On Thursday, June 27th, at the age of seventy-six, Victor Loewen of Ste. Anne, MB passed away peacefully with his loving sister by his side after a three-year journey with multiple myeloma. 

He was born June 14, 1943 on the family farm near present-day New Bothwell, MB. His parents were Tina Funk and Jacob Loewen (both deceased). Victor grew up in Steinbach, MB where he went to school and eventually met his wife Dianne (nee: Buss).

Two other children were born to Tina and Jacob: Lesley (deceased) and Merry. As their older brother, Vic was often left responsible for his younger siblings, which brought them quite close. He was a very supportive and loving brother. Les (and his wife Verna, son James and family) and Merry (and her husband Bruce and their daughters Zoe and Callie and family) have always meant a great deal to Vic.

After graduating with a Bachelor of Education at the University of Manitoba in 1966, Vic was recruited by the staff of the school system in Thompson, MB to begin working as a teacher there. Forty years later, he was still living in Thompson, only leaving after Dianne passed away in 2006 from leukemia. Vic and Dianne had a home on Riverside Dr in Thompson and also a cabin on Road One of Setting Lake — their preferred place to be.

Dianne’s parents, Theresa and Albert (both deceased), her siblings and their children became important to Vic throughout his life: he mentioned several times that her Dad felt like his, too. Over the decades they had many dinners, games of Rook, and weekends together. In order from oldest to youngest, these are Dianne’s siblings and their children: sister Bernice, husband Lorenz (deceased), children Kim, Boyd, and families, brother Ken (deceased) whom Vic called, “Brother Ken,” children Charlie, Thomas, their mother Carol and families, sister Ruth, husband Bob (deceased), children Kurt, Doug, and families. 

Vic was a full-time chemistry and math teacher at R.D. Parker Collegiate from 1968 to 1998, with ten years of substitute teaching after that. Through those years, his children remember greeting carolling students at the front door at Christmas time and watching them hug and chat with him after they had graduated. They could see the positive impact he had on the hundreds of teenagers who entered his classroom. One student in particular became “brother Laurie,” to the Loewen children after coming to live with the family at age sixteen after his family experienced an extreme tragedy.

The North became the backdrop for a very unique childhood for Vic’s daughters, Andrea and Vanessa. The incredible bond he and Dianne forged with the others up there carries on today: those houses filled with young couples and their babies became family to each other. The Burntwood Curling Club and Thompson Golf Course were where the children grew up, letting the “village” watch the kids as the adults had fun. Vic went on to have such a love for the games of curling and golf, doing that until his multiple myeloma diagnosis and associated back fractures made him set that sports equipment away. 

Even though he couldn’t curl anymore, he watched almost every game possible on TV, making it fun to chat with him during the big events. He often talked about the games, the people playing it, and was thrilled to be able to go to the 2019 Brier in Brandon, MB with Andrea. 

Another sport Vic excelled in was swimming. He became a lifeguard in his late teens and early twenties, enjoying being a mentor to younger boys at a summer camp. Vanessa shares this love, becoming a lifeguard herself and just now swimming competitively as an adult.

The Loewen home in Thompson was punctuated with dinners with the “Northern family” interspersed with time camping, fishing, being at the cabin, driving around Canada during the summer, of course to the backdrop of music and dancing. Vic’s absolute love of music carried him through life and helped him feel great joy. His children will never forget his beautiful bass voice as they sang together in the living room. 

Vic settled in Paradise Village near Ste. Anne, MB after leaving Thompson, which is where he has been for ten years. During that time, he grew friendships with those around him, also keeping his Thompson buddies close for golfing and weekly crib-playing time. His children are grateful to this group of people who have helped them care for their Dad in these past three years of his illness. The family has received so much support in the form of watching Chloe, Vic’s beloved dog, ensuring Vic had everything he needed, and getting him to all of his appointments. 

A second mobile home in Weslaco, TX became Vic’s favourite place to be as he went back and forth for the winters, doing the three-day drive by himself! Again, he connected with Thompson buddies and was thrilled to be able to golf down there.

In the past thirteen years, Vic has been graced with becoming “Grandpa” to Vanessa and her husband Stephen’s daughters, Sarah and Lizzy, and Andrea and husband Vineet’s sons Kashi and Paxton. Vic loved them so dearly. The highlight of their time together was a trip all nine of them took to the British Virgin Islands, a stretch for Vic who didn’t like to fly or leave his dog! Thankfully he made that stretch and had an incredible trip. The children report it was so fun watching him splashing in the ocean waves with his four happy grandchildren.

Recently on Father’s Day, Andrea and him were talking about how he actually taught himself to do pretty much everything he is able to do, and do it well. Not really having mentors of his own, he learned he had to be innovative to figure out what he needed to do and how to do it. 

Andrea and Vanessa will make sure their children know the man their Grandpa has become over his lifetime: how self-awareness and strong communication mixed with perseverance can make us grow beyond any limits.   

We can’t hug Vic again, as heartbreaking as that is, but we know that he and Dianne are together again (along with his cherished dogs) making sure that Vanessa and Andrea and their families are carefully guided and watched over. May we all live with the love of life that Vic had.

Sincere thanks are extended to the hematology team at HSC, namely Dr Rimmer and nurse Alexis. In Steinbach, we are grateful to the Cancer Care team, headed by Dr. Krahn.

Please do not send flowers! If you feel inspired to do something in honour of Vic, we invite you to donate to your local school or community’s children music program. Feel free to let the family know what you did in his memory. 


Celebration of Life Information:

Victor said, “I don’t want a funeral — I want a party.” So a party we will have. *Leave your suits, ties, and dark formal dresses in the closet.

Date: Saturday, July 13 3pm to 5pm (for “Schnicks & Schnacks”)

Location: Paradise Village Recreation Centre near Ste. Anne, MB Click here for Google Map directions

-Drive East on Hwy 1 out of Winnipeg towards Kenora or North on Hwy 12 out of Steinbach, then East on Hwy 1

-Look for right turn to Paradise Dr off of the highway soon after you drive under the Hwy 12 intersection and then pass by Lilac Resort

-Turn right (South) onto Paradise Dr

-Immediate right into the park, following the paved road to the right. Look for the Rec Centre to your right at the second stop sign. It is in front of Victor’s unit #32. Parking along road or in adjacent parking lot to the Centre.

To bring if you like: In our attempts to not generate garbage, please bring some table cutlery and a wine glass/ beer stein for you to use. 🙂

(Please arrange for a designated driver)

To send messages to Andrea and Vanessa, please email corefhc(at)rogers(dot)com or send mail c/o 825 Richmond St, London, ON, N6A 3H7