Dr. George K. Epp (1924-1997)
The passing on October 25, 1997 of Dr. George K. Epp of Winnipeg, Manitoba, has left a significant gap in the areas of ministry and scholarship among Manitoba Mennonites and beyond.
Epp and his family came to Manitoba from Paraguay in 1954. His family had immigrated to Paraguay from Germany in 1947, after making the long trek from the Soviet Union in 1943. George was 19 years old at that time.
George did his post-secondary studies at the University of Manitoba where he obtained a B.A. in 1965, an M.A. in 1968 and PhD. in 1976. During this time he taught at Mennonite Brethren Bible College from 1968-73 and at the University of Manitoba from 1973-78.
Later appointments of service included Canadian Mennonite Bible College from 1978-1983, during which time he served as president, and at the Mennonite Studies Center which became Menno Simons College from 1985-1992, where he served as founding president from 1989-92.
Many Manitobans met him in other places like the Mennonite German Society of Canada, the East West Advisory Group of MCC Canada, the Mennonite Benevolent Society and the committees of the Mennonite Heritage Society as well as Der Bote.
As well he gave significant leadership in a project which led to the erection of a large cairn at the Mennonite Heritage Village in memory of Mennonite victims of Soviet repression. During his retirement he then completed two volumes of a projected series of three dealing with the history of Mennonites in Russia before the Revolution. Some copies of volume I have been sold already in Manitoba and the second volume is expected off the press in spring.
Other involvements included his work in helping to edit the complete works of Arnold Dyck (Vols. I-IV), co-editing bilingual anthologies of Canada Mennonite writings title Harvest (1974) and Unter dem Nordlicht (1977), and translating into German David Schroeder's Learning to Know the Bible (1984) and Helmut Harder's Guide to Faith (1982).
George will be much missed as a major contributor in the German literary world and historical endeavours, as he will be in the life of the congregations at Douglas Mennonite and Springfield Heights Mennonite.
Tribute by Lawrence Klippenstein, former Archivist, Mennonite Heritage Centre, Winnipeg, Manitoba.
Reprinted with permission of Manitoba Mennonite Historical Society, Winnipeg, Manitoba.