Effie Caroline Kroeker was born in Henderson, Nebraska on August 16, 1926 to Henry D and Justina (Mierau) Kroeker. She died in Henderson on April 2, 2018 at the age of 91.
She was baptized on May 28, 1944 and she was a lifelong member Bethesda Mennonite Church. She enjoyed teaching Sunday School and participating in Mission Circle.
Effie graduated from Henderson High School on May 18, 1944 then worked at Henderson State Bank.
Effie married Eugene Siebert on November 22, 1946. They had three children: Teresa, Janice and Lowell. She had happy memories living on the farm for nine years even though they didn’t have electricity or running water for the first years. After 16 ˝ years of marriage Eugene died suddenly on April 9, 1963. Effie was 36 years old and left alone to raise her children. She managed this time with faith and grace and with the support of her extended family. A stanza of the poem her cousin Inez Epp wrote for her 80th birthday describes this time. “The years went by, we had our children. We cooked for our families and did things with them. There came that really bad Easter time day, when the loss of your partner came your way. But you had courage and fortitude, and somehow weathered through with a good attitude.”
On November 8, 1980 she married James Kroeker and they enjoyed 16 years of marriage. She retired from working at Henderson State Bank in 1981 after working there for 30 years. Then she had time for quilting, painting, traveling and babysitting her grandchildren.
Her home was always open to friends and family and she would put on the coffee and serve a delicious faspa in a moments notice. Her life was enriched as people came to see her from across the country often staying for the night. Her family would gather around her kitchen table and share their lives over a cup of coffee. “Let’s meet at grandma’s for coffee,” was a typical comment at the end of the day. It really wasn’t about the coffee or the food but a time for support on a bad day, a time to celebrate accomplishments or a time to simply gather and visit.
She had a special place in her heart for her grandchildren and great grandchildren and they all love her dearly. She always thought about the kids and wanted them to be close and safe.
Effie loved her family! She treasured them all and loved their visits. She is survived by three children: Teresa (Byron) Friesen, Janice (Carey) Friesen and Lowell (Shannon) Siebert. Seven grandchildren and 12 great grandchildren: Tara (Matt) Maltsberger; Morgan, Merrick and Maddie; Ryan (Nicole) Friesen; Keller and Drew; Cami (Chris) Buller; Isabelle and Elliot; Andrea (Mike) Wall; Jacinta and Kierran; Abbie Friesen; Taylor (Jessica) Siebert; Beckett, Brock and Quinn and Tessa Siebert. Sisters: Karen Spoelstra and Sharon (Bob) Bren. Brothers: Ralph Kroeker, Jerry (Leanna) Kroeker, Dale (Carol) Kroeker. Brothers-in-law: Merle (Florence) Siebert and Paul Ruth. Aunt Thelma Fagler, cousins, nieces, nephews and Jim Kroeker’s family.
She was preceded in death by husband Eugene Siebert and her second husband James Kroeker. Parents Henry and Justina Kroeker. Brother Melvin Kroeker. Brothers-in-law: John Spoelstra, Elmer Wiens and Rudy Siebert. Sisters- in-law: Carol Kroeker, Delores Kroeker Leola Wiens, Corinna Ruth and Mariann Siebert.
Graveside services were held at 9:45 AM, Saturday, April 7, 2018 at the Bethesda Mennonite Cemetery, Henderson. Memorial services followed at 10:30 AM at the Bethesda Mennonite Church. Memorials may be directed to the Bethesda Mennonite Church.
Condolences may be emailed to Metz Mortuary Messages will be given to the family.