Daniel Sylvester Unruh was born May 3, 1956, in Waldheim Saskatchewan at the local hospital, which our dad was proud to remind us only delivered babies for 4 years. Dan spent his early years moving with his schoolteacher father, Gilbert, and his mother, Genevieve, from Waldheim to Yorkton, Tuxford, Leader, Borden, and Hepburn. During this time, his siblings Ruth and Sam were born, and Dan started his school years in Hepburn. In 1963, they moved to Hillsvale Hutterite Colony near Cut Knife where Dan and his siblings stayed for 13 years, attending most of their schooling on the Hutterite Colony and forming formative relationships. In his high school years, he was baptized, taking a further step in his walk with God.
After completing high school in Cut Knife, Dan followed the family tradition of attending Millar Memorial Bible Institute from 1973-1976. On summer breaks he worked on a farm and at summer camps. More importantly, he was given a chance to dive deeply into the Word of God. He met Terry in his second year and she joined a large group of Unruh cousins in attending off campus activities. Sometime later they started “going together”. To be closer to Terry, Dan took a summer job as a packer driver in Alberta, and their story led to an October 11, 1980, wedding.
Dan worked in jobs ranging from mail delivery to home milk delivery around Saskatoon, and then in February 1979 he started with Mennonite Trust Limited (MTL, recently Amity). His 4 month temporary position grew to 43 years, with a retirement celebration in December 2022. Hard work at correspondence courses while balancing early marriage and full-time work led to a CGA (Certified General Accountant) designation. In his role as CGA at MTL, Dan served through policy development, financial wisdom, an eye for long term vision and other roles.
For the past 40 years, Dan attended Salem Church and lived in Waldheim, two blocks from his birthplace. Dan became a father in 1988 when David was born, followed by Deborah, Jonathan, and James in subsequent years. Their home was filled with joy and, oftentimes, a little chaos…but mainly joy his children hope! Dan worked long hours as his role grew at MTL, but he never missed his children’s events, being at Salem Church, or the Waldheim Missions Conference. In addition to two stints as the Mid Prairie Scripture Mission (MPSM) Treasurer in the 1980s, Dan served on the Waldheim Missions Conference committee since 1992, while also filling the Salem Treasurer role from 1995-2003 and 2012-2023. Doubtless, many reading this will have benefited from his wise advice, opinion or presence in one or more of his professional roles.
Moving back to his home life, his family observed four decades of professional integrity and work ethic while being present with his wife and children. Dan and Terry homeschooled their children; a choice which was a bit new at the time. Dan helped to pioneer this option of schooling in Saskatchewan and was involved with SHBE (Saskatchewan Home Based Educators) in various capacities for more than a decade.
Dan’s key pride and joy was his family. He attended countless track meets, golf tournaments, Bible quizzing meets, basketball games and more. He cheered, strategized, analyzed, and planned right along with his kids as they grew and moved through various activities. He was proud to see them launched well into adult lives and he exchanged many phone calls offering advice and wisdom along the way.
As Dan stepped into glory on March 23, 2023, he was surrounded by his loving family, at his side and by video call. He will be missed by all who knew him, but his presence in eternity follows a faithful life. His family believes he could well be welcomed with words about his attitude of service, “Well done, a good and faithful servant. Welcome home.”
Dan is survived by his loving wife of 42 years, Terry, children David (Chantal), Deborah (Michaël), Jonathan (Stephanie) and James, grandchildren Cole and Andrew as well as siblings Ruth (Art) Hiebert and Sam (Julia) Unruh. He was predeceased by his parents Gilbert and Genevieve and grandson Benjamin.