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Born: Sep 02, 1926

Date of Passing: Jan 05, 2023

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September 2, 1926 - January 5, 2023

Mary (Maria) Gerbrandt (nee Unrau) passed away peacefully and quietly in her room on the eighth floor of St. Boniface Hospital overlooking the colourful lights of the Forks and Provencher Bridge, with her sons, Albert and Henry holding her, at 5:52 p.m. on January 5, 2023.
Mary leaves behind her sons, Albert (Maureen), and Henry; her sons-in-law, Brian Rempel and Lyle Barkman; her sisters-in-law, Lillie Unrau and Annette Unrau; her grandchildren, Wendy Murchison (Cam), Wesley Gerbrandt (Melanie), RuthAnne Berry (Ian), Cara Woodard (Joe), Ben Barkman (Hyera), and Dan Barkman; as well as great-grandchildren, Jessica and Nicole Murchison, Willem and Markus Gerbrandt, Zoey and Theo Woodard; cousins and many nieces, nephews and friends.
Mary was predeceased by her husband George Gerbrandt; her parents, Jacob and Anna Unrau; her brothers, Peter (Margaret), Jacob, and David; her daughters, Anne Rempel and Kathy Barkman; four sisters-in-law and all of her brothers-in-law.
Mary was born September 2, 1926 in Bergfeld, MB, the second child with three brothers. Her life was not an easy one on the farm. As a girl in the 1920s and 30s, she, along with her mother, was responsible for cooking, cleaning, sewing, milking cows, gardening, looking after younger siblings, canning, taking care of horses, cows, chickens, pigs, plus fieldwork. After completing Grade 6, Mary's skills on the farm became more important than her education.
She married George Gerbrandt October 28, 1950. They began married life living on the Gerbrandt family farm and later moved to Morris where they had Albert, and then on to Winnipeg. In 1955 they began building a house at 632 Buchanan St. where they had the rest of their children, Anne, Kathy and Henry. In 1964 they moved to 1449 Loudoun Road and lived in the 'little house', eventually completing their new house.
The term at that time was 'homemaker' and Mary was literally a homemaker! From carrying block foundation, nailing sheathing, to shingling, Mary was involved in all of this. As a mother, Mary was good at everything; keeping house, gardening, canning, cooking, baking, sewing, knitting and crocheting. Animal husbandry meant several hundred chickens, half a dozen cows, pigs, rabbits, goats and geese. These endeavors provided the family with meat, milk, cream, butter and eggs as well as entertainment as pets. Mary was skillful, resourceful, adaptable and thrifty beyond any amateur level. She was the foundation and enabler of all our memorable childhood experiences!
Mary was involved in her church's women's group, the Maranatha Ladies and spent many years volunteering at the MCC Thrift Store sewing quilts. She sewed countless quilts on her own at home and knit toques, scarves, and afghans that were given to those in need. Mary cleaned for a local business and did market gardening selling her produce to local grocers. Mary was a lover of games and puzzles and the fellowship these activities brought to her life.
Mary was genuine and faithful to her core and was the same always, through and through. Mary was an amazing wife, partner, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, sister, auntie, neighbour and friend. She will be lovingly missed by all who knew her, including her grandpuppy RhuBee.
The family would like to thank Dr. Ted St. Goddard, Dr. Yaqueen Abdulah and all the nurses and aides for their compassionate care of Mary during her stay at St. Boniface Palliative Care.
The Celebration of Life service will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Monday, January 16, 2023 at Bethel Mennonite Church, 465 Stafford St., Winnipeg, with Pastor Al Letkeman officiating, and viewing at 10:00 a.m. Interment at 3:00 p.m., Greenacres Cemetery, Hwy. #1 East at Navin Road. The service will be livestreamed at
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St. Boniface Hospital Foundation, Palliative Care.

"There was magic in her touch
And sunshine in her smile
There was love in
Everything she did
To make our lives worthwhile"

Make a donation to St. Boniface Hospital Foundation

As published in Winnipeg Free Press on Jan 11, 2023

Condolences & Memories (2 entries)

  • This was a wonderful person. I grew up right beside Henry, her youngest son So I have know Mary my whole life She was a loving mother, and so strong in her faith I would always receive a loving hug from her every time we saw each other Such a loving gracious person that will be missed dearly - Posted by: Tracey mah (Friend ) on: Jan 11, 2023

  • Will always remember the hospitality always received from Mary and the family any time we were able to travel to Winnipeg. She will be sadly missed. - Posted by: Joyce Gerbrandt and John Gebrandt (Cousin and wife) on: Jan 11, 2023

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