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Gerhard Isaak

August 24, 1925 - May 11, 2017



Gerhard Isaak was born on August 24th, 1925 in Lichtenau, Ukraine, and was the eldest of twelve siblings. In November 1929, when he was 4 years old, he fled Russia through Moscow with his parents and two younger brothers, to Germany. There they stayed in a refugee camp. His first sister, Lisbeth, was born there, but passed away two months later.  On July 12th, 1930 they left Germany for their new home. On August 19th, 1930, after a 39 day journey, they arrived in the Chaco desert in Paraguay in Auhagen 9.  Here the family pioneered and were thankful to have a home.  In 1934 his father was called into ministry and became Aelteste Jakob Isaak (Elder Jakob Isaak). He was the representative to the world for the General Conference Mennonite Churches of Paraguay and travelled extensively throughout the country. This impacted Gerhard’s life greatly. Because he was the oldest son, the burden of helping to care for the family fell on his shoulders. In 1937, when he was 13 years old, the family purchased two farms and moved to Blumenort and lived there for 25 years. Gerhard had enjoyed school. However due to the demands placed on him as first born, he only finished grade seven. He helped on the farm and when his father was ministering, he was responsible.  During these early settlement years he experienced many hardships. One of Gerhard’s earliest comments in his writings was of a trip he took with the oxen cart with logs from the palisander tree to Casado at kilometer 145, approximately a one week trip one-way, with no protection from wild animals. Then, he had to return home on his own, not knowing the directions, allowing the horses to find their way.  In April 1950 Gerhard married Frieda Klippenstein. They had four children: Ursula, Ewald, Arvid and Wilfried.  In 1958 Gerhard lost his brother, Kornelius, who had felt a calling by God to reach out to the Moro (Ayoreo) people in the Chaco wilderness. Upon first contact, they killed him with a poisonous spear.  Gerhard began his career as a furniture builder. However, he found his calling when he began to teach himself to become a watch and clock repairman. In 1963 the whole family moved to Germany for Gerhard to learn from the master craftsmen in the Black Forest. In 1966 they moved back to Paraguay where he opened up a watch and clock repair business.  In 1973 the family immigrated to Vancouver, Canada. Gerhard became a finished carpenter, then a watch and clock repairman at a jeweler store in North Vancouver. In 1977 he moved to Abbotsford and worked at Bartsch Jewelers until he was able to open his own business, Black Forest Jewelers.  Upon his retirement in 1993, Gerhard and Frieda moved to Winnipeg, Manitoba to work for MCC fulltime for a two-year term. When they came back to Abbotsford, they continued to serve as volunteers.  Gerhard and Frieda moved into assisted living at Tabor Court in 2007 and into full care at Tabor Home in 2009. In October 2015 his wife of 65 years went to be with the Lord. He missed her. Gerhard was a kind, gentle, compassionate, God-loving person.  He was loving, forgiving, and slow to anger. He was a man of honour. He  passed away on May 11th, 2017 at the age of 91.  He was predeceased by: his parents and siblings Lisbeth Isaak, Kornelius Isaak, and Jacob Isaak.  He will be sadly missed by those surviving him. His siblings: Heinrich Isaak, Peter Isaak, Lise Giesbrecht, Hans Isaak, Helmut Isaak, Elfriede Enns, Irene Willms, and Hartmut Isaak. His children Ursula (and Erich) Neufeld, Ewald (and Eleonore) Isaak, Arvid (and Lisete) Isaak, Wilfried (and June) Isaak, and numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren.


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From: Wiebe and Jeske Funeral Home

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Service Schedule

  Memorial Service

Date & Time:
May 17, 2017
Beginning at 2:30pm

Eben-Ezer Mennonite Church
2051 Windsor Street
Abbotsford, BC Canada

2051 Windsor Street
Abbotsford, BC Canada

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