Manfred Rolf Eugen Neff (Fred) was born on Sept. 21, 1946, in Graupe, Germany. He passed away at the Bethesda Regional Health Centre in Steinbach, Man., on the evening of June 10, 2018. He was diagnosed with cancer in August of 2016 and succumbed to the disease, fully prepared and ready to meet his Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
Manfred’s father Eugen had married Johanna and had a son Guenther before World War Two. Eugen served as a medic in the German army, was stationed in Norway, and became a prisoner of war. Upon release, Eugen lived with his family on the east side of a divided Germany and had to flee to the west after he helped a Jewish neighbour escape to the west. Later Johanna, Guenther, and two-year-old Manfred went through the woods at night on foot and by baby carriage until they got to the west.
Manfred followed Guenther to Canada, returning to Germany for a period to care for his ailing father. In Canada, Manfred worked underground in Thompson, Man., and as a carpenter before studying at Nipawin Bible Institute for two years and then serving as a pastor in Grand Rapids, Man., until he became ill.
Manfred and Stella met in 1972 and were married in 1974. Stella was an educator in various communities.
Manfred is survived by his wife Stella and his children, Eileen, Allan (Suzie), and Tom (Brandi). He will be lovingly remembered by his grandchildren, Samantha (Lenny), Courtney (godchild), Chantell (Jeffrey), Rachel, Tyler, Jace, Sella, Jaymin, Lyla, Jordin, Bentley, and Kashtin; his great-grandchildren, Taylor (Dallas), Tristen, Treyson, Lennon, Jaylen, Bianca, River, Jetta, Ryker, Sage and Piper; his great-great grandchild Nova; his godchild Karen, and special nephew Kevin and special niece Cheri.
Manfred is also survived by his brother Guenther (Rosemary), numerous nieces and nephews, brothers- and sisters-in-law, Herb (Iona), Ellen, Richard (Cathy), Ronnie (Shelley), Norma (Dave), Nora, Joanne (Jim), Dunstan, and Mike (Val).
Manfred was predeceased by his parents Eugen and Johanna Neff, grandparents, uncles, aunts, and cousins, in-laws Walter and Norma Cook, nephew Kashtin, brothers-in-law Donald, Ted, Klaus, Cameron, and sister-in-law Gladys.
Wake services were held on Thursday and Friday, June 14 and 15, at 7 p.m., in the St. Alexander Catholic Hall in Grand Rapids. The funeral service was held on Saturday, June 16, 2018, at 1 pm., at the St. James Anglican Church (a building that Manfred constructed). The officiant was Pastor Steve Martin, Anglican, with Noël Boulanger, OMI, involved with scripture and prayer. The sermon was by Pastor Ron Thiessen of Community Bible Fellowship, Swan River, Man., where Manfred and Stella had been involved.
Pallbearers were Ken Cook, Murray Cook, Dustin Murdock, Vernon Cook, Roland Moodie, and Darren Guimont. Honourary pallbearers were all of his friends. Interment was in St. James Anglican Church cemetery.
“And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away” (Rev. 21:4).