Katherine (Tina) Zacharias (nee Friesen)
1934 ~ 2021
Katherine “Tina” Zacharias (Friesen) passed away with family at her side in the early morning hours of Tuesday May 25, 2021.
She was predeceased by her parents, husband, Jacob, son, Wesley, granddaughter, Sheryl and five siblings. She leaves to mourn her son and two daughters: Eunice Janzen and children, Steve and Nancy (Hannah and Calvin), Jeff and Susie Zacharias and children, Kim and Chad LeBrun (Keira and Charlotte), Stacey and Juston Schmidt (Austin, Levi, Ivy, Ellis and Violet), Leslie and Bennie Harder (Weston) and Scott and Melanie Jantzen and their children, Sara and Jonas, her sister, Helen Wiebe, brother, Cornie Friesen, Zacharias siblings, nieces and nephews.
Katherine Zacharias was born in Plum Coulee on September 6, 1934. She grew up in the village of Osterwick with her parents and seven siblings. Mom had fond memories of hoeing beets and growing up with the village kids. On September 5, 1953, she married Jacob Zacharias, a taxi driver she met while waitressing at a local restaurant. Mom demonstrated her strong will and independence by choosing to wear a long, baby blue wedding dress, rather than a mid-length black dress as the church requested. Her story and dress have recently been accepted to the archives at the Steinbach Mennonite Museum. Within the span of 11 years, mom and dad had four children: Eunice, Wes, Jeff and Melanie, who were all born and raised in Winkler. Our family lost Wes at the age of 17 (1974) in a car accident. This loss forever changed the landscape of our family and left us all with a profound grief. Mom always said, “Losing a child never stops hurting, it just doesn’t hurt as much over time.” Mom’s love for others led her to embrace new opportunities. Whether it was putting school supply kits together for children in Northern Manitoba communities, making egg rolls with new Canadians from the Philippines or advocating for her children, mom had a heart for others. Mom was a great cook and baker. It brought her great joy to have Aunt Helen’s boys come over and devour her baking. We have all loved and benefited from her fresh buns, homemade chocolates and Christmas baking. She was employed as an assembly line worker at Triple E for 12 years and then worked in housekeeping for 14 years at Eden Mental Health Centre until she retired. Creativity and problem solving were two of her many strengths. When money was tight, she would sketch out an outfit she saw at the store, create a pattern for it from paper grocery bags and sew it to perfection. Details and precision were traits of her work. Sewing, crocheting, ceramics and making China dolls were a few of her creative pursuits. Our dad, Jacob, died in 2016 after a lengthy illness and a year in Salem Home. Mom was a committed care giver and wife. She continued to live on her own at Lions Court in Winkler, enjoying the company of close neighbors, visits from family and Nellie’s home cooked meals. Mom had a deep love for her family. Her grandchildren and great grandchildren were the light of her life. She loved their visits and hearing what they enjoyed doing. She took great pride in their achievements and their heartaches became hers. Mom was a woman of faith and prayed for us all on a daily basis. She believed God had a plan for her life and she could trust in Him. Daily Bible reading and prayer were what sustained her through the years. She and dad enjoyed serving as part of the Winkler Mennonite Church community until they could no longer attend due to failing health. In February of 2021, Mom was admitted to Boundary Trails Health Centre and in April was transferred to the care home in Manitou. She settled into life at the nursing home and loved and appreciated the tender care she received there. She passed away with family members at her side early on the morning of May 25th.
Our family would like to thank Dr. Margie Hesom for the love and care Mom received over the years. We are thankful for the regular visits and phone calls mom received from Dave and Ruth Thiessen. A special thanks goes to the Manitou Nursing Home staff. The unconditional love, acceptance, and sense of community you provided mom made her feel she had found a new home. Thank you for your tender care for mom and our family during the last days. For this we are so grateful.