Reimer, Gerhard J. (1885-1970)

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Gerhard J. Reimer: Bible school teacher; born 17 May 1885 in Wiesenfeld, South Russia, to Johann and Anna (Friesen) Reimer. He was their tenth child. Gerhard was converted at age 15 and baptized at 16, when he became a member of the local Mennonite Brethren church. In 1912, he married Katie Froese (13 May 1892, Andreasfeld, Chortitza, South Russia - 26 Mar 1921, Tchongrav, Crimea, South Russia) of Barvenkovo, who died nine years after their marriage, leaving him with one child. In 1923, he married Margarethe Enns (21 April 1900, Boragan, Crimea, South Russia - 21 Jan 1980, Leamington, Ontario, Canada) of Fischau, Molotschna Mennonite Settlement. The couple had two children, one born in Russia and the other in Canada (see Additional Information for further information regarding Gerhard's family). The family immigrated to Canada in 1925, settling first in Manitoba and then in Ontario. Gerhard became sick in the spring of 1970 and died on 2 October 1970 in Leamington, Ontario.

Gerhard spent his early years with his family in Wiesenfeld, South Russia. He attended school there, completing seven years of his basic education before attending the Halbstadt Zentralschule in the Molotschna Mennonite Settlement. At the age of 15, Gerhard was converted, and on 10 June 1901 he was baptized and joined the local Mennonite Brethren church. He remained active in church work for the rest of his life, both in Russia and in Canada. After he finished his studied at the Zentralschule, he completed a course in education and taught for two years in Blumenau, followed by two years at the school in Danilovka in the Crimea.

After completing his forestry service for the government, Reimer studied for four years at the Teacher Training Institute in Jaroslav and then at the University of Kiev. He finished his education in 1915 and obtained work in the Russian embassy, first in Moscow and then in Yalta. He completed his term of service in 1918, when he obtained a teaching position at the new Tchongrav Mennonite Brethren Bible School in Tchongrav, Crimea, where he worked until it was closed down six years later.

In 1912, Gerhard married Kathie Froese, daughter of Gerhard and Anna Froese of Barvenkovo. The couple had one son. Katie died in 1921, and two years later Gerhard married one of his former students, Margarethe Enns, daughter of David and Margarethe Enns of Fischau, Molotoschna Mennonite Settlement. The couple had two children, one born in Russia and the other in Canada. In 1925, the family immigrated to Canada, settling first in Winkler, Manitoba, where Gerhard joined his colleagues from Tchongrav, Abraham H. Unruh and  Johann G. Wiens, in starting Winkler Bible School. Gerhard taught at the Winkler Bible School from 1925 to 1936. Next, the family moved to Leamington, Ontario, and two years later to the town of Kingsville, near Lake Erie. Gerhard moved back to Manitoba to teach at Winkler Bible School from 1945 to 1949 before returning to Ontario. Altogether, he taught for 25 years in various locations.

In April 1970, Reimer became ill and was admitted to the hospital in Leamington for surgery. He was able to return home after ten weeks of treatment and recovery, but he had to return to the hospital seven weeks later when his condition worsened. He died there on 2 October 1970 at the age of 85.

Gerhard J. Reimer was a dedicated teacher whose commitment to the church and to his profession helped many people come to a better understanding of their faith. Through his service in the Bible schools where he taught, the church, and all the places he lived, he left a legacy of faithfulness for his family and community to follow.


Canadian Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches. “Gerhard Reimer (1885-1970) and Margaret (unknown-1980)." Web. 24 March 2010.

GRANDMA (The Genealogical Registry and Database of Mennonite Ancestry) Database, 6.02 ed. Fresno, CA: California Mennonite Historical Society, 2010: #427750.

Mennonite Brethren Herald (24 December 1970): 26.

Die Mennonitische Rundschau (28 October 1970): 11.; (12 March 1980): 27.

Additional Information

Gerhard was the tenth of 11 children of Johann Jacob Reimer (26 January 1848, Gnadenfeld, Molotschna, South Russia - 20 April 1914, Wiesenfeld, Russia) and Anna (Friesen) Reimer (1850, Rosenthal, Chortitza, South Russia - 25 Aug 1918, Wiesenfeld, Russia). His father was a teacher and long-time village mayor in Wiesenfeld.

Gerhard's first wife was Katarina "Katie" Froese (13 May 1892, Andreasfeld, Chortitza, South Russia - 26 Mar 1921, Tchongrav, Crimea, South Russia), the daughter of Gerhard Peter Froese (26 July 1867, Andreasfeld, Chortitza, South Russia - 29 June 1955, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada) and Anna Penner (25 December 1870, Adelsheim, Yazykovo, South Russia - 3 August 1958, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada). Gerhard and Katie were married on 16 June 1912 in South Russia. The had one son, Ferdinand.

Gerhard's second wife was Margarethe Enns (21 April 1900, Boragan, Crimea, South Russia - 21 January 1980, Leamington, Ontario, Canada), the daughter of David P. Enns (17 June 1864, Halbstadt, Molotschna, South Russia - 27 June 1942, Newton Siding, Manitoba, Canada) and Margaretha Baerg (3 November 1869, Lichtenau, Molotschna, South Russia - 1 June 1922, Fischau, Molotschna, South Russia). Gerhard and Margaretha were married 23 October 1923 in Fischau, Molotschna, South Russia. They had two children, Eleanor and Edwin.

Author(s) Susan Huebert
Date Published March 2010

Cite This Article

MLA style

Huebert, Susan. "Reimer, Gerhard J. (1885-1970)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. March 2010. Web. 27 Jan 2021.,_Gerhard_J._(1885-1970)&oldid=142828.

APA style

Huebert, Susan. (March 2010). Reimer, Gerhard J. (1885-1970). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 27 January 2021, from,_Gerhard_J._(1885-1970)&oldid=142828.

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