Maria Dueck (nee Friesen), 88, of Niverville, MB, passed away peacefully at Heritage Life Personal Care Home, Niverville, MB, in the early hours of the morning of Monday, December 5, 2022. Her family takes great comfort in knowing that Maria is now free to live in perfect peace and joy.
She is predeceased by her husband, Rev Henry U. Dueck, and will be lovingly remembered by her six children, their spouses, 18 grandchildren, and 17 great-grandchildren.
Maria was born on October 19, 1934, to the Rev. C. W. and Maria Friesen, in New Bothwell, MB. She was the eldest daughter in a family of 12. Due to her mother’s illness, Maria had to shoulder a lot of the household responsibilities at an early age. These responsibilities grew to the point where Maria had to leave school, a decision that impacted her greatly, for Maria loved to learn. In true Maria fashion, rather than let this cause her to become bitter and give up on this passion for learning, she found time and ways to keep growing her mind, and learning. Eventually she was able to get her GED, and even went on to get her TESL certificate at Providence College. This love of learning was passed on to her children, and she strongly encouraged us all in our educational pursuits.
At the age of 19, Maria met her “Knight in Shining Armour”, Henry U Dueck. They married on November 28, 1954, and settled on a farm north of Mitchell. One thing that was a constant in mom was that she ALWAYS supported her husband. When dad felt the call to further his education, and enter the ministry, she willingly packed up the household, and her four children to move to Fisher Bay. This move marked the beginning of many, leaving Fisher Bay for St. Laurent, Wynyard, Saskatchewan, Altona, Morris, and Niverville. Everywhere they lived, they built lasting relationships and poured their lived into the people of their community, and we were all profoundly shaped in turn! As children, we were witnesses to the challenges these moves, a growing family, and the pressures of her husband’s profession placed on her. However, the impact of watching her live in unwavering faith, and her steadfast commitment to help anyone in need, were an inspiration to us all to follow her in that faith journey, anchored in the Word, and desirous of loving on those in need.
Mom loved to laugh. She loved to have fun. She was witty and feisty, and loved nothing more than verbally sparing with people around her. Where mom was, there was bound to be laughter, especially when with her sisters, kids and grandkids.
The door to her home was always open to anyone – even complete strangers who showed up during a storm, in the middle of the night. There was always room, and always food.
Above all, mom was a woman of faith, and a woman of the word and a woman of integrity. She was deeply devoted to God’s call in her life. Disobedience was not an option for her. If she felt she should do something, she did it. Even when her dementia began to rob her of so many of the joys in her life, and sadness and depression threatened, Mom fiercely fought against it, because Jesus wanted her to be joyful.
This fierce determination and persistent optimism was a lesson to all of us. As her dementia progressed, her determination to remain positive effected everyone around her – from those that lived in the Home with her, to those who cared for her, and family that was able to spend time with her to the very end. When all was stripped away, we were all witness to the essence of who she really was – and she was love.
The livestreamed funeral service will be held on Saturday, December 10, 2022, at 1:00 p.m. at Niverville Community Fellowship, 85 2 St S, Niverville, MB, R0A 1E0 with interment to follow at Hespeler Cemetery, Niverville, MB.
The family wishes to thank the Niverville Heritage Personal Care Home staff for their loving and attentive care for our mom.