Marie Toews Penner

Marie Toews Penner was born Feb. 7, 1916 in Steinbach, Man., the fifth of nine children born to Klaas R. and Amelia (Borkowsky) Toews.
The family farm where she grew up, north of Steinbach, is the present site of the Mennonite Heritage Village. After the family moved to Steinbach, they continued spending the summers on the farm.
Her early education was at Clearsprings School and later in Steinbach.
In 1936, she married William Penner. They moved to Colenso, Ont. in 1949 and then to Kenora, Ont. in 1966. After her husband suffered a stroke in the 1970s, they began spending the winters in Yuma, Arizona, where they made many good friends.
In 1986, they moved back to Steinbach to Fernwood, and many times she expressed how grateful she was for her wonderful friends and family here.
Marie was gifted by the Lord to use her home and hospitality to serve the needs of pastors, missionaries, neighbours, and family. Her church was vitally important to her. Her Bible and Christian books sustained her in times of loneliness and grief, and joy.
Marie also was admired for her beautiful crafts, knitting, and crocheting. She donated many useful articles to the Ladies Mission Society, and to people less fortunate. Her quiet concern for others endeared her to all of us.
For a number of years, she was committed to canvassing in Fernwood for the Association for Community Living.
Marie is survived by two sisters, Elvina Loewen (Dave) of Steinbach, Man., and Rosalind Reimer (Clarence) of Seattle, Wash.; two daughters, Sylvia Smuland (Alvin) and Marilyn Landry (Gus); four grandchildren, Brad Smuland (Sarah), Kimberley Purscel (Dave), Shane Beckett (Kari-Lynn), and Aaron Beckett (Paula); and five great-grandchildren, Joshua Smuland, Samuel and Matthew Purscel, and Hayley and Jayla Beckett.
She was predeceased by her parents, Klaas and Amelia Toews; husband, William; six sisters, Minna Reimer, Elizabeth Friesen, Anne Peters, Elma Rempel, and Romelda Toews; and one brother, Johnny Toews.
She had a special place in her heart for Colleen and Raymond Coté, to whom she was “Grannie.”
Funeral services were held at Cornerstone Bible Church in Steinbach, where she has been a member, on Tuesday, March 27, 2001 at 2 p.m., with viewing prior to the service.
A viewing also was held at Loewen Funeral Chapel in Steinbach on Monday, March 26, 2001 from 7-8 p.m.
Should friends so desire, donations in her memory may be made to the Association for Community Living.