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Katherina "Tina" Loewen: Sunday school and DVBS teacher; born on 25 January 1916 in the village of Pretoria, Orenburg Mennonite Settlement, Russia, to Abraham Jacob Loewen (1874–1977) and Maria (Eitzen) Loewen (1876–1957). She was the eleventh of thirteen children. Tina Loewen died at 96 years of age on 11 January 2013 in Abbotsford, British Columbia, Canada.
Tina was 10 years old when her parents immigrated to Canada in October 1926. They settled on a farm in Simons Valley, north-west of Calgary. Tina attended Eagle School, where she completed her grade 8. During this time, she also contributed financially to the family, providing janitorial service for the school.
Tina was baptized on 16 June 1935 and was received into the membership of the Bergthal Mennonite Church in Didsbury, Alberta. While living in Didsbury, Tina found employment in a variety of domestic settings, riding to work on horseback. She cleaned house on a local farm, worked as a maid, and cleaned houses in Calgary.
Tina continued her formal education at Bible School, completing one year in Rosemary, Alberta, in 1938, followed by 2½ years at Menno Bible Institute in Didsbury, Alberta. Here she received her training in teaching young children – a calling she practiced most of her adult years.
Loewen enjoyed teaching Sunday school and Daily Vacation Bible School (DVBS) in her home congregation, the Bergthal Mennonite Church in Didsbury. Summer outreach trips included teaching DVBS among Native American children in northern Montana, as well as summer DVBS outreach trips to Renata and Oliver, BC (1943), which included summer employment at the local cannery.
In 1948, Tina joined her parents in their move to Abbotsford, British Columbia, where they joined the West Abbotsford Mennonite Church. She found employment in several places: secretary for Mennonite Educational Institute; book-keeper for Lepp’s Trucking; several years as cook at Bethel Bible Institute, at Canadian Mennonite Bible College, Winnipeg, and at children’s summer camps. In addition to her regular day jobs, Tina played an integral role in managing the household and attending to the needs of her aging parents. Their two-acre parcel, for many years, was planted with raspberries, which she managed and which provided a supplemental income.
Notwithstanding her domestic and employment obligations, Tina enjoyed every opportunity to invest herself wholeheartedly into the life and ministry of the West Abbotsford Mennonite Church. She became involved in children’s ministry, teaching Sunday school, DVBS, and Girls’ Clubs, and was also involved in the first summer camping seasons at Ootsa Lake Bible Camp, west of Burns Lake. Tina took a lead role in a Sunday school outreach at Peardonville, BC in 1951, and in the late 1950s and 1960s, in the formation and establishment of Sumas Sunday School, a West Abbotsford Sunday School outreach in Sumas Prairie, which later became Prairie Chapel. She also took an active role in Ladies Aid Groups at West Abbotsford Church. In her senior years, Tina volunteered at the local MCC store, and at the Clearbrook Golden Age Society Community Centre, organizing tours, selling baked goods, and crocheting blankets.
Tina’s interest in the wider Mennonite Church community was evident in her support of overseas missionaries and her travel destinations. In 1972, she traveled to Brazil for the Mennonite World Conference, and in 1975, she visited Helen Kornelson in India, with whom she had corresponded for years.
Tina Loewen had a servant’s heart, an adventuresome spirit, a positive outlook, and an unquestioning faith in God’s provision for her simple, daily needs. She has left an indelible mark in the lives of all those who knew her – her friends and family, and countless children she taught over the years.
|Date Published||March 2017|
Cite This Article
Loewen, Dave. "Loewen, Katherina “Tina” (1916-2013)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. March 2017. Web. 18 Dec 2017. http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Loewen,_Katherina_%E2%80%9CTina%E2%80%9D_(1916-2013)&oldid=155819.
Loewen, Dave. (March 2017). Loewen, Katherina “Tina” (1916-2013). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 18 December 2017, from http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Loewen,_Katherina_%E2%80%9CTina%E2%80%9D_(1916-2013)&oldid=155819.
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