Susan Elizabeth Poppel (nee Finkbeiner), devoted wife to Wayne, loving mother of Kathryn (Brandon), Jeffrey (Ashleigh) and Laura (Kevin), and proud grandma of Mason, Noah and Emmett Poppel, Riona (Salt) and Baby Pollard, passed away at the Hamiota Hospital on October 25th, 2018 at the age of 62 after a courageous fight with cancer. Funeral services were held at the Miniota Community Rink and she was laid to rest in the Miniota cemetery on November 4th, 2018.
Susan was born on July 10, 1956 in the Hamiota Hospital to her loving parents, Johnnie and Dolly Finkbeiner, and older sister, Jan. She was raised on the farm in Isabella and from an early age, she learned from her parents the importance of family, friends and community, a love of the land and nature, and what it meant to have a strong work ethic. Susan stayed true to these fundamental values throughout her life, and instilled these values in her children.
At 15 years old, Susan met the love her life, Wayne Poppel, at a sock-hop in Miniota. They were together from that day on, later purchasing the family home in Miniota in September of 1976. Wayne and Susan were married on August 2, 1980 in front of family and friends in Isabella, Manitoba. Around that same time, Susan’s father, Johnnie, retired from farming and Susan and Wayne decided to purchase his land in Isabella and they began their own farming adventure. Susan and Wayne spent 47 beautiful years together. They provided a true example of what it means to love someone deeply and unconditionally, for richer and for poorer, in sickness and in health, in good times and in bad.
Susan and Wayne welcomed their first child, Kathryn Elizabeth on March 7, 1984. She was followed by two more children, Jeffrey Wayne on December 8, 1986 and Laura Marie on October 30, 1989. Susan was a devoted mother. She would take her children to all of their events – whether it was hockey, soccer, track and field, festivals, or carnivals. In the midst of managing three kids’ busy schedules, she was supporting her husband, Wayne, with his daily carpentry work and then up at the farm ensuring that he had a big lunch packed and a hot supper delivered to the field every day during seeding and harvest.
As her children grew and left the nest, Susan became more of a best friend to her children than a Mom. She was always there for support and comfort, and she ensured that despite distance, family traditions were kept alive and new traditions were born. Susan enjoyed many family vacations in recent years to Calgary, Canmore, Banff, Ontario, Quebec, Los Angeles and what she called the “Trip of A Lifetime” to Europe with Wayne, Kathryn and Laura in 2017 for the 100th Anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge. Family was of upmost importance to her and she always ensured that her family knew how proud she was of them, and how much she loved them.
Susan and Wayne became grandparents in 2013 when Jeffrey and Ashleigh welcomed Mason Bradley into the family. He was followed two years later by Noah James and Emmett Joseph. Susan welcomed Riona into the family with open arms when Kathryn married Brandon Pollard in 2017 and she was excited to be welcoming her fifth grandchild in December to Kathryn and Brandon. Susan loved her grandchildren with every ounce of her being - “to the moon and back” as she would say. She loved to read them stories or play games with them, and her grandchildren loved her just as much as she loved them.
Susan was also a dedicated and valuable member of the Miniota Community. Throughout her life, Susan volunteered for many committees, boards, and organizations in the community of Miniota, including the Miniota Community Centre, United Church Women, Miniota Golf Club, Miniota/Elkhorn C-Hawks, Miniota 4-H club, the History Committee and the list goes on and on. She was also a strong supporter of the Miniota Fire Department as Wayne served on this organization for 37 years. Until the very end, she was giving back, even doing the financial books for the United Church Women while she was in the Hamiota Hospital.
While Susan endured a lot of things throughout her life, she always maintained strength, hope, a positive outlook on life, and she never once complained about what she was going through. In Susan’s words from the 2017 Poppel Family Christmas Letter: “Out of adversities come good things. We have again been reminded how important family and good friends are and that we should not take life for granted and should remember that each day is a gift – use it well!” If there is one lesson that we can all take from the tragic loss of Susan, it is to live life every day a bit more like Susan. Treasure your family and close friends, be kind and generous with your love and give back to your community. Susan will be deeply missed by her family, and all that had the pleasure of knowing her.
For those so desiring, donations may be made in Susan’s memory to: Miniota Fire Department, Box 70, Miniota, MB, R0M 1M0; or Miniota/Elkhorn C-Hawks, Box 27, Arrow River, MB, R0M 2H0; or to a charity of one’s choice.
Words of Thanks
While the loss of Susan is immense, our hearts are also full of gratitude for all of the love and support that we have received from the community of Miniota and the surrounding communities.
Thank-you to everyone who attended the service, it was truly amazing and overwhelming to see how many people travelled from near and far to pay tribute to Susan and to provide support to the Poppel family. Thank you to all of those who have offered words of condolences, sent cards, food, flowers or donations, or stopped by to visit in the recent weeks. Your thoughtfulness will always be remembered. Thank you to Campbell’s Funeral Home for their professional arrangements and to Loree Gardham for creating the beautiful flower arrangements we received. A sincere thank you to Linda Clark for officiating the service and sharing your personal memories of Susan. It meant so much to our family that you led the service – your words were beautiful and we thank you for all of your comfort to Susan and our family throughout these difficult times. Thank you to Hazel Wall for sharing your memories of Susan at the service, for the many visits to Susan while in the hospital, and for your ongoing support of our family. Thank you to Julie Halipchuk for your moving performance of ‘Amazing Grace’ at the service. A special thank you to Brent Fortune (Chair), Larry Oakden (Vice-Chair), Ryan Brown (Assistant Development Officer) and Jeff Lelond (Assistant Development Officer) of the Midwest Planning District for their ongoing understanding and support of Wayne during these most trying times. Thank you to the Miniota Fire Department for all of their assistance at the service and acting as the Honour Guard. Thank you to the United Church Women for the wonderful dainties and service at the tea. Thank you to the nurses at the Hamiota Hospital for taking good care of Susan during the time she spent there, including in particular Susan’s dear friend Sharon Armitage who was always there for support and a friendly visit. Last, but certainly not least, a special thank you to Susan’s dear friends, including in particular Brenda Stowe, for your ongoing friendship, care and support of Susan throughout the years.
In closing, Wayne and the Poppel family has deeply appreciated the support that has been shown to us by family, community, friends and all those who Susan provided that special “touch” to when she met them. Susan had a magical way of making every person she met feel special, respected, appreciated and loved. We will all greatly miss her.
Messages of condolence can be shared or candles lit
using the Tribute Wall or Guestbook links.
Miniota Fire Department
Miniota MB R0M 1M0
Box 27, Arrow River MB R0M 2H0
A Charity of One's Choice