Susana Friesen - Sep 8, 2012 at Emmanuel Mennonite Church

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Susana Penner was born on March 27, 1928 to David and Mary Penner, the first of five daughters and a sister to David. The family lived on a farm south of Plum Coulee until moving to homestead in Gnadenthal. Mom attended school in Gnadenthal till grade six, but when she was required at home to help with more sisters arriving, her schooling was cut short. After Mom came Hilda, then Mary, Elma, Ella, Ben and Leonard.

Although somewhat quiet, she had a gentle nature, she demonstrated a quick wit and easy laugh, yet took her responsibilities seriously. She met a fellow from Blumenfeld by name of George J. Friesen, and a romance ensued. When World War II broke out, he joined the Conscientious Objectors but they kept in touch by letters during the war. They were married on November 20, 1949 in Gnadenthal and that’s where they set up a home where they raised a family, a son Alvin George and a few years later by a daughter, Verna Marie. In 1980 came a granddaughter Rebecca and 1986 a grandson Ryan. Mom became involved with the Gnadenthal ladies’ sewing circle, which in turn created lifelong friendships. She grew fruits and vegetables, baked breads, buns, sweets, canned, cooked, sewed, embroidered, milked cows, tended livestock amongst other things and yet had time to entertain family and friends. She was a woman of prayer and read her Bible, attended church and loved the Lord. Dad and Mom vacationed within Canada, the U.S.A. and Mexico throughout their marriage. She enjoyed traveling, seeing new places and sites. Although never having a driver’s license, she was able to drive a standard pick-up truck to the fields to deliver lunch or supper to Dad and Alvin who worked the fields. In 1993 they decided to move to Winkler, where a number of close neighbours from Gnadenthal had moved. Mom became involved with the Valley Harvest Maids, which served at various functions and one day a month volunteered at the MCC Thrift Store, which she very much enjoyed.

They continued attending the Blumenorter Mennonite Church in Rosetown where she developed friendships and helped serve at various functions. Mom and Dad celebrated 59 years of marriage. At 35 years they celebrated at the Blumenorter Church and at 50 years they celebrated in the Maranatha Church in Winkler where Alvin and Lynn attended church. Despite Mom’s declining memory, she did well physically. Her kindness was evident and she was always happy to have visitors. Her disposition remained friendly with a teasing glint in her eye. The visits were never long enough for her. “What’s the rush?” she would say when a visitor said it was time to go, regardless how long the visit had been. When widowed in December 2008 she became more withdrawn and was unable to find words or express herself, however she could often be found looking through various books, cards, or clippings, and had quite a collection she saved over the years. On Wednesday, September 5, 2012 just after 5 a.m. while a resident at Bethania Mennonite Personal Care Home, she was called to her Heavenly home where Jesus and those that preceded her celebrated her arrival.

Susana was predeceased by her parents, David and Mary Penner, brother, David M. Penner, son, Alvin George and husband, George J. She is survived by a daughter, Verna and husband, Stan of Winnipeg, granddaughter, Rebecca and husband, Orion of Seattle, grandson, Ryan and wife, Jodi of Kronstal, three great-grandchildren, four sisters, two brothers and their families.

Funeral service was held on Saturday September 8, 2012 at 11:00 a.m. at the Emmanuel Mennonite Church in Winkler with interment at Gnadenthal Cemetery.