of Alberta


  1. Cornelius Regehr fonds, 1894, 1979-1993, 3 cm.

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    Cornelius Regehr fonds, 1894, 1979-1993, 3 cm.

    Accession 2019.023

    Biographical history

    Cornelius Regehr was born 27 September 1911 in Terek, Russia, the son of Peter H. and Anna (Reimer) Regehr.  The family immigrated to Canada in 1925 and settled in Coaldale, Alberta.  Cornelius married Katharina Klassen in 1940 and, sortly therafter the couple moved to Yarrow, British Columbia where Cornelius worked in various jobes.  Katharina died in 2002.  Cornelius then married Elizabeth Wipf who died in 2008.  Cornelius died 26 December 2010.
    Numerous relatives remained in the Soviet Union and, for many years, those living in Canada had only very limited contact with those still living in the Soviet Union.  That increased dramitically after 1979 when it also became possible for some family members to leave the Soviet Union and find new homes in Germany.

    Scope and Content

    The fonds consists of three distinct and very different collections of letters.

    Folder 1 contains a carbon copy of a five page letter written by Liese and Johannes Janzen, dated 23 November 1952 to Cornelius Regehr’s parents, Peter H. and Anna (Reimer) Regehr.  This letter containes detailed genealogical information pertaining to both the Janzen and Regehr families.

    Folder 2 contains three letters, written 6, 9 and 15 March 1894.  They were written by Wilhelm [Janzen] to his wife Maria while he was on a preaching and evangelization trip.  In the letters, written from Gnadenthal, Bachmut and Alexanderfeld the writer refers to evanglistic services, house visitations and conversations with local Mennonite residents.  It is not evident how Cornelius Regehr received these letters.

    Folder 3  contains 31 letters or notes written to Cornelius and Katharina Regehr by relatives living in the Soviet Union but then emigrating to Germany.  The letters descibe in some detail conditions in the Soviet Union, the complexities and challenges of the migration from the Soviet Union to Germany, and conditions as they settled in Germany.

    Source of Aquisition

    Donated by Marge Friesen, daughter of Cornelius and Katharina Regehr.


    No restrictions.

  2. Frederick Enns fonds. 1959-2019, 5 cm.

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    Frederick Enns fonds, 1959-2019, 5 cm.

    Accession 2019.019

    Biographic History

    Frederick Enns was born in the Mennonite village of Kitchkas, Orenburg, Russia, on 4 July 1925 to David and Katarina (nee Bergen) Enns.  He was the oldest of 8 children.  The family left Russia in 1926 and lived briefly in Winkler, Manitoba and Magrath, Alberta before settling on a farm of their own near Rosemary, Alberta.
    He received his elementary school education in Rosemary and then attended the German/English Academy (now Rosthern Junior College).  After completing grade 12 he enorlled in the War Emergency Short Course for teacher training at the Calgary Normal School and then taught, and eventaully served as principal, in a number of small rural schools in Alberta.  He also continued to attend summer school at the University of Alberta toward a Bachelor of Education degree.  In 1959 he enorlled in a graduate program in Education at the University of Alberta earning his Master’s and Ph. D. degrees there.  He then taught and served in a number of administrative positions in the Faculty of Education at the University of Alberta.  The family moved to Calgary after Fred’s retirement.
    Fred, throughout his life, was also extensively involved in Mennonite churches and conferences, icnluding First Mennonite Church in Edmonton. Trinity Mennonite Church in Calgary, Mennonite Church Alberta, Mennonite Church Canada, and the Mennonite Centres for Newcomers in Edmonton and Calgary.
    Fred married Aganeta (nee Schroeder).  They were the parents of three daughters.
    Fred died in Calgary on 16 June 2019.

    Custodial History/Source of Acquisition

    Fred Enns’s daughter, Louella (Dave) Cronkite of Lethbridge donated this small collection of her father’s papers to the archives of the Mennonite Historical Society of Alberta shortly after his death.

