Erdman Sawatzky was born August 11, 1929 in Halbstadt, Chihuahua, Mexico, to Cornelius A and Katherine (Wiebe) Sawatzky. Ed was the third child of twelve children. In July 1935, Ed moved to Halbstadt, Manitoba with his parents and three brothers. He attended the Halbstadt School from 1936-1943. In 1945, Ed moved to MacGregor, Manitoba with the family, going on ahead to work the land.
Ed worked on the family farm for many years with the exception of a few work experiences off the farm, like cutting pulp wood in Ontario for a few winters, and on the railway extra gang in summer. He also cut and delivered many loads of firewood, supplying many households with winter heat.
In 1965, after the family farm was sold, Ed ended up in the Brandon Mental Hospital for a short period of time, and then moved to the John P Wiebe Farm, where he was employed for about 12 years. From there Ed retired into MacGregor, where he kept himself busy with his high end hobbies: building engines and travelling, scouting the country side with a variety of vehicles – farm tractors, mini quads, bicycles and scooters.
Ed enjoyed spending many hours building engines of his own design and creation. Some were designed to run on air pressure, some on steam and he managed to build two internal combustion gas engines. This unique and creative hobby opened up many opportunities for Ed to demonstrate his prized achievements. His favorite place to do this was at the annual Austin Thresherman’s Reunion Museum. Ed was also well known in Gladstone for his creations, where he lived for a while. Ed was well remembered for his amazing memory, always ready to tell a story from the past, and one of his favorite lines – ‘Do you know how old I am?’ and if you guessed it correct, he couldn’t believe it. Names and birthdays were never forgotten.
Due to his ongoing health issues, Ed faced many challenges in his day to day life and for this he was dependent on others to come alongside on many occasions. The people in this community did just that. On so many occasions they were quick to come alongside Ed when he needed a helping hand. For this we are ever so grateful!
Ed accepted Jesus as his personal Lord at age 18 and was baptized in the Bergthaler Church in MacGregor.
Ed was very diligent in church attendance and loved the fellowship of the people. He loved to check out different churches in the area from time to time to make new friends and see where they stood in their doctrine. During our visits in the hospital, Ed mentioned expressions such as: “I am ready to go…” and “We must always be thankful…” PTL
Ed is survived by four sisters: Helen Wiebe, Kathy (Bernie) Thiessen, Betty (Ben) Wiebe, Susan Sawatzky and three brothers: Glen (Tina) Sawatzky, Henry (Gertie) Sawatzky, John (Adina) Sawatzky; four sisters-in-law, two brothers-in-law, and many nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his parents; step-mother; sister Trude Tait; and brother Dave Sawatzky; two brothers-in- law; and two infant siblings.
His family is very grateful for the wonderful care Ed received from the staff at the Portage Hospital and the MacGregor Home Care.
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