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Yarrow, British Columbia

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Esther Epp Harder, Edwin Lenzmann, and Elmer Wiens

Biographies and Obituaries

TOEWS, Franz Peter

Franz Peter Toews (1879-1978) was born September 21, 1879 to Peter & Justina (Friesen) Toews in Alexanderkrone, South Russia.

He spent his youth in various places in the Molotschna Colony, South Russia and received his education at Schönau and Halbstadt. He was baptized upon his faith in Jesus on August 6, 1900 and accepted into the Mennonite Brethren Church.

Franz Toews entered the Forestry Service in 1901 in the Neu-Berdjaner Forestry and served there for four years.

During World War I, he served as a Medical attendant with the Red Cross. Later, he managed a place where wood was sold (Holzhandel), after this he was the manager of a foundry (Eisengiesserei).

He married Sara Wiebe in 1906 and they had two children, Kornelius and Justina. His wife Sara died of typhoid fever in 1919. In 1921, he married Lena Siemens, a widow with two children, John and Nancy. Three more children were born Helen, Erna and Frank.

The Toews family immigrated to Canada in 1924, settling first on a farm in Saskatchewan for four years and spent the next nine years on a homestead in the Peace River district of Alberta where his wife Lena passed away in 1935. So, Franz Toews and his three youngest children moved to Yarrow BC where in 1937, he joined the Yarrow MB Church and he married Gertrude Peters (1891-1980) on April 7, 1927.

In Canada, Franz Toews was very active in the Mennonite Brethren Church. He was on the Church council and he was the treasurer of the BC Provincial Committee of Mennonite Settlers, which meant that he collected the payments and sent in the payments for the Reiseschuld. He was also the treasurer for the Mennonite Benevolent Society and took care of the memberships and payments to doctors for medical services rendered.

Franz Peter Toews died in Abbotsford, BC, February 5, 1978 in his 99th year.

Survived by wife of over 40 years, Gertrude; Children: Corney Toews, John Siemens, Frank Toews, Jessie Longheed, Nancy Toews, Helen Wolfe and Erna Hamm, 20 grandchildren and 29 great-grandchildren also 3 daughters-in-law and 3 sons-in-law, predeceased by one son-in-law.

Funeral service was held at Yarrow MB Church and he is buried at the Yarrow Cemetery.


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