Hella Funk

Hella Funk (Schroeder)

Tuesday, July 15th, 1919 - Saturday, October 17th, 2020
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Hella Funk (Schroeder)
July 15, 1919 - October 17, 2020

Hella Funk escaped the bonds of earth on October 17, 2020.Her wishes were for a service of praise and thanksgiving, where she could hear the organ in her coffin. Unfortunately, we are unable to have that celebration.

Hella is fondly remembered by her family – daughters Sigrid Fast and Margot Fieguth (Werner), grandchildren Paul (Betty Pries) and Anita (David Willms); great-grandchildren Anya, Andrew, Thomas, Naomi, Stefan.

Hella was predeceased by her parents Jakob and Johanna (Ensz) Schroeder, her husband Herbert, brothers and their wives Erich (Irmgard), Kurt (Frieda) Hans (Christel), son-in-law George Fast and nieces and nephews Adelheid, Barb, Manfred and Walter.
She was born July 15, 1919 on a farm in the Free State of Danzig, Prussia (now Gdansk, Poland). She was the third of four children born to Johanna and Jakob Schroeder right after WW1. Hella attended 8 years at the town school followed by 1 year of classes in Home Economics. The family worshipped at the Fuerstenwerder Mennonite Church where she was baptized in 1934. Lessons in dancing and good manners were a must for all the youth and served as a wonderful way for young people to meet. Mom had decided at an early age that farming was not for her and she would prefer city life. At these dances she met a handsome banker, Herbert Funk; they fell in love and married October 18, 1939. Their honeymoon was very brief as WW2 had begun in Danzig and Herbert was conscripted.
During the war years Hella lived in their newly built brick home in Tiegenhof where she planted a garden with fruit trees, flowers and vegetables; she raised chickens for eggs and meat and basically coped on her own. She gave birth to two daughters, Sigrid in 1941 and Margot in 1943. When the Russians invaded Germany she fled and after 3 weeks at sea, they were finally given shelter on a farm in West Germany. Her husband miraculously found them in February 1946. They both found employment on a larger farm. She, who had not wanted to live on a farm, was now hand milking 17 cows twice a day. Her widowed mother lived with them.
Post war life in Germany was most difficult and when they heard about possible sponsorship by Mennonites to come to Canada, they accepted this new challenge. In December 1951 they boarded the Beaverbrae and crossed the stormy Atlantic. Arriving at the CPR station in Winnipeg on December 26, they received the most memorable, warm Christmas welcome by the Wiens and Warkentin families in Glenlea..
The large Wiens family did not require farm workers so they encouraged them to move to Winnipeg. Hella found work cleaning houses and was treated like a valuable family member. Hella & Herbert became active members of the First Mennonite Church.
Hella bicycled wherever she needed to go and that probably accounts for her long life. In 1958 they bought their first car, a VW beetle. The family camped their way across North America. They loved visiting with family and relatives in Germany. They were so thankful to God for granting them many good years of retirement.
They moved into Sunset House, First Mennonite Church in l994 and Herbert died in l997. The church became her second home. She thoroughly enjoyed planting the flowerbeds and looking down from her third floor window to see them bloom. She attended every church service, loved the choir concerts, the organ music; the bible studies. She loved being hospitable and her table was permanently extended for family and friends.
Hella joined the Bethania family in October 2015. Soon after her arrival, when people asked her how she felt, her response was “100 % good”. Being able to be outdoors in the garden, taking part in the Mennonite church services and music programs, and meeting so many familiar volunteers made Bethania a wonderful last home for her. Unfortunately, the coronavirus regulations stopped the visitors and ended all the programming which took the joy out of living. Even so, her last words were still “danke”, “thank you”. For all who knew her, she was an example of living life with gratitude and joy.
Thank you to the loving staff at Bethania Mennonite Personal Care Home. Donations may be made to the Bethania Garden fund or Mennonite Central Committee.
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Private Condolence

Anita Fieguth

Posted at 04:26pm
I have so many memories of my Oma it's hard to narrow it down. She was a fun and active Oma, always busy with something: baking, gardening, swimming, camping, skiing, sewing, tobogganing, cycling... She was warm, huggable and quick to laugh. She found enjoyment in the small things - beautiful flowers, time with family, skinny dipping in a lake. She is an example to me of how to grow old, while remaining young at heart. One favourite memory I have of her is when we visited her in the Winter one year when she was possibly already in her 90s and we decided to take my kids (her great-grandkids) tobogganing. Oma decided she wanted to slide once too and somehow got herself stuck, jack-knifed at the top of the toboggan run. I heard peels of laughter from her as she called me over to come extricate her and she then proceeded to laugh and whoop all the way down the slide. I am grateful to have had so many wonderful years with her in my life and treasure the faithful, loving, inspirational person she was to me and to so many others.

David Schroeder

Posted at 12:21pm

Here is my story: After finishing my first summer job as a forestry student I had a bit of time free at the end of August. I inquired about the possibility of a trip to Lynn Lake and some late season fishing. The request was welcomed along with disclaimers about fishing expectations for this time of year. I can't recall if I extended an invite to Tante Hella or more likely was informed she would be joining me for the trip. Either or, this was a welcome revision to the trip plan. The "normal" way to drive to Lynn Lake requires 2 days with a stop over in Thompson. There was no discussion about a motel, it was immediately about planning for an overnight stay at the campground. You might put yourself in the position of the campground attendant being approached by a 20 something male and an elderly lady (maybe his grandmother?) to get a camp site for the nite. We cooked a nice dinner that evening, and joked that maybe it looked like a very odd honeymoon trip. I might add that we did not have a camper, accomodation was a small pup tent which worked just fine. We had a good visit in Lynn Lake, and when fishing was too slow for Tante Hella we switched to berry picking.

I have many memories of Tante Hella as a leader of the "Schroeder Co-operative". It is clear that we have all benefited from this leadership both in the practical knowledge and values that Tante Hella gave us. Top food pick: Berliner Pfannkuchen. There were never any left over, and it was worth getting scolded over for eating too many.

from David Schroeder


edna edwards

Posted at 07:35pm
Deepest sympathy to all the Schroeder, and Funk families for the loss of your dear Mom. She was VERY SPECIAL to me the years I worked for her at Sunset house. The heavens have gained a wonderful angel. Edna Edwards

Julie Koehn

Posted at 09:04pm
Sigrid, condolences on the passing of your dear Mom.
Julie Koehn

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