Friday, January 18, 2019

RIP, Lois Reimer (nee Peters)

On Tuesday evening, January 15, 2019, Lois Reimer (nee Peters) breathed her last and joined her beloved Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, whom she served faithfully and honestly for over 80 years.

Joined in grief and celebration are Travis Reimer, Lois’ husband of 57 years, sons Darrell and Trent, daughter Ruth, daughter-in-law Beth Jost Reimer, and granddaughters Madeleine and Lucille. Lois is survived by brother Wes, and sisters Blondina Matheson and Gwen Froese, and remembered fondly by her Reimer in-laws and nieces and nephews, as well as friends of every conceivable acquaintance.

Lois was first-born May 23, 1938, in Bill and Adila Peters’ family farm-house, near Langham, SK. When her father responded to the call to ministry, the family moved many times to a wide variety of prairie locations. In the main, Lois characterized these relocations as grievously disruptive of her interior life. She consequently developed a lifelong love of reading and music, as well as a profound empathy for the stranger in her midst. Piano playing was her constant solace  after every move her father sought out and put her in touch with the most qualified piano teacher in the community. She quickly became an accomplished player, but was given less to public performances than to private, therapeutic expression.

Lois Peters married Travis Reimer August 15, 1961, in Steinbach, where they first met some years earlier. It was a unique partnership that began with her accompanying, on piano, his euphonium performances in church. The partnership became increasingly unique and colourful as their years together beneath God’s grace accrued  and productive, including three children who may have at times taken the example of their mother’s self-assurance and impulsive contrarianism a bit too close to heart. Subsequent church families from whom Lois benefited, and vice versa, include Steinbach EMB, Winnipeg’s Westwood Community Church, San Jose’s Lincoln Glen Community Church, Portage Avenue MB and Fort Garry MB.

Lois’s dislike of plain walls  plain anything  was visceral. All of creation was filigreed and swept through with inexhaustible beauty  to respond to this universe of delights and terrors with a determined plainness was to spit in the Creator’s face. Lois’ walls were covered with artwork  reproductions, photos, paintings, carvings, letters, you name it — and her shelves, cupboards and drawers spilled over with plenty besides. Nothing made her happier than the aesthetic offerings of her children and grandchildren, nephews, nieces  anyone who knew and loved her.

Lois’ faith was consciously informed by the faith of her ancestors, and the global faith conversation of the written word. The conversation was frequently heated, and Lois’ truest expression of it was often impassioned and discomfiting. In this she had occasional regrets, but held to a deeper belief that family, with its existential lifeblood of conflict and imperfect reconciliation and yearning for better, was the nearest model we had of humanity’s relationship to its Creator.

In her final years Lois endured rapidly advancing osteoporosis and unimaginable pain. Through it all she managed the pain and the condition in a way that allowed her near continual access to loved ones, demonstrating humility and gratitude beyond measure.

“When I’m in life’s final moments,
I will not be left alone,
For your loving wings will guard me,
I, your child, will be at home.”

In loving memory,

Lois’ family


Joel Swagman said...

It's a lovely obituary.
I'm guessing you must have had a hand in writing it. It's a lovely tribute.

Whisky Prajer said...

Thanks man. Yeah, I was volunteered for the job and given a tight deadline (false, it turned out). The pre-funeral fun and games are pretty kooky, as you know.

Joel Swagamn said...

I thought I noticed your style.
I can't access it anymore. The link isn't working at the moment.

Have you thought about duplicating it over on your blog?

Whisky Prajer said...

Huh. Wonder what's going on? Thanks Joel, I'll get on it.

Mary Strachan Scriver said...

Beautiful obit for a beautiful life, Darrell. Your mom was a year older than me. We have the same taste in big round glasses! She found ways through love and music.

Mary Scriver

dpreimer said...

Thank you Mary.