Be still and know that I am God …
It is with great sadness that we announce that in the early hours of March 11, 2009, Ronald Edwin Engelbrecht peacefully left this world to be with his Heavenly Father.
He leaves to mourn his wife Karen; daughter Kristina (Chris) Bray; son Justin; mother Dina Engelbrecht; brothers Harry (Darlene) Engelbrecht, Helmut (Barb) Gerhard and Lawrence (Marie) Wilde; sisters Rita (Dave) Bilan, Erika (John) Rimschneider; in-laws Ernest (Susan) Birkholz.; sister-in-law Marlene (Waldo) Schmitt; brother-in-law Sig (Cara) Birkholz; and many adoring nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his father Richard Engelbrecht.
Ron was born in Chilliwack on November 2, 1960. When he was just five months old, the family moved to the farm at the end of Cartmell Road, now part of the Island 22 Park beside the Fraser River. Thus Ron’s love of farming, animals, and fishing. He was an avid and skilled fisherman, always willing to share his good fishing spots. A kind and generous spirit shone from him. He enjoyed having his many friends over, barbecuing for them on a fire pit beside the river. Ron, you were an excellent cook, we will miss those wonderful turkey dinners! Ron loved the family camping trips to Texada Island, where he cooked up the catch of the day, prawns, for us every night. He had the touch! He loved making the 5 a.m. coffee runs to Kam at the Husky station, and bringing the coffee to his best friend Larry. His sense of humour was always present, teasing his daughter by showing up at her wedding in his hip waders.
Over the years, Ron & Karen billeted hockey players from both the Chilliwack Chiefs and the Chilliwack Bruins. The friendships forged have lasted over the years and are a source of great joy and comfort for them. He enjoyed volunteering at the hockey arena, looking after the penalty box.
Ron married the love of his life, Karen Birkholz, 25½ years ago. Karen will sadly miss his care, kindness, the uncomplaining spirit, the flowers that he sent, even to this last Valentine’s Day, when he could hardly get out of bed. Their marriage was blessed by a daughter, Kristina, and a son, Justin. The family also included his dogs Pfeffer, Ginger, and Mica. They were at his side during those hours of chemo sickness and pain, as well as the fun times at the river. Ron worked at the family business, West End Auto Body, for 29 years, as a bodyman, painter, foreman, and estimator.
In May 2007, Ron suffered from increasing heart problems. These went undiagnosed until September 2007, when a large tumour was removed from his heart, and he was diagnosed with angio sarcoma. Ron fought a courageous battle, outliving all physicians’ expectations.
Three days before Ron was diagnosed with this dreadful illness, he sought the Lord and found a profound peace in his life. His new found salvation gave Ron a new purpose. He worked with urgency, seeking opportunities to help others, thereby showing the love he had for his Lord Jesus Christ. The profound change gave him a great desire to minister to those nearest and dearest to his heart, so they too would find the way to the Lord.
A special thank you to the wonderful doctors and care givers – Dr. Quayle, Dr. Fam, Dr. Amin Aminbakhsh, and Dr. Ha and secretary Lori, for the endless encouragement.
Funeral service will be held at 1:00 p.m., Tuesday March 17, 2009, at the First Avenue Christian Assembly, 46510 First Avenue, Chilliwack, BC, with Pastor Nathan Hewitt presiding.
Online condolences can be left at www.mem.com