Margaret Janzen

Margaret Jane Janzen

1955 - 2018

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Obituary of Margaret Janzen

Margaret Jane Janzen (nee Penner) passed away peacefully surrounded by her loving family on April 11, 2018.

Margaret was born April 23, 1955 in Altona, Manitoba on a cold spring day, the ninth of ten children born to Anne and Andrew Penner. Her father Andrew died three years later, leaving Anne at the head of both the family and the farm. Margaret married Bill Janzen in 1973 and moved to Waterloo, Ontario. Together they became parents of three children: Elizabeth (1983), Benjamin (1986) and Rebecca (1991).

Margaret completed her undergraduate degree in history at the University of Waterloo in 1977, and received the bachelor of laws degree from Osgoode Hall law school, York University, in 1983. She was called to the Ontario bar in 1985 and commenced her career as an Assistant Crown Attorney at the Kitchener office, work which continued until her untimely retirement in 2016.

Margaret met and married Arnold, the love of her life, in 2008. After a spring courtship of about two days, the two became inseparable and married that fall. Her children are eternally grateful that Arnold entered her life and filled it with such love and joy. They enjoyed travelling the world together, loved wine and fine dining, as well as creative times of renovation and construction. Relaxation with family and friends and the enjoyment of nature’s beauty at the cottage highlighted their years together. Remaining by Marg’s side until the end, Arnold provided the bulk of the home care while remaining her biggest advocate and cheerleader.

Margaret was baptized into Rockway Mennonite Church in 2006 where she served as congregational chair and remained an active member for as long as she was able. She served as board chair of Rockway Mennonite Collegiate and a member of the board at Community Justice Initiatives. Margaret was a lover of music and an enthusiastic patron of the arts in the KW community. She actively supported the KW Symphony, the Philharmonic Choir (on whose board she served), the Da Capo singers, and the Grand River Jazz Society, of which she was a founding member and ongoing supporter. She loved hosting house concerts whenever possible.

Margaret was pre-deceased by her parents Anne (nee Fehr) in 2015 and Andrew Penner in 1958. She is survived by her spouse (Clifford) Arnold Snyder and her mother-in-law Doris Wydman; by her three children and their partners: Elizabeth Janzen and Matthew Kensett, Benjamin Janzen and Emily Clark, Rebecca Janzen and Sam Merrifield. Also by five step-children and their partners: Carrie Snyder and Kevin Cairns, Christian Snyder and Beth MacIntosh, Clifford Snyder and Keely Phillips, Karl Snyder and Amanda Gordon, Edna Snyder and Ference Stenton. Also survived by eight grandchildren: Thomas and Madelyn Kensett, Angus, Annabella, Flora, and Calvin Snyder/Cairns, Rupert and Harriet Snyder/Phillips. She is also survived by six sisters and three brothers: Irene and Walter Giesbrecht; Verna Kroeker, (pre-deceased by Robert Kroeker); Elma and Henry Martens; Andy and Elaine Penner; Grace and Bill Martens; Hank and Celine Penner; Judy Devloo (pre-deceased by Romeo Devloo); Rosella and Jim Reggin; Melvin and Elaine Penner, as well as sister-in-law Margaret Snyder and Daniel Schipani and many nieces and nephews, great nieces and nephews and several great-great nieces and nephews.

Margaret’s family is very grateful for the excellent care received from the staff at Grand River Regional Cancer Centre, and are especially grateful to Donna Barker of Care Partners and Dr. Donna Ward, whose loving attention enabled Marg to remain in her beloved home to the end.

A Funeral will be held on Thursday April 19, 2018 at 4 p.m. at St John’s Lutheran Church, 22 Willow St., Waterloo. A Reception will follow.

Condolences for the family and in lieu of flowers donations to The Grand River Regional Cancer Centre or Mennonite Central Committee may be arranged through the Erb & Good Family Funeral Home, 171 King St. S., Waterloo at or 519-745-8445.


Memorial Service

4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Thursday, April 19, 2018
St. John's Lutheran Church
22 Willow Street
Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

Memorial Reception

Relatives and friends are invited to join the family for a time of fellowship and refreshment following the service.