Gerhard Bartsch

Gerhard Bartsch

Thursday, May 26th, 1949 - Saturday, December 26th, 2020
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“…the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.” Job 1:21b
Peacefully with family by his side, George Bartsch passed away at his home on December 26, 2020 at 10:41 PM, at the age of 71 years, and 7 months.
George was born in Nuevo Ideal, Durango, Mexico on May 26, 1949 to Johan and Anna Bartsch as the second youngest child. As a young child, George’s family moved to Yermo where George spent his childhood and youth years until the age of 19. Growing up in Yermo was an experience he often spoke of. Some of the stories he has shared with his family about these years include many hours spent herding cattle and picking cotton. He liked to tell stories of their work in the cotton field, only to be interrupted by the sound of a rattle snake, and gathering around with the other workers to kill it.
George’s memories of his school years were unpleasant for him. He often lamented he never properly learned to read, and felt this had been a disadvantage to him. As a result, education was very important to him, and he sacrificed greatly to make sure each of his children would have a good education.
At the age of 19, George with his mother moved to Los Jagueyes. Settling into a new community brought new challenges, and George struggled to find his way in those first years. During this time, George lived with his widowed mother, and helped provide for her. He worked as a farm hand for many different farmers during these years.
George placed his faith in Jesus Christ, and was baptized on June 22, 1969 at the Kleine Gemeinde Church. At the age of 33, George began dating Betty Plett, and they were married on July 1st, 1984 and enjoyed 36 years together. They began their married life on Los Jagueyes, where he worked at the local cheese factory. Their first child, Joni, was born in 1985. In 1986, George and Betty moved to Rosenort, Manitoba where they spent a year and eight months. After this, they moved back to Mexico, where their two sons, Steven and Kristin were born. Due to economic hardships, George and Betty made the decision to return to Manitoba, and moved back in February of 1995. This time, they decided to settle in the Arborg area. This was the beginning of many good things. George and Betty committed to the Interlake Mennonite Fellowship Church, where George had the opportunity to serve as an usher for many years, which he thoroughly enjoyed. George was employed by Vidir Machine for more than 15 years, which provided a stable income for the family. This enabled George to provide the education for his children that he felt was so important. In 1999, George and Betty bought an acreage in the Okno community, where they settled and lived until 2018, after which they moved to their current home in the Okno subdivision.
In the spring of 2000 George began having much discomfort in his right eye, and often complained that it felt like he had gravel in it. After many doctor visits, and a number of months, George was diagnosed with adenocarcinoma, and had surgery on November 21, 2000. As a result of the extensive surgery, George lost his right eye, and some movement in his right shoulder. In spite of this major setback, George’s faith, as weak as it sometimes was, carried him through and he recovered. After several years, the surgeon commented that he had never expected George to fully recover, and lead a healthy life again.
One of George’s favorite things to do was going on trips with the family. During the years they lived in Arborg, George and his family made many trips back to Mexico to visit extended family. In more recent years, George & Betty were able to travel to Florida for several days. In April of 2019 George & Betty made an extensive trip, with a stop in Calgary to visit his sister. From there they flew to Mazatlán, Mexico where Victor & Joni picked them up, and they had a day at a resort. After this, they traveled to Choix where they a spent a week with Victor and Joni in their home. They then traveled via train through the mountains to Chihuahua, fulfilling a lifelong dream for George.
At the beginning of 2020 George was once again battling with lung related health issues (COPD), and after many visits and admissions to the hospital, he was diagnosed with congestive heart failure. This diagnosis was very difficult for George to accept, as he was told there was no cure for his case. George had to come to grips with the thought of dying, which created many struggles for him. In August of 2020 George began having a lot of pain, and it was difficult to get a diagnosis. Finally, on October 13 he was taken to Selkirk for a CT scan to screen for kidney stones. This CT scan revealed much more than kidney stones, and George was diagnosed with multiple myeloma. This came as a shock to George, as he had not expected to deal with cancer a second time in his life. After receiving this diagnosis, George’s health continued to decline rapidly. On November 25th it seemed his end might be near, and he was admitted to the Arborg hospital. Under the care of the Arborg staff, George improved enough that he was able to go back home on December 7th. As a result of Covid-19 and the many restrictions, George with his family made the decision to provide care for him at home as long as possible, rather than being in hospital. On December 25th, he requested to see his family one more time, after which it was his desire to leave his body of suffering. December 26 ended up being George’s last day, and it was a very difficult day for him. He experienced an incredible thirst, but was no longer able to swallow. This was very difficult for his family to see. At around 8:00 PM George slipped into unconsciousness, as he struggled to breathe. He continued to decline, and by 10:30 PM it became obvious that his end was very near. He took his last breath at 10:41 PM, and was released from his body of suffering into his eternal home. We praise God that as George’s body became weaker; his faith in Jesus Christ became stronger. He grew in assurance of peace and acceptance with God, and was able to forgive past hurts and pains.
George was predeceased by his parents, Johan & Anna Bartsch, three brothers Johan, Jacob and Peter, and one sister, Maria. He was also predeceased by his Father-in-law, and several sisters-in-law.
George leaves behind his wife, Betty, daughter Joni and Victor Penner with six children, son Steven & Lorelei Bartsch with three children, and son Kristin & Linelda Bartsch. George also leaves behind two brothers, Abram (Maria) and Cornie, and two sisters Anna & Margaretha (Willi) and one sister-in-law Anna. From Betty’s family, George leaves behind his mother-in-law, and twelve brothers and sisters-in-law.
The family wishes to thank the many doctors and nurses who have cared for Dad through the years. A special thank-you goes to the Arborg Home Care staff for their care, and for the equipment that was provided to care for George at home. We extend a hearty thank-you to the church family and friends that have expressed their love and appreciation to George and the whole family in countless ways, especially through this last year. Above all, we thank God for his faithfulness!
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Service Details

  • Interment

    Saturday, January 2nd, 2021 |
    Saturday, January 2nd, 2021
    Interlake Mennonite Fellowship Church Cemetery
    Address Not Available
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