It is with great sadness we said our farewells to Katherine Eileen (Penner) Warkentin on Monday, September 12, 2022, at the age of 68. She passed away peacefully after a short battle with cancer at the Bethesda Hospital.
The love of my life, Kathy, joined me, Marlin, in marriage on June 13th, 1972 in Greenland, MB. We had fifty beautiful years of marriage, and our 50th wedding anniversary was spent together in her hospital room. This wasn’t the celebration we had anticipated, but we were thankful to be together.
Kathy was my partner in our construction company, rug store, and the last forty years together on the farm. She showed her love to everyone on the farm by cooking delicious meals every day. Many times, she would be cooking for more than her family. If she wasn’t in the kitchen, she was tending to her flowers, mowing the lawn, tilling the garden plots, or sewing.
Our home was blessed with five lively children. Kathy kept very busy being an amazing homemaker, tending to the needs of me and our children. She always kept things organized, tidy and clean which meant a lot to her.
We enjoyed traveling to many different places. Mexico was our first adventure together, visiting the mission in Huetamo, and other special trips to Brazil, Italy, Mexico, Australia, Western Europe, and most of North America. A special highlight for Mom was visiting her family’s Quasso compound in Asti, Italy.
In recent years, we volunteered in Newfoundland, rebuilding after hurricane Igor, at a CPS unit, and then a few years later at the mission house in Catalina, NL. We enjoyed volunteering as house parents at the Edmonton girl's unit. This included helping out at Edmonton’s University Hospital and Cross Cancer. We made many new friends in Edmonton during our time there.
Mom was born at Bethesda Hospital, in Steinbach, to Neil and Esther Penner. She grew up on the family farm in Landmark with her ten siblings. She was a fun-loving and energetic child that had an infectious laugh. The sisters spent many hours grading eggs and washing dishes, and they often sang together as they worked. Mom would sing in harmony by the age of three. One of the songs the sisters sang was “Meeting in the Air.”
Mom had lots of memories of having fun cousin time together with Uncle Alfred and Uncle Eldon’s families. Her school years were spent in Landmark and she had many friends and she still cherished those friendships. As a child, she loved cooking and cleaning, which helped out her mom. She later worked as a health care aid at Bethesda Hospital and the Greenland Home.
Our Mom was exceptional at showing us love through acts of kindness. She carefully attended to our needs with great detail. Mom taught us the value of hard work and doing a job well to the very end. She loved cooking, and would often show up with baking and treats for us, even after we had moved out as adults. Her grandchildren always knew that mom would send them home with treats. When her grandchildren were born, she would work up a storm in the home keeping all things tidy. Mom loved to sew, she taught all of us girls how to sew at a very young age.
Mom and Dad taught us about the value of the family table. It was a place to relax and share our day together, you taught us about conversation and getting along. Mom always made sure we didn’t start eating until everyone could be at the table. Being together as a family was very important to her. We girls treasure the memories we made with Mom on our many walks together. Our annual summer road trips, all over North America, were a family highlight for all of us. Mom’s organizational skills were put to good use when it was time to pack all our luggage into the Dodge Caravan.
Mom accepted Christ as her personal Savior, and upon the confession of her faith she was baptized into the Church of God in Christ Mennonite; she was faithful to her vows until the end. As a young girl, she memorized this verse, “For by grace are ye saved through faith: and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God. Ephesians 2:8.”
Mom clung to this scripture over the last couple of months, while she faced the hardest struggle of her life. God granted Mom a special peace for her cancer journey, and she expressed many times in the last couple of weeks that she was ready to go home. We have confidence she is at peace and safe in the arms of Jesus.
We as a family extend a special thanks to all the staff at Bethesda Hospital who cared for our mom, Kathy, during this difficult time in her life.
She is predeceased by her parents Cornelius and Esther (Quasso) Penner.
She will be deeply missed by her family. Her loving husband Marlin of Rosewood, MB. Her oldest son Barry, his son, Zephan, of Lloydminster, AB. Her daughter Ruby, husband Lorren, their children Nikia, Chloe, Kaden & Kenzie of Lloydminster, AB. Her daughter Barb, husband Jesse, their children Madilyn, Ryker & Raegan of Ballico, CA. Her daughter Colleen, husband Jay, their children Damian & Zane of Steinbach, MB. Her son Jonathon, wife Dana, their children Eve & Olive of Blumenort, MB.
The siblings left to cherish her memories are Ray and Sharon, Scotia, NE; Dalton and Yvonne, Steinbach, MB, presently serving in England; Bernice and Peter Warkentin, St Anne, MB;Wes and Jenneth, Saltcoats, SK; Connie and Larry Bartel, Norquay, SK, presently serving in Abbotsford; Audrey and Allen Barkman, Birnie, MB; Valerie and Jon Welch, Blythe,GA; Karen and Art Froese, Creston BC; Warren Penner, Abbotsford, BC; Jacqueline Penner, Creston, BC; Robert and Wendy Penner, El Campo, TX.
Also left to mourn her passing are four brothers in law, six sisters in law, and many nieces and nephews and host of friends and relatives.
A viewing will be held on Friday, September 16, 2022 at the Rosewood Church of God in Christ Mennonite beginning at 7:00 pm with sharing of memories at 7:30 pm.
The funeral service will be held at 10:30 am on Saturday, September 17, 2022 with viewing 1 hour prior to the service at the Rosewood Church of God in Christ Mennonite. The family invites those unable to attend in person to join them via audio stream.