Memorable Manitobans: Ernest Friesen Reimer (1909-1999)
Born at Steinbach on 24 May 1909, son of Abraham Reimer and Margaretha Friesen, brother of Helena Friesen Reimer, he completed eight years of primary education then worked for four years before returning to high school at Steinbach. He received a temporary teaching permit and taught at rural Manitoba schools for two years during the 1930s. He attended Normal School for one year then accepted a teaching position at Clover Plains School, remaining there to the end of the 1930s. To supplement his income during this period, he helped with farm harvesting in the fall, cut pulpwood at Pine Falls during the winter, and took up beekeeping.
In 1940, he married Helen Warkentin (c1915-1981) of Winkler. They subsequently had four children: Karin Reimer, Oliver Reimer, Ernest Reimer, and Alan Reimer. In 1942, he enlisted in the Canadian Army, serving initially with the Medical Corps but transferring to the Intelligence Corps where his knowledge of German was an asset. He witnessed the D-Day invasion at Normandy, and received a personal commendation from General Dwight Eisenhower. Sickness compelled him to return to Canada in 1945. He then attended the University of Manitoba and received a BA degree, supplementing it later with a BEd degree.
In 1951, he became a teacher at Charleswood School, serving as its Principal from 1953 to 1954. He was then Principal at Chapman School for one year (1954-1955) before moving to Charleswood Collegiate where he served as its first Principal, from 1955 to 1958. In 1958, he was appointed Superintendent of the Charleswood School District and was later Superintendent of the Assiniboine South School Division (1968-1972).
Birth registration, Manitoba Vital Statistics.
“Charleswood lists teachers,” Winnipeg Free Press, 6 September 1954, page 3.
“Our Principal,” Oakwood: Charleswood Collegiate Yearbook, 1955-1956, page 34 [Charleswood School Library].
Obituary [Helen Reimer], Winnipeg Free Press, 10 March 1981, page 69.
Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 20 February 1999, page 54.
We thank Margaret Stimson and David Beer for providing additional information used here.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 17 December 2021