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Obituary

PETER JAMES KROEKER (published on June 08, 2010)



PETER JAMES KROEKER 1923 2010 With mixed emotions, we announce the death of Peter Kroeker, aged 86, who passed away peacefully on Saturday, June 5. We grieve our loss, but are grateful that his pain and suffering are over. Peter was predeceased by his first wife, Ruth; his daughter Magenta; his parents; and his siblings, Walter, Edwin and Viola. Those who live on to remember his gracious contributions to their lives and the lives of others include: his loving wife Alvina Block; his children and their partners, Lucy (Del Epp), James (Kate), Peter (Ellen), Mark (Marcia), Naomi (Michael Austin), George Callahan (special friend of Magenta); his grandchildren, Katrina (Les), Peter (Shanda), Dustin (Megan), Mark (Erin), Tabitha, Rachel, Brent, Annette, Philip, Amy, Jessica, Myles and Sydney; his great-grandsons, Aidan and Henry; his siblings, Alfred (Margaret), Mary (Ernie Kroeger), Loreen (Bill Redekop), Don (Eileen), Betty (Willard Thiessen); sister-in-law Emily Kroeker; and brother-in-law Bill Bock. Also mourning his death are his wife's family including children, Wendell (Anna), Kevin (Marilyn), Yvonne, Kathy (Steve); grandchildren, Kristina (Justin), Darryl, Niko, Noah and Anthony. Peter, born on July 21, 1923 in Winkler, Manitoba, spent his childhood years living in Winkler and later on the family farm near Winkler. Together with his father and brothers, he assisted with the management of the family farm until 1968. During this time, he took leadership in a wide range of community and church activities, including three terms as mayor of Winkler. In 1968 he made the life-changing decision to return to school and seek an overseas assignment. This decision led to the completion of a PhD in Cultural Anthropology, and then to one year of French language training in Brussels, Belgium, and four years of service in the Congo (DRC). Here he worked tirelessly on a wide range of agricultural projects, using the knowledge he had gained in his studies, the experience he had gained working on the farm, and the talent he had for leadership and collaboration to improve the lives of marginalized people of Africa. In 1976, he and Ruth returned to live in Winnipeg, where he continued to use his gifts and his resources in initiating and furthering economic development projects around the world through his work with Mennonite Brethren Missions and Service. Even after his retirement in 1998, he worked passionately to promote global projects. He also chaired the Kroeker Farms Board for many years. He was devastated when his wife of 57 years, Ruth, died in 2005. In 2006 he found new joy in marriage to family friend, Alvina Block. They were able to enjoy four years together, and celebrated their fourth anniversary at the hospital just two days before his passing. Peter will be remembered for his quiet sense of humour, his passion for justice, and his intellectual openness. The family loved to hear him recall his many adventures abroad. His humility was evident and he seldom spoke of his many incredible achievements. He had a special vision for projects in India and Africa, and his efforts brought improvements to the lives of many of those he came in contact with. In the last four months his health declined rapidly, and he spent most of this time in hospital. A constant stream of family and friends were at his side during this time, and he was grateful for each visit. The family wishes to extend thanks to the staff of Ward N1 North and South at Concordia Hospital, where he was cared for during the last three months of his life. Viewing will be held Wednesday, June 9, 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at Friends Funeral Service, 2146 Main Street. Interment will take place on Thursday, June 10, 2010 at 10:00 a.m. at the Winkler Cemetery. A Celebration of Life Service will be held Thursday, June 10 at 3:00 p.m. at the River East MB Church, 755 McLeod Avenue, with reception to follow. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Mennonite Central Committee (for MMHA a medication project in Congo), 134 Plaza Drive, Winnipeg, R3T 5K9.


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