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PETER MAENDEL  Obituary pic


Born: Feb 21, 1924

Date of Passing: Apr 07, 2017

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PETER MAENDEL Peacefully on April 7, 2017, after weeks of declining strength, our Dad "Was gathered onto his fathers." Peter Maendel was born on February 21, 1924 to Joseph and Katherina (Hofer) Maendel at Rosedale Hutterite Colony northeast of Elie, Manitoba. In 1932 Peter's mother succumbed to gallstone complications, leaving her husband and 15 children. In 1935 his father married Rachel Waldner Gross, a widow with seven children. Rachel Basel (Aunt) embraced the Maendel children - nurturing them alone after her husband's death in 1937. Upon his confession of faith, Peter was baptized and accepted as a Brother in the Hutterian Brethren Church. On July 16, 1944 he married Sarah Wurtz of James Valley Colony settling at the newly founded New Rosedale Colony. Their marriage was blessed with three sons and nine daughters. During the later months of the Second World War, Peter bussed to Port Arthur, Ontario - along with Hutterite men from colonies across the prairies - to work in the shipyard as Conscientious Objectors. After returning to New Rosedale, he was elected to hog barn manager, a job involving a lot of learning about animal husbandry, which he thoroughly enjoyed. During the winter months, Arnold Peters, the Mennonite teacher in New Rosedale School, offered the men evening classes in math, science and English; Peter was an enthusiastic participant. In 1955 the New Rosedale Brotherhood elected Peter to the vocation of teacher - a historic first for Manitoba Hutterites. Thus, he registered at Mennonite Brethren Collegiate Institute in Winnipeg - a decision based on the common Anabaptist faith background of Hutterites and Mennonites. Studying during summer also, he completed grades nine to twelve in two and a half years. During the 1959/1960 school year Peter taught as a Permit Teacher: from September to Christmas at New Rosedale; to the end of June in Fairholme, the new daughter colony. In 1961 Peter Maendel became the first Hutterite to graduate Manitoba Teacher's College, attend Gimli Camp in summer 1962 and earn his Permanent Teaching Certificate. For 25 years he taught grades four to eight in the two-room Fairholme Elementary School; a second teacher taught grades one to three. From Fairholme's beginning Dad and Mother served as community gardeners, developing the fertile fields along the Assiniboine River: planting shelterbelts, raspberries, asparagus and vegetables; bumper crops of tomatoes, corn and cabbage led to market gardening. Their special achievement was strawberries; popular for miles around, it morphed into a pick-your-own operation. In November 1970 Peter experienced the great tragedy of his life: the loss of his wife Sarah to cancer. Community leadership honoured his request to continue the job of gardener with his oldest daughter. In 1977, together with daughters, Anna and Rita, Peter adopted infant twins, Jason and James via joint guardianship - a miraculous, incalculably enriching experience for the whole family made possible by the work of Samuel Malamud, a young member of Winnipeg's Jewish Community. After Fairholme established Windy Bay Colony, Peter was elected as Fairholme's minister on October 28, 1979 and ordained in 1989. He served and led with skill, dedication and enthusiasm, also as Sunday school teacher. II Corinthians 4, 6 and 7 became his Leitmotv; faith was his source of wisdom, strength, patience and good humour. For the blessing of having our father here at home in preparation for his final journey, we are grateful for the gift of professional support: Dr. R. Quesada; home care workers Cynthia Keith and Linda Timmerman; Palliative Care team Giselle Jefferies, Doctors Riel and Woelk; mental health team, Tammie Meyers and Dr. Vipul, and our RN-nieces, Sarah Schattner, Phoebe and Andrea. Aufwiedersehen, dear father, grandfather and mentor! We are grateful for your life and witness. Condolences may be sent to

As published in Winnipeg Free Press on Apr 29, 2017

Condolences & Memories (2 entries)

  • I have fond memories of Peter and his daughters. Their fundamental belief that it was important not to accept a bureaucrat decision, made for the wrong reasons, when they knew they were right. They defended their faith. Their battle was led by Peter as patriarch and moral compass.The fact that the family still thought of me after four decades was evidence of an unspoken bond we shared. My most sincere condolences on Peters death. He will be missed. - Posted by: Sam Malamud (Friend) on: May 02, 2017

  • Peter was a good person and will be deeply missed. We have fond memories of him. Our condolences to his entire family. RIP Peter The Shindleman Family - Posted by: Robert Shindleman (Friend) on: May 01, 2017

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