Erna (Mom) and twin Martha were born on August 9, 1930, to Anna and Isaac Driediger, near Watrous, Saskatchewan. The family then had six children: Tina, Anne, Isaac, Helen, Martha, and Erna. All the children were born in the farmhouse, including twin boys, Peter, and George, who came six years later. This large family was kept well fed with a lot of hard work, milk cows, pigs, chickens, and a big garden.
Erna and her siblings walked one mile with syrup pail lunches to Fresh Water School. After lunch, the children often used their lunch pails to drown gophers in the school yard. Although Erna only completed her grade 9, she said she would have loved to be a school teacher, and she would certainly have been a great one.
Erna and twin Martha went to Rosthern Bible School, where Martha met her future husband. This then led to Erna going to Bournemouth to help her sister with her first born. Across the road, was a young George Wiebe, who spotted this young lady, and another romance was kindled.
Erna and George were married on October 18, 1953. This suddenly plunged Erna knee deep in the farm with George, and her father-in-law who was a widower. She now had many new chores and two guys to train to clean their boots off!
Their first son, Alvin George, was born on June 17, 1955. Lois Ruth arrived on December 4, 1957, and lastly, Leslie David on January 11, 1963.
Erna always had a huge garden, always helped with milking the cows, and always had chickens. She just loved getting those baby chicks in the spring! She was a super bun maker, bread maker, potato salad, plautz…anything she made to eat was always A1.
Erna learned piano by ear and played in Hoffnungsfelder Mennonite Church when called upon. She was everyone’s favourite Sunday School teacher for many years and enjoyed being involved in the Ladies Aid group. Quilting day gave Erna a chance to get out of the house and enjoy fellowship with the other ladies. She also loved when her group would bring programs to the Pine Grove Women’s Correctional Centre in Prince Albert. Of course, she always made sure that there was something left in the fridge for George and Les. Serving other seemed to come easy for Erna.
As the years went on, Alvin and Lois married and had children of their own. These 5 grandchildren were a joy to her, and the admiration was mutual. Lois and Eldon’s two children Katelyn and Graham were far enough away to make it an overnight holiday. (Any and all trips were to visit relatives.) Alvin and Carol’s children, Joni, Joel, and Jocelyn, grew up only 12 miles from Grandma, so often enjoyed her hugs and good cooking.
As the years flew by, Erna now had 5 great-grandchildren, but was showing signs of slowing down. Lois would always take the day off from work to take her to City Hospital for her eye injections. One day as they got off the elevator, Erna asked Lois when she was getting this done. They both laughed when Lois had to tell her that it was already done, and they were actually heading back out! When she got back home, she would always say, “Be it ever so humble, there is no place like home!”
As Erna’s memory declined, Les began bringing meals to his mom and dad, making sure that they found their glasses, the remotes, the hearing aid batteries, etc. etc. Then on September 15, 2019, we moved them to Pine View Care Home. It was a tremendous help that Erna’s sister Helen, lived across the hallway.
When the Sun Rise addition opened up, Erna and George were the first people to move into their brand-new room, facing the corrals and horse barn. Erna really enjoyed the fireplace and lovely seating area where she could visit with the other ladies, but it wasn’t long before Covid hit. This was very confusing for Erna, as she couldn’t understand why we would only visit through the window.
When Erna needed full care, they were both moved to the Nursing Home side. Her depleted memory was somewhat of a blessing when George left for Heaven’s gates. The staff talked and joked with her, and she would reply with humour. Her sister Helen came often to sit with her, and she never complained even when confined to a wheelchair.
On April 10, 2023, Erna suffered a stroke, which left her unable to speak or even swallow. She was peaceful until her last breath.
Erna had a strong faith and showed it her entire life. We have complete assurance that she is in Heaven, united with Jesus and the family that has gone on before her. Her wish is that we will all be reunited some day in our Heavenly forever home.
Left to cherish her memories are Erna’s three children and their families:
Her sibling: Helen Driediger of Rosthern
Her sister-in-law Maria Driediger of Watrous
Mom was predeceased by her husband George Wiebe; parents Isaac and Anna Driediger, and the following siblings and their spouses:
The Funeral Service will be held at the Sunrise Chapel in the Rosthern Mennonite Nursing Home, Rosthern, SK., on Friday, April 28, 2023, at 2:00 p.m. Interment to follow at Glenbush Fields of Hope Mennonite Cemetery, Glenbush, SK. at 6:30pm.
Martens Warman Funeral Home is honoured to be entrusted with the arrangements for Mrs. Erna Wiebe.
Livestream is available for the service: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=seEsDI-RvUU