Memorial service set for Janzen family

Four members of family killed in murder-suicide will be remembered at Bethel Mennonite church on Friday afternoon

A memorial service for the four members of the Janzen family killed in a tragic murder-suicide will take place this Friday afternoon.

Randy Janzen killed his wife Laurel, daughter Emily and sister Shelly in early May, apparently distraught over Emily’s severe struggle with migraine headaches. He said in a Facebook post that he killed all three because he did not want his wife and sister to have to deal with his actions in killing Emily, 19.

When police were called to the Aldergrove home of Shelly Janzen after being alerted on May 7 by friends who were concerned about her, it led them to the home of Randy Janzen and his family in the Rosedale area of Chilliwack. He barricaded himself in the house and eventually set it on fire, killing himself.

The tragedy has been a deep shock for all who knew the Janzen family, who were longtime residents of Langley. Randy and Shelly’s parents were founding members of Bethel Mennonite Church on 56 Avenue, near 248 Street, and Shelly continued to be an active member of the congregation.  Shelly had taken care of her mother until her death last August.

Randy and Shelly grew up in an idyllic rural area on 66 Avenue, just off 200 Street, in the 1960s and 1970s, before the area became home to big box stores and townhouse developments.

Bethel pastor Phil Wheaton said the surviving Janzen family members have asked that the service for all four be held at Bethel, which can accommodate about 600 people. He expects that the church will be packed.

The service takes place at Bethel Mennonite Church, 24687 56 Ave., starting at 1 p.m. on Friday.