Hilda Bendig – Home at 100

Our oldest member of Grace, whose 100th birthday we celebrated just two weeks ago,  went home to be with Jesus on Tuesday this week.  Her funeral and memorial service will be at Grace MB Church Saturday, March 10th, 2012  at 11am followed by a grave side committal at Lakeview Cemetery and a luncheon at the church.  You can read about Hilda’s L.I.F.E. below from her Profile page written by SKM.   The funeral was broadcast via internet and can be viewed below.


Hilda-100 Years to L.I.F.E. Memorial Service at Grace- Mar. 10/12

Hilda-100 Years to L.I.F.E.
Feb. 26th @ Grace MB Church we celebrated with Hilda and her family 100 years of God’s faithfulness and blessings on her L.I.F.E.

Hilda – A Life of Amazing Grace


     Hilda’s dining room window overlooks the Retirement Centre, and the rugged old evergreen which stands unobtrusively to the north of its driveway. She loves to watch the comings and goings of that friendly, busy place. Occasionally her brother Gordon and his wife Isabel take her there for lunch after a Sunday church service. Hilda has good reason for feeling homey about that place: “When we first came to Penticton, we lived right where the Centre is now,” she said. “We owned the three-storey lodge that was there – Ettrick Lodge. My husband John planted that old fir tree . . .When he was in the hospital; I used to bring him home quite often. I’d push the wheelchair up the elevator, to this dining room window, and say, ‘Remember, John? Remember that tree you planted there?’”

     John died in 1993. People filled the church at his funeral, to pay tribute to this good natured, hard working, God-fearing man — 300 Bibles were donated in his memory.

               * * * * *

Grace came early and stayed!

     Hilda was born to godly parents, Severt and Minnie Halvorson, in Shaunavon, Saskatchewan, on Feb. 29, 1912 — a Leap Year baby! Her parents were founding members of the Baptist church there. Early in life she accepted the LORD Jesus as her Saviour and was baptized. She enjoyed fellowship with her friends at church whenever possible; but in 1929, when a handsome young stranger showed up at the services, she knew he’d be special to her. John had left his native Germany and taken up residence in Shaunavon, hoping for a peaceful life in Canada. Hilda admired him greatly, especially when she saw how diligently he applied himself to learn the English language. It soon became evident that God was bringing the two of them together. They were married in Chilliwack, BC, on December 6, 1932. The Lord gave them two lovely daughters, and over 60 happy years together. Together they served the Lord faithfully, whatever came to hand — always with joy and grace.

     In Chilliwack they operated a mixed farm, and John worked on the railroad for a few years. Then, in 1942, after purchasing Ettrick Lodge, they moved to Penticton where they lived for about 14 years. It was quite something to feed a houseful of boarders, and keep their laundry clean. When the Penticton Airport was being built, the whole crew stayed at Ettrick Lodge for the duration. “I enjoyed it,” said Hilda, “Food was rationed then, so I did a lot of canning. It was a lot of work; but I could do it then because I was young.”

     Their family joined the nearby Baptist church in Penticton, located where Kentucky Chicken stands now. It was a vibrant little church, with a large Sunday School and Youth Group. Both Hilda and John helped teach children, and both of them sang in the choir. Their daughters were active with the youth; and Hilda, with the ladies’ fellowship group.

     Later, the family moved to Trout Creek, where Hilda’s aged mother came to live with them for a while. At this time they joined a group of believers who were forming an Associated Gospel Church, which later became GRACE Mennonite Brethren Church.


Grace that shows!


     Hilda is known in the church for her quiet faithfulness. She loves the old hymns, one of her favourites being What a Friend We Have in Jesus. “Sometimes I wake up at night, and these old hymns come to mind. I enjoyed everything we did in church. I’d be lost without the church. I think that’s my best advice to young people — stay in church. I thank the Lord for blessing me in so many ways! When I think back on things … Oh!!  I can’t help but thank the Lord for what He has done. Now I realize, God has been good to me!! Another thing — John and I had a wonderful married life! I’m not saying that to boast, or anything, but when I think of things now — when I put it all together, I think, ‘Well, I’ve got so much to be thankful for.’ I think He kept me out of a lot of trouble. I really think so! It was best for the Lord to have His way. If we let God have His way, that’s best! Then you can’t go wrong.”

     Hilda, having reached her 90th year, says,

 “Just give God all the glory!”


February 2002


© 2002 SKM

Posted in Holidays.