Annemarie Moeller

Annemarie Moeller

Sunday, October 6th, 1929 - Wednesday, April 21st, 2021
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Annemarie Moeller
1929 – 2021

A person needs many attributes to survive and enjoy life. Hope is an important one. Strength is equally an important one. As the German philosopher, Friedrich Nietzsche said, “That which does not kill us, makes us stronger.”

That phrase certainly applied to Annemarie Moeller.

Annemarie Moeller (née Kroeker) was born on October 6, 1929 in Brodsack, Danzig, Germany. Her parents were Heinrich Kroeker and Frieda Kroeker (née Wiebe).

Life for her on her parent’s farm in the coastal lowlands of north-eastern Germany was full of fun experiences and of hope, like it is for many teen-agers. But that hope was shattered in January of 1945.

Annemarie (age 15) and her family, along with many other families from the Danziger Mennonite communities, fled the advancing Russian army. Alas, they were captured by that army. Possessions were lost. Time was spent in prisoner-of-war camps. Hunger and thirst set in. But hope was not lost.

Almost miraculously, Annemarie and her two sisters, led by their strong mother, cheated death in the tumultuous post-war years by surviving that hunger and that thirst and incredible personal danger. The family eventually re-united in Gross Lunow, a small village in eastern Germany in the summer of 1946. The experiences of the past 18 months that did not kill them, gave them the strength to move forward with life. And hope was re-ignited.

Although life in post-war East Germany was hard, Annemarie did have time to enjoy life and party on occasion with family and with the other villagers. She married one of those villagers, Heinz Moeller in March of 1950.

Despite some happy times and the hope of better times, the long term prospects for the whole family remained dim in communist East Germany. So Annemarie and Heinz, along with daughters Ingrid, Margrit and Karin escaped East Germany in 1951 with the help of the Mennonite Central Committee (MCC). They settled in a MCC refugee camp in Gronau, West Germany, along with Annemarie’s parents.

The hope for peace in Europe was diminished in the eyes of many by the Cold War during the 1950’s. Not wanting to be caught in the middle of another horrific war, Annemarie and Heinz decided to follow her parents and many other friends to Canada. So in the summer of 1956, along with another addition to the family, son Guenther, they immigrated to Canada and settled in Winnipeg.

Make no mistake; it takes a lot of courage to leave one’s homeland for another country. But strength developed through experiences, good or bad, enables a person to make those decisions. And Annemarie had by now developed that strength. So Nietzsche was right with his quote. Annemarie proved that point.

Hope was reignited. Annemarie and Heinz worked very hard over the years and due to their frugal manner, were able to support their young family, afford a house and buy a car for those many trips to the lake and across Canada.

Annemarie had the mental strength to nurture her family and the physical strength to cook great meals, preserve food, sew clothes and to work to support the family; first cleaning houses; then working in a bakery; then working in the wool department at Eaton’s.

An old African proverb says “It takes a village to raise a child.” That is certainly true! One can paraphrase that proverb and say “It takes a community to support a young immigrant family”. And that is what the Winnipeg Mennonite community (particularly the “Danziger”) did for Annemarie and her family. They provided her with a huge level of support. And that support also helps build strength.

The strength that Annemarie had developed also gave her a sharp tongue at times. But there is nothing wrong, especially for women, with having strong opinions and having the confidence to firmly stand up for one’s self and one’s family.

So after a tough and tumultuous 20 years, Annemarie finally settled into “the good life”. Hope was realized. Strength got her there.

Annemarie and her family had many fun adventures and good times and great vacations with family and friends. After her children were married, Annemarie and Heinz enjoyed their grandchildren and many trips to Germany, to Arkansas and to Mexico.

They say that growing old is an education of loss; of friends; of family; of the unfulfilled parts of ourselves; of relevance. While Annemarie certainly experienced the loss of family and friends over the past several years, she had the strength to keep on going with life. She may not have become everything she wanted in life, but she kept enjoying it.

Hope and Strength.

Annemarie had that. And Fun.


Annemarie was predeceased by her husband Heinz, sister Edith, brother Heini, sister Ilse and parents Heinrich and Frieda.

Annemarie is survived by her children Ingrid (Joe), Margrit (Wayne), Karin (Godwin) and Guenther (Julia); and by her grandchildren Jennifer, Michael, Lindsay, Christopher, David, Andrea, Susan, Kimberly and Julie.
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Service Details

  • Interment

    Monday, April 26th, 2021 | 2:00pm
    Monday, April 26th, 2021 2:00pm
    Brookside Cemetery
    3001 Notre Dame Avenue
    Winnipeg, MB R3H 1B8
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email


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Private Condolence

Millissia Jones

Posted at 08:02pm
Margrit and family. your mom was such a strong woman. I have heard your stories; but, to read her life details just broke my heart. It's just a unreal all she went through along with her family. I know you have missed her so much this last year. Prayers for you and your family. Be sure and share all of this with the grandkids and the great grands. It's a true testament of her faith.
Millissia Jones

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