TOEWS, Anna (Hiebert)


Anna (Hiebert) Toews was born to Frank and Katherine Hiebert in their home near Linden, Alberta, November 29, 1920. She was the third of fourteen children, nine girls and five boys. She completed Grade Eight at the New Hope School close to Swalwell. Anna enjoyed doing chores with her sisters and driving the horse and cart to school. One day when it was time to go home she noticed the horse had clearly been standing too long and was very high-strung. She told the children to get down in the cart and be quiet. She drove all the way with the horse racing home sideways. After her years at school, she worked for other families in the community and delighted in making delicious food that pleased fussy eaters. Anna delighted in people with humor. She liked to laugh. She made blunt observations that were hilarious. Anna was enchanted with the reality of God and experienced the presence of the Holy Spirit in her life as a young adult and was baptized when she was seventeen. She married Albert Toews June 11, 1944 and settled on the farm, three miles from her parents. This would be their home for the rest of their lives together. One year later their family began. After their first son was born, Albert went out to milk the cow. He was surprised on his return to find a twin daughter. They lived in the old farm house for the first five years where two more children were born. Albert built a new house. They excitedly moved in June. July brought a terrible hail storm breaking all the windows on the west side of the house. The hired girl from Germany was terrified because the storm sounded exactly like the war. Within 13 years Anna had 9 children. She was determined to be a good mother and teach her children to have a relationship with God. When the family chiropractor commented that her children were the best behaved he had ever seen, Anna was pleased. She was determined to never embarrass her children in public. She refused to call them kids because she was not a goat! For one year all nine children attended school by starting the bus route at their farm with Ed, the oldest, driving the school bus. After most of the children had left home, Suzanne Howe came to live with the family for several years. During these family years, their relationship to the church they grew up in became tenuous and came to an end in 1963. Albert and Anna were committed to Jesus and always found a church home. Although challenged in her faith, Anna was always sure that God held her in his hand. She grew strong in confidence in the love of God and His generous gift of freedom from guilt. Her children listened to many sermons preached by their mom while dishes were washed, meals were being made, and floors washed and waxed. She was an enthusiastic speaker. Anna loved sewing dresses for her girls, making toys and doll clothes, and quilting comforters. She developed a real passion for sewing quilts as the years went by and made each grandchild a quilt when they graduated. She appreciated beauty all around her. Gardening and flowers thrived under her care and kept her busy. She really enjoyed picking large crops of raspberries and strawberries. Another hobby was cutting up apples. She made apple juice and beautiful pies, but her favorite fruit was peaches.One of the stories her children heard repeatedly was when Anna and Albert traveled to BC for fruit in peach season. They went to their usual orchard. A lot of people were there and the owner announced to the crowd they were sold out of peaches. Yet Albert and Anna waited. After all the other customers had left the owner said "Follow me," and he took them to a shed where they were told they could take what was left. They loaded their car with as many peaches as they could. When Anna blanched those peaches for canning, she told God they were the best she had ever eaten. God told her, "I made them just for you." She lived her life full of gratitude giving thanks to God. Anna enjoyed many years of travel with Albert.They traveled to Israel and Europe; flew to Kenya, Africa to their son's wedding, drove to many parts of Canada and the United States, and regularly visited their children. Albert had Parkinson's for twenty years and died in 1999. After nursing him the last ten years of his life, Anna had to learn to cope alone. She missed the fellowship and discussions with Albert so very much. He was the love of her life. Tired of being alone she was happy to move to the Linden Lodge which has been her very good home and community for the past 6 _ years. Anna has 26 grandchildren and 22 great-grandchildren. She is predeceased by her father and mother, Frank and Katherina (Toews) Hiebert, siblings, Jacob, Anthony, Irvin Hiebert, Margaret (Sol) Isaac, Selda (Harold) Schneider, Dave (Hazel) Hiebert, Eva (Johnnie) Friesen, and Mary (John) Isaac. She is survived by Helen (Crist) Unruh, Dinah (William) Friesen, Agnes (Elmer) Wiebe, Benjamin (Lillian) Hiebert, Mildred (Claude) Wiebe. Her children - Edwin (Marilyn) Taves, Edith (Donn) Peterson, Rachel (Barry) Pinnell, Verdon (Laura) Toews, Orlin (Yolanda Hunt) Toews, Garold (Barb) Toews, Blenda (John) Willems, Myrna Toews, Byron (Donna) Toews. Her grandchildren: Robbie (Katy) and Shari Taves, Sonja (Edgar) Iten, Sten, Lawson (Romy) Peterson, Leyton (Michellle) Peterson, Lysh Peterson, Nadine, Shaleen (Myles) O'Keeffe, Charissa (Ali) Tehrani, Nathan Pinnell, Christopher (Heather) Toews, Tim (Rebecca) Toews, Terrilyn, Tyler (Sophie), Toews, Kara-Lee (Grady) Zeolkowski, Joshua Toews, Jason Toews, Maria Toews, Jennica (Matthew) Geddert, Elissa (Grant) Strem, Caleb (Jaclynn) Willems, Brita Toews (Jordan Long), Richard (Jenni Hollingshead) Toews, Nathan and Brianna Toews. Her great-grandchildren: Kylie Taves, Varenka, Kessiah, Geneva, Esperanza Iten, Jesse and Julia Peterson, Liam, Mya, and Marcus Peterson, Bennett and Juliette Toews, Nyssa Toews, Zak, Angel, Mykelti, and Mariska Zeolkowski, Rockwell and Rex Strem, Caius, Seeley, and Zaia Willems. Funeral services were held Saturday, April 2, 2011 at Linden Mennonite Brethren Church, Linden, with interment in Linden Cemetery. Condolences may be sent to Arrangements in care of SUNSET FUNERAL SERVICE Linden, 403-546-3903.