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Richard Unruh Celebration of Life

Richard Stanley Unruh, aged 96 years, of Winnipeg, MB., passed away on Wednesday, June 5, 2024, at the Health Sciences Centre, Winnipeg, MB.

Richard was born and grew up on small farms alongside the Saskatchewan River near Waldheim, Saskatchewan. He was the 12th of 14 children born to Aganetha (Nettie) Richert and Henry Unruh.

At the age of 18 Richard left home to attend Millar Bible Institute in Pambrun, Saskatchewan. During his years there he sang in numerous mixed and male quartets. After graduating from Millar Bible Institute, he moved to Ontario. His first stop was in Toronto where he spent several months in hospital having surgery on his leg which had been injured playing baseball at bible college. During his long weeks of recovery, Dad listened to the radio and became captivated by broadcasts from Church of the Redeemer in Niagara Falls, Ontario. He decided that he had to go to this church. It was there he met the love of his life - Thelma Mae Edwards - whom he affectionately called his “Miss Niagara”. In 1953 Richard and Thelma married. They lived in Niagara Falls for several years and had four (4) children.

Richard, known professionally as Dick, built a successful career selling life insurance with Presbyterian Ministers Fund and Wawanesa Life. The family lived in Toronto, Winnipeg, and Victoria for a brief time, and then back in Winnipeg. In each community, Richard was actively involved in the music of a local church community.

After retirement, Richard and Thelma moved to Steinbach, Manitoba. Dad lived an active retirement life. He golfed with his brother Wilfred almost daily; coordinated a harmonica choir that traveled throughout southern Manitoba; busked with his harmonica at the Forks; volunteered at the local senior’s centre; planted and tended gardens in their local community; wrote and published two books of poetry; investigated his family genealogy; and competed across Canada with a Seniors Bowling League, winning numerous medals.

In 2019, at the urging of their children, Richard and Thelma moved back to Winnipeg. They lived in an assisted living facility where Richard continued to entertain staff and friends with his jokes, walked a mile a day, and annually planted flower boxes.

After a fall in his home on June 3rd, Dad passed away on Wednesday, June 5th at 11:02 p.m.

He is survived by his wife Thelma; four children: Darlene (Brent), Daile (Manfred), Rick (Barb), Royal (Dayle); five grandchildren (Jay, Sherry, Amanda, Jennifer, Darcie-Anne); five step-grandchildren (Daniel, Heather, Christine, Weslee, Owen); ten great-grandchildren; and his sister Darlene Klassen.

He was predeceased by his parents Aganetha (Nettie) Richert and Henry Unruh, and 12 of his siblings.

The family would like to thank the nurses at Urgent Care, Victoria General Hospital; and Health Sciences Centre Emergency; and especially the Doctors at HSC Emergency for their compassionate presence with the family.

Cremation has taken place.

The memorial service will be held on Thursday, June 13, 2024, at 2:00 p.m., at Birchwood Funeral Chapel, Steinbach, MB., with a private family ash interment. To join the family via livestream, please click HERE shortly before the time of the service.

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