Funeral For: Garth Reimer
Funeral Date: September 1, 2023
Garth Reimer, 69, of Winnipeg passed away Sunday, August 27th at his home. He is survived by his wife Mavis, 1 daughter 2 sons, and their families. He was predeceased by his parents P.J. and Myrtle Reimer.
The funeral service for Garth Reimer will be held Friday, September 1st at 11am at Fort Garry United Church, 800 Point Road, with burial at Heritage Cemetery, Steinbach at 4pm
Donations may be made to Bethesda Foundation.
Arrangements by Birchwood Funeral Chapel, Steinbach.
Garth Peter James Reimer
Born on January 12, 1954 in Steinbach, Manitoba. Died peacefully at home in Winnipeg on August 27, 2023 at the age of 69 with his beloved wife Mavis by his side. He was a cherished brother to Sandra Lucki; loving father to Maria Reimer (John Kennett), Andrew Reimer (Desirae Mercer) and Carlton Reimer (Tara Reimer); and a devoted grandfather to Jacob Reimer and Xavier Reimer. He also nurtured relationships with a wide circle of brothers-in law and sisters-in-law, nieces and nephews, cousins,
colleagues, employees, neighbours, and friends.
Garth was born to Myrtle (Rempel) Reimer and Peter Jacob (PJ) Reimer in Steinbach, Manitoba. Though he did not live there as an adult, in many ways Steinbach would remain home all throughout his life and travels. In 1973, he moved to Winnipeg where he studied Philosophy and Religious Studies at the University of Manitoba, graduating with a B.A. in 1976. In 1974, he married Mavis Barkman, also of Steinbach. With Mavis, he moved to Halifax to attend Dalhousie University in 1976, where he studied law and where his daughter Maria was born in 1977. Having obtained his Bachelor of Laws, he, Mavis and Maria returned to Winnipeg in 1979. His son Andrew was born in Winnipeg in 1979, and in 1980 Garth was called to the Manitoba Bar. His son Carlton was born in Winnipeg in 1982. His grandsons Jacob Reimer and Xavier Reimer were born in Winnipeg in 2016 and 2019.
Garth’s commitment to his hometown of Steinbach was expressed in many ways, perhaps the most significant of which was his decades of service to the Bethesda Foundation, an organization founded by his father, PJ Reimer. Garth became Chair of the Bethesda Foundation after his father’s death in 1997 and continued in this leadership role until shortly before his own passing in 2023. In his 32 years of service as Chair of the Bethesda Foundation, his leadership strengthened healthcare services in Steinbach and made it a hub for southeastern Manitoba. He led projects which resulted in the construction of the CancerCare and Birthing Centre, the Crisis Stabilization Unit, the Primary Care Centre, the Stonebridge Wellness Centre, the new Emergency Department at Bethesda Hospital, and the the RestHaven Nursing Home. In April 2023, Garth took great pleasure in announcing plans for a new surgical centre at the Bethesda Hospital. He was also a long-time member of the Board of the Red River Valley Mutual Insurance Company and served as Chair of the Board of that organization from 2018 to 2023.
In addition to his significant volunteer activities in Steinbach, Garth also devoted his energy to the Winnipeg community where he and Mavis raised their family. The first volunteer position he assumed was chair of the annual Winter Carnival for the Wildwood Park Community Centre. He later served as President of the Community Centre on two separate occasions, was the Chair of the Board of Stewards of Fort Garry United Church, coached baseball for the Fort Garry Flyers, and served as chair of New
Directions for Children, Youth, Adults and Families. Garth’s father often said that it was a privilege to be able to work hard and make a living. One of the ways in which Garth exercised this privilege was by practising law for 40 years. He had a corporate and commercial practice, with a focus on commercial real estate with the Campbell and Company firm, later Campbell Marr. Garth was instrumental in the growth of this firm, generous with his time and resources and had a reputation in the wider legal community as a talented, hard-working lawyer. He also worked for many years alongside his father in the family insurance business, beginning at age 11 or 12 with
door-to-door insurance sales in Steinbach. He also collected some accounts receivable along the way! He later took over Reimer Agencies Ltd., a property management and real estate development company that he successfully ran and expanded while continuing to practise law.
One of Garth’s great passions in life was travel. Over the years it took him from his boyhood home to, among other places, Vietnam, Israel, Morocco, Japan, Turkey, Thailand, Hong Kong, India, Sweden, England, and to the island of Eleuthera in the Bahamas. Perhaps his favourite place in the world, however, was the south shore of Falcon Lake, Manitoba. Beginning in the early 1970’s with his father, mother, and sister, and later with his own wife, children, grandchildren, and extended family, he
delighted in time spent at the lake with those closest to him. He proudly marked the milestone of 50 years at Falcon Lake in the early 2020s.
Garth was a devoted son, a loving husband, and a proud and supportive father. He took immense joy in being a grandfather to Jacob and Xavier and committed himself to the task completely. He was a fount of strength for his family and a calming presence in a crisis, be it big or small. He was all at once keenly intelligent, empathetic, relentlessly analytical, and approachable. He took a real and genuine joy in connecting with people and learning about them and their stories. There is a proverb that says that a society grows great when men plant trees in whose shade they know they shall never sit. Garth’s family feels blessed to be able to sit in the cool and quiet grove he
cultivated and remember him.
In lieu of flowers, the family respectfully requests that Garth’s friends, colleagues, and family consider a charitable donation to the Bethesda Foundation in Garth’s memory.