Mary, a twin to Arthur, was born September 7, 1928 in a farmhouse near Dalmeny, SK, to immigrant parents: American Cornelius Lepp and Russian Mary Klassen. Immediately after the birth of the twins, her mom returned to work in the fields as it was threshing season and the family “must be cared for” in the soon to arrive winter. This immigrant family trait, family above self, was passed onto Mom, and became an innate part of her life fabric. We were privileged to experience the impact of her selfless nature throughout our lives.
Life on the farm was difficult in the 30’s as drought hit the prairies shortly after her parents returned from the US. She often spoke of burning fires during the night to keep the grasshoppers from destroying the gardens. Mom lover her horses, riding on the horse-drawn sleigh or covered sled in the winter, going to both school and church. Above all, she loved working in the kitchen during threshing time, keeping everyone fed. She spoke often of huge family meals on Sundays after church, and playing with all of her cousins at her grandparents’ home in Dalmeny. Her grandfather was the pastor of the local Mennonite Brethren Church, which she attended faithfully throughout her young adult life.
Mom completed 3 years of Biblical training at Bethany Bible Institute, to be followed by the completion of a 3 year RN degree at Providence Hospital in Moose Jaw, SK. Mom was a real academic in her own right, receiving numerous awards.
Mom married Gerhard “George” Janzen on July 17, 1956 and moved to Prince Albert. Four children soon arrived on the scene within a short 5 year period. Thus began a very full family life, supporting Dad in business, getting involved in Grace Mennonite Church, volunteering and serving neighbours and those in need with fabulous meals and baking.
Mom and Dad enjoyed many varied trips overseas working in Dental Mission projects, serving the dental needs with much enthusiasm and patience. This left a lasting impression on them and their family, and continued to shape their retirement years.
Our mother, Mary, is survived by her husband of nearly 63 years, George; her children Eunice, Jerry (Carol), Jeannette (Francois), and Joel (Susan); her grandchildren, Genevieve (Jesse), Isabelle, Thomas, Matthew, Mark, Donnee, and Jaaron; twin brother Art (Marilyn), her sister Luella’s (Henry) children, Valerie (Murrary), Darryl (Leslie) and their children; her sister-in-law Elsie (John); many cousins, nieces and nephews on both her and her husband’s side. Predeceased by her parents and 2 older brothers Henry and Paul, and a younger sister Luella.
Her service of remembrance and celebration of life will be held at the Prince Albert Alliance Church, 2777 6th Avenue West, Prince Albert, SK on Saturday, May 25, 2019 at 2:00 pm.
Memorial donations can be made to the Victoria Hospital Foundation, 1200 24 Street West, Prince Albert, SK S6V 5T4
Condolences may be sent to the family at www.grays.ca.
Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to Gray’s Funeral Chapel (306)922-4729