When mom wrote her life story she introduced it like this. This book was written to give God the Glory, “Great Things He has done in my life! I hope you enjoy the stories. I had a good time recalling all the great times in my life both easy and hard. Lots happens in 88 years . I had 56 wonderful years of marriage with your dad. Now he is waiting for each of us where we will never say good-bye.” Of course now it is 8.5 years since mom wrote that. Now mom is with Dad waiting together for the rest of their family.
Mom’s motto was “ Others Lord yes others, Let this my motto be. That I might live for others so they see Jesus in me.”
Mom - Martha Schmidt was born to Daniel and Anna Schmidt in the Colony of Molutschna in the village of Steinfeld, Ukraine on October 21, 1925 .She had an older brother Daniel, who is with the Lord, and a younger brother Aaron, wife Kay who is in St Catherines. In 1926 Mom had her first birthday on the ship as they sailed to Canada, landing in Quebec and taking the train to Winkler, arriving on a bitterly cold November day. Mom got terribly sick with pneumonia that winter and everyone thought she would die. But she lived to the ripe old age of 96 1/2 and spent her entire life spreading the message of God’s love.
The Schmidt’s moved to Alberta, and then on to the Promised Land, British Columbia. Mom loved that province to this day. They lived on a farm and that’s where mom developed her love for the land, her hard work ethic, and her desire to work in ministry.
To mom’s lasting regret she was not able to finish high school. When she had completed Grade 8 Dan and her went to Bible School in Coglan. Mom says that is where God convicted her and she accepted Him into her heart. At age 15 she was baptized and became a member of the Clearbrook MB church. Then on to Bible School in Yarrow. Here she boarded with Antonio Reimer, Dad’s sister. She soon caught his eye and they began dating.
Mom and dad were married on September 30, 1945. The marriage stuck as well it should. They had 4 sermons. We were always told they almost got married in a Hindu Temple as that’s where their car broke down. Might have been a shorter wedding.
Then started life on a farm they had bought in Sumas Prairie. They had dairy cows and strawberries. Mom and dad worked the farm together. Emmy was born July 6, 1946, Carol was born, March 25, 1948 and Marilyn better known as Mic was born June 1, 1951. Dad got the call to be a pastor at the Harrison Hot Springs chapel in 1951 and with 3 small children they answered the call to ministry. Wes was born August 3, 1954 while in Harrison.
From 1957 - 1962 Dad was West Coast Children director and his mission was to start churches all over BC. They moved to Abbotsford on Gladwin road. Mom stayed home with the children. Here Phil was born on January 7, 1959. This was a difficult time for mom with 5 young children and she did not know how to drive and with Dad gone so much she decided to learn. That was mom. She met her challenges head on and as she always said with the Lord’s help was able to be victorious.
In 1962 Mom and Dad answered the call to move to Stoney Creek Ontario. Emmy went off to Bible School in Manitoba and met her husband Dave. Funny thing, in 1967 Dad was called to Manitoba to the MB church in Steinbach. Carol and Mic also found husbands in Manitoba. All 3 girls were very pleased how God’s call to Mom and Dad worked out for them.
In 1974 Dad was called to Saskatchewan to plant churches and to encourage pastors especially in the small churches. Mom loved being a pastor’s wife. Dad was the preacher but mom was the relationship builder. I remember almost every Sunday we had company for lunch which was our big meal of the day so there was always enough for company too. Now as dad traveled around Saskatchewan Mom went with him and helped to encourage and minister to the pastors and their families. Here is where mom shone. Having people over, bringing food and other gifts as she saw the need, that was her calling.
Dad was called back to Harrison in 1979. They settled in Agassiz. Mom worked in Home Care. Not being in the church did not stop her from sharing her love for the Lord and His love for them with her clients. She would bring them food and other things that they might need. She remembered vividly one client who got violent and she had to bring dad with her to protect her. He became a Christian and at his death many were witnessed to because of mom’s faithfulness.
In 1984 they were called to ministry in Dalmeny, Saskatchewan. By now both Wes and Phil had found wives and had settled in Saskatchewan. Dad’s sister Toni lived in Saskatoon and together the 2 couples spent many a Monday fishing together. Mom and Dad loved to fish.
In 1989 they moved to Winnipeg to be closer to the girls and many of the grandchildren. Dad took interim pastoring jobs in both Elm Creek and Leamington. They joined the Portage Avenue church and for the first time in decades they attended a church where dad was not the pastor and mom was not a pastor’s wife. Now she had to find ways to minister that didn’t come with the job. Dad had a heart attack while in Leamington and Mom realized she would need to become more independent because if dad had died how would she cope. Dad lived 7 more years and in that time Mom learned how to do her banking, how to use a computer, and just basically how to become her own person. In 2001 Dad passed away but he had been here long enough after his heart attack that mom now could cope on her own. They had moved to Kiltarton towers.
Mom was such people person. It never took long after she moved into a neighbourhood that she knew all the neighbours by name, had them over, brought them food and invited them to church for some event or another. Well when they moved into the apartment we told mom it would be different. In apartments people did not talk to each other. If any of you visited her you know in mom’s or grandma’s apartment building people talked to her. She seemed to know everyone. She got to know them travelling up and down the elevator to the 10 th floor. Captive audience. And if you visited grandma and got in the elevator with her you would be introduced to each and everyone of them. Many of the people from her church lived in Kiltarton towers and they had Bible study together, ate many a meal together and they were a real support for her when dad died especially her friends Ann and Trudy. Mom volunteered at MCC sorting every Monday morning. She loved her job. However when her eye sight got bad and she could no longer drive she had to give it up and that was a huge loss to her. She also volunteered at the church every Friday morning, cleaning up the bulletins left in the pews, straightening the hymnals and Bibles in the pews and stuffing the bulletins putting them into the mail slots. Her highlight was bringing food to share with the pastors and office staff and they sat around the table and shared their joys and sorrows and encouraged each other.
