Warkentin, Cornelius C. (1902-1974)

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Cornelius C. Warkentin: church leader and teacher; born 1 January 1902 in Waldheim, South Russia, to Kornelius H. and Aganetha (Jantz) Warkentin. He was the seventh of 10 children in the family. On 16 August 1936, he married Agatha Dyck, daughter of Wilhelm and Emilie (Poetker) Dyck, in Niverville, Manitoba. The couple had five daughters and one son, and they also took in Agatha’s younger sister, Elfrieda, whom she had been caring for since their parents’ deaths. Cornelius died on 11 November 1974 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.

Cornelius grew up in Waldheim and completed much of his education in Russia, attending elementary school in Gnadenfeld and secondary school in Berdyansk. He joined the Mennonite Brethren church after his conversion and baptism at the age of 21. In 1923, Cornelius and one of his siblings immigrated with their parents to the United States. They moved to Canada two years later, where the rest of the family joined them in Winkler, Manitoba. Cornelius completed his high school studies in Winkler and Altona before moving to Winnipeg to study at the University of Manitoba, where he completed Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, and Master of Science degrees.

After completing his studies, Warkentin taught in the public school system for two years and then worked as the principal of a high school for four years. On 16 August 1936, he married Agatha Dyck in Niverville, Manitoba. The family lived in Winnipeg, where Cornelius worked as a lecturer at the University of Manitoba and as a lecturer and staff member in the meteorological department of the federal government, eventually becoming an inspector of a large division in the department. At his retirement after twenty-seven years of work, he received a gold medal from the government as an acknowledgment of his achievements.

Meanwhile, Warkentin was active in teaching Sunday School and German school, conducting the church choir, serving as youth leader, and acting as treasurer of the South End Church. Beginning in 1951, he served as a deacon at the North Kildonan Mennonite Brethren Church in Winnipeg, and after his retirement, he often preached in various small congregations outside the city. In addition, he worked for the Mennonite Brethren Conference on projects such as the mission endowment fund, which he helped establish. He was also involved in working with education, seniors’ housing, and other projects. Cornelius became ill and died on 11 November 1974 in Winnipeg, and the funeral was held on 14 November.      

Cornelius C. Warkentin was a dedicated lecturer, government worker, and church leader. Although his strong convictions sometimes led to misunderstandings with others, his devotion to his family, church, and community left an example for people around him to follow.


Canadian Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches. “Cornelius C. Warkentin (1902-1974).” http://www.mbconf.ca/home/products_and_services/resources/published_genealogies/personal_papers/warkentin_cornelius_c/.

GRANDMA (The Genealogical Registry and Database of Mennonite Ancestry) Database, 6.02 ed. Fresno, CA: California Mennonite Historical Society, 2010: #209427.

Die Mennonitische Rundschau (4 December 1974): 1, 11; (June 2001): 30.

Mennonite Brethren Herald (29 November 1974): 30.

Author(s) Susan Huebert
Date Published 2010

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MLA style

Huebert, Susan. "Warkentin, Cornelius C. (1902-1974)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 2010. Web. 28 Sep 2020. https://gameo.org/index.php?title=Warkentin,_Cornelius_C._(1902-1974)&oldid=142861.

APA style

Huebert, Susan. (2010). Warkentin, Cornelius C. (1902-1974). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 28 September 2020, from https://gameo.org/index.php?title=Warkentin,_Cornelius_C._(1902-1974)&oldid=142861.

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