    Scope and Content

    The fonds consists of a copy of Fred’s short autobiography , His obituary and several Mennontie conference related papers he wrote, co-wrote or collected.

    Finding Aid

    1. Short autobiography entitled: From Fred Enns.  To my Children and Their Families.
    2. Fred Enns Obituary
    3. “The Congregational Resources Board: A Review,” by Florence Driedger, Fred Enns, John Hiebert and Henry Neufeld, 2 February 1983
    4. “To Build or not to Build: A Position Paper.” authr and date no given.
    5. “A Brief in Response to the Green Paper on Immigration and Population Prepared by the Mennonite Conference of Alberta, April 1979.”  Author not given
    6. “The Lordship of Christ in a Desperate World, by Elmer Neufeld,” date not given.


  3. Conference of Historic Peace Churches fonds, 1940, 27 pages

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    Conference of Historic Peace Churches fonds, 1940, 27 pages

    Accession 2019.002

    Administrative/Biographical history

    The Conference of Historic Peace Churches (CHPC) was organized 22 July 1940 in Waterloo, Ontario. in anticipation of the immanent introduction of compulsory military service in Canada.  Churches represented were the Brethren in Christ, Mennonite Brethren in Christ, Old Order Mennonite, Amish Mennonite,  Society of Friends, Brethren, Old Order Dunkard and the Onatrio sections of the Mennonite Brethren and General Conference Mennonites.
    During the war years, the CHPC was largely responsible for the interpretation of nonristant faith to the government, especially as the convictions of peace churches related to problems of miliary service.  With the establishment of Alternative Service for conscientious objectors, the CHPC provided spiritual oversight for men in alternative service.
    An early initiative of the CHPC was an effort to register and issue certificates to men of military age.  These certificates could be presented and become part of the official record when the men were called to register under the National Resources Mobilization Act (NRMA).  Several of the Ontario registrars accepted the CHPC registrations and granted those holding them conscientious objector status without requring the men to appear in person at a mobilization board hearing.
    In western Canada, leaders of the Northwest Mennonite Conference, who had close links to the Ontario peace churches, also prepared CHPC registration forms for their young men of military age.  Some other Mennonite leaders in western Canada simply suggested that their young men write the word “Mennonite” across the face of their NRMA registration forms.  There was disappointment when the registrars in western Canada refused to recognize the CHPC registrations or the modified NRMA registrations.  The western registrars insisted that the young men appear personally before a mobilization board to explain their religious convictions.  The registrars then assessed the sincerity or validity of evidence provided by the young men and rejected the testimony of a signficant number of the men seeking conscientious objector status. They could then be called, as needed, for military training and service.

    Scope and Content

    The fonds consists of 27 Conference of Historic Peace Churches Registration forms completed by, or for, young men who were members or, if not yet baptized, associated with one of the churches of the Northwest Mennonite Conference.

    Source of Acquisition

    A remnant of papers from the estate of Milo Stutzman, forwarded from the office of the Northwest Mennonite Conference.

    Finding Aid – List of men registered by the CHPC in western Canada in 1940.

    Clayton Bowman, Guernsey, Saskatchewan
    Elmer Martin Burkholder, Duchess, Alberta
    Albert M. Guengrich, Blackie, Alberta
    Daniel Guengrich, Blackie, Alberta
    Clarence Lauber, Tofield, Alberta
    Harold Lauber, Tofield, Alberta
    Oliver Lehman, Tofield, Alberta
    John Leonard Maurer, Tofield, Alberta
    Levoy Edward Roth, Duchess, Alberta
    Loyal David Roth, Duchess, Alberta
    Claude Schlabach, Guernsey, Saskatchewan
    Lloyd Schmidt, Guernsey, Saskatchewan
    Stanley Shantz, Guernsey, Saskatchewan
    Lincoln Roy Shantz, Guernsey, Saskatchewan
    Arnold Shantz, Guernsey, Saskatchewan,
    Maynard Glenn Stauffer, Tofield, Alberta
    David Andrew Stutzman, Kingman, Alberta
    Willard Toman, Guernsey, Saskatchewan
    Clarence Earl Toman, Duchess, Alberta
    Bennet Harold Torkelson, Duchess, Alberta
    Floyd Weber, Guernsey, Saskatchewan
    Howard Weber, Guernsey, Saskatchewan
    William Wideman, Kingman, Alberta
    Leonard Wideman, Kingman, Alberta
    Leslie James Yoder, Tofield, Alberta
    Ernie Elden Yoder, Tofield, Alberta
    Rollin Joseph Yoder, Carstairs, Alberta



