In Memory of

Peter

Dueck

Obituary for Peter Dueck

June 24, 1930 – December 27, 2023

Our dad, Pete Dueck, was born June 24, 1930, to John L. & Elizabeth Dueck in Rosenhof, Manitoba. He died peacefully at the Arborg Personnel Care Home, on December 27, 2023, age 93 years, with his daughter, Sylvia and his granddaughter, Lorelei by his side.

Dad spent his earlier years in the Rosenort area. And went to school there, up to grade seven. He was baptised on the confession of his faith in Jesus Christ.

After his dad passed away, the family moved to Mexico. Dad was eighteen years old at the time. There he met Mary Kornelsen and married her on May 15th, 1955. Two sons were born to them in Mexico. At this point, in 1958, they moved back to Canada, to Carman, Manitoba. Three daughters were born while they lived in Carman. Dad worked at building RTMs there. In this working environment he came to be known as ‘Pete’, and to this day that is how he is known.
In 1963 they moved to Riverton (Howardville), Manitoba, and settled there. The family attended the Mennville, EM Church, where dad was a member till his passing.

Our dad worked in and around the Riverton area, sometimes on his own or in a carpentry crew. He was always busy. He also worked in sales at Vidir Lumber; at Dueck Builder Mart. in Arborg; and at Co-op Lumber Yard, in Riverton, as manager. He worked in maintenance for Parks Canada on Hecla Island, building things and restoring buildings. He especially treasured the years he was able to work with his two sons. He also had worked with his dad before his dad passed away.

If there was a committee or board somewhere, our dad was probably on it. His evenings were often taken up with meetings. He served the church and community in this way. The boards that benefited from his presence were: the Riverton Credit Union, Riverton Co-op, Mennville EM Church as secretary/treasurer, Beaver Creek Bible Camp, Mennville Christian School, the Riverton Thrift Shop (where he also volunteered as clerk and manager).

In looking at our busy, hard-working dad, others, might not have seen the adventurous side of him the way we did. He loved everything that said, family! We remember well our family road trips; these were great adventures!... And he valued all the ‘frindshuff’ living nearby; especially his one sibling – his sister and her family.

Our dad had planned to ‘retire’ early from his work, to serve together with mom under a mission that could utilize his carpentry/leadership skills and mom’s love of cooking. Mom & Dad had one such adventure together in the USA… Such a long-term serving together, was not meant to be, as they received devasting news of our mother’s poor health and too soon she passed away.

Our dad then, with his own loss, ended up stepping into such a life of volunteering as a widower. He sold his house to his daughter and son-in-law, Luella & Stan Brandt; built himself a cottage on their yard; then proceeded with his ‘retirement’ plans, alone.

Here began his life of working in the warmer parts of the USA. Most of the many years that followed, he worked for Mennonite Disaster Service (MDS), where he was a team leader in rebuilding places that had been affected by disasters such as hurricanes and tornadoes. In these zones of hardship, he connected easily with many hurting lives where his team was sent to help.

A few of those volunteering years in the USA, he was a chauffeur for Mennonite Central Committee in Pennsylvania. He became familiar with all the surrounding airports, taking folks to and from them. These people that occupied the passenger seats of the vehicle he drove, came from most anywhere in the world.

And oh! the stories we heard of his adventures and friendships! His family, children and grandchildren got used to getting exciting news like, “Grandpa is coming home for Christmas!” Or how about birthdays… always there was a card from him for each family member’s birthday!

As full and meaningful as his ‘retirement life’ became, we always sensed how deeply he missed our mother. Being without mom by his side at his daughter, Carol’s wedding, for example, was particularly difficult for him.

As we sort through his papers, what a collection of letters we find! Not only communications from extended family but letters from friends all over the USA and Canada. A special spot, we all know, was the communication with his godchild and her family. A photo of her was always up in his dining room.

From early on in his life our dad/grandpa experienced trials, but his faith in God motivated him to live the way he did… It was not about being perfect, but about being forgiven. We noticed times where his faith was renewed and strengthened through people and experiences, he had had in places he had been.

As we watched our dad’s exceptionally active life slowly fade in these last years, and now in his passing, we choose to turn from our sadness and be inspired by his life; to enjoy work, but also to grow in our faith and be a bit adventurous about it all.

Our Dad was predeceased by his wife, Mary on July 15, 1984; his parents, John L. Dueck, and Elizabeth (Dueck) Schmidt; stepfather John Schmidt; his sister Natalie when she was eleven; and his sister Anna and her husband Abe Plett; and numerous other close family members.

Left to cherish his memory are his two sons and three daughters and their families. Elmer, Gerald, Sylvia, Luella and Carol:
Elmer & Val (Plett); Donovan & Cathy (Elias) – Blake and Carter; Jennilee & Alex Smerchynski – Esme; Kendrian & Lauren (Holmes)
Gerald & Laura (Brandt); Trevor & Michelle – Susanne and Lilian; Ryan & Melissa – Owen, Wyatt and Delaney; Darson & Amanda (Hunt) – Kairo, Zaeya, Elleree, Draeson and Huntsley
Sylvia & Ron Plett; Phil & Michelle (Friesen) – Blaine, Kamryn and Brooklyn; Julieanne & Ryan Loewen – Harper, Boden, Scarlett; Greg & Carlie (Reimer) – Benson, Drew and Jordy; Eric & Crystal (Harms) – Kira; Joel; and Lorelei
Luella & Stan Brandt; Sheri & Tim Hiebert – Keziah and Emmalee; Krista & Sam Kalteck – Hannah and Natalie; Janette; Aimee & Trystan Goertzen; Kayley
Carol & Glenn Barkman; Brett & Christine – Grayson, Liam and Jackson; Courtney

*Thank you to Carly, Cathy, Lena, Sonin, Kim and the rest of the staff at Arborg Personal Care Home for their wonderful care of our dad, especially in the last week.

*Thank you to the Mennville Church for all the help in getting things ready for this day.

*Thank you to all our friends and family for their thoughtful ways of showing their support.

In lieu of flowers, donations gratefully accepted for Mennonite Disaster Service.