It is with deep sadness that we say goodbye to Ramona Darlene Reimer, but with
true joy that we celebrate her life. On Friday, November 27, 2009, at the age
of 26, Ramona completed her three and a half year battle with sarcoma and went
to be with Jesus. She died peacefully in the St. Boniface Hospital, surrounded
by family and friends. Left to cherish her memories are her husband, Earl,
parents, John and Carol Petkau, brothers, Kevin and his girlfriend, Karlene,
and Randy and his girlfriend, Jalysia, sister, Becki, parents-in-law, Tim and
Alvina Reimer, brother-in-law, Jason, and his wife, Lonita, and sisters-in-law,
Lisa and Mikeala. Also missing Ramona are her grandparents and numerous uncles,
aunts, cousins, and friends in Morweena, Arborg, Hodgson, Winnipeg, Haiti,
Mexico, the United States, and around the world. Few who met her were left
untouched by her passion for life and love for people.
Ramona was born on October 31, 1983, in Arborg, Manitoba. As a child, she was always a
hard worker. She particularly loved gardening, canning, or anything outdoorsy. As
the oldest child, she took leadership among her siblings, always finding ways
to convince them to join in on whatever activity was on the agenda.
Ramona attended the Morweena Christian School from 1989 to 2002. She threw herself
wholeheartedly into everything that came her way, from floor hockey to biology,
music to math. Her determination made her quite a contender in everything she
put her hand or mind to, and her classmate Earl was always the one to beat. She
lived life with zest and passion, and her faith was at the forefront of her
choices. She was active in the Morweena Church youth group, sang in HeartCry,
and taught Sunday School for many years. Through the years, she developed a
passion for children, and spent many summers volunteering at Beaver Creek Bible
Ramona’s passion for life was coupled with a deep compassion for those who were hurting
or disadvantaged. After graduating from high school, Ramona trained as a health
care aide at Red River College and worked in hospitals and personal care homes
in Arborg and Fisher Branch from 2003-2005.
But Ramona wanted to take her compassion further. She had always loved children and
dreamed of working at an orphanage in Africa. From January to March, 2005,
Ramona got a taste of her dream, volunteering at God’s Littlest Angels in Haiti
with her cousin Angela. She considered those the best three months of her life.
Nine months later, on December 3, 2005, another dream came true when Ramona married her high school arch-nemeses and the love of her life, Earl Reimer. In January,
they jumped into teaching together at Hodgson Christian Academy. All the while,
though, they were making plans to set out on missions as soon as possible,
little knowing that the ministry in store for them was much different than the
one they were planning for themselves. That summer, while working as Assistant
Directors at Beaver Creek Bible Camp, Ramona was diagnosed with sarcoma, a
fast-growing soft tissue cancer.
The next three and a half years were a blur of hospitals, hotels, homes, and
airports as Ramona and Earl navigated countless rounds of chemotherapy,
radiation, and surgery. The journey, however, was far more than physical. The
cancer only served as a catalyst for Ramona’s passion and strength as she
fought courageously from beginning to end against the sarcoma in her body and
the spiritual and emotional challenges that came with it. Although not nearly
every month was joyful, the years of struggle produced in her an incredibly
deep relationship with Jesus. At the very end, she could honestly say, “God is
good, and Christianity is deeper and better than I could ever have imagined.”
Ramona’s strong faith has been an encouragement and challenge to all who have
encountered her, from nurses and medical staff, to friends and strangers who
visited her in person and on their blog. Even in the midst of pain and
exhaustion, she continued show care and consideration for those around her,
asking how they were doing and trying to make sure their needs were met.
Although she never would have chosen this road, Ramona’s journey through cancer
brought her closer to Jesus than she could ever have imagined, and it has
finally delivered her right into His arms. Even though we miss her now, we know
that she is rejoicing in Heaven in a new, complete body, and we look forward to
seeing her again.
The family would like to thank everyone for their prayers and support throughout
these past three and a half years, and especially over the last few weeks. They
would like to recognize the care shown by Dr. Wong, Bonnie, and the nurses at
St. Boniface Hospital in Winnipeg. A special thanks to the church communities
in Morweena and Winnipeg who have walked with Earl, Ramona, and their families
through this journey, and to the friends around the world who have faithfully
supported them through prayers and encouragement on the blog. May Jesus bless
you with his presence and peace.