  4. Kasdorf, Henry

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    January 03, 1940 – April 29, 2020

    Henry Kasdorf of Rosemary, beloved husband of Laura Kasdorf, passed away in Brooks on Wednesday, April 29th, 2020 at the age of 80 years. Henry was born on January 3rd, 1940 in Rosemary to Dave and Helen Kasdorf. He spent most of his life in the Rosemary community farming, ranching and raising his family. Henry was an avid sportsman, who played hockey, curled, hunted, fished and loved travelling. He was very involved in the community and served on the Rosemary Community Lease Board for years. Henry organized bonspiels, was involved with 4H for eleven years, served on Town Council and shared many mornings with neighbors at the Rosemary Bakery. His biggest pride was his family. His wife, Laura and their three children will miss him dearly, son, Mark and his wife Krista and their children Miranda, Britney and Brandon; daughter, Brenda Kam and her husband Richard and their children Jordan (Jalaina and their son Waylon) and Jenna; son Jason and his wife Mercy and their daughter Michelle. Though we are grieving we have many happy memories. A private Family Committal Service will be held. Thanks to the Staff at Sunrise Gardens for their great care and kindness for the last 4 ½ years. A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date. In memory of Henry, if friends desire, memorial tributes may be made directly to Newell Food Grains Growing Project, Box 294, Rosemary, Alberta    T0J 2W0.

  5. Braun, Anne

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    Anna (Anne) Braun of Brooks, passed away in Brooks on Wednesday, May 27, 2020 at the age of 88 years.  Anne was born on January 3, 1932 at her parent’s home in Hussar, Alberta.  She was the youngest child born to Johann and Susanna Braun (nee Geddert).  In the winter of 1936, the Braun family moved from Hussar to Gem, Alberta.  Anne grew up on the family farm and attended Gem School.  At age 13, Anne became a Christian and was baptized in 1951 in the Gem Mennonite Brethren Church.  As a child, Anne suffered from a bone infection in her ankle.  As a result, she endured many surgeries and long hospital stays to correct the effects of the uneven growth in her leg.  She always walked with a slight limp and wore specially designed shoes with one heel being much higher than the other.  After completing high school, Anne moved to Calgary.  She attended Henderson Business College and secured a job at Ingram and Bell, a medical supply company for 11 years.  Later, she was hired as an accounting clerk by the Calgary District Hospital Group which included the Colonel Belcher, Holy Cross, and Rockyview Hospitals.  She worked there for 20 years before taking early retirement in 1993.  Anne enjoyed traveling and over the years she visited Europe, Alaska, Hawaii, California, and New York.  Many summers were spent at Fairmont Hot Springs, as well as visiting family and friends.  In addition to traveling, Anne’s leisure time was spent sewing, knitting, crocheting, quilting and crafting.  She was very talented and many friends and family received beautiful gifts from her handiwork.  She had a special place in her heart for Mennonite Central Committee and over the years sewed countless school kit bags and helped with making quilts for those in need.  She also spent many a happy hour engrossed in a good book or putting together a jigsaw puzzle.  Extended family was especially important to Anne and she was close to her nieces and nephews attending most of their graduations and weddings and delighting in each new baby that came into the family.  In 2005, Anne moved to Linden, Alberta, where she made many friends and especially enjoyed those who were part of the MCC quilt making gatherings.  In April of 2013, Anne moved to Newbrook Lodge in Brooks to be closer to family in the area and then to Sunrise Gardens.  Special thanks to all the staff at Sunrise Gardens for the kind and compassionate care shown to our Aunt Anne over the past 5 years.  Anne is predeceased by her parents, brother John and his wife Rose, sister Katherine and her husband Dave Klassen, brother Frank and his wife Agnes, 1 sister and 3 brothers in infancy, and nephew Gary Klassen.  Anne is survived by her brother Dirk and his wife Peggy, and nieces and nephews: Judy Steinke, Betty Wiehler, David Klassen, Susan Neufeld, Ralph Klassen, Janice Juneau, Erwin Braun, Ray Braun, Carol Reid, Harold Braun, Lorna Retzlaff, Gail Amendt, and Andrew Braun. A private Family Graveside will be held from the Gem Cemetery. Rev. Lorne Willms officiating.

