August 20, 1940 – July 16, 2021 Margaret Anna Fast (nee Rempel) passed away peacefully on July 16, 2021, after a short battle with cancer. She was born to Gerhardt and Maria Rempel (Dyck) on August 20, 1940 in Rosthern, Saskatchewan. The sixth of 16 children, she attended Scarp School until she was 10. In 1951, the family moved to British Honduras; however, they were turned away at the border so they decided to resettle in Manitoba. They reached the Helston-Arden District on Margaret’s birthday, where they homesteaded. Margaret loved to play with her sisters and have pretend tea parties. Her great love and concern for her siblings and dolls were reflected years later in the care and attention she gave to each of her grandchildren.
Margaret accepted Jesus as her Savior at age 14 while at Summer Camp in Gimli, Manitoba. She worked hard to get to camp for free by memorizing the book of John. She was baptized at age 17 while attending Valley Stream Church. Margaret loved working with children and saw great value in teaching Biblical truths to them. For many years she taught in the Rosthern Mennonite Church Sunday School, Children’s Hour and DVBS. She also helped at the AWANA in Hague. Her love for children also gave her many opportunities to babysit for various friends in the community. Her greatest desire was to see her grandchildren taught the gospel and make a decision to follow Jesus. One of Margaret’s many loves was music, and she was often heard humming or singing a song. Her family spent many enjoyable hours singing and making music at home. One evening, while visiting a friend’s home, Margaret heard a missionary speak about work in Paraguay. She had a great desire to bring the gospel to the unsaved there. At age 18 she signed up with New Tribes Bible School (ETHNOS) in Waukesha, Wisconsin for two years to learn linguistics and nursing. Then she attended boot camp in Florida and eventually became fluent in five languages. She was assigned to help in Yvupute, Paraguay with Millie Kolstad as her partner. She worked for 12 years with her and many other missionaries who were assigned there.
While on furlough, Margaret met her future husband, Jacob Fast, at a Mission Fest in the Scarp District. They corresponded back and forth for a couple years until she came home from the mission field. They were married on July 31, 1976 and soon 2 children were born to them, Grace and Ernest.
Margaret was always thoughtful and giving to her family. She would cater to them by cooking a different meal for each person. She disliked cooking and was looking forward to not having to cook in heaven! She helped on the farm in many ways, milking the cows and spending late-night hours making butter and cottage cheese to sell or give away. She was very generous with her produce and grew a large garden to give extra food away. She loved plants and had a knack for growing anything. At one point, she kept as many as 40 houseplants and was always starting new ones. She also loved sewing and spent many enjoyable hours making blankets for MCC with the church ladies. She spent many hours sewing clothes, patching her children’s and later her grandchildren’s clothes. She loved to chat on the phone to keep in touch with her family and friends and dedicated much of her time to helping others. Extended family, particularly nieces and nephews, were also very important to her. Her favorite pastime was taking care of her 14 grandchildren. She would offer to babysit them any day and any time of the week, even when she was struggling with great pain from the cancer.
She will be sorrowfully missed by all those who loved her and those who have been touched by her extraordinary life. Margaret is survived by her: loving husband, Jake; daughter Grace (Tracy) Gader, and their children June, Julaine, Judah, Job, Jireh, Jabez, Jinger, Jewel, Jaeger and Jace; son Ernest (Pam) Fast, and their children Hannah, Amelia, Elyza and Katrina; and many siblings and their families.
She was predeceased by her parents, three brothers, two brothers-in-law and a nephew. A public come and go viewing for family and friends will take place Saturday, July 24, 2021 at 7:00 P.M. at Funk’s Funeral Home 1010-7th Street, Rosthern.
The Funeral Service will be held on Sunday, July 25, 2021 at 3:30 P.M. at Rosthern Mennonite Church, 3016 5th Street, Rosthern. The Funeral Service will be livestreamed on Rosthern Mennonite Church Facebook page. (Request to be a friend on the church’s facebook page prior to the funeral day) Interment will take place at Rosthern Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Ethnos Canada (New Tribe Missions) 313363 Hwy 6 S, PO Box 707, Durham, ON N0G 1R0. Arrangements are entrusted to Funk’s Funeral Home, Rosthern, SK (306) 232-5245, http://www.funksfuneralhome.ca.