July 5, 1927 – June 23, 2021
Born July 5, 1927, Calgary Alberta • Died June 23 2021
The family of Vera Frey (nee Reimer, nee Cress) of Cranbrook, B.C. is saddened to report her passing in June 2021, just shy of reaching her 94th birthday.
Pragmatic and good-humoured, Vera was a lifelong learner whose life was characterized by services to others and resilience. She was a mother, aunt, grandmother, great-grandmother, nurse, volunteer, and friend to all.
She was purpose-driven, and loved to keep busy, whether through work and volunteering, being social with friends and family, or keeping her mind sharp through books, puzzles and crosswords. She was a champion crib player and her family never really expected to beat her, we just hoped we wouldn’t get skunked.
Vera worked as a registered nurse at the Galt Hospital in Lethbridge till 1952. The young family lived with her parents in New Dayton while their farm house was being built. They farmed for several years, and Vera worked again as a nurse in the Stettler Medical Clinic from 1965 to 70.
Motherhood was a serious role for Vera, and she tried her best to make sure her children had the tools they would need to survive in the world, much as she’d received from her parents.
The Reimer family moved to Cranbrook in the fall of 1970, where they had purchased The York Hotel with John’s brother Weldon. John was tragically killed in an accident in 1971 leaving Vera a widow with five children.
Not long after John’s death, Vera got together with her partner Tony Frey, who was a mutual support for the thirty years they were together. She obtained a certificate in accounting and business procedures in 1982 and was appointed to the City of Lethbridge Health Unit board in 1985.
Vera and Tony moved to Kelowna in the late 1980s, where she was a hospice volunteer. They married June 26, 1993.
Vera moved back to Cranbrook after Tony’s death in 2003, where Vera was a volunteer treasurer for the Red Cross medical cupboard for 15 years, and was remembered as hard-working, cheerful and feisty. In addition to the Red Cross, she kept active at senior bowling, working for the food bank, and watching the curling competition on TV when she was no longer able to curl.
A volunteer role at the Cranbrook Tourism Centre saw her try white water rafting for the first (and only) time at age 85, since she reasoned she couldn’t well recommend it to tourists without having experienced it herself.
She was a loving Gramma to all her grandkids and beyond delighted when some of them made her a great-gramma, too. Vera was overjoyed to celebrate her 90th birthday with many of her family members. At the end she was satisfied with all she’d seen and experienced in life.
Vera is survived by her children: Tim (Jo) Reimer of Calgary, Mike (Judy) Reimer of Wasa, Peggy Kons of Lethbridge, Bruce Reimer of Kimberley and Michelle Reimer of Cranbrook, nine grandchildren: Terra Pidwerbeski of St Albert, Nikki Reimer (Jonathon) of Claresholm, Kd Golan (Roi) of lnvermere, Mike Kons (Zobi) of Calgary, Kyle Reimer of Victoria, Dana Reimer of Calgary, Tamara Sandahl (Greg) of Elkford, Jamie Sandahl (Jamie) of Kimberley and Karl Sandahl (Alii) of Cranbrook: seven great- grandchildren and her sister, Lois Kurtz.
She was predeceased by her husbands John Reimer and Tony Frey, her brother Lee Cress and her grandsons Chris Reimer and Mason Kons.
In honouring Vera’s wishes there was no formal service but a private family celebration of life was held in Wasa.
Thanks to Cranbrook Home support and the home support nurse and palliative doctor, Dr Andreas for their constant visits and care and the meals Salvation Army delivered to her home. Vera would not have been able to stay and live her final days in her own home without the support.
In lieu of flowers donations can be made to Cranbrook Salvation Army, 533 Slater Rd., Cranbrook, B.C. VlC 4Y5.
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