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SUSANNA (SUSIE) REMPEL (published on February 14, 2009)

SUSANNA (SUSIE) REMPEL In her 93rd year, our mother, grandmother and great-grandmother Susie Rempel (nee Bock) passed away peacefully on February 12, 2009 at Pembina Place Mennonite Personal Care Home where she lived her last six years. She and we are very grateful for the exceptional care and kindness she received there. [To the staff: she loved you and (you'll know what this means) hoped she wasn't a bother.] Left to cherish her memory are children Aganetha (Peter), Elsie (Dave), Irene, Jack (Maria); grandchildren Richard (Tricia), Debrah, Michael (Diane), Bradley, Dale (Heather), Krista (Andrew), Kenton (Shannon), Kandis, Jenna (Dave), Jeff, Manola (Dylan), Kevin (Kim), and Kyle; great-grandchildren Cameron, Annie, Avery, William, Lexi, Emma, Kaya, Azsay, Darcie and Parker; and many other relatives and countless friends. Susie was born in Samojlowka, South Russia on July 22, 1915 to wealth, which was taken from her family during the revolution. In 1926, Susie, 11 years old, immigrated to Canada with her mother and siblings, her father killed in the revolt. They arrived in Canada poor and rebuilt their lives as best they could through hard work. In Winnipeg, without complaint, she worked as a housekeeper for others. Susie had beautiful blue eyes and, in early photos, looked like a 40s actress. She was strong (right to the end; she was amazing); Susie was strong every way you can think of. As a girl in Canada--well, as a girl she worked far harder than a child should need to, but--Susie dreamt of travel and studied world maps. She thought she might give her life to mission work. But then she met Jack, also from Russia, who courted her with all his heart, and fell in love. Susie referred to him as my Jack and to him and herself as my Jack and me . He passed away in 1981. Jack and Susie worked various jobs in Winnipeg until they settled around Marquette, Manitoba where they lived an industrious, resourceful and hard-working farm life. They were parishioners of the Schoenfelder Mennonite Church in Pigeon Lake. Susie was a deeply faithful person. Gardens were a matter of survival, but Susie also loved them ( she could make a hockey stick grow ). She was fascinated by plants and collected their leaves and blossoms. These she would press in a Bible and then arrange in binders with notes ( Florida or a beauty ), mingling leaves, blossoms, and family into a mysterious narrative. In the winter, in later years, she and Jack would drive to Florida (she making sandwiches for him in the car) where they would collect shells, starfish and sand dollars, back home gluing them onto plaques and planters in intricate arrangements. She quilted, canned (the best cucumber pickles), crocheted, knit, and sewed, including stuffed animals for her grandchildren. As an extended family, we met often at the farm, celebrating Easters, Thanksgivings, and Christmases. In everything Susie did she showed intelligence, warmth, and wit. She loved to joke. She could exchange barbs with you and accompany you into fanciful verbal play that might knock you off balance. Everybody she met adored her. She wanted to hear what you had to say, wanted to reminisce with you, and was curious about the world through you. We miss her terribly, are heartbroken. Each of us has aspects of ourselves that we know are from Susie. Funeral service will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday, February 18, 2009 at Friends Funeral Service, 2146 Main Street, with interment to follow in the Schoenfelder Mennonite Church Cemetery at Pigeon Lake, Manitoba. Viewing will be from 7:00 - 8:00 p.m. on Tuesday, February 17, 2009 at Friends Funeral Service and prior to the service. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Pembina Place Mennonite Personal Care Home or a charity of your choice.

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