Henry B. Kehler passed away at the Bethesda Regional Health Care Centre on Thursday, January 22, 2015 at the age of 87 years.
Left to remember him are his beloved wife of 59 years, Mathilda (Hiebert), his children: Iris Toews (Ryan), Deby, Wendi Friesen (Paul), Jim (Marge Thiessen) and Nancy Neufeld (Warren); four grandchildren: Carter Friesen, Mitchell Friesen, Andrew Neufeld and Emily Neufeld.
Henry Kehler was born on May 20, 1927 to Peter S. and Katharina (Blatz) Kehler, at their home in Blumengard (R.M. of Hanover). He was the third of eleven children: Andy (deceased), Mary & Aaron Isaac (deceased), Helen Unger (Leonard – deceased), Nettie Peters (Cornie-deceased), Peter (Helen), William (Tina), Eva & Jake Schellenberg (deceased), Anne Doerksen (Jake), Tina Bergen (Bill), Frieda Neufeld (Ed).
Henry married Mathilda Hiebert in October, 1955. The family enjoyed annual camping trips to B.C., Northern Manitoba and Ontario. Later Henry and Mathilda enjoyed trips to eastern and western Canada, many U.S. states including Hawaii, and Europe, as well as an MDS-related trip to Florida.
In 1955, he started driving for Penner’s Transfer (now Penner International). His many years of trucking brought him across Canada. He was honored to receive the “Canadian Driver of the Year” award in 1984. He retired from Penner’s in 1991 after 36 years of service. During his retirement years, he found great joy in volunteering at the MCC Thrift Store, and was very committed to his duties there for over twenty years. He enjoyed the variety of work and the group of volunteers.
Henry was a baptized member of the Chortitzer Mennonite Church. His church and his church family were very important to him. He loved good congregational singing!
Henry and Mathilda lived their entire married life in Steinbach, and enjoyed being part of the community. For many years they were Steinbach Arts Council season ticket holders and attended all these events. They seldom missed a choir concert, Vespers service, reunion event or anniversary celebration. Henry loved being with people and visiting and welcomed any opportunity to spend time with family and friends. He looked forward to any family event, birthdays or gatherings, especially when all the grandchildren would be present. His daily highlight was having morning coffee with his A&W coffee friends.
The viewing for Henry Kehler will be held on Sunday, January 25th, 2015 at 7:00 p.m. with a short devotional at 7:30 p.m. at Birchwood Funeral Chapel, 162 Hwy 52 W., Steinbach.
The funeral service will be held on Monday, January 26th, 2015 at 2:00 p.m., at Birchwood Funeral Chapel, 162 Hwy 52 W., Steinbach, with burial to follow at Heritage Cemetery, Steinbach.