Came a time when mom’s eyesight got too bad for her to continue living on her own so she went to live in assisted living in Lindenwood. Here she soon knew most people again, started a Bible study and took such special care of her dear friend Trudy but she really wanted to move to Donwood. That’s where so many of her church friends lived, Ann had moved there , her church ministered there and so she could continue to see and hear her pastor when she could no longer go to her church.
Then in Spring 2018, she got the opportunity to move to Donwood Manor Assisted living. Here she joined 8 other people from her church and every Monday evening they would pray together. They brought their prayer requests and many here today were prayed for at that prayer meeting. One by one they have been called home. That was Mom’s high light of the week. Ann was in charge of getting people to read a Bible passage. Mom could not read any more. So Mic recorded Bible verses on a cd for mom so she could memorize her scripture that she wanted to read that night. Psalms 23, Phil. 4, John 14 to mention a few. Now only her dear friend Ann is left to pray from that prayer group . What a blessing their prayers have been in our lives.
Mom moved to Donwood personal care home approximately 3 years ago . What would she do here. Now her time was filled with walking the halls. Seeing needy , lonely people and so she would pray for them and cheer them up with a smile, a joke and a touch on the shoulder. She was the bone of contention to the staff. She didn’t know how to walk the halls alone or stay in isolation. She just had to get out and cheer someone up with a prayer or hand on the shoulder. These last months she would walk the halls and sing songs about heaven. When I sent her Bible cd’s she told everyone they could borrow them and listen to them so they would hear about God. Every care worker that entered mom’s room would hear about God’s love for her/him.
They hired Dad to be the pastor but God called mom to be His ministering angel working along side Dad. They were a team. When Dad went to be with the Lord in 2001 Mom ’s job was not over. She kept sharing her faith until her last breath. Daily she prayed for each child ,grandchild and great grandchild by name as well as her friends, care workers and anyone else she could think of.
Martha Reimer nee Schmidt had 5 children, 16 grandchildren and 35 great grandchildren
Emma Amanda (Martens), Husband Dave (deceased) and 4 children -
Kevin, wife Monica, Ramona, Husband Lincoln and 4 children - Trevor, wife Susan and 3 children, Kerri, husband Dan and 3 children
Caroline Martha, Husband Dennis (husband Henry Neufeld deceased) -
3 children, 3 step-children Derek , wife Olga, 2 children Colin - wife Jodene, 4 children Brian - wife Heidi, 2 children Lisa, Husband Rob - 2 children Lori, Husband Jim - 2 children Alphee, Wife Ashley - 4 children
Marilyn Rose (Mic) husband Henry and 3 children -
Genifer, Husband Bowen, Christopher, wife Aurelie, 3 children, Julia , husband Ryan and 3 children
Wesley John , partner Cyndy, - 3 children
Miguel, April, husband Jason, 3 children Dustin
Philip Roger wife Jackie - 3 children
Ashley, husband Christopher 3 children Curtis, wife Janet - 3 children Kyle , wife Katrina - 3 children
A special thanks to the staff at Donwood PCH for being so kind and caring especially during the covid 19 pandemic when family could not visit. You were so patient with mom and when her social distancing skills were non existent you kindly reminded her time after time to move when she had stopped to cheer someone up and to pray for them. Your love was especially felt in her last days when family could not be there. Maria sent an email telling us she was with mom when she breathed her last playing one of her favourite songs “Blessed Assurance”.
A special thanks to Mic who was the main care giver for mom and who carried out that mandate so faithfully, patiently and cheerfully keeping us all in the loop with pictures, letters and anecdotes which were so special to us as we lived so far away and or had health issues and could not be there for mom. Thank you to her husband, Henry, for encouraging and helping Mic in those tasks such as setting up the TV and phone and keeping them running and freeing her to help her mom.
Thank you Emmy for going to Winnipeg that last day and sitting with mom and passing on our messages. We know it was not easy on you either to drive in from Boisevain so often.
A special thanks as well to Ann. What a special friend you have been to mom. My goodness. The walks you used to take at Kiltarton. The times of prayer you shared until the very end. The daily phone calls. The meals you shared. You became as one of the family. Thank you. We should all be so fortunate to have a friend like you.
Thank you to everyone who continued when possible with visits, cards and phone calls especially the grandchildren and the deacons from her church Portage Ave. MB.
She will be missed by all. We love you mom. What a legacy. What an example. Can’t leave this part without saying those words we have all heard her say. “I want you all to be in heaven with Dad and me. Trust in Jesus. Ask Him into your heart.” We will see each other again. She lives on in us. May her love for the Lord and her example be our encouragement to live for Jesus too.
Funeral Service will be held on Thursday, August 4th, 2022 at 11:00am, Friends Funeral Service, 2146 Main Street, Winnipeg with Interment at Green Acres Cemetery. The service will be livestreamed at https://funeraweb.tv/en/diffusions/58069