In Memory of

Theodora

Giesbrecht

Obituary for Theodora Giesbrecht

THEODORA VICTORIA GIESBRECHT (Klassen)

Dora was born on March 4, 1926 in Markham, Ontario and passed away peacefully on April 10, 2024 at the Charleswood Long-term Care Home, Winnipeg.

She will be missed by her children Teresa (Christopher), Kenneth (Christine), Heidi (Robert) and Margaret (Grant); 14 grandchildren and 21 great-grandchildren. She is predeceased by her husband Nicolai, her brother Paul, sisters Elvira and Louise and parents, Agneta and David.

Dora was the first Canadian born child in the Klassen family. She was named after Queen Victoria of Britain in gratitude for the family being allowed to immigrate to Canada. Dora grew up on the family farm near Culross Manitoba. As a young child, she was bright, cheerful and witty. She had her Dad’s humour and liked to clown around. She helped the family see the brighter side of life during their early trying years in Manitoba. Karen Dyck, her cousin and best friend, lived across the road and the two spent many hours playing together especially with paper dolls.

Dora began her schooling in Culross. She was a smart scholar and did her high school partly by correspondence but graduated from MCI Gretna.

She was the sophisticated lady in the family – not too fond of country life – and soon moved to Winnipeg with Karen. Dora took summer courses to get a permit to teach temporarily. After teaching half a year at Lydiatt, Dora decided that teaching wasn’t for her so she entered a business college in Winnipeg and after completion got a job at John Martens Sporting Goods Company.

She met and married Nicolai Giesbrecht on July 17, 1948 and started working in Nick’s family printing business, City Press. The family had a happy life. Their four children were all born in Winnipeg. On weekends they usually went to their cottage on Brereton Lake and this entailed much work in getting the food and other paraphernalia ready every week. Although she would have preferred to stay home some weekends, she consented to go as she appreciated how much Nick loved it out at the lake.

Like her dad, Dora was artistic. She took courses in painting and did beautiful work. She had a good voice and sang in school, participating in the Music Festival at Carman, as well as the choir of First Mennonite Church. She also played the guitar.

Nick died unexpectedly on October 25, 1972 at the age of 48. This was quite a blow to the young family. Now Dora had to be both mother and father to the children and run City Press at the same time. Twenty-year-old Ken had to shorten his schooling and help run the business. It was tough going but mother and son persevered and not only kept the shop operating but built it up into a successful business, still operated and owned today by Ken’s son Nick.

Nick and Dora curled once a week and Dora went on to skip her own team which won a city championship in 1971. After she retired, Dora became much involved in golf. She also did extensive travelling, going once a year to Australia to visit her daughter Margaret’s family. She also travelled with her siblings to Ukraine to explore her heritage.

Dora retired happily to her new condo in 1995. She lived there many years until she moved to the Linden Woods Terrace in 2021. In her latter years her greatest joy was visits from her grand-children and great grandchildren.

The family would like to thank the excellent caregivers at Lindenwood Terrace, Misericordia Hospital, and Charleswood Long-term Care Home.

A memorial service will be held at 11am on Tuesday, April 16, 2024 at First Mennonite Church , 922 Notre Dame Ave. in Winnipeg with reception to follow in the church. Private interment for immediate family only.
The service will be be streamed on the First Mennonite Church of Winnipeg’s website.

In lieu of flowers please consider a donation to MCC Manitoba or a charity of your choice.