Funk, Sarah Sawatzky (b.1900)

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Sarah Sawatzky Funk, Mennonite matriarch of Kronsgart, was born on 26 April 1900 in Kronsgart, East Reserve, Manitoba. She was the oldest of nine children born to Johann W. Sawatzky (1872-1949) and Barbara Penner (1880-1925). Sarah was baptized into the membership of the Chortitzer Mennonite Church on 9 June 1919 by Ältester Johann K. Dueck. The following month she married Peter R. Funk (1897-1960) on 15 July 1919. Together they had eight children--all but the youngest were born at home.

Sarah was a descendent of Mennonites who had emigrated from Russia to Canada in 1874-1875. Fifteen families of these Mennonite pioneers settled in the village they named Kronsgart on the East Reserve where Sarah grew up and attended the village school. At the age of 18 Sarah lost sight in her right eye as the result of being struck by a branch while collecting fire wood. One of the most difficult periods of Sarah’s life was when her mother died in 1925. In 1926 she experienced the departure of her father, an ordained minister in the Chortitzer Mennonite Church, and the rest of her siblings, for Paraguay. She grieved their loss and in 1948 tried unsuccessfully to immigrate to Paraguay herself. Sadly she would never see her father again. After her husband Peter R. Funk died suddenly of heart failure in 1960, Sarah continued farming with the help of her children until 1971. She then retired to live in Grunthal, Manitoba. In her later years Sarah was able to make a significant historical contribution to the community by passing on her knowledge of local history as well as preserving a collection of her father’s sermons.


Buhler, Linda. "Sarah Sawatzky Funk: “Matriarch of Kronsgart." Preservings No. 10 Part II (June 1997): 40-42.

Author(s) Sharon H. H Brown
Date Published June 2006

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MLA style

Brown, Sharon H. H. "Funk, Sarah Sawatzky (b.1900)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. June 2006. Web. 12 Jul 2020.,_Sarah_Sawatzky_(b.1900)&oldid=87630.

APA style

Brown, Sharon H. H. (June 2006). Funk, Sarah Sawatzky (b.1900). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 12 July 2020, from,_Sarah_Sawatzky_(b.1900)&oldid=87630.

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