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ESTHER ANNA WIEBE (HIEBERT)
Born: Mar 18, 1932
Date of Passing: Jan 26, 2023Send Flowers to the Family Offer Condolences or Memory
ESTHER ANNA WIEBE
March 18, 1932 January 26, 2023
We mourn the passing of Esther Anna Wiebe (nee Hiebert) on Thursday, January 26, 2023, at St. Boniface Hospital, Winnipeg, MB, at the age of 90.
She is remembered by her husband, George David Wiebe; children: Robert (Verna) and Peter (Ruth); daughter-in-law Marlene Wiebe; 12 grandchildren: 11 great-grandchildren; extended family; and friends.
Esther was predeceased by her parents, Peter, and Anna (nee Giesbrecht) Hiebert, infant daughter, Miriam Judith; son, George Timothy Wiebe; sister, Linda Neufeld nee Hiebert (Jake); brother, Jacob Hiebert (Elsie); and four great-grandchildren.
Esther was born on March 18, 1932, in Plum Coulee. She displayed exceptional musical gifts as she learned piano and violin. At age 13 Esther asked Jesus into her heart and was baptized upon confession of faith at age 19 at Bethel Mennonite Church.
Esther pursued her musical studies in Winnipeg, including two years at Canadian Mennonite Bible College (CMBC), where she met George. They married in 1953 and were hired by CMBC to further develop the music program. Sabbaticals included studies in piano accompaniment with Gwendolyn Koldofsky in Los Angeles, piano and harpsichord studies in Detmold, Germany, and composition studies with Bernhard Heiden in Bloomington, Indiana. Esther achieved the highest provincial standing in her LMM diploma in piano performance from the Western Board of Music.
The births of Robert, Tim and Peter brought much joy. The boys studied piano with their mother and played in a family string quartet with her.
A beloved professor with a delightful sense of humour, Esther taught music theory courses at CMBC, and helped administer its music program. She arranged and composed music for the College, the wider church, and the Faith and Life Male choir. For five decades, Esther and George collaborated in a remarkable partnership, training and performing with choirs in Canada and beyond, with Esther enriching performances with her musical and improvisatory skills at the piano.
Her life work influenced worship music in Mennonite churches. This ranged from useful arrangements of music used in congregational services, to major compositions for milestone events. These include folk operas The Bridge, and Crossroads, and cantatas for choir and orchestra: Maranatha, That They May Be One, Thy Kingdom Come, and The Abiding Place.
After retirement, Esther and George served in music in various Mennonite church contexts, including Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, and Springfield Heights Church in Winnipeg.
Esther enjoyed crosswords, Scrabble, reading, and her favorite TV shows. She graciously bore the gradual loss of her eyesight. She hosted family gatherings with joy and gratitude.
We give thanks for the gift of Esther. One of her favourite Bible verses sums up her life: "Bless the Lord O my soul and forget not all His benefits!" (Psalm 103:1).
A memorial service will be held on Tuesday, January 31, 2023, at 2:00 p.m. at Springfield Heights Mennonite Church, 570 Sharron Bay S, Winnipeg, MB.
Donations may be made to Canadian Mennonite University, or "Children's Education" at MCC.
The family is grateful for excellent care by Lindenwood Terrace Homecare staff and the St. Boniface Hospital Palliative Unit.
BIRCHWOOD FUNERAL CHAPEL CO-OP
1-204-346-1030 OR 1-888-454-1030
As published in Winnipeg Free Press on Jan 28, 2023
Condolences & Memories (4 entries)
Dear George - Although I haven't had contact since your friend, my husband Corny's death, the loss remains real. May your memories of Esther be rich and your peace be great. I feel rich having had Cornie, for even 28 years. Your years are many and your memories will overflow. Peace and blessings! Elfrieda Balzer - Posted by: Elfrieda Balzer (Cornelius Balzer, friend of George) on: Jan 31, 2023
Dear George, condolences on the death of your beloved Esther. Amazingly your musical service together spanned 5 decades. Congratulations on that noteworthy ministry in God's kingdom. Am grateful that I was able to take piano lessons with Esther. She taught me re putting the weight of the arm on the keyboard. Hope you are well. Keep safe in God's embrace. A fellow Christ pilgrim, Hedy - Posted by: Hedy Sawadsky (friend) on: Jan 28, 2023
My sincere condolences to George and to all of the family as they remember Esther. I was very saddened to hear that Esther had passed away. I am grateful for the opportunity I had when I was at CMBC to sing in choirs with George conducting and Esther accompanying on the piano. Two special memories (among many) are singing the song, "Be Strong in the Lord" and if I remember correctly, Esther wrote an arrangement for this piece. It is an inspiring and uplifting song. Another memory is taking a composition class with Esther and learning how to harmonize a melody and learning about the basic building blocks of composing. This experience helped me in later years to be brave enough to write a few songs of my own! May God bless and comfort you as you remember Esther and as you celebrate her life. - Posted by: Betsy Bergen (former student at CMBC) on: Jan 28, 2023
Dear George and family, God give you His peace and comfort as you mourn Esther's loss but celebrate a life well lived. What a beautiful legacy she left with her musical talents and gifts. Heartfelt condolences Hugs Roma Klassen Niessen Kelowna BC - Posted by: Roma Niessen (cousin) on: Jan 28, 2023
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