John D. Reimer of Winnipeg passed away Dec. 28. 2001 at age 80.
He was born to Jacob and Emma Reimer in Ukraine. The family immigrated to Canada via Mexico. When he was 4, he lost his mother to typhoid.
The family moved to Nelson, Yarrow and then Aldergrove, B.C. He attended Bible school. He was conscripted and served as a conscientious objector, serving in the forest of central B.C. and at Bamberton Cement Works on Vancouver Island.
He was baptized May 1944 and joined North Abbotsford (Clearbrook) MB Church, Abbotsford, B.C. He married Martha Schmidt Sept. 30, 1945. They spent the first few years on a dairy and strawberry farm in Sumas, B.C.
He enjoyed singing, playing the Hawaiian guitar, and the outdoors. He loved the farm, but a fire, tennis elbow and a back injury led him to reluctantly agree to pastor a year. He pastored Harrison Gospel Chapel in Hot Springs, B.C. for 5 years. They moved to Abbotsford, where he was field director for West Coast Children's Mission.
He supplemented his income with carpentry work, making outdoor furniture for Sears, and building houses. His sermons were geared for all ages. He enjoyed summer holidays with his family, making trips to the east coast, California and Montreal. He attended a Christian college in Portland, Ore.
In 1963 they moved to Stoney Creek, Ont. and helped establish Mountview Gospel Chapel. He completed university studies in Kitchener, Ont. and Hamilton. He learned to love watching football and hockey.
In 1968 they moved to Steinbach, Man. He was the first paid pastor at Steinbach MB Church, helping to move the church from German to English. He loved hunting, fishing, golfing and waterskiing, and travelled to the Holy Land and Europe.
They moved to Saskatchewan to pastor and then back to Harrison Hot Springs. He officiated at the weddings of his children and counted each in-law as his own child. As the grandchildren arrived, his and Martha's prayers lengthened. He involved them in his services and would get them to help deliver Christmas hampers.
He tried to get close to all his grandchildren and drove many miles to attend their weddings, graduations and baptisms. He used the computer regularly to send e-mail cards and notes of encouragement.
Eight years ago, while serving as pastor of Leamington (Ont.) MB Church, he suffered a major heart attack, but recovered. They moved to an apartment in Winnipeg. His greatest joy was knowing Jesus and sharing Him with others, leading many to the Lord, including at least six since his heart attack and one two weeks before his death.
He is mourned by Martha; daughters Emmy Martens, Carol Neufeld and Mic Thiessen; sons Wes and Phil; 22 grandchildren; 1 great-grandchild; and 1 sister. The funeral was Dec. 31 in Portage Ave. MB Church, Winnipeg, with Claude Pratte ministering.