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Yarrow, British Columbia

Edited by
Esther Epp Harder, Edwin Lenzmann, and Elmer Wiens

Biographies and Obituaries


John was born April 4, 1929 in Winnipeg Manitoba. His parents, John & Mary (Janzen) Koehn, were recent immigrants to Canada from Russia. He was the second eldest child in a family of 6 boys and 3 girls. John accepted Jesus as Saviour when he was 12 and was baptized when he was 14 at the North Kildonan MB Church in Winnipeg. When he was 17, the family moved to Yarrow, B.C., and two years later, he moved to Vancouver BC. John enjoyed assisting Mennonite immigrants settling in Vancouver; one of them, Katie Dyck, caught his eye, and they married June 3, 1951. In 1958, John and his brother Aron established their own construction company, building beautiful homes throughout Vancouver and Burnaby, B.C.

John's family was his priority and he actively engaged with John, Don, Nancy, David and Alison through hiking, skiing, motorcycle riding, waterskiing, and camping. He built a cabin at Hatzic Lake for them to be together.

Devotions were a priority in John and Katie's home. John & Katie were charter members at Willingdon Church, Burnaby, B.C. John served as deacon, Bible study leader, elder, and usher. In 1997, he had a major heart attack, but God gave John and Katie a few more years together. By 2006, he had further heart failure and multiple strokes; he spent his last 3 years in a care home. He passed away June 1, 2013 with Katie at his side.

John is survived by Katie; children John (Denise), Don (Sylvia), Nancy (Henry) Graewe, David (Denise), Alison (Doug) Pauls; 13 grandchildren; 4 great- grandchildren John was positive and friendly, a testimony to his dependence on God.


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