My husband, our father and grandfather, Henry Bueckert, was born on July 25, 1937, in the family home near Rush Lake, SK, to Abe and Mary (Thiessen) Bueckert. Unexpectedly, a massive heart attack carried him to his Heavenly Home at noon on September 16, 2019, at Fort Vermilion, AB.
Henry grew up with three sisters, learning to take responsibility as the oldest, and only, son. At twelve years of age he experienced the new birth, which put a song in his heart and gave him a desire to tell others what God had done for him, but lacking spiritual guidance, he followed his own path.
As he grew older, he worked together with his father on the PFRA, also picking rocks for road building before moving farther from home to work on ranches. He met me, his future wife, Margit Frank, in Elrose, SK, and on June 2, 1958, we were married in a little church at Loon Lake, SK. His first job as a married man was on the Matador ranch north of Swift Current.
Our first daughter was born before his work brought us to Alberta. While working on the V Bar V ranch near Wardlow, AB, our second daughter was born. Ranch work included driving tractor and working cattle on horseback. Some of the work experiences proved to be hair-raising and Dad had lots of stories to tell about it later.
After the ranch was sold, Dad was left without a job. At the time, he was very disappointed, but after being offered a job at Linden Machine Works in Linden, AB, he realized that had been the provision of God. During this time, God fulfilled his heart’s desire by bringing him back to his conversion and also to a church home. He traded his horse and guitar for a Bible, and a faith that would carry him through the storms of life. Recommitting his life to God, we were baptized together on December 30, 1962, into the Church of God in Christ, Mennonite, by Minister Ben Hiebert.
Two more children joined the family while at Linden. His next job was working for Peter Baerg at his feed mill, then milking cows for Jake Baerg. At this time, we were asked to fill a term at the Hilltop Mission Children’s Home at Fort Vermilion, AB, so in July of 1967 we moved north. This started a new chapter in our life. As a congregation formed, we chose to make Fort Vermilion our home.
In 1968 another daughter joined the family, with us moving to Island Sawmill in the fall of that year for his winter’s work. We came back in the spring and moved into a little house by Blumenort, AB, while he worked at the Fort Vermilion Experimental Farm that summer. We bought a small farm close to the hamlet of Fort Vermilion in the fall of 1969, and raised our family there, including our youngest daughter who was born in 1973.
For a number of years Henry worked in the bush during the winter, falling trees to support his farming. We all remember the scent of fresh-cut spruce that lingered on him every time he came home.
Henry was ordained into the gospel ministry on June 9, 1974, and served faithfully in that capacity for many years. During this time he was given a ten year term on the Gospel Publishers Board, which was an enriching experience in his life, and many life-long friendships were forged. Of the many revival efforts in which he was involved, the time in Belize was a special highlight.
At the age of 67, he ventured out to help with disaster relief in New Orleans and enjoyed working together with the young men there. Dad had a great sense of humour, which endeared people to him, and our door was always open to any and all. He was a lover of song, and memories linger of Sunday afternoons when we would gather in the living room to blend our voices in song.
In his aging years he was diagnosed with Parkinsons. As this disease took its toll on his body, he was moved to the Long Term Care in the Fort Vermilion Hospital, going home on weekends and to church Sunday morning whenever possible. The day before his sudden passing God granted him strength to once more attend a Sunday morning service. The deep joy he felt was evident by the light in his eyes and the look of victory in his face as he visited at length, being the last one to leave church.
We treasure the advice and wisdom he left us; his faith in God and the Church is the legacy for us to hold and pass on to those coming after.
Those awaiting reunion are his wife of 61 years, Margit, six children:
Cathy & Roger Holdeman, Limesprings, IA; Eunice & Frank Isaac, Linden, AB; Frank & Amanda Bueckert, Fort Vermilion, AB; Debbie Bueckert, Fort Vermilion, AB; Esther & Philipp Houtrouw, Fort Vermilion, AB; Rosanne & Dwonn Unruh, Fruitland, ID
two sisters: Anna Karpetz, Edmonton, AB; Helen Bueckert, Linden, AB
one sister-in-law: Linda & Ray Baird, Red Deer, AB
two brothers-in-law: Oswald Frank, Meadow Lake, SK; Vernon Toews, Vermilion, AB,
and a host of family and friends.
Those gone ahead are his parents, parents-in-law, one sister, one brother-in-law, and two grandsons.