Agnes Elma (Regier) Ewert was born on March 9, 1907 in Tiefengrund, Saskatchewan and died at the age of 104 years, nine months and seven days on December 16, 2011 in Rosthern. She was the first child of Cornelius W. and Johanna Regier’s seventeen children. She attended the German-English Academy (later Rosthern Junior College) for Grades 9 and 12 and Laird High School for Grades 10 and 11 so she could be closer to home to help with the younger children. After high school, she went to Normal School (teacher training college) in Moose Jaw and received her teaching certificate. This was unusual in that it was expected that, as the oldest, she would stay home to help with the family. However, her mother was determined that Agnes should have the opportunity to do what she wanted with her life. Agnes then taught school for five years, first at Snowbird near Laird for two years, and then at the Kansas school in Drake. It was there that she met Elmer Ewert, the secretary-treasurer of the school board who paid her salary, who she fell in love with and married on July 11, 1933.
Agnes and Elmer honeymooned in Waskesiu and then moved to the farm in Drake where they had planted a spruce shelterbelt and their first garden. They had seven children: Arlyn, Myrna, Lorna, Carol, June, Ellen and Randy. Agnes was an active farming woman, and was overjoyed when they purchased a new 1940 Dodge one-ton truck so she could haul grain in comfort to the elevator in town! Together she and Elmer raised chickens, cows and pigs, selling the eggs, milk, cream and butter to the store in town. In 1947 they moved into town but it wasn’t until 1948 that they moved into “the big house.” They farmed together from 1933-1970. Elmer and Agnes made many, many trips together all over Canada, the US and to Europe. Florida was their winter home for many years. They were also very involved with The Silver Sages in Drake where they were an unbeatable shuffleboard team.
Agnes moved to The Villa in Drake in 1992, after Elmer was hospitalized. After he died in 1993, she continued to travel, to Europe and the United States and to visit her children and grandchildren. She moved to Pineview in Rosthern in September 2010 and died at the Rosthern Mennonite Nursing Home on December 16, 2011.
Agnes was a long-time member of North Star Mennonite Church, where she taught Sunday School and sang in the choir. In fact, she taught Sunday School until she was 95, when she decided she wanted Sundays off! She was the secretary on the founding executive of Canadian Women in Mission, a position she held for ten years, and continued to be involved in this organization both provincially and nationally. Agnes was an active supporter of the church, its schools and its institutions. She volunteered at the thrift store in Lanigan and sewed thousands of quilt tops for MCC, stopping only when she moved to Pineview at age 103. She expressed regret that the younger generations did not appear to give as freely as she had hoped and wondered what would happen to the poor of the world.
Music and gardening were very important to Agnes. She bought her first piano before she was married and played many, many songs from memory. She planted a garden of flowers and vegetables until she moved to Rosthern in September 2010, even planting gardens for her neighbours because they were “too tired.” Agnes enjoyed staying up late drinking coffee and playing Scrabble (or Rummikub or dominoes) with her children and grandchildren. She also loved holding all the new grandbabies and great-grandbabies and looked forward to more. Although she initially resisted the move to Pineview in Rosthern, she quickly acknowledged that she loved it there, and her last months of life were incredibly rich and full of energy, love and music.