We Remember

Zeffer, Johanna

February 14, 1935 — February 2, 2013

Johanna was born on February 14, 1935 to Anna and Richard Henseleit in Dortmund Boevinghausen, Germany. She was the third child of six children. Johanna received Christ at a young age, and was baptised by Pastor Brauer in Herne. She served the Lord with thanksgiving and was active in the youth group.

After completing her schooling and her apprenticeship in textiles, Johanna and Josef were married on June 27, 1953 in a double wedding with her cousin from East Germany. Pastor Brauer officiated the marriage with a strong encouragement, (lasst euch beschenken) “Take God’s Gifts”.

Josef and Johanna moved in 1954 from Dortmund, Boevinghausen to Castrop-Rauxel. In May 1956, now with their first child, they immigrated to Canada. Coming on the Ship the “Italia” they settled in Saskatoon SK., where they joined the First German Baptist Church and two more children were born to them.

In 1961, a difficult and courageous decision was made to leave family ties, and familiar surroundings, and to move to Kitchener, Ontario, where there were more opportunities for Josef to develop his trade and business. It was then that they joined and became involved with the Central Baptist Church and God blessed them with two more children.

Johanna was an active member in the women’s ministry. Renowned for her baking, her tortes were always in high demand, and sought after at any church function.

Johanna was encouraged by her family to upgrade her bookkeeping knowledge, which she did, and worked for 14 years at Kenson Enterprises. In their retirement they made the move to Kelowna in 1997, and their spiritual home became the Grace Baptist Church.

In her spare time Johanna (Hanni) knitted and crocheted clothing and blankets for her grandchildren, each stitch was made with love. Kelowna General Hospital benefitted from receiving her crocheted baby blankets and lap blankets for seniors. Hanni’s life changed dramatically after her diagnose of heart fibrillation and diabetes, resulting in her right leg needing to be amputated 4 1/2 years ago. Now she was wheelchair bound. Josef become her devoted strong and loving caregiver and helper. Last year in the summer, gangrene affected her left leg and Josef again looked tenderly after Hanni’s open sores. Despite the best of care, on December 30, 2012 Hanni was hospitalized, and never able to return to her home. During those days of unbearable pain, Hanni pleaded that the Lord would take her home. On January 17, 2013 she was admitted into the Kelowna Hospice House where step by step her body became weaker yet the Lord’s peace carried her. In those days Hanni was thankful when her children and grandchildren called, and she enjoyed the deep conversations with Josef and sister Brunhilde about her home going. Hanni and Brunhilde especially enjoyed the quiet moments together with her favorite Latte and Scone. On Saturday February 2, 2013 in the evening, Hanni being relaxed and at peace without struggles, went to be with her Lord and Savior.

Johanna was predeceased by her parents and 3 brothers (Erwin, Guenther, and Werner). She leaves behind her loving husband of almost 60 years, Josef, her children Erika (Ernie) Meier, Gabriele (Ross) Dettweiler, Emanuel Zeffer, Joe (Evelyn) Zeffer, Anita (Gordon) Millar, 13 grandchildren, 12 great grandchildren, one brother Wilfried Henseleit , one sister Brunhilde Poschwatta and many relatives and friends.


Monday, February 11, 2013 from 5:30pm until 7:00pm
Springfield Funeral Home
(2020 Springfield Road, Kelowna, BC )

Tuesday, February 12, 2013 at 10:30am

Grace Baptist Church

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Central Okanagan Hospice Association, 104 – 1456 St. Paul Street, Kelowna, BC V1Y 2E6


Service Information

Service Details

The service for Zeffer, Johanna is scheduled for Tuesday, February 12, 2013 at 10:30am . Below you will find the map for the service location and the contact information should you have any questions.

Address & Contact for Service Location:

Grace Baptist Church

1150 Glenmore Road Kelowna, BC


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Funeral Pointers:



  • Martha and Joe Ferber says:

    We are saddened to hear of the passing of Johanna. She was a dear friend to us and our parents. We know her pains are no longer and she is in a good place in heaven.
    May God strengthen and comfort you in this time of sorrow and rememberance. We cannot come to the funeral but we will be with you in thought and in celebrating her life. Martha & Joe Ferber

  • Joe & Evelyn Zeffer says:

    Love you always and thankyou!!!

  • Katharine & Tim Wall says:

    We are so sorry to hear about the passing of Johanna. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family at this difficult time Josef.

  • Brenda Forbes (Ciesarik) says:

    So sorry to read of the death of Johanna. I fondly remember her kindness years ago in opening her home for sunday dinners to several youth in our family and the wonderful tortes.Her kindness in helping my father is also remembered.May she rest in peace.

  • susan dale (Forbes) says:

    My heart goes out the the Zeffer family. I have fond memories… always willing to open her home to me. Johanna will always be remembered for Sunday dinners, rides to and from church and the help she (and Joe) gave to my father and family. May God wrap you all in love in knowing she is in a better place. She will be missed by many I’m sure.

  • Jennifer Wheeler says:

    You will be miss Oma thank-you for accepting me as a part of the family.

  • City Councillor Zyg Janecki says:

    My deepest sympathy to Joe and the family. I recall as a city planner working with Joe on the development of his land in Kitchener and meeting his kind wife on a couple of occasions at their place and having a street named after the family.

  • tim and cathy killip says:

    Josef, our thoughts and condolences are with you and your family at this time. We know how devoted you and Johanna were to each other

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