Helen Reimer (nee Sawatzky)

  • Helen Reimer (nee Sawatzky)
  • Date of Passing: May 2, 2023
  • Born: March 7, 1927


Helen Reimer (née Sawatzky) passed away on Tuesday, May 2, 2023, at the age of 96 in Vancouver, BC.

She was predeceased by husband John Reimer and by son-in-law George Cotton. Dearly missed by daughter Colleen Cotton, son Mark Reimer (Shauna), granddaughters Spencer Cotton, Caitlin Reimer (François-Julien Demers-Thibault) and Maeve Reimer (Jon Hayduk), great-granddaughter Evelyn Mae Thibault, sister Elsie Heinrichs, cousin Martha Epp, and many nieces and nephews.

Born March 7, 1927, in Herschel, SK, Helen was one of eight children born to Bernhard and Margaretha Sawatzky. The family relocated to Altona, MB, in 1944, which is where she met and married John in 1950. The newlyweds settled in Winnipeg (St. Vital and then St. Boniface) to raise their family and later moved to Lindenwood Estates, a retirement community in Tuxedo. Helen was a devoted and loving wife of 63 years before John passed away in 2013. She held various jobs outside the home, including positions at the Manitoba Clinic, the Cancer Foundation (now CancerCare Manitoba) and Windsor Park Collegiate, from where she retired in 1990 after 20 years as a library clerk.

Helen and John enjoyed travelling, mostly by car to see their children and grandchildren as well as road trips to most parts of Canada and the US. Longer trips to Hawaii and to Europe were also highlights. They built a cottage on the Lee River near Lac du Bonnet, where for over 20 years they welcomed friends and family to share in their enjoyment of summer living at the lake. Helen was known for her skills in gardening, knitting and especially baking, where she carried on the Mennonite traditions she learned from her mother in the preparation of homemade zwieback, fruit platz, and delicious cakes and cookies. She enjoyed singing in the choir at First Mennonite Church, and was a tireless volunteer in the Lindenwood retirement community, where she leveraged a life-long love of reading into establishing a library, served meals in the Manor dining room, and created a beautiful rock garden on the grounds for the enjoyment of both residents and visitors alike.

The family wishes to acknowledge the dedicated care afforded to Helen by the many healthcare professionals at BC Cancer – Vancouver.

A memorial service will be held on Saturday, July 22, 2023, at 11:00 a.m. at First Mennonite Church, 922 Notre Dame Ave., Winnipeg, MB.