Hans G. Sawatzky

  • Hans G. Sawatzky
  • Date of Passing: April 15, 2024
  • Born: February 1, 1953


With heartfelt sadness we announce that on April 15th, 2024, Hans Sawatzky, age 71, of Winnipeg, was released of his suffering when he went home to Jesus after succumbing to severe COPD.

Dad was born on February 1st, 1953, in Loma Plata (Colony Menno), Paraguay. He is the fifth of sixteen children born to Abram and Helen Sawatzky. Homelife revolved around eking out an existence from the land through fields of cotton, peanuts, gardens, and acres of grueling fieldwork with the horses. Despite a challenging homelife, there was opportunity for attending school seasonally, and memorable play outside, particularly hunting critters by slingshot, and fearlessly harvesting wild honey. An adventurous, mischievous, quiet boy was he.

On June 17th, 1965, at twelve years old, his family immigrated to Canada, settling in Niverville, Manitoba. Life was drastically different, marked with an overflowing house, little to do and a complicated longing to return to the familiar. Their family attended church at the Niverville CMC where Dad was now ‘old enough’ to attend and hear for the first time about the Lord’s Salvation. It would be several years later that he would surrender his life to Christ and be baptized at the age of eighteen. In the meantime, he attended school in Canada for a spell where math and sports came easy, however typically, was not so fond of reading and writing. He decided he was done after grade 5 (but 15yrs of age) and entered the work force as home culture required additional support for the large family.

His resume is long, varied, chockfull of adventures or hazards and doing things in ways more fitting for the times. His first employment outside the home was installing chicken cages in barns for Dave Reimer, followed by Niverville plumbing. This led to many fly-in six-week stints at South Indian Lake for the construction of homes, a care home and water works development. That transitioned to work closer to home at Palliser in Manitoba, until the mid 70’s when a promising summons of work at Palliser in Airdrie, Alberta came from his brother-in-law.

Shortly before the move to Alberta a relationship had begun with Helen Giesbrecht of Winnipeg, the sister of his friends from his early years in Canada. In time, Helen moved west too. Their life together was a new province away from most of their families when they were married on September 5th, 1980. Their first daughter Sylvia had come along and their second daughter Laura, arrived two years later. With the 1980’s economic crash, their return to Manitoba was imminent. Laura was just five days old when they departed for a fresh start in Winnipeg. After a few moves within the city, their third daughter Miranda was born, plus stable employment at Edison Rental attained. They settled in the Valley Gardens area, close to schools and amenities for their girls within walking and biking distance.

As a family they attended church at Erin Street Mission Chapel which eventually relocated to Callsbeck Fellowship Chapel. He served as a song leader, caretaker and in maintaining the facilities. To the care homes, their musical quartet ‘The Sunshine Group’ ministered where Dad sang and played keyboard or guitar. Even though he was saved in Christ, life didn’t make this easy for him. It would be insincere to gloss over these periods of weakness and wounding, and so for many years, he cycled through seasons of hurt and of hope. He admitted to many shortcomings, wrong turns, disappointments, and things he wished he could have done differently. In recent years, Dad returned to church with Mom as they were able. It was important for to him to belong to a local church, and in the fall of 2023, became a member at the River East Mennonite Church. Since Mom’s passing, Dad was expressive in his homesickness for Heaven.

In stretches of wellness, Dad was at ease spending time camping, gardening, fishing, coaching his girl’s baseball teams, foraging the fields and woods for herbs, and building or renovating something! His final employment was that of a self-employed Mr. Fix-It for he really was a jack of all trades, do-it-yourself genius; and it was with this giftedness he selflessly loved on so many. He is a man rife with generosity, an incredible work ethic, humor, pessimism, emotion, courage, and faith in the Lord. He assured us of his love and prayers too often to count! In the aftermath of several devastating family losses, he clung to the promise of Heaven’s ultimate tomorrows. In his waning condition, Dad’s heart was fattened with anticipation and love for his Redeemer, Jesus. And now, his lungs only know the purest, deepest breaths of Heaven’s atmosphere, God’s very presence.

Dad will be held in the hearts of his girls, Sylvia (Duane Goertzen), Laura (Ryan Allain), and Miranda Sawatzky. His granddaughters Isabelle (Joseph Dueck and his great grandchild Theodore), Payton, Willow, Ember Goertzen, Norah, and Tristan Allain. In addition, by his many siblings and their families.

Hans was predeceased by his wife Helen in March 2023, two granddaughters, Sophie and Acacia Goertzen in August 2021, his parents Abram and Helen Sawatzky, and sister Helen Kehler.

The family is grateful for your prayers, meals and every visit or phone call to Dad while shut in at home or during his several hospital stays, along with the numerous doctors, nurses, home care workers involved in his care.

A come and go viewing will be held from 2:00pm – 4:00pm on Sunday, April 21, 2024, at Crossings Funeral Care. Interment will take place at 1:00pm on Monday April 22, 2024, at the Roseau River Community Cemetery, Roseau River, Manitoba. A celebration of life will follow at 2:30pm at the Roseau River Bible Camp Chapel.

Funeral Details

Come and Go Viewing

  • Crossings Funeral Care
  • 12E - 40 North Gate Drive, Steinbach
  • Directions: (Google Map)
  • April 21, 2024 - 2:00 pm

Celebration of Life

  • Roseau River Bible Camp
  • 25159 - Road 12N, Roseau River
  • Directions: (Google Map)
  • April 21, 2024 - 2:30 pm


  • Roseau River Community Cemetery
  • 13 Road N, Roseau River
  • Directions: (Google Map)