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Yarrow, British Columbia

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Esther Epp Harder, Edwin Lenzmann, and Elmer Wiens

Biographies and Obituaries


Peter Jacob Epp (1923 - 1990)

Peter Jacob Epp was born on March 28, 1923 in Rosenbach, Fuerstenland, Russia. He was the seventh child, and fourth son born to Jacob G. & Elizabeth (Paetkau) Epp. Peter Epp came to Canada with his family in October 1926. They lived in Saskatchewan until moving to Yarrow, British Columbia in February 1928. Peter attended the Majuba Hill School and later the Yarrow Elementary School. He helped his father on the farm. He picked hops with his parents and later had day jobs in the hop fields from early spring until the hop harvest was finished.

He accepted the Lord at age 14. At 15 he contracted measles, which affected his heart. He attended Elim Bible School in Yarrow for four years; he was baptized June 30, 1940 and joined the Yarrow MB Church. His great delight was to learn to play the coronet, he blessed many people with his gospel songs and witnessed on the trumpet wherever he went. He taught many young boys to play brass instruments and had a church band.

Because of his beliefs, Peter was a Conscientious Objector during World War II and served three years in alternative service at Radium Hot Springs, B.C. and the B.C. Cement plant at Blubber Bay, B.C. When he had served his time, he came home joining his father on the family farm.

September 21, 1947 Peter was married to Hilda Klassen, also of Yarrow. They settled in a small house at the end of Second Street (now Kehler Avenue) on land which had been part of the Epp land purchased in 1928. Peter & Hilda Epp had five children Wilfred, Elmer, Lorraine, Alvin and Peter. They moved to a farm on Tolmie Road in the 1950's and lived there until they moved to Devon Ave. in Yarrow after the children left home.

Peter is probably best known as "Trumpter Epp". His father, Jacob Epp loved music. On one of his many trips to the "Old Church" in Vancouver, he found and bought four horns, one for each of his sons to play in the Yarrow Brass Choir founded and conducted by Henry P. Neufeldt. The trumpet was the smallest horn and Peter was the youngest son, so he got the trumpet. Peter loved to play the trumpet and was often heard playing at the cemetery after a funeral service for a family member or friend and at the Dyke early Easter Sunday morning. Later Peter taught many young Yarrow boys to play brass instruments and had his own brass band. He also taught his children to love music. Wilfred & Elmer continue the music tradition in their music store in Kamloops.

For many years Peter was involved in a Sunday school outreach at Barrowtown School. He picked up the children with his car and later driving a church bus to bring children to Sunday school.

Peter spent the last twenty-three years of his working life at Dereen Poultry Farm, working in their chicken hatchery at Chilliwack B.C. He suffered a heart attack in February 1979, but recovered. He was very happy to retire at age 65 in March 1988.

Peter Epp suffered a stroke in May 1988 and worked very hard to get his mobility back, but he another stroke on July 27, 1989 and he passed away February 11, 1990. He is remembered as a person who was never ashamed of the gospel, glorifying God and sharing Christ in word or on the trumpet. He is mourned by his wife Hilda, sons Wilfred of Kamloops, Elmer and Alvin of Abbotsford, B.C., Peter and Bob of Yarrow; daughter Lorraine of Abbotsford; 16 grandchildren, 1 great-grandchild and 3 sisters. The funeral was February 15, 1990 in Yarrow MB Church with Ron Braun and A.L. Klassen ministering. He is buried in the Yarrow cemetery.


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