Mom was born on September 16, 1933 to John and Annie (Cornelson) Zacharias at Beaver Flat, SK, the third youngest of their ten surviving children. As a child, mom enjoyed playing with her dolls and doll carriage in the sunshine beside the house, and also with her younger brother Harry.
Winters were long and cold with lots of snow, so mom and her siblings bundled up with many blankets for the long trip by horse and sleigh to Funk school. Upon arriving at school, they took their blankets in with them to keep them warm for the return trip back home at the end of the school day.
Evenings were spent playing games together such as ring board or crokenole or sledding down the hill by moonlight. As a family, they enjoyed music and singing together. Her dad played the violin and her mom the autoharp. They also had a piano, guitar and mandolin. Mom taught herself how to play the piano and years later purchased an organ and enjoyed playing hymns in the evenings.
There always were a lot of chores to do and mom helped with milking the cows, feeding the calves, gathering eggs, this included being chased by the rooster, and cleaning the barn. In the house there was also a lot to do. Every day there were five school lunches to pack, dishes to wash, cooking and baking, dusting and washing the floor every Saturday. Mom also loved fixing up her hair as well as that of her siblings. She also would go help out at the homes of her older siblings when her nieces and nephews were born. She often talked how she enjoyed these times.
Mom and dad were married on October 12, 1952 in Turnhill church. This was the start of a loving relationship that lasted for 67 years. After a honeymoon in Banff, they settled on dad’s homestead west of Main Centre. Mom’s dream in life was to be a wife and mother, and she was a wonderful helpmate to her sweetheart, working alongside him out in the barn and the fields, as well as providing a warm and loving home. They were never far apart as she always sat next to him in the vehicle (before bucket seats) or if in the house, on his knee. They always shared a kiss before parting, even if dad was just going to the farm.
When mom’s brother passed away very suddenly, she realized her need for forgiveness, and knelt by their bed and asked Jesus into her heart and to forgive her sins. A wonderful peace filled her heart and life. After that, she thanked the Lord every day for saving her and giving her eternal life.
Mom decided to be baptized in July 1960, and this is when our dad also became a Christian. In 1962 they moved to Prairie Bible Institute in Three Hills, Alberta, so dad could go to Bible School. A few years later they joined the staff at the Bible School. Every Friday mom baked fresh buns. It was surprising how many young people would find their way to our table Friday for supper!! There were many days that mom would have no idea how many would be around her table at mealtime, but there was always enough food.
Mom had a real giving heart. This was evident by the many containers of baking that mom and dad would deliver to people needing encouragement or just a friendly visit. She also loved to embroider and knit, especially for her grandchildren. Her house was always tidy, and the coffee pot was always on. You could stop by anytime and she would have fresh baking ready and time for a visit.
Mom loved having her grandchildren, and later on the great grandchildren, over to visit, especially when they could stay for a few days. She would be busy ahead of time, making their favorite foods. Here are some memories from her grandchildren: Grandma singing “Only a Boy Named David”, praying with me, whispering “Grandma loves you” as she tucks me in with another blanket, smell of coffee, taste of roll kuchen, chewy eat more bars, jam jams, homemade oreo cookies, patient hands teaching me how to play skipbo, how to knit, waving at the window, always had my room ready for me, snacks set out, she always listened to what I had to say, made my bed for me, gentle and caring, made sure I always had what I needed, loved being in the kitchen with grandma making food then eating it together, French braiding my hair, talk and laugh and watch the world outside the window, always ready to close the window if the dust was coming toward the house, chasing the neighbors pigs off their yard with a broom yelling 'shoo, shoo' but it was grandma so it still wasn't very loud, and sitting hand-in-hand simply enjoying a beautiful evening.
Mom showed her love for Jesus till her last days, always being thankful and considerate, never a harsh word but always a loving gentle smile. She prayed for her family daily, and we are so thankful for the spiritual legacy that mom and dad have left for us to follow. We miss them both but are so thankful that we know they are together in heaven with their loving Savior.
Mom was predeceased by her husband, Peter on October 14, 2019. Esther is survived by her son, Dewayne Klaassen (New Westminster, BC), his children and their families, Zachary (Jen) Klaassen (Aubrey, Caleb, and Olivia) and Jordan (Ashley) Klaassen (Adalie and Arlo); Mary Liner (Evans, GA), mother of Zachary and Jordan; her son, Myron (Bonnie) Klaassen (Main Centre, SK), his children and their families, Jenna (Craig) Dyck (Elianna, Nathanael, and Brielle), Andrea Klaassen, and Jared (Jessica) Klaassen (Bekah, Sadie, Danner, and Easton); her daughter, Valerie (Jonathan) Redekop (Dalmeny, SK), her children and their families, Mark (Jessica) Redekop (Amelia and Evelyn) and Joanne (Jason) Borrowman; her son, Keith (Sharon) Klaassen (Steinbach, MB), and his children, Taylor Klaassen and Peyton Klaassen.
We as family wish to thank the staff at Spruce Manor Special Care Home for the wonderful loving care they gave to our parents during their 3 years in Dalmeny. You really made it a “home” for them and for that we are eternally grateful.
The Private Family Graveside Service for Esther Klaassen was held on Saturday, October 31, 2020 at 11:30 am from Turnhill Cemetery, Beaver Flat, SK with Pastor Donovan Epp officiating. “He Hideth My Soul” “Where the Roses Never Fade,” “What a Day That Will Be,” “Shall We Gather at the River,” and “When We All Get to Heaven” were sung by those in attendance. Esther’s grandchildren served as Pallbearers.
In memory of Esther Klaassen, donations made to Gideons International would be appreciated by the family.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Esther Klaassen, please visit our floral store.
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