‘Valley of Tears’

Johann Funk (1861-1932), born in Schoendorf, and Helena Loewen (1863-1938), born in Schoenhorst, were married in 1883, and in 1888, became founding members of the village of Katerinowka, a daughter colony of Chortitza. The Funk’s farmed about 450 acres and operated a mill, which was powered by an Otto-Deutz motor. Johann Funk had built his own brick factory at a nearby pond. In Katerinowka, only the Funks were members of the Mennonite Brethren Church, situated in nearby Milloradowka. Johann and Helena were pious followers of Christ, and raised their family of 13 children to become faithful followers as well (five children died in infancy). Although the law forbade Mennonites from proselytizing, they were permitted to testify to their faith if asked questions, which they did freely.
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