Anna Mechlair

Obituary of Anna Mechlair

Surrounded by her devoted daughters, Ann passed peacefully at age 99.

Ann was born in Georgsthal, Russia to Johann and Maria Klassen, the first of 14 children. 

Predeceased by a stillborn daughter Nicole, 3 brothers John, William, Arthur and son-in-law, Greg Henrickson, she is survived by her daughters, Tanis Henrickson, Colleen Armstrong (Glenn), Michele Siemens (Gary), her grandchildren, Marcia Koenigbauer (Gary), Derek Henrickson, Scott Armstrong (Wendy), Christine Golding (George), Shawna Goodbrandson (Jon), Melissa Roy (Ryan) and 12 great-children. She is also survived by her siblings, Maisie (Marie), Betty (Elizabeth), Lena (Helen), Linda, Martha, Ruth, Melvin, Laura, Lawrence, Dolores and numerous nieces and nephews.

Ann came to Canada at age 2, with her parents, grandparents and young infant sister, when the Communists took her family’s mill. Settling in Rosenfeld MB, she learned english at school, and it was then her job to go home and teach her parents english in the evenings.  As the number of siblings increased, Ann’s responsibilities also increased, and she was always a dutiful daughter and older sister in a home filled with hymns and love.  A serious student, Ann did well at school, and when she was 12 years old, her sewing samples won 1st place against high school students throughout the province.  Little did she know that sewing would be a constant thread throughout her life.

At age 14, Ann started her working life in Winnipeg as a maid’s helper and fell in love with the city. 

As young adults, Ann and her sister, Maisie worked in the sewing factories and enjoyed city life and spending time in the stores admiring and then copying the clothes they saw on the racks. 

On her birthday in 1947, she met her husband, Phil, who announced to all in the room, “this is the woman, I’m going to marry” – she thought he was crazy, but married him less than 6 months later.

Life was not always easy married to a career soldier. Phil was seriously injured in the 1950 flood and as a young mother, she took on sewing work at the hospital.  She later worked at Yaeger Furs in Brandon, and then for 26 years at The Hurtigs of Vaughan Street in Winnipeg, as senior fur finisher.  Jack Hurtig gave her high praise, saying she was probably the “best fur finisher in Canada.”

Retirement did not sit well with Ann, and she kept busy reading, sewing, knitting, cooking and baking for her children and grandchildren.  After Phil’s passing, she moved to Seine River Residence where she enjoyed friendships and activities in lovely surroundings.  Ann, though a quiet woman, was also quite competitive at board games and played tile rummy until just months before her passing, always happy to beat one, or all of her daughters.

The family will hold a private service.  There will be an interment at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to a charity of your choice.

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