Reimer, Jacob "Jake"

Jacob

 Jacob "Jake" Reimer

1934 - 2010 

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Jacob Reimer was born on May 24, 1934, to Cornelius and Justina Reimer. He was the second oldest in a family of seven children. He was born on a farm North East of Winkler where his father was working as a farm hand. The family moved around a lot in grandpa’s early years, as great-grandpa worked for a number of different farmers. In 1944 they moved into the Rosenbach school district and rented a quarter section from his grandpa Peters, which they would later buy.

Grandpa’s childhood experiences were very typical. He grew up in a poor family, but never remembered going hungry or without clothing. Being the oldest son, he was required to help his dad with the farming. He enjoyed school, regardless if it was in Rosenbach, Winkler Collegiate or at Normal School. But he would also make time for fun and games. During recess they played soccer in the winter and baseball in the spring. Grandpa usually played shortstop, but was a little afraid of the ball because he did not have a glove.

Grandpa grew up in a Christian home and was taught what it meant to be a Christian. The children were always expected to be honest and respect God and the rest of humanity. He and his brother Andy, were baptized into the Somerfelder church in the spring of 1953. These values would stay with him all his life. He and grandma worked hard to raise their children with the same upbringing they received. They would take them to church, encourage them in their spiritual walk and reprimand them when they would “fall short of the glory of God”.

When grandpa was nineteen, he was offered a job as a farm hand by Mr. John Trinke. This summer job would turn into a year-round job cleaning grain and working with the laying hens during the winter. He was offered room and board as long as there was work. During this time, grandpa felt God leading him to return to school to become a teacher.

While he was living at the Trinke’s, he met a beautiful young women, Beatrice, and not long after that the courtship started. On February 15, 1959 he proposed and on August 6, 1959 they were married. Their first home was a rented house in Plum Coulee with no running water and an “outdoor” toilet. It wasn’t much, but they were happy with it.

In their early years of marriage, grandpa taught at Plum Coulee. In 1963, they had a son, Rob and then in 1965, Ken, their New Year’s baby arrived, the first in Winkler that year. Marilyn came along later in 1968 and so the family was completed.

In 1970 Grandpa moved the family fifteen miles west to Morden where he took a new teaching job. A year later he became the principal of the Maple Leaf Elementary School for the next 18 years. It was during these years that the school added on to its facilities. Grandpa was deeply respected and appreciated by his students, the parents and his staff. Long after his retirement, former students and parents would stop him on the streets to chat with him.

The move to Morden also meant a new church and a new set of friends. The Morden MB Church, now Westside Community Church, soon became their church home. Grandpa would be a member there for 40 years. He was involved in church on many different levels, including being a leader for the Christian Service Brigade, teaching an adult Sunday school class and moderator of the church. Grandpa was also the President of the Board for the Winkler Bible Camp for six years.

Summers in Morden included traveling and camping. For five consecutive years they travelled with their friends, George and Ella Martens and family. They travelled to BC, the East coast, Salt Lake City and Duluth. These were great times of fun and learning for the family.

In 1974, grandpa bought the family farm and started farming it with his two sons. Seeding and harvest were always busy times as it meant the work had to be done after grandpa was finished with school for the day. He enjoyed working with his hands out in the fields. He continued to farm until the boys were gone from home. In 1990 he sold the farm yard, and in 1996 he sold the rest of the land.

In 1989 grandpa retired from teaching so that he and grandma could do some traveling and become involved in some ministry. Their first volunteer adventure was in Akron, PA, for two years with MCC. It was difficult to leave their three children and their two grandchildren but they soon met new friends from all over North America including some of the local Amish families. They enjoyed the work, friendships and new setting. In 1993 they became the managers of the Winkler MCC Thrift Shop for two and a half years.  In 1998 they travelled to Mexico   to work at the Steinrich Bible School from January to April.

Over the next few years, they would continue to travel all over North America. Their travels included going to Florida and Alaska with Nick and Mary Poetker; to BC, Newfoundland, Arizona and Mexico with Peter and Rose Fehr; to BC with grandpa’s brother Andy; to the Caribbean with Ken and Karen and family; to Europe with grandpa’s sisters Kathrine and Mary. And there were many other trips to other places with many other friends.

In 2005, grandpa and grandma took their whole family out to Vancouver Island to spend a week at the Beach Acres Resort. Each family had their own cabin which was overlooking the ocean. Together as families, we would take turns preparing meals, go sightseeing and take numerous walks along the beach hunting for sand dollars and sea shells. This has become a family highlight for all of us.

In 2005, grandpa was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease and in 2009 it was discovered that he had colon cancer. Over the next eleven months he would demonstrate great courage, amazing grace and a steadfast faith in his God as the cancer ravaged his body. On October 10, 2010 with his wife and daughter at his side, he peacefully breathed his last breath and entered into eternity with our Lord and Saviour.

He is survived by his loving wife of fifty-one years, Beatrice Ann Trinke, his son Robert and Myrna Reimer, children Kara, Shanna and Joel; his son Ken and Karen Reimer children Dustin and Janessa, and Dantin; and his daughter Marilyn and Jereme Brown and children Caleb, Jesse, Garrett, and Darby. He is also survived by one brother and four sisters. He is predeceased by one brother and one grandchild Janell. 

Memorial service was held on Friday October 15, 2010 at Westside Community Church with interment prior at Chapel Cemetery in Morden. 

If friends so desire, donations may be made in Jake’s memory to the Mennonite Central Committee. 

Wiebe Funeral Chapel, Morden in care of arrangements.