Jacob (Loewen) Leven, 1903 - 2001

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As stated elsewhere, Jacob chose to remain in the USSR rather than join his parents and siblings when they emigrated to Canada in 1926. As he explained to his parents, he preferred the academic life he was already engaged in, to the life of a farmer he expected in Canada. Although he promised to follow later, the opportunity never came, as Stalin and his successors denied that to all in the decades ahead. Jacob lived out his life (to the age of 98) in the USSR (Russia).





The following edited life story was submitted by Ernst, Jacob Leven's son, a resident of Moscow.
    Jacob (Loewen) Leven was born on the 16th of January 1903, in the Chortitza Colony. He was only 1 year old when his family moved to Orenburg in the Southern Urals. Jacob was an avid reader and had a deep love for study and learning. When his family decided to move to Canada in 1926, Jacob chose to remain and finish his studies. He promised his parents that he would follow when his studies were complete. He knew that a life of farming and hard physical work awaited him in Canada, for which he had no desire. Jacob was a student of The Teacher’s College in Vladikavkaz (Northern Caucasus) at the time.

   In 1929 he found himself in Samarkand (Uzbekistan), where his teacher-professor was invited to establish a Department of Geology at the Uzbekistan State University. From that time forward, his life became closely connected with this university, where he worked as assistant for the first time, after which he became Professor of Geology. His teaching life was interrupted by WWII, when he was forced to serve in the “Labour Army” like many other Germans living in Russia. He worked in the Urals, taking part in building military plants.

   In 1932 Jacob married a university student, Luba Victorova. One year later their son Ernst was born, and two years later, daughter Eleanor Margarita was born. They lived in Samarkand until 1975, when they bought a house in Kaluga (west of Moscow), where Eleanor Margarita lived, together with her family. Jacob visited Canada in 1989 and met his siblings and their families after 63 years of separation. He met brothers Martin and Henry during their visit to the USSR in 1967 and 1986, respectively.

   Jacob’s wife, Luba (Victorova) Leven was born in Kazan (Tatarstan) on the 25th of August, 1910. Her father (Ivan Victorov) worked for Kazan University as an assistant, and her mother, (Anastasia Victorova), was a tailor. In 1928 they moved to Samarkand, where Ivan began working at the Uzbek State University. Luba attended the Chemical Faculty of this University, where she met Jacob Leven. In 1932, she married Jacob Leven and they had two children, Ernst and Eleanor. Luba remained Jacob’s faithful companion until her passing on May 26, 1994.

   On the 25th of December 2001, Jacob died suddenly. His death had come 20 days before his 99th birthday. He had been spry and active until his last day. On the morning of the day he died, he had boasted to his son about his strong health. He told Ernst that his health was the result of daily exercise, and that his goal was to outlive his father- Abraham (who had lived to an age just short of 103 years).

For more detail on the life story of Jacob Loewen, click here.

jake & students   jake & luba
Jacob Leven back row, far right; Vladikavkaz, 1926   Cotton harvest in Samarkand, 1949.
jake academics   jake professors
Jacob is in back row, third from left. Taken in Vladikavkaz, 1926, with  fellow students, together with their professor.   Jacob at back, in Samarkand, 1940. These were likely his teaching colleagues.
jake wedding   jake family
Jacob and Luba, at the time of their wedding, 1932   Jacob and Luba with their young family - Ernst & Ella, 1942. Photo was taken prior to Jacob's forced-labour camp departure.
jake 55   kaluga
Jacob, 1955   Jacob & Luba with grandchildren, Kaluga, 1976
martin visit   jake golden wedding
Brother Martin's visit in 1967.
Back: Jacob and cousin Abram Driedger
Front: Luba and Martin
  Jacob and Luba on their Golden Wedding Anniversary, 1982.
henry visit   jake visit
Brother Henry's visit in 1986.
Back: Olga, Ernst & Irina
Front: Jacob & Henry
                 Jacob's visit to Canada in 1989.
L. - R.: Lena, Abram, Anna, Daniel, Jacob, Tina, Henry
Linda Eleanor visit    
 October, 2001 - Linda (Loewen) Danallanko & Eleanor Loewen visit.

               Back: Tatjana Dorofeew, Linda, Jurui Dorofeew, Ernst,
                       Ella (Leven) Dorofeew, ? , Konstantin Dorofeew
               Front: Eleanor Loewen, Jacob, Olga Leven

           (Jacob and Ella died two months later, and Eleanor 5 months later.)