Wiebe, Anne (1918-2013)

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Anne Wiebe
Family photo

Anne Wiebe: teacher, lay historian, writer, was born 1 July 1918 in Rosenthal, Ukraine to Abram Jacob Wiebe (23 March 1890, Bergmannstal, Ukraine–9 July 1967, Kitchener, Ontario), a teacher at the Zentralschule in Chortitza, Ukraine and Anna Epp Wiebe (22 February 1890, Rosenthal, Ukraine–28 August 1970, Kitchener, Ontario). Anne was the oldest of four children, her siblings were Louise, Abram and Helen. Anne died on 28 March 2013 and is buried in Woodland Cemetery in Kitchener, Ontario.

In 1928 the Wiebe family immigrated to Canada, settling first in Winkler and then in Gretna, Manitoba. Anne attended Winnipeg Normal School, 1936-1937 and then began her teaching career. From 1938 to 1945 she was an elementary school teacher in three different southern Manitoba towns: Schoenwiese, Gnadenthal and Rosenfeld, Manitoba.

When her family moved to Kitchener, Ontario Anne went with them and continued her education there. At the same time as teaching, Anne studied at Waterloo Lutheran College, then affiliated with the University of Western Ontario from which she received a BA in 1951. She continued graduate studies at Columbia University while living in New York City and received a MA in History & German from that university in 1953.

Throughout her 35 years of teaching Anne taught mostly History and the German language in the following schools in Ontario: a senior high school in Windsor; at Eden Christian College (also called Eden High School) in Virgil; at Galt Collegiate Institute (1956-1957) and Glenview Park Secondary School (1957-1966), both located in the former city of Galt now part of Cambridge, Ontario; and at Waterloo Collegiate Institute (1967-1977). Anne retired from teaching in 1977.

History was Anne Wiebe’s passion; this was evident in her teaching. She frequently used slides from her travels to illustrate the topics she taught such as Ancient History. When Jim Quantrell retired after working for 26 years as the Cambridge city archivist, he told The Record newspaper reporter: “It was at Glenview where teacher Anne Wiebe’s stories of travelling to Europe to study ancient civilizations sparked his lifelong interest in history.” The archival sources in Kitchener state that, “Anne had great rapport with her students and she was honoured as a teacher several times [with awards].”

Anne’s other passions were recording and documenting family history, travelling, photography, baking and cooking. Having no children of her own, she spent a lot of time nurturing her brother Abram’s six children and later her grand-nieces and nephew. Many summers during her teaching career, she traveled with her sisters and friends to places such as Europe, Ukraine, the Middle East, China, Australia, New Zealand and the Canadian Arctic. One of her notable recollections is of seeing the Great Wall of China, knowing that it was the only man-made structure visible from the moon.

The Kitchener Mennonite Brethren Church was her church home. She also participated in the Mennonite Historical Society of Ontario and the Mennonite Bicentennial Commission Executive Committee. The Ontario Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches invited Anne to write the history of the Mennonite Brethren church in Ontario. This was an immense undertaking for which Anne did much research. She wrote nine chapters in all, beginning with how the Mennonite Brethren church came into being in 19th century Ukraine. She completed the manuscript in 1988. The manuscript was never published but several articles resulted from it, as seen in the bibliography below. The original copy of this manuscript is located in the archives of the Centre for Mennonite Brethren Studies in Winnipeg.

Anne Wiebe was influential both in her career as a teacher and in her family. Her life and work were based on her Christian faith and an attitude of service to others.


Center for Mennonite Brethren Studies, Anne Wiebe Collection https://cmbs.mennonitebrethren.ca/personal_papers/wiebe-anne-1918/.

Family archives, Abram Wiebe family home, Waterloo, Ontario.

Kitchener Mennonite Brethren Church Archives, XIII. Anne Wiebe Historical Research and Manuscript. 1934-2000. https://cmbs.mennonitebrethren.ca/inst_records/kitchener-mennonite-brethren-church-kitchener-on/

Lee, Peter. “Archivist learned ins and out of Cambridge’s history. Longtime Cambridge city archivist Jim Quantrell retires on Friday.” The Record (29 September 2011) Web. https://www.therecord.com/news-story/2588570-archivist-learned-ins-and-out-of-cambridge-s-history/

Wiebe, Anne. “Mennonite Brethren Beginnings in Ontario 1924-1932” Ontario Mennonite History 25, no. 1 (June 2007): 1-10, based on Chapter VI “Early Beginnings” of her manuscript, edited for Ontario Mennonite History by Linda Huebert Hecht and Nancy Fehderau. http://mhso.org/sites/default/files/publications/Ontmennohistory25-1.pdf.

Wiebe, Anne. "The Mennonite Brethren in Ontario: a short history” in Mennogespräch 4, no. 1 (March 1986): 4-8. http://mhso.org/sites/default/files/publications/Mennogesprach4-1.pdf.

Wiebe, Anne. “From Mother Russia to Mother Church: The Story of the Mennonite Brethren in Ontario 1924-1953.” Unpublished manuscript, 1988. Located at the Centre for Mennonite Brethren Studies, Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Author(s) Sheila Wiebe
Peggy Wiebe Brock
Date Published January 2019

Cite This Article

MLA style

Wiebe, Sheila and Peggy Wiebe Brock. "Wiebe, Anne (1918-2013)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. January 2019. Web. 3 Aug 2021. https://gameo.org/index.php?title=Wiebe,_Anne_(1918-2013)&oldid=163070.

APA style

Wiebe, Sheila and Peggy Wiebe Brock. (January 2019). Wiebe, Anne (1918-2013). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 3 August 2021, from https://gameo.org/index.php?title=Wiebe,_Anne_(1918-2013)&oldid=163070.

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