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Nettie Warkentin (Tiessen)

June 3, 1925 - July 1, 2023


Nettie was born on June 3, 1925 to Henry and Mary Tiessen in Warman, Saskatchewan, the oldest among four brothers.  As a school girl, she was known as being a leader in playing games and getting a singing group together for Sunday evening services.  After acquiring scarlet fever, Nettie took Grades 9 to 11 by correspondence during the summer, while going to Tabor Bible School during the winters.  After the family moved to Abbotsford, Nettie completed Grade 12 at MEI.  This was a wonderful time for her, as she met many people who later became her prayer partners and supporters when she was on the mission field. After high school, Nettie did housework for a while and also taught Vacation Bible School for the West Coast Children’s Mission, at which time Henry Warkentin was the director.


At the age of 24 and being obedient to the Lord’s calling, Nettie became a missionary in Guadeloupe with the West Indies Mission (now World Team).  Nettie taught the missionary children, led the choir and, as she said, “everything in between”. She learned most of her French as she visited with the people, so she had a Creole accent. She was responsible for the children’s program and, in 1969, she went to France where she took a three month course with Child Evangelism Fellowship.  While in Guadeloupe, Nettie experienced hurricanes several times, with Hurricane Cleo in 1964 being particularly bad.  


It was gratifying for Nettie to see the children, whom she taught, grow up and take leadership. When she walked along the streets of Guadeloupe, it seemed everyone knew “Sister Tiessen” and wanted to stop and chat. She had a good rapport with the people and made lifelong friends with her co-workers and the nationals. Nettie was a missionary in Guadeloupe for 43 years.


Nettie had been a friend to both Henry and Helen Warkentin for many years. While reading Henry’s 1991 Christmas letter, he mentioned his loneliness after Helen’s passing in March of that year. After corresponding with each other, Nettie married Henry on October 24, 1992.  Shortly after the wedding, Henry and Nettie went to Guadeloupe for two months where she showed him her ministry there, introducing him to her many friends and to tie up loose ends now that she was retired. Nettie visited Guadeloupe a few more times after that, the last time being in 2018. Together Henry and Nettie continued to serve the Lord doing visitation for Broadway Church and babysitting during the Ladies Bible Study. Nettie was also on the Missions Committee and taught Sunday School for many years to toddlers, which earned her the title of “Grandma Nettie”.

Although Nettie drove a motorcycle in Guadeloupe, she never had a driver’s license in Canada.  Soon after they were married, Nettie, at the age of 68, took driving lessons at Henry’s encouragement. This gave her independence and she was also Henry’s chauffeur after he lost his eye sight. She spent many hours reading to him and, in the later years, Nettie cared for Henry when he was unable to do things for himself, which the family appreciated. Henry and Nettie enjoyed 24 years of marriage before Henry passed away in July 2017. Although this was a difficult time, Nettie knew that life went on and found things to keep her busy. 

Music always played an important role throughout Nettie’s life and even her devotions usually included a hymn. She was deeply dedicated to God, was a prayer warrior and known for her positive attitude and cheerfulness.  Nettie loved chocolate, was fluent in 3 languages and her favourite cookie to bake was Snickerdoodles. 

During 2022, Nettie’s health began declining more noticeably.  On January 6 of this year Nettie fell in the hall of her building and was hospitalized.  Nettie Warkentin went home to be with her Lord and Saviour on July 1, 2023, at the age of 98, at the Bradley Centre in Chilliwack.

Predeceased by Henry, her parents, 2 brothers Herb and George and her step-daughter Ruth Schulz, Nettie leaves to mourn:

The Tiessen Family:  Gordon Tiessen, Donald & Edith Tiessen and many nieces and nephews;

Her Guadeloupe Family:  Nettie’s many  brothers and sisters in Christ;

The Warkentin Family:  Carl & Ruth Warkentin, Doris & Oly Eichstadt, Paul & Elaine Warkentin, Kerri & Al Toews, Dave Schulz, 12 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.



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From: Wiebe and Jeske Funeral Home

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

From: Cheryl Boehr
Relation: Her cousin’s daughter

I am so sorry to hear about Nettie. My Dad, John Boehr was her cousin. He passed away in April and we used Wiebe and jeske as well, so his tribute is on here. I remember visiting with her every year at Missionfest. She was always vibrant and engaging and had a very strong faith. I called Nettie last December to let her know that my Mom had passed away. Her voice was recognizable but some of her memory was obviously lacking. Sending love and prayers to the family.

Cheryl Boehr

From: Danny Wolfe
Relation: She was my cousin-aunt (Dad's cousin)

My condolences to the Thiessen family. Sorry I could not make it to the service.

Service Schedule

  Memorial Service

Date & Time:
July 17, 2023
Beginning at 2:00pm

Broadway MB Church
46611 Maple Avenue
Chilliwack, BC Canada

46611 Maple Avenue
Chilliwack, BC Canada

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The family has not designated a preferred charity at this time.

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