July 18, 1920 – July 1st, 2014
Born on July 18, 1920 in Jangra, Crimea, Russia to Isaac and Sussana Wittenberg.
He immigrated to Canada in 1925. There were 1980 passengers on the ship including 980 other Mennonites. They travelled by train from Quebec to HighRiver and then settled in the Mazeppa area.
In 1926 Abe’s mother passed away at the age of 34. With 6 children to care for his father married Anna Nachtigal 2-1/2 months later. The family then moved to Crowfoot to work on the Nachtigal family farm.In 1937 Abe’s father moved the family to Lindbrook, in the Tofield area, to try homesteading.
Later Abe moved back to southern Alberta where he met Annie Quiring of Namaka.
When WWII began Abe was drafted but because of his religious beliefs, not to bear arms, he instead worked for the government. He worked in the Jasper and Kananaskis areas. Building roads in the summer and clearing snow from the highway between Jasper and Banff in the winter.
In 1944 Abe married Annie Quiring in Namaka, Alberta. Their first children, Shirley and Gerald were born. In the spring of 1950 Abe moved his family to Tofield where he farmed next to his brother Isaac on the same land that his father had farmed. There they were blessed with four more children, Gordon, Doreen, Kevin and Cheryl.
In 1959 Abe accepted the Lord at a revival meeting at the old Lindbrook church. Soon after he was baptized and joined the MennoniteBrethrenChurch which he followed faithfully.
In 1979 Abe built a house in Tofield where he and Annie settled in retirement. Abe began his woodworking hobby and made many benches and stools for his children, grandchildren, and to donate to the MCC. Sadly in 1983 Annie passed away, at the age of 58, so soon after retiring. In 1985 Abe married Agnes Geddert who then passed away in 1999.
In 2000 Abe left Tofield for a condo in Sherwood Park to be closer to his children and grandchildren. After 11 years there he moved into a lodge where he didn’t have to cook for himself anymore.
In January of this year Abe’s health began to fail. He spent most of the last six months in the hospital and extended care. Then on Tuesday, July 1stat 8:45 AM, with family by his side he peacefully went to be with the Lord. Two weeks short of his 94th birthday.
Abe was predeceased by his first wife Annie, his 2nd wife Agnes, 1 son-in-law, his parents and all of his siblings. He was also predeceased by three grandchildren, Michael, Stephanie and Jordon.
He is survived by his six children, Shirley (John), Gerald (Kathy), Gordon (Adina), Doreen (Bill), Kevin (Sandy), and Cheryl (Dan). 21 Grandchildren, 20 Great Grandchildren and many other relatives and friends.
We have all been very blessed and privileged to have a Father like Dad.
Dad was laid to rest this morning in a little country cemetery next to Mom and Agnes.
May he rest in peace.
A funeral service will be held at 1:00 p.m., Saturday, July 5, 2014 at Bethel Christian Reformed Church (14204 25 St NW, Edmonton, AB) with Pastor Kevin Beehner officiating. Interment will be held at The Garden Cemetery, Tofield, AB.