ISAAC, John Harold

John Harold Isaac, husband, father, grandfather, great grandfather and great great grandfather, was born September 15, 1920 at Echron, Manitoba.  At the age of 5 he lost his father and shortly after, moved to Swalwell.  From the ages of 11 to 16 he spent a lot of time at the Claude Toews home at Allingham.  Dad went to Fertile Valley school up to grade 4, and from there to New Hope School.  At Claude Toews he helped with chores, etc.  One time when he was in the Allingham store, the owner brought out a pistol and said, "If anyone tries to rob me, I'll use this on them."  Dad was sure hoping that thing wouldn't go off while he was in the store.  In those days, writing with a left hand was not allowed.  Dad was forced to change to his right hand.  He said his enthusiasm for school was sure dampened because of that and he quit school after grade 6.  Although his formal schooling was limited, Dad's writing and reading skills were very advanced, and all his life he was a voracious reader.  When he was 16, the family moved to Crooked Creek.  There he helped build a road on the west side of the Smoky River.  The equipment they used in those days was not quite the same as today.  He drove a team of four horses with a scoop that had two handles where you scooped dirt from the ditch and dumped it onto the roadway.  If you hit a rock, you let go of the handles or you might find yourself awful close to the exhaust end of a horse.  The pay for this work was a buck a day at 12 hours per day with only a lunch break.  From the ages of 16 to 40, Dad did a whole lot of farm work for others and later owned an 80 acre parcel where the family raised pigs, chickens, a cow or a goat.  This was important to him so that his children would never go hungry as he had many times.  When Dad was still single, he sometimes worked on threshing crews working long hours for 6-8 weeks where the food was always exceptionally good and something to look forward to.  At one time he worked as a bellhop in Medicine Hat, where he had the privilege of escorting Premier Ernest Manning to his room.  Later, he worked at the Palliser Hotel in Calgary.  When he was 24 years old he made a decision to follow Christ.  His conversion occurred while his foot was caught on the railway track and as he called on God, his foot was released.  Could this be where his interest in trains began?  After this experience he found that the world had more color, especially the grass looked much greener.  He moved to Linden in 1944 and was baptized into the Church of God In Christ Mennonite on December 18, 1944 by Harry Wenger.  He stayed true to these vows til the end.  In 1945 Dad married our mother, Mary Hiebert.  When they were first married, they couldn't afford their own place, so they moved in with Sol Isaac's, which is where they worked.  After six months, they were able to build their own little house.  And it was little.  We're talking 18' x 22', which housed them and seven children.  For the first couple of years this house only had walls of shiplap and tarpaper.  For three or four years this was located on Uncle Sol's property which was 2 miles east and 1 mile north of Linden.  Later, they moved it south about a half mile to their own place.  They bought their first car when they had been married for 3 years.  It was a 1932 Model A Sedan.  Dad also worked a couple of winters in the Isaac and Esau sawmill.  Dad sure had a well rounded work experience.  Some of his other work included 3 summers of building cement blocks at Ben Toews plant (located where Alice Klassen's Fabric store now sits), making cheese at the Linden Cheese Factory, and at the age of 40, he began work in construction as a carpenter which he did until retirement.  In 1971, Dad and Mom & the four youngest children moved to Fort Vermillion where Dad continued with his carpentry.  While at the Fort, Dad reconsecrated his life and it became much more meaningful as he had many struggles from the past.  Dad's concern was that his children would all be saved.  Later they moved to Enderby, BC, where he always felt very welcomed and enjoyed his retirement with Mom, entertaining many friends and relatives.  During this time they took a 3 month mission trip with the Gospel Tract and Bible Society to Germany.  This was a highlight in their retirement.  In April 2000 Dad and Mom moved back to Linden where he spent his final 7 years in the Linden Nursing Home.  We as his family have a desire to meet him in Heaven.  Dad is predeceased by all his siblings and his daughter Nancy.  He leaves behind his wife Mary of 64 years, Stan (Sharon) of Enderby, Lloyd (Pearl) of Linden, Stella (Brian) Penner of Linden, Helen (Gary) Beaven of Saskatoon, Norma (Paul) Veldhoen of Calgary, Vera (Wayne) Robbins of Grande Prairie, Frank (Eunice) of Linden, 22 grandchildren, 18 great grandchildren, and 1 great great grandchild.