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Karolyn Anne Toews (Koop)

January 2, 1966 - September 7, 2021


It was with great sadness that we said goodbye to Karolyn Anne Toews of Arnold, BC on
Tuesday, September 7, 2021. She was born on January 2,1966 in St. Catharines, ON., a
daughter to Anne Koop and the late John Koop. She will be greatly missed by her husband –
Gary; children – Rachel, Julia, Emily and Josiah (Lily); sisters – Kathryn Balzer (David), Judith
Voth (Jo) and Andrea Janzen (J), along with many nieces and nephews.
Karolyn’s early years were filled with regular family gatherings, piano lessons, participation in
church activities and family camping every summer. Childhood was full of joy. She graduated
from Eden Christian College in Virgil, ON. in 1985, then went on to university studies in
Winnipeg in the fall of 1986. Her undergraduate studies in music (ARCT piano), theology and
liberal arts culminated in a PDP, teacher certification, at Simon Fraser University in 1990. This
led to a 31-year teaching career in the Abbotsford School District. Many of those years were
spent in Matsqui, a community that found its way deep into her heart. She embraced kids and
the act of learning and discovery and experienced many rich friendships with colleagues.
Telling stories and inviting imagination were an unquenchable passion.
Karolyn met Gary in Winnipeg at the Mennonite Brethren Bible College in 1986. Their common
gifts and love of music brought them together. They were married in 1987 in Niagara-on-theLake, ON., and began married life in Abbotsford, BC., Gary’s hometown. Karolyn embraced
motherhood with her whole heart. Easter egg hunts, home-made birthday cakes and walks at
the Mission Abbey, among many other ventures, marked the rhythm of their family life.
From early childhood she desired to know and follow the One who made her. Karolyn anchored
her life in Jesus. She sought out communities of faith where serving and learning went hand in
hand. Many pages in her books and Bible display careful notations. Questions. Exclamations.
And affirmations. She was a seeker, a thinker and a lover of truth. In all of this, she knew God’s
love for her was secure.
Karolyn was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015. This began a journey that was painful and
hard. However, in the midst of this, Karolyn took on a posture of learning and acceptance. She
completed her master’s degree, she read, reflected, collected sets of her favourite children’s
books and wrote about her faith. She was living in the dying.
Karolyn will be remembered for her insatiable passion for teaching, her undeniable love of her
family, her probing love of God and her exuberant delight in nature, learning and friendship.
The family is eternally grateful to the many medical professionals, caregivers and friends in
Cancer Care, Holmberg House and the broader community that so lovingly walked this journey
with Karolyn.
A Celebration of Life is taking place at South Abbotsford Church at 4pm on September 20,
2021. A livestream/recording of the service is available here:

In lieu of flowers, you are invited to donate to Mennonite Central Committee’s Education
programs, https://donate.mcccanada.ca/cause/education


Send a condolence, light a candle and/or share a memory, click "Send Condolence". Once your message has been approved by the moderator it will be posted to the website.

From: Wiebe and Jeske Funeral Home

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

From: Herman and Kathy Neufeld
Relation: Growing up years in our small community of Virgil

Sending our condolences to you Anne and the family of Karolyn. We have such good memories of you the Koop family worshiping together at OP. We can identify with your loss in having experienced it 4 years ago when we lost our daughter in law at a young age. May you be comforted in knowing she is now looking upon the face of whom she served.

From: Olwen Cowan
Relation: through school

I met Karolyn when she was starting her journey in graduate studies right around the time she was diagnosed. I was one of the mentors for the program and knew upon our meeting that I would learn more from her than she from me. She was an impressive scholar and human. My deepest condolences to those who were lucky to love (and be loved by) her.

Service Schedule

  Celebration of Life

Date & Time:
September 20, 2021
Beginning at 4:00pm

South Abbotsford Church
32424 Huntingdon Road
Abbotsford, BC Canada

32424 Huntingdon Road
Abbotsford, BC Canada

  Funeral Service

Date & Time:
September 20, 2021

Memorial Gifts

In lieu of flowers, you are invited to donate to Mennonite Central Committee’s Education
programs, https://donate.mcccanada.ca/cause/education

Thank You Notice

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Wiebe & Jeske Funeral Home
202-31314 Peardonville Rd.
Abbotsford BC
V2T 6K8


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