Bernhard -Ben- (Loewen) Kroeker, was born on March 4, 1926, near Morris, Manitoba, to Jacob B. and Helena Kroeker. He spent his childhood with his parents, 4 brothers and 6 sisters on the family farm at Rosenort. School days were spent in a small country school within walking distance of the farm, and he completed his elementary schooling there. He learned the basics of farming as he worked with his dad on the very farm that he would take over someday. On July 27, 1947, he married his teenage sweetheart, Helen Bartel, and together they started family life. Over the next 20 years they welcomed 10 children into their home, one of whom, Ronald, died in infancy, but was never forgotten. Family life was a time of learning a strong work ethic, learning how to be good citizens of Canada, and much involvement, influence, and training in the church and the Bible. In 1971, Ben and Helen, along with the youngest 6 of their 9 children, relocated to Birch River, Manitoba, where another farm became their principal residence and livelihood. Dad loved farming and passed on his knowledge to his family, leaving a wonderful and lasting legacy filled with love for God and His Word. Dad loved people, and together Mom and Dad formed many lasting friendships, with the underlying desire that everyone they knew would also come to love the Lord Jesus Christ, whom they trusted for their salvation and eternal life. They were an integral part in the work of the Birch River Christian Fellowship, associated with the Evangelical Mennonite Church. Besides farming, Dad also invested much time in carpentry projects, especially taking pride in building things for his grandchildren. He made many crokinole boards in this journey and loved playing crokinole even to the end of his life. After Mom died in 2004, Dad was very lonely. After 5 years of being a widower, he met Miriam Barcsik. The two prayed about God’s will for their lives, and God lead them to be married on June 27, 2009. Together they moved into a lovely home in Swan River and enjoyed life there. Eventually Dad’s health deteriorated to where he needed a lot of care and he moved into the Swan Valley Lodge where he was living when Jesus came to take him to his eternal home on April 7, 2022, at the age of 96. As a family, we will forever be grateful for our loving, faithful, gentle earthly father, who made it easy to trust a heavenly Father, whom he so well exemplified in the home, church, and community. We still love you Daddy and thank God for you. Leaving to mourn his passing are his beloved wife, Miriam and her family, as well as 5 sons and 4 daughters -- Amanda (Dennis) Anderson, Helen (Ed) Harms and family, Wilma, (Ken) Foster and family, Alvin (Diane) Kroeker and family, Ray (Mary) Kroeker and family, Violet (Tim) Steinert and family, Leroy (Rhona) Kroeker and family, Charles (Roxanne) Kroeker and family, James (Hazel) Kroeker and family.
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