  6. Neufeld, Anne (Kliewer)

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    Date: May 26th, 2020
    Service Location: A memorial service will be held on a later date.

    We regret to announce the passing of Anna Neufeld. She was born February 3, 1926 in Stirling, Alberta, and passed away on May 26, 2020 in Tofield, Alberta.

    Anna was predeceased by her loving husband Jacob K Neufeld; her son Donald; and her brother Abe. She is survived by son Ken (Lois); and daughter Betty; grandchildren Stacy (Kevin), Lisa (Joe) and Jennifer; great grandchildren Riley, Jason, Marcus, Harley and Jacob.

    Anna was very involved in the Tofield community, her church, and belonged to the Ketchimoot Creek Family Horse Club in her early years. Anyone who met her immediately felt her friendly and caring personality. Anna’s door was always open and the coffee was always on, and there was always a freezer full of homemade buns, bread, and delicious treats for everyone to enjoy.

    Raising miniature horses and taking part in the July 1st parade was a source of great pride for her and her husband Jake. She loved working at Busy Bee Thrift Shop and doing volunteer charity work. She felt that church, family, and faith were what was important throughout ones life.

    She will be deeply missed by her family, friends and community.

    Due to the Chief Medical Officer of Health restrictions, a memorial service will be held at a later date. Interment will take place at the Tofield Cemetery.


  7. Schmidt, Mary

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    Dec. 26, 1926 – April 8th, 2020

    Mary Schmidt (Toews)

    It is with both profound sadness and gratefulness for her love, that we the family of Mary Schmidt announce her passing on April 8, 2020 in Tofield, Alberta.

    Mom passed away peacefully after hearing the voices of her children and hearing many of the hymns she dearly loved.

    Mom is lovingly remembered by her 3 children and their families:

    Daughter Evelyn and Peter Bartel (Ryan and Erinne, Jasper & Kagan) (Mark and Lisa, Logan, Sydney & Justin)

    (Kenton and Sarah)

    Daughter Irene and Ken Froese (Nathan and Brieanne, Shaeley, Gavin and Avery) (Kerri and Trevor, Adam)

    (Karla Neufeld)

    (Nolan and Madison, Aubrey)

    Son Gordon and Monica. (Lauren and Justin Lungal, Walker & Dayton) (Jordyn and Miles Pennington, Cardin & Tayla)

    (Alayna) (Landon)

    She is also remembered by her special cousin Ann Neufeld.

    Mom was predeceased by her beloved husband David, brother and sister Abraham Toews and Sara Zweigert and step sister Lucy Benko.

    Mary was born in the Ukraine in 1926 and after living through many hardships of WWII, at the age of 21, mom was invited to Tofield, Alberta to be a “daughter” of her uncle and aunt Jacob and Elizabeth Kliewer. This wonderful relationship provided mom with roots in Canada, and she went on to study English, make friends and marry our dad. This security allowed her to flourish and enjoy life. The Schmidt family proved to be a large family who embraced her, and for this she was ever so grateful.

