Wilfred Janke

May 11, 2020


JANKE, Wilfred

Dr. Wilfred (Wilf) Janke passed away peacefully at the Saskatoon Convalescent Home on May 11, 2020 at the age of 87 with his wife of 61 years, Aileen, by his side. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, his daughters and granddaughter, Kyra, were able to visit with him and say their goodbyes before his passing. He leaves to mourn his wife Aileen (Hilderman); daughters Karen Janke-Curliss (Doug and Andrea & Aaron Rohrke, Hugo & Seth), Kathryn Schmidt, and Lynn Breker (Jeremy & Kyra); sisters Thelma Alexander, Ruth Murray and Lillian Trappitt (Steve); sister-in-law Liz Hilderman; and numerous cousins, nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his son Kenneth; brothers Albert Janke (Eleanor) and Lloyd Janke (Louise); sister Ethel Recksiedler (Gus); brothers-in-law Jack Murray, Don Alexander, Harold Hilderman (Madge), Melvin Hilderman; and sister-in-law Gloria Pickering. Wilf was born on December 24, 1932 in the Montcalm Municipality in Manitoba to parents Frederick and Susanna (Ganske) Janke and grew up in the area around Morris, Manitoba. Wilf obtained his B.S.A., Agriculture in 1955 and a M.S.C., Soils in 1957, both from the University of Manitoba. He met Aileen Hilderman and they were married in 1958. Together, they moved to Wisconsin where Wilf attended the University of Wisconsin and obtained a Ph.D., Soils, in 1962. While living in Wisconsin, they had two children; Kenneth and Karen. They moved back to Canada (Morden, Manitoba) in 1962 where Wilf worked for the Agriculture Canada Research Station. In 1963 they moved to Winnipeg where Wilf worked for the University of Manitoba Soils Department. While in Winnipeg, their daughter, Kathryn, was born. In 1966, Wilf and his family moved to Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta where Wilf worked for Sherritt Gordon Mines Ltd. Their daughter, Lynn, was born in Fort Saskatchewan. The family moved again in 1978 to Saskatoon, Saskatchewan where Wilf worked for Federated Cooperatives Ltd. He also worked for several years at the Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan and BASF Canada Inc. before deciding to venture overseas in 1988 to work for Agriculture Canada at a CIDA project in Pakistan. In 1991, Wilf and Aileen moved to Hong Kong where Wilf was a consultant for Canpotex (Asia) Ltd. During their time in Hong Kong and Pakistan, Aileen and Wilf did a lot of travelling to other countries and hosted their kids and other family members on visits to Islamabad, Pakistan and Hong Kong. Prior to Wilf and Aileen going overseas, summers were spent taking family trips with a trailer in tow (and later a motorhome) to British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, Prince Edward Island and parts of the US. Wilf enjoyed spending time at the lake and the family would go to Lake Isle (Alberta) and Greenwater Lake (Saskatchewan) while the children were growing up. Upon Wilf’s retirement in 1995, Aileen and Wilf continued to travel, but this time in their motorhome and then fifth-wheel trailer. They spent many of the winter months down south in the US, most recently in Yuma, Arizona. Once travelling to the US became more difficult, they spent a lot of time during the summer months in their trailer at Candle Lake, Saskatchewan.  After Wilf was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, the travel slowed down. While the disease was progressing, Wilf maintained his social personality and would deal with the progression of the disease with jokes and a child-like sense of humor. He enjoyed his visits and the activities at the Sherbrooke Day Program. Even after Wilf was diagnosed with cancer, he enjoyed spending time with family and being able to help in the yard at Karen and Doug’s Candle Lake cabin or Lynn and Jeremy’s acreage in Saskatoon.  In the last couple of months, Wilf was being cared for at the Saskatoon Convalescent Home where his family could visit, until the lockdown that resulted from COVID-19. After that, visits had to take place by video where one of the attendants at the home would call us on WhatsApp or Facetime. As his memory decreased, he would still greet family members with a smile. The family will miss his goofy grins and his quirky sense of humor but are thankful that he is now pain-free and at peace. The family would like to thank Dr. Karen Marushak (family physician), Dr. Kirk (Neurologist), Dr. Iqbal and Dr. El Gayed from the Cancer Clinic, and Palliative Care. The family would also like to thank the Sherbrooke Day Program and the Saskatoon Convalescent Home for their care and compassion for Wilf and his family. Memorial donations may be made to Sherbrooke Day Program (401 Acadia Drive, Saskatoon, SK S7H 2E7), the Saskatoon Convalescent Home (101-31st Street West, Saskatoon, SK  S7L 0P6), Alzheimer Society of Saskatchewan (301-2550 12th Avenue, Regina, SK  S4P 3X1) or Faith Lutheran Church (2801 Preston Ave, Saskatoon SK S7J 2G8). At this time, there will be no funeral service. Cremation and future funeral arrangements in care of Ashley Knash – Mourning Glory Funeral Services (306) 978-5200.


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