Dr. John Foerster - Sep 11, 2021 at McDermot Avenue Baptist Church

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Dr. John Foerster September 29, 1935 – August 30, 2021

Johannes (“John”) was a beloved husband, Dad, Opi, brother, uncle, colleague and friend who was called home to be with his Lord and Saviour after a long battle with cancer and dementia. John was a pillar in the community who arrived as a teenaged German immigrant after World War II and used his natural energy, work ethic, God-given talents and intelligence to serve his family, church and medical community and to improve so many lives around him.

John was a renowned Hematology/Oncology physician, who trained with world famous mentors and was an author and editor in textbooks that are known throughout the field of Medicine. He brought a spirit of innovation and excellence back to Manitoba and helped to better the province through his directorship at the St. Boniface Hospital Research Centre and his nurturing care of his patients. He received many honours and awards including the Order of Canada, the Order of the Buffalo Hunt, Professor Emeritus at the University of Manitoba and the St. Boniface Hospital International Award. John was a natural leader and a gifted speaker, preacher and teacher, who inspired many people along the way whether at work, church or the School of Medicine at the University of Manitoba.

John gave his time selflessly and as a physician was a source of inspiration for his kids, all three of whom followed him into a career in medicine. But his first and greatest love was for his Lord and he built another family at church and through his involvement in faith-based organizations, both locally and on a national and international scale. John loved nature and the lake and spent much time at his cottage at Lake of the Woods. John could often be seen fishing with his sons and grandsons or taking in the beautiful natural landscape. The peace and tranquility at the cottage enabled John to complete works of writing that his busy schedule in town could not permit. He was also a lover of classical and sacred music and was himself an excellent singer who shared his talent through choirs, quartets and solos. He was a friend to many – everybody felt they were special when they were in his presence.

John is predeceased by his wife Gisela (2013) and his brother George (1967) and is mourned by his wife Elfriede, his children David (Juanita) Foerster, Steven (Jackie) Foerster and Susan (Ed) Wang, Elfriede’s children Leona (Ralf) Owzarek, Debbie (Norbert) Werner, Dan (Michelle) Kuenstler, and his grandchildren Julie, Evan, Nicole & Avery, Ryan, Alexa, Dawson, Joshua and Matthew along with grandchildren Justin & Selina, Grace, Megan, Jonathan, Sara, James and Yeabsira. John had close family bonds on all sides particularly with his sister Anne (Charles) Kunze, but also with his local nieces and nephews (Fred, Dennis, Andrea, Christine, Robert) and so many other others in the extended Foerster, Volkner and Behnke families. The Foerster and Volkner families were scattered over Canada and the world but they kept in touch and remained close friends; John was a favourite as a guest or host. John also became close with Elfriede’s siblings (Walter & Ruth, Gerlinde, Lothar & Erika and Irene) and their families and treated them as his own. He had love enough for everybody.

John was truly the patriarch of this family and his authentic love, humble service, faith and sense of humour will be what is remembered and will give the family comfort through this difficult time. While he will be dearly missed, we know his pain is gone, his mind has been healed and that he is laughing once again up in heaven with those who went before him and singing God’s praises with that great baritone voice.

To God be the glory, great things He has done. So loved He the world that He gave us his Son. Who yielded His life an atonement for sin and opened the life-gate that all may go in … But purer and higher and greater will be, our wonder, our transport when Jesus we see! Praise the Lord! (hymn by Fanny Crosby, 1875)

Special thanks to the teams at Cancer Care, Palliative Care Riverview and Donwood Manor for their thoughtful, kind and exceptional care.