard work took their toll, and she passed away in 1942 when dad was 13 years old. Shortly thereafter the three older siblings were taken to the labor camps. An elderly relative was supposed to take care of dad and his youngest sister, but at the last moment she became afraid and refused. He was taken in by his cousin, Anna Funk, who already had her own children as well as a neighbour child. Mrs. Funk paid strict attention that her children did not receive more food than the extra children she took in. Dad often credited her with saving his life. Starvation was a very real threat, and Dad often talked about how he went hunting for turtles in the mountains. Eating them literally saved their lives. One time when he was looking for turtles, he reached into a hole to see if one was hiding inside; when he pulled out his hand a scorpion was sitting on it. He quickly flung it aside and stepped on it, barefoot. Dad’s education finished at grade 8 at age 16, after which he went to work, picking cotton and being a night watchman for the irrigation canals. This was frightening, as he heard the coyotes howling in the pitch black, but eventually he came to like his job and spoke of it fondly. In 1953 Dad was able to move to Dushanbe, the capital city. Here he had a little more schooling and found work. He also began attending the Baptist church and by early 1957 had decided that Maria Rogalsky, his Mariechen, was the one for him. They were married in the required legal ceremony on August 12, 1957, and in a church ceremony on August 18. For that they went back to his village on the collective farm, to his eldest sister’s house. They had a double wedding with his brother Friedrich and Marta. Dad and Mom were able to buy a very small house which needed to be completely rebuilt. However, it had a nice big yard, with grape vines covering it, and they were able to keep pigs and chickens. Four children were born to them, Eduard in 1958, Walter in 1960, Nellie in 1964 and Annette in 1965.
Dad worked at a taxi base, Mom worked as a nurse in a clinic and Oma Rogalsky looked after the children. The Baptist church they attended was within walking distance and was a regular part of life. It wasn’t an easy life, but it was a good one nonetheless. Dad’s faith journey was a vital part of his life. His parents told him Bible stories as a child, but for much of his childhood there were no church services, his father was gone and his mother also often away. He attended his first “real” church service after moving to Dushanbe in 1953; there he made a decision to follow Christ. Dad was baptized on July 6, 1956, in the Kafirnigan River and became a member of the Baptist Church. He was grateful for God’s unfailing grace and faithful guidance in his life. Mom’s eldest sister had come to Canada after the war and worked tirelessly to bring our family here as well. Her efforts paid off in 1972 as we were given permission to emigrate. This was very difficult for Mom and Dad; very few people left the Soviet Union at that time, and they did not know if they would ever see their remaining siblings again. However, it was a happy reunion with Tante Nellie, and life took a considerable upswing. Mom and Dad settled in Vancouver, attending Culloden MB Church and participating in various ministries such as the seniors’ choir, ladies club and serving as deacons. They offered hospitality to many and made numerous good friends. Dad got a job at Montalco Kitchen Cabinets and later at Wright’s Canadian Ropes. The fall of the Soviet Union meant that relatives could emigrate to Germany, and Mom and Dad were able to make numerous trips to visit them. After Dad’s retirement and with the children out of the house, life slowed down a bit and it was probably the most relaxing part of their lives. They were delighted to have grandchildren entering their world: Jacqueline, Leandra and Bradley brought them much joy! In 1991 they sold their house in Vancouver and moved to Abbotsford, joining King Road MB Church. Dad loved his garden and also volunteered for many years at Menno Home. They were able to enjoy numerous short trips just for the fun of it – Hawaii, Canada’s East Coast, Mt. St. Helen’s, whale watching and Barkerville, along with more trips to Germany. Dad always loved maps, and he was finally able to visit some of the places he’d seen on paper. Failing health made the move into assisted living necessary, and in 2015 they moved into Tabor Court, where he lived for more than six years. He passed away peacefully in Holmgren House Hospice on the evening of January 17, surrounded by loved ones. Dad is predeceased by siblings Alice, Lieschen, Friedrich and Otto, brother-in-law Eduard and sisters-in-law Marta and Tina. He is survived by wife Maria, children Ed (Michele), Walter (Maryanne), Nellie and Annette (Peter), as well as his eldest sister Marie, brothers-in-law Eduard and Johann, and grandchildren Jacqueline, Leandra (Ryan) and Brad (Sarah) with their families.

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From: Wiebe and Jeske Funeral Home

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Service Schedule

  Funeral Service

Date & Time:
January 26, 2022
Beginning at 10:00am

Location:
King Road MB Church
32068 King Road
Abbotsford, BC Canada

32068 King Road
Abbotsford, BC Canada

Memorial Gifts

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Donations in memory  of Ernst may be made to MDS, designated to BC Flooding and Wildfires 2021 Fund.

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