It is with great sadness we announce the sudden passing of Henry Ketsman on Saturday May 2, 2020 at the age of 67 years.
He leaves to cherish his memory his wife Johanne (née Vigier); his sons, Darcy (Sarah), Mike (Lindsay), Patrick (Jennifer) and Alex (Brittany); his grandchildren, Manon, Miller, Hank, Annika, Grace, Cooper, Emma, Lucas, Dreyden, Harlee and Dallas. He also leaves to mourn his special cousins, Colleen Desrochers and Ron Ketsman, his aunt Martha Ketsman; his parents-in-law Gerald and Huguette Vigier; his in-laws, Marc (Louise) Vigier, Joëlle (Jaime) Wytinck, Rhéal Vigier (Sandy), Mike (Jackie) Vigier, Darcelle Vigier (Dave) and Donald Vigier; as well as numerous, nieces, nephews, relatives and friends.
He is predeceased by his daughter Cara Ketsman; his parents, Gerard and Bertha (née Roels) Ketsman; his brothers-in-law Claude Vigier and Denys Vigier and nephew Mathieu Vigier.
On May 2nd, peacefully at home, we lost one of the greatest men in our lives. As a testament to this we can draw on the memories of a wonderful son, husband, father, and grandfather. It all started with his father, Gerard Ketsman, whom the memory of him from his grandchildren was that of a hard-working, calloused handed, few worded man who’s only words to a bright eyed grandson with a flat bike tire were "here" after he put all other work aside to fix it. Like father, like son, Henry always put family first. He never verbalized it as that was never the way to prove one’s affection. Showing it was always the way. His mother, Bertha Ketsman, who after having one son always said "one is enough". Those that knew Bertha were familiar with the art of her "compassionate firmness" but knew that she believed in helping others. Those that knew Henry bore witness to a farmer who prided himself off of never profiting from another farmer and ensuring that his success was never to the detriment of others. His sons, in their early years, remember those who came to "the shop" to have something fixed by the Ketsmans. Never taking payment but always ensuring that those that came left better off. These lessons, not only taught but shown, marked the foundation of the Ketsman name and a legacy that is tough to maintain. Darcy, Michel, Patrick, and Alex have a giant's shoes to fill. A challenge they knew from the beginning and have been trying to conquer since they were old enough to change cultivator shovels. The boys are now guided by the woman that guided Henry. Johanne to many, Meme to the young, and Mom to the boys. Johanne was always in the forefront of Henry’s thoughts. Their mutual need for each other’s happiness was always obvious. In Johanne, Henry was never short of someone to talk to, a meal in his belly, and places to go. As proof of this she convinced a man who would much rather drive around looking at crops to take a trip to Asia knowing full well that he would have to give up the beef and potatoes he knew and loved. He would do anything for her. She and him have been an aspiring example not only to their children but their grandchildren. Darcy and Sarah, who will eventually give their torch to Manon, Miller, Hank, and Annika, will always hold Henry’s love of his eldest son and the keeper of the family history. Michel and Lindsay, raising Grace and Cooper, will always hold the keys to the family home. Patrick, Jennifer, Emma, and Lucas will always overlook the farm from above, maybe far but always near. Alex and Brittany, with their freshest of additions of Dreyden, Harlee, Dallas, and soon to be Ketsman Baby, will ensure the Ketsman land continues to feed. His farming grace was augmented by his married family. The glue that has always bound them all together is founded in Huguette and Gerald Vigier. Marc and Louise Vigier were always Henry and Johanne’s mirror image of integrity on the Vigier family farmstead. Joelle and Jamie Wytinck despite the dairy, always found time. Rheal Vigier and Sandrea Charette have always showered the family with love. Claude and Denys Vigier, who both left the family too early, were their wisdom and humour. Michel and Jackie Vigier often the hosts of happiness. Donald Vigier holds the heart of the family in his hands. Darcelle and Dave Newberry will always be the keeper of the family’s health. Henry’s nieces and nephews are what completes them. If it wasn’t family Henry was spending time with, it was his friends, to which he had no shortage. A conversation over coffee always brought the brightest of smiles to his face. Those friends who can picture that smile should know that some of his happiest moments were with you and that he always brought that smile home with him. He recently completed a harvest table that will now forever be the centrepiece of gatherings and a reminder of his love for family and friends. The boys will ever be indebted to him in that he has taught them not only the path forward but how to cultivate it for others. Your family loves you and misses you. Bring us clear skies, plentiful rain, and fair winds.
A Visitation for family and friends will be held at Adam’s Funeral Home Chapel on Friday, May 8, 2020 between 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. A private family service will be held on Saturday, May 9, 2020 at 1 p.m. Webcasting will be available to view at www.afh.ca
In lieu of flowers memorial donations can be made to a local charity of choice.
Adam’s Funeral Home of Notre Dame de Lourdes, Manitoba in care of arrangements. Phone 204-248-2201. For more information and condolences, please visit www.afh.ca
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