Albert Giesbrecht

Al Giesbrecht

Wednesday, September 8th, 1937 - Wednesday, February 3rd, 2021
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Al Giesbrecht was born on September 8, 1937, the second child born
to Peter and Alma Giesbrecht (Siemens) in Winnipeg, Manitoba. He
died peacefully with his wife Irma by his side on February 3, 2021.

He is survived by his wife of 54 years, Irma; son Brian and wife
Glenda with granddaughters Dylan and Avery; son Garry and wife
Nely with grandsons Connor and Ethan; daughter Bev with
granddaughter Madisyn; his twin brother Norm; younger brothers Ed,
Harry and Vic, and their wives; and many nieces, nephews; and great
nieces and nephews. He is predeceased by his older brother Arthur
in 1938, dad Peter in 1989 and mom Alma in 1994.

Dad grew up on his parents farm in Elm Creek, Manitoba. There was
always plenty of work to do on the farm. Dad told us these stories
often. By age 8 he and Norm were already learning to drive the
tractor, one working the pedals and one standing on the seat and
steering. One story he told was of working their land with a rake that
was drawn by two horses. These horses were very wild and difficult
to control. As he was working, the seat broke and he fell between the
horses and the rake. As he was falling, he shouted “whoa!” and the
horses stopped dead in their tracks. Dad told this story with tears in
his eyes because he knew that God had spared his life in that

As a teenager, Dad was given the nickname “Doc” or “Doc-y”. We
think it was because he once removed his brother Ed’s stitches for
him. This nickname stuck with him throughout the years as his
brothers still often affectionately called him “Doc”.
As he grew older, and especially after he got his drivers licence, that’s
when his fun began. Dad told many stories about driving fast. One
that he told often was when he drove his Meteor between Elm Creek
and Winnipeg at 128 miles an hour, with the windows down. He
always stressed that it was MILES PER HOUR, NOT KILOMETRES.

He was confident that if he had had the windows up, he would have
hit 130 miles per hour.

After high school he moved to Winnipeg and began a job at
Consolidated Car Mart as a gas jockey and tow truck driver. The tow
truck he drove was an old right-hand drive army jeep that had no
doors. We imagine that it must have been very cold in winter, but in
all of the stories he told, he never complained. He maintained this
attitude throughout his life. Whenever you asked him how he was
doing, the answer was almost always “110%”!

After that he began a job at Penner Tire as a bookkeeper. While
working there, he took some accounting courses by correspondence.
One day he was in the Crosstown Credit Union branch doing his
banking, when he saw an employee staring out the window. Jokingly,
he asked the teller if he could get a job looking out the window too!
She then replied that they were looking for someone to do their
payroll. So, in 1964 he began his career at Crosstown Credit Union,
initially as a payroll clerk and then as a branch manager. He enjoyed
his work and the people that he worked with until his retirement in

Dad was baptized upon confession of his faith in 1966 and joined the
Portage Avenue MB Church. On September 17, 1966 he married
Irma Neufeld at Portage Avenue MB Church in Winnipeg. Their first
home was in Windsor Park. Their first son Brian was born October
31, 1969 and their second son Garry followed June 1, 1972.

Dad had always wanted to be a farmer, but that dream wasn’t meant to be.
However, in 1975 they did the next best thing and bought 5 acres of
land and built a home on Bluegrass Road. They had their house in
the country! This would be their home for over 45 years! On April 20,
1977 their daughter Bev completed their family.

It was great growing up with him as a Dad. He gave his kids
everything that they needed and so much more! While they were
growing up he would hold them and play wrestle with them. As they
grew older, they would watch and help him work. Whether that was
building or fixing something. Mom would often encourage them to
“go help your Dad” or “go see what Dad’s doing”. They all learned a
lot just by being with him.

Dad was never one for exotic travel, but he did love to go on road
trips. Fargo was a favourite destination…not necessarily for him to
shop, but just to go away and be together as a family. To watch the
kids enjoy the pool at the hotel was a joy for him. He watched them
from the side though because he didn’t like to get his hair wet! There
were a number of trips out to BC, Ontario and Wisconsin Dells. A
highlight was their first trip on an airplane, when they went to Disney
World in Orlando in 1986.

