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Born: Nov 23, 1936

Date of Passing: Jan 19, 2021

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November 23, 1936 - January 19, 2021

It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of Florence Mae Goertzen (nee Barkman) on Tuesday, January 19, 2021, at Bethania PCH, Winnipeg.
Florence was predeceased by her beloved husband David in 1981; three brothers and two sisters.
She will be missed and mourned by her children: Ken (Connie); Sharon (Orlan Reimer); Sandi (James Toews); Jennifer (Ed Richardson); and Kristine (Doug Penner); as well as 14 beloved grandchildren, eight great-grandchildren, and another on the way; two sisters, Dorothy Regehr and Irene (John Martens), brother Elmer (Helen) Barkman, as well as many nieces and nephews and cousins.
Born on November 23, 1936, in Steinbach, to Jacob and Minna Barkman (nee Saskosky), Florence was the fourth of nine children. She loved her hometown and never wanted to contemplate living anywhere else. She quit school after grade 8 to help her mother in their home. At 15, she got a job at Johnny's Grill and helped her dad buy his first car. She met Dave at the Grill and they married in 1954 when she was 17. Only a short 26 years later she found herself a young widow, with three children at home, and somehow managed to dig deep for the strength and courage to carry on. She was able to get her Grade 12 equivalency, and found several jobs before her last one, with Child and Family Services, where she worked until age 60.
Florence loved to travel and took bus and road trips across Canada, into parts of the United States, as well as vacations to Cuba and Hawaii. She shared her time by volunteering with several different programs and activities at her church, (the Grace Mennonite), the MCC Thrift Store, and the Mennonite Heritage Village Museum. She found time to tend a large garden, make her famous "Grandma pickles", and loved the time she spent with daughters and granddaughters baking. No one can rival her rhubarb plautz, though some keep trying. She also loved watching game shows and playing games, including Cribbage, Yahtzee and Skip-Bo.
Despite declining health, and an extremely difficult past year, Florence maintained her sense of humour, and clearly exhibited her thankful nature. After a brief illness and a fall, when it became apparent that Mom's time with us was coming to a close, we children are grateful that all five of us were able to visit her at Bethania. She passed away peacefully, with her daughter Kristine at her side. While we will miss her greatly, she will remain in our hearts, now and evermore. We find comfort in knowing she is in Heaven, reunited with her beloved David.
A private family service was held at Birchwood Funeral Chapel on Monday, January 25, 2021.
If friends so desire, donations in memory of Florence may be made to the Grace Mennonite Church, Steinbach.
Special thanks to the staff at Bethesda Hospital, Morris Hospital and Bethania Personal Care Home, for looking after mom this past year.

As published in The Carillon on Jan 28, 2021

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