Saturday, July 14, 2012


Collage courtesy of Jeff Unruh
We have just had a most remarkable day. The Unruh family met each other for a grand time of happy hugging, laughter, story-telling, games, splashing in a pool, enjoying picnic foods, and realizing just how fortunate we all are to love each other.

Mom and Dad Unruh have been gone from us for four years. Their funerals were the occasions on which we were last all together. Geographical distance and the cost of covering it now impede our family gatherings. We believe that Mom and Dad went to be with the LORD. This confidence comes from a faith that has characterized the personal commitments of most members of this family for all of the generations that I have known.

The eldest of the family now are my parents' three sons of whom I am the eldest, turning 70 in September, then my brother Murray who will be 65 in September and our brother Neale who will be 59 in October. St. Catharines is the city in which we grew up. While I was born in Hepburn Saskatchewan, both my brothers were born in St. Catharines, the city to which my parents moved looking for opportunity following the end of the Second World War.

Diane and Murray
Murray and his wife Diane continue to live in St. Catharines and they will remain there after having spent their lives in serving churches in Burlington, London, Main Centre SK, Oshawa, Vineland and St. Catharines. Latterly Murray worked in a foundry and Diane has been employed at the hospital. Their daughter Beth, married Eric Woelk and they live with their two sweet young daughters, Selah and Klaris, just outside the same city among the orchards of the Niagara Peninsula. Beth is a speech pathologist and Eric is a school teacher. Murray's son Matt is married to Cristina and they enjoy three children, Aaralyn, Ellery and Silas and they live in Virgil. After serving as a worship pastor in White Rock BC for several years, Matt is now an associate pastor in a Niagara Falls church. Drew, Murray's second son also resides in St. Catharines and is presently on staff with a visionary church with four campuses providing him with opportunity to use his musical, technological and people skills.

Kathy and Neale
Neale and Kathy live in Dorchester, a bedroom community for London, and they too worked in church related missions ministry for many years before beginning a cross stitch supply store twelve years ago in London. Their daughter Amy is married to Chris Hollywood, and they live in London. Amy is a hospital lab technician and Chris works in a furniture retail outlet. Both of them are keenly involved in their church life and work as volunteers.

Christine and I have lived in British Columbia for 22 years after 21 years of church related work in Ontario. Our two children reside minutes away from our home in BC. Our daughter Cari is married to Tim Locken and they have three children, Kailyn, Ryan and Jayden. They were the only ones unable to attend this function. We took the edge off of our mutual disappointment by skyping so that we all could see and speak with them. Cari and Tim have been active in church work in previous years and are attending the same church where Christine and I are worshipping. Cari is a homemaker, scrapbook and music instructor. Tim is self-employed as a painter/renovator.  Our son Jeff is an elementary school teacher married to another part-time teacher, Gina Mikkelson, and they have two children, Kale and Kadence. Jeff has numerous interests and pursuits and both he and Gina are enthusiastic about their involvement in a new church plant in Cloverdale BC where they volunteer.
Christine and Drew in conversation

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