Helen Janzen Kroeker passed away July 30, 2007 at the Tabor Home, Abbotsford, BC in her 100th year.
She was born August 10, 1907 in Franztal, South Russia to Jacob K. and Katharina (Enns) Janzen. She enjoyed a carefree childhood and went to school in Russia.
In 1925, the Janzen family left Russia for Canada and lived on a large farm at Rosser, Manitoba for five years before moving to Yarrow, BC in 1932. Helen and her sisters went to Vancouver to find jobs as domestics making the Vancouver Mennonite Girls Home their "home away from home".
She moved back to Chilliwack and worked for Dr. and Mrs. Mccaffray, an early Chilliwack medical doctor as housekeeper and assistant. In the early 1940s she moved back to Vancouver to work as a seamstress in a clothing factory. In 1960, the factory she worked in was closed and the business was moved to Los Angeles and Helen decided to move to Los Angeles so she could keep on sewing.
In 1968, she met and married Fred Kroeker of Merced, California. Fred passed away in 1986 and in 1990.
Helen moved back to Canada and bought a condo in Evergreen Village where she lived until 1997 when she became a resident of the Tabor Home in Clearbrook.
Helen will be remembered for her generosity to family and friends, remembering all our birthdays with a card and note and especially for the valentines she sent to all of her extended family. Her delicious meals and the interesting things such as artichokes (from her garden) dipped in butter she taught us to eat when we visited her in California.
We were making plans to celebrate her 100th birthday on August 10, but instead we are celebrating her life. She was everyone's favourite aunt and now we are truly orphans as she was the last of her siblings: Jacob, Henry, Elizabeth, Katherine and Cornelia to be called home.
Helen is survived Fred's children: Ruth Kroeker, Carl Kroeker and Gerald (Sara) Kroeker of Fresno, California; grandchildren David (Kristin) Kroeker, Timothy (Judith) Kroeker, Andrew (Christa) Kroeker, Mark (Kristin) Kroeker, Christine (JonPaul) Avent; great grandchildren Joanna, Aaron, Erika, Daniel and Jonathan Kroeker, and Luke Avent and a very large number of nieces and nephews and their families.
Celebration of Helen's life will be held Friday, August 3 at 11:00 am at the Clearbrook Mennonite Brethren Church with Rev. Walter Wiens officiating. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to MCC Canada.