Henry Dyck, 89 years, of Steinbach, passed away on Sunday May 15, 2022 at Bethesda Place, Steinbach, MB
The core of this obituary was written by Henry himself.
Henry Dyck was born on March 29, 1933 to Abram S. Dyck and Anna Dyck (Esau).
While heading to the doctor for his birth, the horses pulling the wagon had to partially swim across a swirling spring channel, the high water dislodging the wagon box. His mother then said, “This is as far as we are going.” Consequently, he was born at the Abram S. Wiebe farm four miles north of Lowe Farm. He lived his first two years on a farm near Elm Creek, after which the family moved to Lowe Farm. Henry occasionally went to school. He loved to play with friends like Russell Groening in snow or shine.
At the age of eight, he learned to independently drive a John Deere tractor pulling a three-bottom plow. He helped build the town ice rink, played ball, fooled around, and swam in the dugout even after it was nothing but mud.
Henry met Betty at his sister Dorothy’s wedding, never imagining he would marry this woman he laid his eyes on. They were married November 27, 1954 and moved to Winnipeg raising and being survived by four children: Eunice (& Mervin) Friesen, Gordon (& Marlylles), Elizabeth (& Tim) Sawatzky, and Barry (& Ruthanne), along with 14 grandsons, their partners, and 10 great grandsons and three great granddaughters. Henry was predeceased by his parents and all his siblings, Hilda, Dorothy, Jean, and Abe.
Henry was a hard worker. As a teen, he unloaded boxcars of coal, one of the few jobs for teens in his small community. He worked as a farm helper, railway worker, beet factory worker, Orange Crush bottling worker, construction worker with Qualico (basement to the roof), gold mine worker, and had a brief stint as a truck driver hauling iron ore. Finally, he was a mechanic for a total of 35 years at Sears Polo Park. It was lots of hard labour including front-end work with rusted nuts and bolts even heat couldn’t loosen, along with the messy spring and fall tire changes. He persisted through the challenges, never giving up.
Henry worked hard to support his family, and made time for family camping vacations across Canada. It takes a brave man to tent with four active children! Henry and Betty have fond memories of traveling Canada coast to coast, visiting Barry’s exchange student’s parents in Germany, enjoying Hawaii, Jamaica, and a Caribbean cruise at 80.
After retirement, Henry and Betty moved to Landmark where they lived for eight years, helping to care for their youngest grandsons, and making new friends in the community. They have lived in Steinbach for the last 12 years.
Henry volunteered extensively during his retirement. He was that neighbour we all want. He was always willing to lend an extra hand with any project. He spent many hours volunteering at the Steinbach MCC Thrift Shop. He worked at Gimli Bible Camp with his good friend Ben Klassen constructing a new dining hall, and renovating and building cabins. One winter he helped build a church in Grande Prairie. The weather was so cold and the hammers even colder. A newspaper picture of the workers showed sundogs in the background with no one recognizable with all the clothes they had on against the cold. Henry said they looked like frozen sticks walking in their clothes. Despite the challenges, he worked.
Henry’s spiritual life was nourished through the community of the church. He taught children at Braeside EMC, and then spent 30 years at Crestview EMC, where he assisted with maintenance and the construction of an addition and renovation of the old building, served as Sunday School Superintendent, led the Awana program, and taught adult Sunday School. He has many handwritten pages of sermons, and reflections of his understanding of each book of the Bible. He spent many hours in thoughtful reflection.
The occasional school attendance resulted in a grade seven completion. As an adult, Henry completed his grade 12 General Education Diploma. He was an avid reader. In his seventies he learned to use a computer and typed his memoirs (So It Goes), which were published in 2019. He enjoyed traditional country music and Saturday evenings watching Hockey Night in Canada. While in Landmark, he watched many local hockey games in the arena. Henry loved to play his guitar while Betty played violin. They used these gifts as a ministry, playing in care homes, and even compiled their own Golden Strings Duet CD.
In Henry’s last few years, he faced many health challenges, which eventually resulted in his move to Personal Care. He loved his wife Betty deeply and looked forward to the time they could spend together. Despite his deteriorating health, Henry didn’t complain, rather stating, “It is what it is.”
Viewing will be held on Thursday, May 19 from 3:00 to 3:30 PM at Birchwood Funeral Chapel, Steinbach, MB.
The livestreamed public memorial service will be held on Thursday, May 19 at 4:30 PM at Birchwood Funeral Chapel.
Memorial donations may be made to Gimli Bible Camp, Box 1579 Gimli, MB R0C 1B0.