Late on Monday, February 21, 2022, Mom was freed from illness and suffering. She had lived on this earth 78 years. Mom was a woman of deep faith and yearned for her heavenly home. While we are deeply saddened by her passing, we are profoundly thankful that she is in a place where pain and sorrow are no more. On Saturday, Mom was able to tell us all that she loved us and over the next few days we said our goodbyes as she faded away.
Mom was born on December 12, 1943 in Steinbach, Manitoba to Jake and Annie Reimer. She was predeceased by our dad, Willie Penner, in April of 2020 and she missed him terribly after he was gone. Mom and Dad got married on January 13, 1963 and were partners in life for 57 years. Mom worked alongside Dad on the farm, bringing meals out to the field or pushing through the gears on their old 1965 Chevy grain truck. They also partnered together running a little diner in Steinbach called Buddy’s where Mom used her cooking skills and Dad poured coffee. They spent many years trucking together, exploring Canada and the U.S. Over the last few months, Mom often spoke of Dad and how she wished they could be together again.
Left to mourn her passing, but taking comfort in our memories, are her children, Leanna (Bob) Reimer, Harvey (Rhonda) Penner, Emily (Adam) MacDonald and her grandchildren: Shoshannah Reimer, Desiree Reimer, Nathaniel Penner, Rebecca (Tyson) Unger, Matthew Penner, Rachel Penner, Sophie MacDonald, William MacDonald, and Amy Grace MacDonald.
Mom lived in Kleefeld, Manitoba until the age of 7 when her parents made the decision to move to the Quellen Colony. She remembered well the crazy journey across the U.S to Mexico. It was a multi-family trip in a ¾ ton truck (we think) complete with a wood-burning stove where they cooked their meals as they journeyed along. Seats, seat belts, and fire safety were clearly not a consideration. The first few years in Mexico were difficult and food was sparse but Grandpa Reimer persevered and built a successful family farm. Mom received English readers from her grandmother in Manitoba and this is how she learned English. Mom and her older sister Jeannie became the caregivers of the younger children as the family grew. Mom would do most of the cooking, while her sister sewed clothes for the little ones. Mom became known years later for her ability as a seamstress and she sewed many of our clothes when we were young. Apparently, she had taught herself this skill as an adult because that had not been her job at home. Mom was also an avid quilter and she made a quilt for each of her children and grandchildren. They are all inscribed with our names and messages of love.
Mom loved her children and grandchildren deeply and with open arms. When the grandkids were young and help was requested, the answer was always yes. Many days were spent baking and sewing with grandkids, reading with them, and cooking them favourite foods. She loved nothing more than to have her teenage grandchildren come by for her famous Mac and Cheese. Over the years we ate many a wonderful pie – with a crust that only she could make. She knew who wanted apple, who wanted blueberry, and when a chocolate cream pie was a must. Loving was a practical business for our Mom.
The Celebration of Life for Rosaline Penner will be held at Crossings Funeral Care on Friday, February, February 25th. A come and go viewing will take place at Crossings Funeral Care from 1 to 2 pm. A private family service will follow at 2:30 pm.
The family wishes to extend a sincere thank you to Dr. Karen Toews and the staff at Cancer Care Manitoba in Steinbach. Dr. Toews walked alongside us as we faced Mom’s cancer journey and made the load easier to bear. Thank you.