    Together, Mom and Dad farmed south of Tofield; this was an enjoyable career for them and proved to be a wonderful rural setting for our family.

    Mom devoted many years volunteering: selling Self Help goods for MCC, working at That Place, and sewing many blankets for MCC. These activities brought her much enjoyment and offered her the opportunity to “give back” to MCC – for it was from MCC that she received a care parcel while in Germany during WWII.

    After being separated from her family for 43 years, she was reunited with them after they immigrated from the Soviet Union to Germany. The four trips mom and dad made to Germany, allowed mom to reconnect and celebrate her family.

    Mom was fully devoted to our dad and our whole family where each new member of the family was celebrated and treasured. She considered her greatest joy to be her enduring and unfailing faith in God.

    Mom enjoyed good health and vitality her whole life. As her health waned, she appreciated the care and support she received at the Tofield Lodge, from Tofield Home Care and at the Tofield Long Term Care. We thank you for your kindness and exemplary care for mom.

    On April 11, 2020 we met over Zoom and with Rev Adam Hall leading, we remembered and celebrated the life and faith of our mother, grandmother and great grandmother.

    Interment of ashes will be at a future date when the family will gather to celebrate mom’s life. Donations would be gratefully accepted for MCC and the Tofield Handivan Society

  8. Dueck, Elvira

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    Elvira Dueck
    August 19, 1926 ~ January 4, 2019 (age 92)
    Mrs. Elvira Dueck of Coaldale, beloved wife of the late Mr. John J. Dueck, passed away tragically at her home on Friday, January 4, 2019, at the age of 92 years.
    Elvira was born in Grand Prairie, Alberta on August 19, 1926. While she was still young, the family moved to the Coaldale area and she attended school in Readymade. She advanced her education in Calgary where she received a teacher’s certificate, and then taught primary grades at Coaldale School until she married John on July 25, 1948. Together they raised their family and were a farming partnership until 1989. Upon retirement, John and Elvira moved to the town of Coaldale where she has resided ever since.
    Elvira is remembered for her unwavering faith in God, lived out in loving commitment to her husband, her children, her church and community. Over the years, she served in many capacities; in children’s programs and musical groups, on committees, volunteering for long-term residents at the Coaldale Health Centre or at the MCC store and offering gracious hospitality to friends and family whenever she could.
    She loved words and often read to others, wrote articles, translated documents from German or helped with others’ memoirs. Throughout the years, her family received hundreds of pithy letters; she loved to describe interesting encounters or highlights of the week and wanted to keep her large family connected to each other. After John died, the daily emails to her large clan included family anecdotes, important dates and bits of wisdom, always ending with an expression of love for her family.
    A fearless traveler, photos show her on the back of a camel in Egypt as well as on the back of a Norton motorbike on the farm. She noticed beauty, and her love of nature and adventure prompted excursions even up to 2018, around the countryside, to the mountains, to all the provinces, and even to other continents.
    She was an avid supporter of any sports team or performing arts event in which her family participated. Although she wasn’t shy about expressing her opinions, her consistent, deep love for each child, grandchild, and great-grandchild was unquestioned.
    Elvira is survived by her children: Edgar (Ruth) Dueck, Art (Sharon) Dueck, Natalie (Harold) Warkentin, Alvin (Janet) Dueck, Marvin (Shannon Little) Dueck, Mona Dueck, Rod (Lisa Blue) Dueck, Renita (Bill) Hamm, Carl (Jennifer) Dueck and Emery (Sharon) Dueck, and 28 grandchildren and 20 great-grandchildren.
    Besides her husband of 62 years, Elvira was predeceased by a sister, a brother, and a beloved granddaughter Alexis Dueck.
    Family and Friends are invited to pay their respects at 7:00pm on Thursday, January 10, 2019 at the MARTIN BROTHERS RIVERIVEW CHAPEL, 610 – 4 Street South, Lethbridge, Alberta.
    A Celebration of Elvira’s Life will be held at 2:00pm on Friday, January 11, 2019 at the COALDALE MENNONITE BRETHREN CHURCH, 2114 – 18 Street Coaldale, Alberta, T1M 1G2.

