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 Jon (Jørgen)

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June 21, 1940 - September 16, 2023

With extremely heavy hearts, we announce that our loving husband, father, and grandfather Jon passed peacefully on September 16, 2023, in St. Boniface Hospital at the age of 83.


Jørgen was born June 21, 1940, in Varde, Denmark to his parents Ane and Jens Peter Friedel Klagenberg. He was the youngest of seven children and his siblings Ejner, Henning (Lis), Gerda (Arne), Inge, Kirsten (Mike) and Rask (Carol) were loved dearly. Jørgen would share beautiful stories of his family and how close they were. After graduation, Jørgen served for one year in the Danish Airforce. He carried the lessons he learned during his service with him throughout his life.


Jørgen always had a passion for agriculture and worked for many years on the family farm. Shortly after completing his post secondary education, he decided he wanted to follow his brother Rask to Canada. He travelled on the Stavangerfjord ship and arrived at Pier 21 in Halifax in 1961. His name was never pronounced correctly, so he quickly became known as Jon.


Shortly after arriving in Canada, Jon began his lifelong journey into cryogenics in the cattle industry. His expertise was sought after by farmers far and wide, and he played a pivotal role in improving the quality of cattle breeding programs across Canada, including British Columbia, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba. His name became synonymous with excellence in the field, and his impact on the industry was immeasurable.


It was while working in Hamiota, Manitoba he met a young telephone operator named Carol Gurnick and the sparks flew. Carol and Jon were married in 1968 and they lived in Hamiota with their three daughters until 1979 when they moved to Winnipeg. Jon embarked on a new chapter of his career when he joined the University of Manitoba, where he delved deep into the world of cryogenics. He brought his expertise to the private sector where his contributions extended beyond cattle to various aspects of cryogenic technology, leaving an indelible mark on industries near and far. In his later years, Jon's entrepreneurial spirit led him to establish his own business which included ensuring various medical clinics, hospitals and research facilities were properly stocked with liquid nitrogen. Through this venture, he continued to push the boundaries of what was possible, leaving a legacy of innovation and dedication that will continue to inspire generations to come.


Jon's heart knew no borders when it came to his wife and family. His love bridged the distance between North America and Europe, and he treasured the connections he had with loved ones on both sides of the Atlantic. Family was the cornerstone of his life, and his bonds with relatives held a special place in his heart. Jon spent a lot of time traveling and camping with his wife and three daughters, his in laws John and Anne, as well has his brother-in-law, Lawrence.  They travelled across North America, on many adventures. Jon was fortunate to take his family through the years to Denmark where he was able to show off his beautiful homeland and amazing Danish family members.

The family cottage at Sandy Lake was a sanctuary for Jon, a place where he found solace and joy. Late-night bonfires under a canopy of stars, lively dinner parties filled with laughter and love, water sports that splashed with excitement, numerous card and board games with his family, and serene fishing outings were cherished moments he shared with family and friends. The yard and driveway at Sandy Lake were always pristine thanks to Jon’s hard work.

Jon's athletic spirit shone brightly from a young age, with soccer and gymnastics capturing his heart during his formative years. Upon arriving in Canada, he discovered a new passion in curling, becoming an active and valued member of various teams in Hamiota and Winnipeg as he bonded with neighbors from Dumore Bay over their love of the sport. Jon was also the coach of his grandson’s Evan’s curling team.

Music was another cornerstone of Jon's life, and his whistling often filled the air as he tended to his home and garden. Jazz flowed through his veins, as evidenced by his fantastic record collection. He lent his voice to choirs and productions, sharing his musical talent with those fortunate enough to listen.

Jon's green thumb transformed his garden into a breathtaking haven of color and serenity. He nurtured his garden with love, a reflection of his deep appreciation of farming and eating and enjoying the fruits of his labour.

Above all, Jon's greatest joy was his grandchildren. They were his pride and joy, and he never missed an opportunity to support them in their pursuits, whether it was hockey, football, soccer, basketball, dance recitals, violin recitals, musicals, or countless music festival performances. The grandchildren enjoyed many sleepovers at their grandparent’s house and loved Grandpa’s denvers and Norwegian pancakes.

As we remember Jon, let us be inspired by his boundless love, his adventurous spirit, and his unwavering devotion to family. His legacy will forever echo in the hearts of those who had the privilege of sharing in his love, laughter, and that dazzling smile.


Jon is survived by his loving wife of 54 years Carol; daughter Leila (Mike) Kohut and granddaughter Julia of Winnipeg; daughter Mona Klagenberg (Grant Bell) of Winnipeg and granddaughter Stephanie Bell of New York and grandson Evan Bell of Winnipeg; daughter Treena Klagenberg (Rob Person) of Calgary and their family Melanie Ozubko of Winnipeg, Kelsey Person (Kyle Chipman) of Calgary, Brianne Person (Malcolm Kinney) of Calgary, grandchildren, Auden Ozubko of Winnipeg, Dawson Kinney of Calgary; and his sister Inge Klagenberg in Denmark. Jon leaves to mourn numerous nephews and nieces in Denmark, California, Vancouver, and Winnipeg.


A special thank you to Dr. Rittberg, Tamara, Jennifer, and the team at Cancer Care Manitoba for all their support and guidance.


A celebration of Jon’s life will be held Saturday September 23, 2023 at 2:00 p.m. at 603 Wellington Crescent at Academy Road.


In lieu of flowers the family has asked to please donate to the charity of your choice.  


Cremation & Life Celebrations

530 St, Mary Avenue - Winnipeg

204-421-5501 -

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