Anna (Mom, Grandma, Great Grandma) was born on September 7, 1927 in the community of Blumenthal. Mom attended the Houston school and had fond memories of picking wild berries and wild flowers on her walk home from school.
Mom was Johan and Helena Sawatzky’s 7th of 10 living children. On September 21, 1947 Mom married Henry D. Hildebrand (H.D.), the love of her life. Together they raised their family on the farm and in October, 2003, they moved to Altona. In December, 2015, Mom moved to her condo in Katarina Courts where she made wonderful friends.
Mom’s passion was her garden. Although her gardens from the farm to the condo got progressively smaller, she still grew beautiful flowers and enough tomatoes to give away. Her pantry was loaded with jars and jars of jam, preserves, pickles, relishes – most of it to give away.
Mom knit mittens for all of us and for a child care centre where children competed for mittens in their favourite colour. Many of us here also have her crocheted dish clothes that she made by the stack.
Mom worked hard all her life – farming with Dad in Edenburg and in Halbstadt, raising a family and maintaining a solid and very social home while HD was busy as the reeve of the RM of Rhineland. She gardened, sewed much of our clothing from the time we were babies to our wedding gowns. She was an active community member - singing in the Halbstadt Church choir, a member of the Ladies Aid and a faithful volunteer at MCC on Monday mornings.
Anna’s most useful appliance in her kitchen was her coffee pot - she always had a cup of coffee and homemade dainties to serve her many guests. No one left her place hungry.
One of Mom and Dad’s highlights was their stint in Tanzania with the Canada-Tanzania Wheat Project. That opportunity enriched them with lifelong friends that they were forever grateful for. Recently when I asked Mom what the happiest times in her life were, she paused, and then she said, “When I brought home a new baby.”
When we visited, Mom insisted on preparing measl for us — and then she insisted we take home the leftovers plus a container of her cookies and a loaf of her home baked bread. That hospitality was extended to everyone who visited her.
As her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren, we vote our Mom - “the best.” She was always there for us. She was small but we never underestimated her tenacity and strength when it came to our family. Dad sometimes teased her, calling her a “Mother Bear”.
Mom was predeceased by her parents, 7 siblings, one grandson, one great granddaughter and her husband Henry D.
Remembering her with love are Eleanor Chornoboy (Larry), Elaine Penner (Andy), Debbie Penner (Ed), Brenda, Dale Hildebrand (Jil), Lavern Wiebe (Esther), two brothers, her sister, her grandchildren, great grandchildren and her many friends.
We will miss Mom without measure. We will treasure her love.
At Dad’s funeral, we asked you to stay in touch with Mom. Thank you to all of you who visited Mom and kept in close touch with her. You will never know how valuable those visits, drop-ins and your friendship were to Mom.
In lieu of flowers, if family and friends wish, donations may be made to: Eden Foundation (CV4).
Memorial service was held on Thursday, July 4, 2019 at 11:00 a.m. at the Altona Sommerfeld Mennonite Church. A private family interment took place prior to the service at the Edenburg Cemetery.