You can not summarize greatness, but the attempt will be made, so buckle up you are going to be here a while.
Donald James Reimer, affectionately known as Smiley his whole life, was born January 8, 1963. His mother Laura was always so happy to point out that he had the same birthday as Elvis Presley. Well, Elvis got nothing on Smiley.
Born and raised on the prairies, Donald was the first-born son to Henry and Laura Reimer. He was the eldest to three brothers, Kelvin known as Skinny, Dennis known as Victor, and the youngest Randy known as Rudy. Even though he was the oldest, Don was comically the shortest in height, but his BIG heart made up the difference ten-fold.
Donald was a cowboy through and through. He worked on the land and with the animals, and most importantly was involved in rodeos. After having a disagreement about traditional education Don went to Bull Riding School which in turn drove his mother crazy, nothing new there. Travelling with his childhood friend, Greg Wiebe, all over to ride the biggest and baddest bulls out there, 8 seconds is no easy task. Don enjoyed meeting and visiting with people from anywhere, telling “lies” and “wild west stories” until the sun would go down. Once a cowboy, always a cowboy.
It was in the fall of 1989 that his whole world would change. The year that Smiley met his Lovey. What would now be deemed as stalking was a persistence to show Lovey “I’m the man who loves you”. 32 years later would say that they kinda liked each other. Sparky Scottish highlander, whose name is actually Alison, to make a real fork in the Mennonite Family Tree. “Married Imported and Buys Domestic” Don would proudly say. Together they had a family, two daughters Jessica and Jennifer. Not that much later expanded their hearts and their home to 58 children over the years. A kind, loving man with an acceptance of any child who would share everything he could. Their family would be complete with the addition of daughters Rebecca and Melissa. Smiley’s girls, Donny’s Harim, His Fat babies, The Reimer Clan. Jessica known as Fatty, Jennifer known as Fatbaby, Rebecca known as Fatbob, and Melissa known as Cranky Spanky. Don was so proud of his girls accomplishments no matter how big or small. He did everything for his family and was the definition of family man: Camping, ice cream dates, annual trips to Ontario to see Nana and Grandpa Jim (Alison’s Mom and Dad), four wheeling, swimming, snowmobiling. His girls kept him busy. Every Sunday morning was rushing to prepare for Shaun to phone, known as the Nevada Brother, for hour long chats about everything and anything including summertime fun to be had. If it wasn’t Shaun phoning it was cousin Carl, known as Tiny, calling from up north making plans to hang out and be cool with numerous shenanigans to drive their wives, Alison and Alison, crazy. There were many trips to Gravelburg to harass Victor and Mona. Calls made to Rudy and Terri about when the next race was for a Nascar party.
Donald Reimer was the most hard-working man, he did everything to be the best he could be. He made sure the job was done right, regardless how long it would take. He had an eye for detail and knew what had to be done. Don was in competition with his daughter Jennifer, who is a nurse, about “How many 12’s have you done?!” He would always win. Working on the feed lot there was always something to do. 26 years Don worked at the Rocking U feedlot. He was always the first one in to make sure the coffee was made right and would get a little testy if Ian would get there before him. It was blatantly obvious how loyal, dedicated, and hardworking Smiley was EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. He met life long friends in Ian & Cheryl, Darren, Dougie, Justino, Mrs. Unrau, Mrs Boss, Norman, Evan, Clinton exct. And also made some new little friends. Don would be seen in the lunch room dividing up his lunch, which was always the envy at the feedlot, grapes here, cookies there, evenly in preparation for the arrival of Cassidy, Cash and Carly Unrau. Sitting on his knee, sharing goodies with the Unrau Fatbabies was always the highlight of his day. Was there ever excitement when little Dallas Buckert was born with his FLAMING RED HAIR, the perfect addition to Douglas and Jeanea’s sweet family who was always excited to see Uncle Smiley. Then it was a race “coming home to see you Darling” he would say to Lovey on his way home for supper.
Smiley was taken to soon by @#%!!! cancer. He fought everyday so he could be with is family. He proved time and time again how strong he was, Cancer did not change that. Smiley Strong. @#%!! CANCER.
There is not enough words or space to truly convey how awesome Donald Reimer was. If he was here he would be able to tell you himself.
The greatness of this man was seen everyday as a loving husband, father, brother and friend. He will be forever missed and forever carried in the hearts of those who loved him.
Enjoy that rumscile with Victor, try to keep Laura from slurping from it, give a handshake to Henry, remind Grandpa Jim that rum is in fact superior to scotch, and give Nana a hug. We love you Don.
Box 225, Austin, Manitoba R0H 0C0,