Maria Sawatzky

Obituary of Maria Sawatzky

Maria (Mary) Sawatzky

July 2, 1931 – January 24, 2023


It is with heavy hearts, but also with gratitude, that we share the news of the passing of our wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, sister and aunt on Tuesday, January 24, 2023 at the United Mennonite Home, Vineland, Ontario. Mary, with her husband John of 73 years, raised 5 children: Lorraine, Ken, Susan, Jennifer (Gary) and Paul (Chantal) and she was so proud of each of them. She was also the proud grandmother of eight grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren. She enjoyed when they came to visit her. Mary is survived by many nieces and nephews, as well as a sister-in-law to Clara, Al (Sandy), Marty (Roy), Frieda (Ray), Norma (Larry) and Edna (Mitch).

Born in Hague, Saskatchewan, on July 2, 1931, to Benjamin Schmidt (d 1957) and Anna Wiens (d 1951). Mary was the youngest of 11 children, with all 10 siblings predeceased (including 1 in infancy). She worked hard on the farm, helping her mother with the gardening and making meals, especially as her older siblings left home. When she was the last one at home with her parents, she washed her mother’s feet at the end of each day, an expression of love and caring for her.

Mom and Dad were married on November 4, 1949. In 1950, they moved to St. Catharines. It was at this time that Mom was pregnant with the first of 5 children. Within a week, Dad was hired by General Motors (then called McKinnons). A small apartment was found and family life began. Mom was a wonderful cook, baker, sewer, and quilter and kept a very organized and clean home.

Mom was very active in her Grace Mennonite Church, beginning as a charter member, and was a lifelong member of the Women in Mission group, with some years as president.

Her hobbies were quilting, crocheting, doing crossword puzzles daily, and watching the Toronto Blue Jays, until her eyesight made these things difficult. When Dad was on layoffs or on strike during the early years, Mom went out to work at a cannery or tied grapes. Dad would be at home taking care of us and cooking some interesting meals. It was an adventure. Later on, she took a job for a short time as a clerk in a department store.

In August 2021, Mom moved to the United Mennonite Home, where Dad was already residing. She adapted quickly, enjoying that she no longer needed to do any cooking or housework and could rest easily when necessary. Enduring a good number of orthopaedic surgeries throughout the years, the aches and pains could be managed easily with her not worrying about household chores. In December of 2022, she became ill and the last few weeks were difficult. Mom knew that it was now time for her to wait for God to call her to his Home. On January 24, 2023, God took her into his arms and she is now at peace, watching over us.

The family wishes to thank Dr J. Woodland for his wonderful care and concern, and the staff at the United Mennonite Home. Mom made many new relationships along the way.

A memorial service will be held at Tallman Funeral Homes, Vineland (3277 King St), at 11:00 am on Tuesday, January 31, 2023. There will be no visitation as per Mom’s request. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to either Mennonite Central Committee or the United Mennonite Home.


The funeral service will be livestreamed. To view the livestream, at the time of the service please click here - Maria Sawatzky Livestream

A Memorial Tree was planted for Maria
We are deeply sorry for your loss ~ the staff at Tallman Funeral Homes - Vineland
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