Obituary of Pastor Kenneth Dressler
Kenneth Harvey Dressler passed away with his loving wife Sharon by his side at the Medicine Hat Regional Hospital on Thursday, April 20, 2023, at the age of 76 years. Ken was born in Russell, Manitoba on September 6, 1946. He is survived by his loving spouse of 52 years, Sharon; son, Daren (Sara) Dressler; daughter, Lisa Dressler (David Stroh); grandchildren, Alexis (Matt), Olivia, Riley, Emily, Nicholas and McKayla as well as Ken’s first great-grandchild, Emilia. He is also survived by three brothers, Lorne, Reginald (Doris) and Bruce; sister, Patricia (Norman) Gerestein; sisters-in-law, Edna (Ed) Banman, Brenda (Randy) Koehn along with several nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his parents, Albert and Margaret Dressler; father-in-law and mother-in-law, Iver and Pauline Hagen along with numerous aunts and uncles.
Ken spent the first years of his life on a farm near Bredenbury with his parents, Margaret and Albert Dressler. A farm was purchased in Churchbridge and Ken grew up and attended school in this community. Upon receiving a government scholarship at graduation from Churchbridge High School in 1965, he attended the University of Regina for one year before going on to Alberta Bible Institute in Camrose. During his time there he worked with Gordon Schieck as assistant pastor of the Ferintosh congregation. He graduated with a Bachelor of Theology Degree in 1969 and worked in Edmonton until he was called by his uncle Dan Dressler to assist in the work of the church in Morden, Manitoba. From there he returned home to assist on the farm following a farming accident involving his father. In 1970, Ken received a call from the Josephburg (Alberta) Church of God to provide pastoral leadership.
Ken, met his beautiful wife of 52 years, Sharon, in Alberta during their involvement in church youth activities and were married at the Josephburg Church of God on November 14, 1970. Ken pastored there until June 1973 at which time he accepted the pastoral leadership of the Schuler (Alberta) Church of God. During their time in Schuler, Daren and Lisa were born. Both Ken and Sharon attended Hillcrest Christian College in Medicine Hat during this time and Ken graduated with a Bachelor of Religious Education Degree (honours) in 1977. During Ken’s ministry in Schuler, he was also employed as a Janitor, School Bus Driver and farm hand.
They moved to Calgary, Alberta in 1980 where Ken worked in property management, looking after apartment and tenement housing near downtown Calgary. In 1982 Ken returned to pastoral ministry, accepting responsibility for developing a new congregation in northeast Calgary. A near fatal accident in 1985 and continuing health concerns resulted in Ken leaving pastoral ministry in 1987. Ken was also employed at McDonald’s and Heritage Park in Calgary during their time there.
In October 1990, Ken was asked to assist the Church of God congregation in Churchbridge during a leadership transition. A call to provide full-time resident leadership came in January 1991 and in July the family moved to this community. Ken retired in 2002, providing some pastoral care through pulpit supply and various funerals and marriages after his retirement. Ken and Sharon moved to Yorkton in 2002 where they lived until his final days. He had the opportunity to spend the last week of his life in Medicine Hat to be with his wife, daughter and her family.
Ken was a committed servant to the lord and to his community throughout his years, always giving of himself in whatever way he could and helping others over himself. His service included service as Second Vice Chair of the Canadian Board of Missions for the Church of God in Western Canada, member of the Evangelism Committee with responsibilities for new projects, financial assistance to churches. He was the Vice Chair of the General Assembly and Executive Council for the Church of God in Western Canada. He served as Chairman of the General Assembly and Executive Council for the Church of God in Western Canada and Interim Executive Secretary for the Church of God in Western Canada, being responsible for agencies and operations affecting 37 churches in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia. His community involvement included being a
member of Churchbridge Community Development (economic development), responsible for establishing new businesses and encouraging general community development; he was member of Small Business Loans Association, processing and granting of loans to small businesses under the Saskatchewan Government. He served over 11 years as a member of Family Enrichment Program Committee, overseeing grants to children of qualified families to assist financially in their participation in community programs. He was a member of Churchbridge Save our School Committee that successfully lobbied for the retention of the high school in the community. He was a member of the Spiritual/Pastoral Care Committee, the Churchbridge Inter-Church Council, Member of the 4-Town Pastors Association. In Schuler, he was a member of the Schuler Community Association, Secretary-Treasurer - Schuler Recreation Board, and participated in drawing up five-year master plan for community facilities. He was also part of the Secretary - Schuler Railroad Retention Committee, assisting in successfully appealing the retention of the CPR branch line into the community of Schuler. Ken was also a member of the Josephburg Lions Club, the Assistant Cub Leader for the Josephburg Cub & Scout Association and a member of the Ft. Saskatchewan Ministerial Association.
Ken was most remembered by his family for his incredible sense of humour, unique storytelling ability and passionate Sunday morning messages at the pulpit. The regular bike and motorcycle excursions, camping, youth trips, drives in the mountains, picnics and his ability to talk to anyone he came across brought so many incredible memories and a legacy that his family will remember forever. Ken was fortunate to have gone into remission after being diagnosed with cancer in 2018, and was able to celebrate his 75th birthday. It felt like he was taken too soon, but the last year of cancer treatments, along with the stroke he suffered on March 1st, brought much pain and suffering in the end. Ken was relieved of his suffering and was taken to be with his lord and saviour in his mansion in heaven when he passed peacefully with family by his side listening to scripture and songs that reflected his life and legacy. He was a passionate and involved community member, a dedicated husband and a caring father that will forever be remembered and cherished in our hearts and through the memories that we will forever hold dear.
A celebration honouring Ken’s life was held at Yorkton Memorial Gardens on Friday, April 28, 2023 with Pastor Rick Gibson officiating. A time of reflection and fellowship will also be held in Medicine Hat at the Chinook Village Garden Lounge on Sunday, April 30, 2023 from 3:00-4:30 p.m.
Memorials in memory of Pastor Kenneth Dressler may be made to a Charity of Choice as gifts of remembrance.To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Pastor Kenneth Dressler, please visit Tribute Store