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Canadian founder of Taiwan disability care center dies

Photo courtesy of New Dawn Educare Center

Photo courtesy of New Dawn Educare Center

Canadian pastor Otto Dirks, founder of the Taiwan Mennonite New Dawn Educare Center, died Monday at the age of 85 in Canada, the center confirmed Wednesday.

According to the Canada Obituaries on Tuesday, Dirks passed away at Bethania Personal Care Home in Winnipeg the previous day.

In 1977, Dirks and his wife Elaine founded the New Dawn Educare Center in Hualien, which has evolved over the years into a facility that provides care not to only to people with disabilities, but also to the underprivileged.

The center now houses 250 people and offers a range of humanitarian services, it said.

Earlier this month, the center received Taiwan's Presidential Cultural Award in recognition of its decades-long dedication to humanitarian efforts in the country.

Dirks is survived by his third wife Doris, two sons, three stepchildren, and their families, according to the Canada Obituaries.

A memorial service will be held for Dirks at Charleswood Mennonite Church in Winnipeg on Oct. 7, the notice said.