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Jacob John Janzen

May 12, 1923 - June 29, 2021


Jacob John Janzen was born in Zagradavka, Ukraine on May 12, 1923 to his parents, Johann John and Justina (Friesen) Janzen. He was the second of 7 siblings… his older sister Anna, younger siblings Clara, Mary, Erna, George and Katie.

He came to Canada when he was 6 months old,  on the Volendam ship, arriving at Halifax.  From Halifax they took the train to Rosthern Sashatchewan.  Here they stayed in Eigenheim, near Rosthern for one year and then in Waldheim for one year.

In 1926 his parents moved to Glenbush,Saskatchewan where his father had bought a quarter of bush land from the CPR. This is where Jacob grew up. .  Pioneering was a difficult life but there was always food on the table.  .

Dad completed 8th grade of public school and attended 2 years of bible school in Rosthern Sask.  When he was 17 he attended revival meetings and he responded to the conviction of his heart and accepted Jesus as His Savior.

 His wife-to-be caught his eye the first time he took notice of her. Dad  explains in his own words.  “We attended a small church of about 15 families. One Sunday walking to the exit door a nice girl looked up at me with a beautiful smile. That smile stayed with me and a few years later I proposed to her and she said ‘YES’ with that same smile.”

Jacob and Tina Wilma Reinke were married August 19, 1945.  Their first home was a 160 acre farm but farming with horses was not in Dad’s line of interest.  Dad and Mom started talking about moving to B.C.

One morning Dad prayed for guidance. If it was the Lord’s will that they move to B.C. He should send someone to buy their farm. That afternoon someone appeared at their door and bought the farm.   In March of 1947 Mom and Dad moved to Arnold, B.C. on Powerhouse Rd where Dad built a small cabin.  It was here they started their family with Julianna Joy born in August of that year.  In Dec. of 1947 they sold and moved to Ross Rd. in Abbotsford, where they built up a hobby farm and raised their children.

Three more children joined the family.   William Larry in 1950, Grace Roselie in 1953, and James Arthur in 1957.

Dad’s life-work was with a hammer in his hand.   He built more houses, barns, buildings, cupboards, furniture than even he could tell.  He was known for quality work. What he built was meant to last.

He also spent countless hours at the Abbotsford MCC store, undertaking endless projects – using his carpentry skills to make useless household furniture pieces valuable again.

He also volunteered at the Gleaners for several years. He designed and built the apple peeler that is still being used.

Dad commented a few days ago about how he had always had a strong body, and never felt tired. He would come home for supper after a long day at work only to go back and work some more in the evening.

When Mom and Dad moved to Abbotsford,  West Abbotsford Mennonite Church became their home church.  They quickly became members and remained members for over 70 years.

Dad was involved in the building of the new church and the Sunday School building … he was active as Sunday School Superintendent for many years and was very faithful in giving financially.

He was known for his smile and his strong hugs. He could laugh until he cried at a good joke.

He could not say no to a stranger nor to a door -to -door salesman, and he made no secret of his dislike of chocolate chip cookies and cheese !  He did not play golf or fish or have any particular hobbies and his vacations were always to visit his family in the prairie provinces.

Dad was a man who lived and enjoyed a simple life – dedicated to what was most important to him – his faith, his church, his work, his family.

After Mom passed away in 2016, he had to suddenly do for himself what he had never had to do.  But we were surprised  at how well he did.   Then he broke his hip and soon after he recovered , it was time for him to move to an assisted living home.

He moved into Tabor Court in Sept. of 2019.  He was very happy there and we as family are very grateful for the loving care he received there.   The staff were so kind  and Dad loved and appreciated them. When he became bed-ridden the first week of June 2021 he was no longer able to meet the standard to qualify for ‘assisted living’.  We thank God for the fact that something never done before was put together by Fraser Health and the Tabor Court. . His apartment was equipped to meet his full care needs and the Tabor care aids were wonderful. .

We all felt so blessed   – and especially Dad – that he was allowed to stay ‘home’ until the end.

His mind was clear to his last day —  but his body finally lost its strength  —  and the Lord called him home  at 8:13 pm on June 29th, 2021.   Miraculously,  three of his children and a son-in-law were with him when he slipped so very quietly from this life into the presence of his Lord.

While he will be missed ,  we rejoice with him that his earthly journey has been completed and he is enjoying all the Lord has prepared for him.   We know we can trust in the Lord’s sure promise – we will see him again !!

