Dyck, John R. (1913-1988)

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John R. Dyck (1913-1988)

John R. Dyck: churchman and farmer; born 19 July 1913 in Lysanderhoeh, Am Trakt Mennonite Settlement, Russia to Johannes J. Dyck (16 April 1885, Lysanderhoeh, Am Trakt, Russia - 11 April 1948, Rosthern, Saskatchewan, Canada) and Renate (Mathies) Dyck (2 March 1885, Hohendorf, Am Trakt, Russia - 29 May 1963, Rosthern, Saskatchewan). He was the fourth child in a family of three sons and six daughters, including Peter J. Dyck and Cornelius J. Dyck. In 1941 he married Paula Regier. They had two daughters. John died 14 May 1988 in Rosthern, Saskatchewan.

In 1927 John R. Dyck moved to Canada with his parents and siblings, settling first in the Hanley district, Saskatchewan. He was baptized on 25 May 1931 at Sheldon Farm, Saskatchewan, by J. J. Klassen and in 1933 moved to Tiefengrund, Saskatchewan, 70 kilometres north of Saskatoon. It was there at the Tiefengrund Rosenort Mennonite Church that he and Paula married.

After taking a decade to establish a financial base the Dycks spent most of the rest of their lives in voluntary service with John and Paula working together as a team. In 1947 they established the first General Conference bookstore in Canada at Rosthern, Saskatchewan. John also served as business manager and secretary of Rosthern Junior College for 17 years. In 1964 and 1965 he was one of three men who led in the building of the chapel at the Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminaries in Elkhart, Indiana.

John's administrative skills were recognized by Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) when they asked the Dycks to close out MCC work in Paraguay (1965-67), Korea (1969-71), and Jordan (1979-80). John and Paula Dyck also served under MCC in Calcutta (1974-75). From 1971 to 1973 they lived in Winnipeg, where John was instrumental in establishing the Mennonite Foundation for Western Canada. On returning to Winnipeg (1975-77) from Calcutta, they laid the groundwork for MCC Food Bank which soon expanded in 1983 to become the Canada-wide Food Bank in which MCC Canada worked in partnership with 12 other Canadian Christian churches. In the fiscal year ending 31 March 1988, the Foods Grain Bank shipped 84,296 metric tons of grain worth $25,756,945 to starving people around the world. Of this amount 15,161 tons, valued at $8,255,478 came from Mennonites.

When not abroad John R. Dyck was usually involved in conference committees and in fund raising activities for Swift Current Bible Institute, the General Conference Kingdom Commitments program, and others. Beginning in 1981, his determined refusal to pay that portion of his taxes which he considered war taxes resulted in considerable legal difficulty, and at times a lack of understanding among his own people. His active involvement in social concerns included a person-to-person prison ministry. John R. Dyck possessed the energy and abilities to be successful in many endeavors but chose a life of service to the church and to its members.


Dyck, Cornelius J. and Wilma M. Dyck, eds. A Pilgrim People. Elkhart, Ind.: the editors, 1987: 74-76.

Epp, Frank H. Education with a Plus. The Story of Rosthern Junior College. Waterloo, 1975: 451, index under Dick [sic], John R.

"John R. Dyck." Der Bote (15 Juni 1988): 6.

Rempel, J. G. Fünfzig Jahre Konferenzbestrebungen 1902 - 1952. Zweiter Teil. Konferenz der Mennoniten in Canada, 1954: 453.

Author(s) Cornelius J. Dyck
Victor Wiebe
Date Published 2001

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MLA style

Dyck, Cornelius J. and Victor Wiebe. "Dyck, John R. (1913-1988)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 2001. Web. 31 Mar 2023. https://gameo.org/index.php?title=Dyck,_John_R._(1913-1988)&oldid=143045.

APA style

Dyck, Cornelius J. and Victor Wiebe. (2001). Dyck, John R. (1913-1988). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 31 March 2023, from https://gameo.org/index.php?title=Dyck,_John_R._(1913-1988)&oldid=143045.

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