In Memory of

Harold

David

Jantz

Obituary for Harold David Jantz

Harold Jantz
January 8, 1937 – February 7, 2024

Prolific writer, editor and publisher Harold Jantz passed away peacefully with his daughter Ruth at his side on the evening of February 7, 2024, after an illness of several months.

Harold was born in Laird, Saskatchewan to Henry and Lena Jantz, who had immigrated from Russia to Canada in the 1920s. He enjoyed his early years on the family farm with his six siblings. When Harold was ten the family moved to a fruit farm in Virgil, Ontario. He married Neoma Hinz, whom he met during studies at MBBC in Winnipeg, and they enjoyed 62 years together. After spending three years teaching in Virgil, they settled in Winnipeg where they raised their three daughters, Connie, Linda, and Ruth.

Harold was the editor of the Mennonite Brethren Herald conference magazine for two decades and was the founding publisher/editor of ChristianWeek, a national evangelical newspaper, which he led for a decade. In addition, he contributed frequently to other publications including the Winnipeg Free Press. He always sought to cultivate respectful debate. Throughout his life, Harold enjoyed working within his own Mennonite Brethren local church and wider conference, where he assumed many roles and served on numerous boards and committees.

One of the more challenging projects Harold undertook was the responsibility for a national Faith and Media conference held at Ottawa’s Carleton University in 1996. It brought together several hundred media personalities and representatives of all of Canada’s faith communities. Its intent was to help Canadian media appreciate how the faith of believers affects or directs their actions. It was also an exercise in creating a civic culture of acceptance of one another.

Harold and Neoma travelled extensively, often with daughters in tow. Dad enjoyed these adventures. One memorable year, while on a sabbatical from editorial tasks, he took his young family on an overland trip from Canada to Paraguay, a 22,000 km trek in a VW van! It left lifelong memories for all. Harold was not one to sit idle very often, but when he did have spare time, he liked to play scrabble with his daughters, golf, and birdwatching.

Above all, his desire was always to serve his master and lord, Jesus Christ. He saw himself as writing out of his own convictions and beliefs and on behalf of those who might share his beliefs. He did not write for those who might not share his beliefs. Others could do that. His was a deeply orthodox, evangelical Christianity, rooted in the historic creeds of the church. When he contracted his final illness, he felt no sadness, only a profound gratitude for the arc of his life and the opportunities God had given him.

Harold is survived by his wife Neoma; daughters, Connie, Linda (granddaughter Amber), and Ruth (partner Steve Salnikowski); sister Marlene Derksen, and many in-laws, nieces, and nephews.

A celebration of life will take place at the Elmwood Mennonite Brethren Church, 145 Henderson Highway, Winnipeg, on Saturday, Feb 17, 2024 at 11:00 a.m., followed by a reception. Interment at Glen Eden Cemetery, 4477 Main Street, West St. Paul. The service can be live streamed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Evjr92bekk or by clicking here

Donations in memory of Harold will be welcomed to Mennonite Brethren Seminary or Square One World Media.