Jacob John Janzen was predeceased by his parents, his wife, Tina, a grandson Shaun, and a daughter-in-law Doris. Also his brother George, sisters Anna, Erna, and brother-in-laws Pete W. , Pete J. , Benno , Horst , and Jake.

He leaves behind –  his   four children and their families, —

Julie and Vic (Klassen) – Romay (Vince Rahn) ,

Bill and Janet – Chad (Shannon) , Daryl

Grace and Dan (Hutchinson) – Cherie, Trina,

James – Justin (Kelly) , Keith (Devon) , Andrea (Edward Diaz)

He had 11 great-grandchildren.

He also leaves behind his sisters Mary, Clara, Katie , sister-in-law Helen and many nieces and nephews.

We as Dad’s family wish to express our deep and sincere gratitude for the loving care given to Dad by the staff of Tabor Court. We are so thankful that they made it possible for Dad to stay ‘home’ until the end.

A family grave-side service was held on July 6, 2021


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From: Wiebe and Jeske Funeral Home

Wiebe and Jeske Funeral Home Staff send our condolences to family and friends.

From: Rita Ewert
Relation: Friend of my parents.

My sincere condolences to your family.
I will miss seeing your dad at church. I enjoyed visiting with him.

From: Mary Schmidt
Relation: S.S. Teacher

So sorry for your loss.
Mr.Janzen was my favourite SundaySchool teacher. Loss on earth, but Heaven’s gain.
Blessings, Mary (Neudorf) Schmidt

From: Jake Barkman/Pamela Barkman

To the Janzen family.
We send our condolences ,thoughts and prayers to you all.
Even tho our paths have not cross very often in the past number of years, we have never forgotten the Janzen family and especially your father. It was back in ’63/64 that Jake built our parents house on Bradner. Thru the years your dad’s name was often mentioned referring to, who built our house and the awesome workmanship of every detail including kitchen cabinets. Than again in 1981 when my father got Jake and sons to build another house just north of the farm house. Another job well done. Jake was a great warrior for our Lord and was not ashamed to live it.
Our father’s name was Abe Barkman and i send this note and condolences on behalf of the Abe Barkman family.
Blessing and all the best,
Jake and Pam Barkman, Abbotsford BC

From: Frieda Wiebe Abe Wiebe, Henry Wiebe
Relation: Lived on Ross Rd. went to school at Peardonville with some of your family

Condolences wishes from your long ago neighbors the Wiebes
Your Dad was a kind , sincere man

From: Frieda Wiebe Abe Wiebe, Henry Wiebe
Relation: Lived on Ross Rd. went to school at Peardonville with some of your family

Condolences wishes from your long ago neighbors the Wiebes
Your Dad was a kind , sincere man. Grieving now but a great reward in heaven.

From: Dave Loewen
Relation: Church friend

My memories of Jake go back the 1950s, when I was young lad. Jake was an active member of the Sunday School team. I remember him doling out ice cream to the children at our annual Church Picnic. I remember him giving oversight to three construction projects – the present sanctuary and two Sunday School wing additions. I will always remember the cheerful greetings he and Tina shared with us on Sunday mornings. Jake was always cheerful and I cannot remember him ever criticizing or complaining. His commitment to West Abbotsford and then to Level Ground is an example to all. We will miss him. Dave & Grace Loewen

From: Hope Clarke
Relation: Friend

Condolences to the family. I was blessed to spend time with Jake at church. Especially to celebrate his 90th birthday. I will remember his good sense of humour, hugs and strength.

From: Rudy Schroeder
Relation: Thru West Abbotsford Church

My condolence to Mr. J. Janzen family.I have fond memories of your dad as my boys club leader at West Abb. Church.He was so patient and kind with this impetuous boy! His gentle demeanor and strong faith had a great influence on me during my formative years. He built our house on the farm which allowed me to see his faith in action. I’m so greatfull to God for putting your Dad ( +Mom ) in my life. Blessings. Rudy Schroeder

From: Sally Guggenheimer
Relation: close family friend

Dear Family of Jake Janzen: We want you to know how much our Otto Unger family appreciated your father (and all of you). Your father made many contributions to the homes our family lived in during the years he did his brilliant carpentry profession. He always listened carefully, added great suggestions and completed tasks skilfully.
We pray God will help all of you recall special memories of your very special dad, grandfather and greatgrandfather. John and Sally Guggenheimer (on behalf of our Otto Unger family)

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