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Johnny Reimer

Johnny Lewis Reimer

Monday, October 1st, 1928 - Wednesday, September 23rd, 2020
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Obituary

Johnny Lewis Reimer was born to Frank E. and Gertrude Boese Reimer on October 1, 1928 near Dalmeny, Saskatchewan, Canada. He was the 5th of 7 sons and a daughter. Because of the drought and the depression the family moved from the farm into the town of Dalmeny where the father took up carpentry. When conditions did not improve the family moved to Steinbach, Manitoba, Canada in 1940 where conditions were much better. Johnny finished his grade school and high school in Steinbach. In his early teens Johnny received Jesus Christ as his personal Savior based on John 1:12-13. A year later he was baptized and became a member of the Evangelical Mennonite Brethren Church of Steinbach. A few years later, at the age of 16 he committed his life to serve Him wherever that may lead. At that time he considered the possibility of going to Africa. During the last two years of high school he had occasional opportunities to preach when young people groups would go out to surrounding communities.
After high school graduation Johnny taught in a rural one-room school that had an enrollment of 55 students and all 8 grades. Because two other teachers had started but had quit prior to his coming, the students were 6 to 8 weeks behind schedule. About two weeks after starting Johnny was so discouraged he was seriously thinking about quitting. On his way home late one evening God reminded him of his commitment three years earlier. Together with the reminder there was strength and courage to go on. He finished the school year bringing the students to the expected level. Johnny often referred to that experience as a very critical turning point in his life.
Following the year of teaching Johnny felt it was time to move to get the Bible training for the work to which he felt God had called him. He enrolled at Millar College of the Bible in Pambrun, Saskatchewan, Canada in the fall of 1948 and graduated in the spring of 1951. He applied to the Gospel Missionary Union (Avant) and entered their candidate school in Kansas City, Missouri in the fall of 1952. It was soon discovered that Johnny had some physical problems that would keep him from being able, at least at that time, from going to Africa. He was released from being a mission candidate. Seeking the Lord’s guidance he enrolled at Grace Bible Institute (Grace University) for the spring semester of 1953. He graduated in the spring of 1954.
Johnny was married to Rachel Loewen on July 8, 1953. During his final year at Grace he and Rachel ministered weekly to a small group of people about 30 miles south of Omaha. After graduation he offered himself to the EMB Conference, now the Fellowship of Evangelical Bible Churches. He served in Poplar, Montana among the Native American people there and then pastored other churches of the conference. He also served as recording secretary of the conference for a period of about 11 years. Since the door to Africa seemed to be closed the door to pastoral ministry seemed to keep opening up. Johnny has served in the following churches. EMB Church, Lustre, Montana; EMB Church, Marion, South Dakota; Emmanuel Mennonite Church, Meade, Kansas; Auke Bay Bible Church, Juneau, Alaska; Kenny Lake Bible Chapel, Kenny Lake, Alaska; Douglas Island Bible Church, Juneau, Alaska. The time spent in the Kenny Lake Church was in connection with teaching at the Alaska Bible College for two years and serving as their Christian service director. In two of the churches Johnny also conducted a weekly radio program over local stations. He retired from active pastoral ministry in 2003 having concluded about 50 years in the teaching and preaching ministry.
Johnny loved to study the Word and then to teach and preach it at every opportunity that was made available to him whether that was one person or to a group large or small, sharing truths God had shared with him. He used his pen continually to share thoughts and observations. They appeared as bulletin inserts, page 4 of the bulletin, pastoral letters or newspaper articles. In his later years these thoughts took the form of printed notes on various subjects for distribution in classes taught during the church Sunday school hour, known as elective classes. In his later years the thoughts and studies were published as books which are still available from the family.
Johnny’s life verse is found recorded in 2 Corinthians 5:15, a verse that challenged him and by which he sought to order his life. “And He died for all that those who live should live no longer for themselves but for Him who died for them and rose again.”
The above was written by Dad himself not too long before he passed away.
Johnny is preceded in death by his parents and five brothers. He is survived by his wife of 67 years Rachel and his 3 daughters Rachel Marie and husband Myron Reimer, Ruth and husband John Johnson and Becky and husband Bob Baxter.
Something that was very special to Dad was that he was able to officiate at the weddings of all 8 grandchildren Christina and Patrick Hamblin, Sondra and Tim Armstrong, Timothy and Shanna Reimer, David and Kristen Johnson, Sandy and Andrew McFarland, Karen and Derek Owens, Kelly and Alan Casey and Erica and Erik Hayworth.
He is also survived by 19 great-grandchildren: Carson, Abigail and Jackson Hamblin, Jonny, Sarah, Ben and Gabe Armstrong, Ziona and Maximus Reimer, Zoey and Lena McFarland, Elliott, Evelyn, Peter and Wyatt Owens, Eva and Orrin Casey, Emerson and Everett Hayworth.
Dad too delighted in creating many wooden toys for his grandchildren and great-grandchildren as well as seeing their delight in playing with these toys. Many great-grandchildren have pleasant memories of visiting great-grandpa, even giving “high fives” through the window at Dallas Retirement Village.
The very last memory our family will cherish is of a great-grandchild accepting Christ as Savior at approximately the same time that Dad passed away. We are sure he joined the Heavenly choir as the angels rejoiced over a soul saved.
Dallas Mortuary Tribute Center is caring for the family. www.dallastribute.com.
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Service Details

  • Service

    Friday, October 2nd, 2020 | 10:00am
    When
    Friday, October 2nd, 2020 10:00am
    Location
    Evangelical Bible Church
    Address
    1175 SE Howe St.
    Dallas, OR 97338
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Interment

    Friday, October 2nd, 2020 | 11:30am
    When
    Friday, October 2nd, 2020 11:30am
    Location
    Dallas Cemetery
    Address
    Address Not Available

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JR

Jim Rupp

Posted at 11:17pm
We appreciated Johnny so much and his teaching, his love for the Lord and his simple way of teaching God's word. We loved his art work and his talent with wood-we have one of his pieces. We would have loved to attend his service to honor his life well lived.
Jim & Chris Rupp
HK

Heidi Kessel

Posted at 10:30pm
I am truly blessed to have been able to call Johnny Friend. I sat in many of his Sunday school classes as well as called him on the telephone if I needed advice. I have many of his works of art he made out of wood and most all of his books he wrote. Johnny was truly one of a kind non judgmental kind and giving man. Johnny will be missed but never forgotten. Until we meet again Johnny.
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