July 7, 1923 - February 21, 2018
It is with heavy hearts that we share with you the passing of our father, John Rempel, peacefully at home on Wednesday, February 21, 2018 at the age of 94.
John was a much-loved father, grandfather, and great-grandfather, and will be greatly missed by his two daughters, Linda (Ed) and Karen. Also left to cherish his memory are his seven grandchildren, Paul (Lisa), Andrew (Laura), Jennifer (Suhail), Katie (Anthony), Ian (Katie), Heather, and Laura (Skye); six great-grandchildren, Sam, Ava, Eadie, Roslyn, Gus, and Anaya; also three brothers, Henry, Ed (Sylvia), and Walter (Norma); and two sisters, Anita (Neil) and Margaret (Fred) and many nieces and nephews. John was predeceased by his loving wife Elsie in 1994; his parents, Dietrich and Anna; and five brothers, Peter, Jacob, Dietrich, Ernest, and Harold.
John was born on July 7, 1923 in Fuerstenwerder, Southern Russia, and a year later, his parents immigrated to Canada where the family eventually settled in Grunthal, Manitoba. The family grew to include eleven children in total, nine sons and two daughters.
John had many stories to tell of his adventurous youth. He always had a dry wit and a wonderful sense of humour. In 2003, on the urging of his daughter Karen, John started his memoirs, entitled “My First Eighty Years.” In the 200-page book complete with photos and a Dietrich Rempel Family Tree, John gives an account of his school years growing up on a farm with his ten siblings; adventures at school and out in the community; finding his true love, Elsie; his time in the army during WWII; getting married and starting a family with the birth of Linda and then Karen; living in the First Mennonite Church as the caretakers; discovering the game of golf (he even shot a “hole-in-one” on the day of Linda’s Trousseau Tea); owning several coin car washes in the city; marrying off his daughters and visiting Karen in Kenora; welcoming grandchildren; retiring from Winnipeg Transit after thirty years of service; travelling with Elsie across Canada and to many places in the USA; losing his soulmate, Elsie, at just 68 years young; and then towards the end of the book, his life alone as a widower in a trailer in Paradise Village out on Hwy 1 East.
After John survived two operations for stomach cancer in 2007, he moved back to Winnipeg and spent his remaining years in Seine River Retirement Residence until the age of 89, when he decided he wasn’t old enough to live in assisted living yet, so he moved to his final one-bedroom apartment in The Enclave in St. Vital, where he lived independently until just recently when he became ill.
We would like to thank the many people who surrounded Dad during his last months, especially his visiting Palliative Care nurse, Lorissa, with whom Dad had a special connection. And the family wants to thank Karen for her excellent nursing skills as she lovingly cared for Dad throughout his final month, living with him and tending to his every need so that he could die at home peacefully, as was his wish.
Dad's legacy will be his role as husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather. He offered guidance, support, and unconditional love in all facets of his family's journey through life. His passion for adventure, sharp wit, warm laughter, and care for others are just a few of the many things we will miss and his unrelenting devotion to his family serves as an example to us all of how we can aspire to achieve a full, joyful, and meaningful life.
The family will hold a celebration of Dad's life on Thursday, March 1, 2018 at 1:00 pm at the First Mennonite Church, 922 Notre Dame Ave., Winnipeg. In addition to street parking, the highlighted parking lots below also belong to First Mennonite Church and are available for use.
Memories, Stories and Condolences
Please share a story, memory or condolences for the family by completing the form below and click "comment".
Feel free to share as many memories and stories as you like. There is plenty of room so don't worry about running out of space. All messages are approved by our staff before publishing.
Share Condolences, stories or Memories
Respecting Dad’s wishes, cremation has taken place and a private family burial will be held at a later date.
Flowers are gratefully declined. Instead, the family would like to request that you do an unexpected act of kindness for someone less fortunate than yourself, or make a donation to a charity of your choice.
WHEN TOMORROW STARTS WITHOUT ME
~ Author: David M Romano
I know how much you love me,
As much as I love you,
Each time that you think of me,
I know you will miss me, too.
But when tomorrow starts without me,
Please try to understand,
That an angel came and called my name,
And took me by the hand.
So when tomorrow starts without me,
Don't think we’re far apart,
For every time you think of me,
I’m right here, in your heart.