  9. Retzlaff , Lydia (Klassen)

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    Lydia Retzlaff

    Sunday, February 10th, 1935  Thursday, February 27th, 2020

    Lydia (Klassen) Retzlaff passed peacefully into her eternal home with Jesus at the age of 85 years on Thursday, February 27, 2020 at 4:45 PM at home surrounded by family.
    Lydia was born February 10, 1935 in Coaldale, Alberta to Jacob and Aganeta Klassen, the sixth of their twelve children. On November 18, 1956, Lydia married Jacob Retzlaff and they were blessed with four children.Lydia was predeceased by her parents Jacob and Aganeta Klassen, brothers, Jake, Dave, Daniel, and Henry, sisters-in-law, Linda Klassen and Mary Klassen, and nephew James Harder.

    Left to mourn her passing are her husband of 63 years, Jake, her son, Glenn (Charlene) Retzlaff and their children, Brent (Rue), Cameron (Chelsea), Steven, and Tyler; daughter, Chandra (Kelly Janzen) and their children, Travis, Vanessa, Marissa, and Derek; daughter, Lorena (Trevor Janzen) and their children, Leticia, Jonathan, Rebecca, and Benjamin; and daughter, Cindy (Marvin Grasmeyer) and their children, Kristin, Alianna, Elias, Naomi, Vivian, and Josiah. Lydia will be sadly missed by her sisters, Nettie (Willie Hildebrandt), Amelia (John Dyck), Heidi (John Retzlaff), Sara (Dave Derksen), and Katie (Dennis Harder), brother, Gerald (friend Ralyn) Klassen, and sister-in-laws, Elizabeth, Susan, and Hilda Klassen, and numerous nieces and nephews, and the extended Retzlaff family.

    It was during Youth retreats that Lydia and Jake met and then they began to visit at Bible school. Their relationship blossomed resulting in marriage. Lydia thought she had married a farmer, but after one year on the farm in Rosemary, they made the decision to move to Calgary and both enrolled in Business College. Through the years, Lydia supported Jake with all the charitable organizations that he worked with; specifically with MCC Alberta, where she did a lot of the secretarial work. Later on when Jake set up his own accounting practice, she once again played an important role in working alongside him in whatever area he needed.

    Lydia was baptized in the Coaldale Conference Church on June 6, 1954. She spent two winter terms at the Mennonite Bible Institute in Didsbury. Church life was very important to Lydia. She volunteered in her youth and continued throughout her life. She was involved in various capacities with Sunday School, Religious Education at the public school, DVBS, and Girls Club. She was very involved with a refugee family that was sponsored by the Foothills Mennonite Church. Also, Lydia volunteered for many years at the MCC Thrift Store. She enjoyed working together with other ladies from the church.

    Lydia lived a rich and fulfilling life. Her greatest passion was spending time with her children and grandchildren. She also loved gardening, outdoors, camping, hosting, and singing. Lydia blessed many with her kind and caring personality.

    After a brief struggle with cancer, we are grateful that Lydia was able to go to be with her Lord and Saviour. Relatives and friends are invited to a visitation at Choice Memorial (105-4715 13th Street NE) on Thursday, March 5, 2020 from 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm. Graveside Service will be held at Queen’s Park Cemetery (3219-4th Street NW) on Friday, March 6, 2020 at 11:30 am. A Celebration of Lydia’s life will follow at Foothills Mennonite Church (2115 Urbana Road NW) on Friday, March 6, 2020 at 2:00 pm. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to MCC Alberta, 2946 – 32 Street NE, Calgary, Alberta T1Y 6J7. T