of Alberta

Paetkau, Gerhard “George”

July 16, 1933 – May 2, 2014
George Paetkau, devoted husband and father, passed away quietly in Bassano on Friday, May 2nd, 2014 at the age of 80 years. George was born in Gem and in 1956 he married Edna Unrau, and in 1962 they bought the family farm and moved into the house he had been born in. Here they raised their family on a small dairy and beef farm. They led a rich life together. George loved sharing a cup of coffee with friends and their home was always open for visitors. His strong sense of civic duty and volunteerism led him to work on many boards ranging from a local telephone company, to a fire-insurance cooperative, to a natural-gas cooperative – among many others. George also dedicated many years to working for the Mennonite Central Committee’s M2 program with inmates at the penitentiary in Drumheller.  He had a strong sense of adventure and enjoyed surprising Edna with spontaneous trips to Europe and to South America to visit his sons. George loved words and his grandchildren remember his wonderful letters and poems that he sent them, often written in rhyming couplets, full of witty observations of their lives. His sense of humour, quiet courage, love for his family, and strong faith never failed him. George is survived by his loving family, wife Edna;  sister Marie; brother Paul (Jan); and by his children, Larry (Lyne), Charles (Cynthia), Arthur, Eleanor (Brian), and Paul (Kristie); five grandsons, Joshua (Bethany), Dylan (Debbie), Adam, Luke, and Zack; four granddaughters, Laura (Rob), Elise, Anna, and Claire, and by five great grandchildren. Funeral services will be held on Wednesday, May 7th at 2:00 PM from the Gem Mennonite Brethren Church, Gem. Rev. Cliff Janzen officiating. Interment at Gem Cemetery.