Tribute to a remarkable man – Vic Volker (1926 – 2021)

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During the early morning of Tuesday, 28 September one of the most well-known and loved members of our community, Vic Volker, went to be with his Saviour and Lord.

He spent his last years at Huis Immergroen, where he still enjoyed relatively good health – both physically and mentally – and continued to bless many people who took the time to visit him and have a conversation with him. He would have turned 95 only 6 weeks later – and therefore family and friends will be gathering for a memorial service in his honour at Wellspring Ministries, corner of Retief and Pretorius Streets, on Saturday, 13 November at 11:00.

Victor Bernhard Gustav Volker was born in Lenjane, Vryheid district, on 13 November 1926, the youngest son of Ferdinand Volker and Marie née Thöle. They were eight children, of whom Mrs (“Tante”) Linda Breckwoldt, is the only one still alive. She turned 90 years of age on the 9th of November, and was Vic’s closest friend and most regular visitor during his last years.

After attending school in nearby Glückstadt and Vryheid, the young Vic moved to Pietermaritzburg, where he learned his trade as a carpenter and joiner. Later he returned to Vryheid for a brief time before setting up a business in Piet Retief in the early 1950s – together with his future brother-in-law, Dieter Breckwoldt. It was located in Church Street and called Volker & Breckwoldt. Later the two started their own businesses, and Vic established what was known as Vic Volker (Pty) Ltd in Market Street – now called Volkers Appliances, owned by his son Heinz.

It was during these early years that Vic fell in love with the eldest of the beautiful Staats girls – of whom there were five – and on 22 October 1955 he married Anneliese. She was the love of his life, and between 1957 and 1962, they had four children – Sigrid, Walter, Heinz and    Dietmar.

It was also in the mid-1950s that he made a decision to commit his life to the Lord Jesus Christ, which proved to be the pivotal and most life-changing event of his life.

“Oom”/ “Uncle”/ “Onkel” Vic, as everyone knew, became a well-known and much loved and prominent person in the community. He was known to be respectful and accepting towards all people, regardless of race, affluence, status and whatever else might differentiate us. For many years he also served as a Town Councillor, including being the chairman of the management committee. Those were the days before party politics played a role, and councillors were elected on personal merit alone.

Vic was, however, best know as a spiritual leader, mentor and father to many. His passion was to share the Gospel and his love for Jesus Christ with as many as he came in contact with. This he always did in a respectful and caring manner. Over the years he supported many missions and ministries, including the Bible Centre, and he was a founding member of what is now known as Wellspring Ministries.

Vic first lost his youngest son, Dietmar, from cancer on his 32nd birthday in September 1994, and then his beloved life partner and wife, Anneliese, on 31 May 2015. More recently, he also lost Trudie, his daughter-in-law who passed away in December last year. During these, and other trials which come to all of us, his faith never wavered. He remained true and passionate in his commitment to the Lord Jesus to the end.

The community of Piet Retief/eMkhondo will miss this very special and widely known man who has left such a great legacy. We honour him for his example, and his integrity, his honesty, his community and spiritual leadership – and thank God for giving us such a special gift. We will not forget him.

He is survived by his five children – Koos and Sigrid Engela, Walter, and Heinz and Lynn – eleven grand-children, and seven great-grandchildren.