At home Dad could often be seen sitting on his John Deere tractor -
cutting grass and tilling around trees. He and Mom kept the yard
immaculate. However, he was happiest helping us kids with home
renovations or any projects that needed to be done in our houses or

One of Dad’s favourite things to do was to go out for coffee with
family and friends. His brother Vic who lived down the street was his
most frequent “coffee buddy”. He also enjoyed taking the grandkids
out to Tim Horton’s for a donut. He always liked going out to eat. It
had to be a sit down restaurant though, not fast food. We thought
that he just liked to be served in a restaurant, but we know what he
enjoyed most was to joke around with the waitresses!

One tradition that Dad and his brothers had was to go to the annual
Thresher-man’s Reunion in Austin, Manitoba. This was an all day
event that started with going out for breakfast at 6:30 in the morning
and would end with a pitstop for coffee in Portage la Prairie at about
midnight and then back home at around 2 am. Their wives would
pack a delicious picnic lunch and supper. Their meals always
included a few thermoses of hot coffee, which they would somehow
enjoy, even in 30 degree temperatures! Dad could drink coffee any
time of day or night!

After Dad’s retirement in 1998 he and Mom bought a fifth-wheel trailer
and enjoyed many winters as snowbirds in Texas with Mom’s siblings,
as well as friends. They had the opportunity to take two trips to
Hawaii, the first in 1996 and the second in 2012. They also enjoyed a
trip to Cuba in 2015.

On December 23, 2020 Dad suffered a stroke and was hospitalized
for about 2 weeks. Even in the hospital, Dad made an impression
with the staff. One nurse told us that he winked at her and one told
us that he was adorable…his cuteness factor was a ’10’! We were
very happy when he was discharged on January 7, 2021 and were
grateful to be able to get in a few memorable visits. We were
encouraged to see that he still had a twinkle in his eyes. He proudly
showed us how well he could walk on his own. On January 17, 2021
he fell at home and was taken to hospital by ambulance. We waited
and prayed for healing. His healing ultimately came in the early
morning of February 3, 2021, when the Lord took him home. We
want to thank the staff at Concordia and St. Boniface hospitals for
taking care of Dad.

Dad was a friend to many and dearly loved by his family. We miss
you so much already, Dad…until we see you again.

A private family funeral is planned at Friends Funeral Service. The service will be livestreamed Friday, February 12, 2021 at 1:00 p.m.

Livestream link:
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Service Details

  • Service

    Friday, February 12th, 2021 | 1:00pm
    Friday, February 12th, 2021 1:00pm
    Friends Funeral Service
    2146 Main Street
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
    Pastor Kim Stoesz


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Private Condolence

Ruth Penner

Posted at 04:10pm
Irma and family, I'm so sorry for your loss. My memories of Al go back 70 something years, when I knew him as my big coursin - since he was older than I. Although our paths did not cross often, I always regarded him as a wonderful person. It was heart-warming to see the slide show, and to meet the family through pictures. May your memories carry you through the difficutl process of grief.

Gwen Payonk

Posted at 05:09pm
To Irma and family my deepest condolences

Jake Toews


Posted at 02:38pm
To Irma and family our sincerest condolences. I did not have the pleasure of knowing Al for very long, but the time I did have with him will last a lifetime. His humor and smile always put a smile on my face. He liked to poke fun at me about my choice in tractors. He once asked me why I bought a Kubota tractor after owning a John Deer knowing that John Deer made the best tractor. I replied that everyone on the street needed somebody to pick on and I would take one for the team if it made him happy. He really liked that reply! We laughed and joked every chance we had to talk in the yard. Cutting the grass will not be the same without seeing Al driving his John Deer and waving hello.
Rest in peace Al, you will be missed by everyone that ever met you.
Troy & Julie Argo

Vern Janzen

Posted at 03:37pm
Our condolences to Irma and family in the dudden passing of Al. I (Vern) first met Al and his brothers on the farm at Elm Creek when I was about 15 years old. Our parents were friends with the Giesbrechts. I vaguely remember the "Harley" motorcycle ride that I had with, I think it was with Harry, that afternoon. We spent approximately 1 1/2-2 hrs touring the countryside. Needless to say I could hardly walk after that venture. Carol worked with Al at the main Credit Union. We enjoyed our visitations with you.
Vern & Carol Janzen

Alan Janzen

Posted at 12:50pm
Our thoughts and memories extend to you Irma an family . Remembering Al's great contribution as Crosstown's manager at the NK Branch. Blessings. Alan Janzen & Leona.

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Donations are being accepted for: Harvest Manitoba Inc. (WINNIPEG HARVEST INC).
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