Reimer, Margaret Loewen (1947-2019)

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Margaret Loewen Reimer, 2011.
Family photo

"A student of literature and a Mennonite journalist with a special passion for the arts" is how Margaret Loewen Reimer introduced herself during a lecture series entitled “Mennonites and the Artistic Imagination” at Canadian Mennonite Bible College in 1998. That self-introduction rang true back in 1998. It also served as an appropriate summary of Margaret’s legacy following her 24 January 2019 death.

Margaret Joyce Loewen was born 26 March 1947 to Anne Friesen Loewen (7 April 1914-8 December 2006) and Alfred Loewen (12 October 1914-7 March 2011) in Altona, Manitoba, Canada. Margaret was the third child and eldest daughter in a family of two sons and two daughters. On 25 May 1968 Margaret married A. James “Jim” Reimer (10 August 1942-28 August 2010); they had three children—Christina, Thomas, and Micah. Margaret and Jim Reimer are buried at the Roseville Mennonite cemetery in Roseville, Ontario.

Margaret graduated from Canadian Mennonite Bible College in Winnipeg in 1968 and from the University of Manitoba in 1970. In 1973, she was hired as an editorial assistant at Mennonite Reporter (now Canadian Mennonite) in Waterloo, Ontario. She worked for this publication for the next 31 years in a variety of editorial roles and as a writer. Margaret completed her MA in English at the University of Waterloo in 1980 and in 1993 she graduated with her PhD in English from the University of Toronto.

Margaret’s ability to make her doctoral work accessible to more than her academic advisers was in full form in the 1998 lectures at Canadian Mennonite Bible College. They were later condensed into an article in the fall 1998 issue of the Conrad Grebel Review, "Mennonites and the Artistic Imagination."

A number of publications grew out of Margaret’s writings in the pages of Mennonite Reporter and Canadian Mennonite. One series of columns became a publication called One Quilt, Many Pieces, A Reference guide to Mennonite Groups in Canada. This was first published in 1990 and went through a number of updates and revisions, with the last version published by Herald Press in 2008.

A second book brought together a series of short biographies that Margaret wrote about 20 individuals who have shaped the Christian and Mennonite tradition. The 1988 volume called Christians Courageous, Stories for Children From Church History, was published by Mennonite Publishing Service.

A third book grew out of a "Signs and Symbols" column written by Margaret over a number of years. This material was expanded and updated for a volume entitled Approaching the Divine, Signs and Symbols of the Christian Faith, published in 2018 by Canadian Mennonite University.

The book provided a window into the meaning behind liturgical practices and art forms developed by the church through the ages. It also explored the seasons of the church year and observances related to special "Holy Days" in the Christian tradition. The last section of the book included articles and sermons related to the subject of symbols and rituals in the Christian tradition.

Margaret was a longtime member at Rockway Mennonite Church in Kitchener, where she played piano, served on the church council and various committees and, preached memorable sermons that wove together biblical, theological and literary themes. In her retirement, Margaret was also one of the coordinators of a book club for women inmates at Grand Valley Institution for Women.

Bibliography

GRANDMA (The Genealogical Registry and Database of Mennonite Ancestry) Database, 20-01 ed. Fresno, CA: " California Mennonite Historical Society, 2020: #448757.

"Margaret Joyce Loewen Reimer 1947 - 2019." Erb & Good Family Funeral Home. February 2019. https://erbgood.com/tribute/details/14378/Margaret-Reimer/obituary.html.

Rempel, Ron. "Remembering Margaret Loewen Reimer: In tribute to a journalist with a special passion for the arts, March 26, 1947 - Jan. 24, 2019." Canadian Mennonite 23 February 2019. Web. 4 February 2020. https://canadianmennonite.org/mlr-remembered.


Author(s) Ron Rempel
Date Published February 2020


Cite This Article

MLA style

Rempel, Ron. "Reimer, Margaret Loewen (1947-2019)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. February 2020. Web. 10 Aug 2020. https://gameo.org/index.php?title=Reimer,_Margaret_Loewen_(1947-2019)&oldid=166529.

APA style

Rempel, Ron. (February 2020). Reimer, Margaret Loewen (1947-2019). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 10 August 2020, from https://gameo.org/index.php?title=Reimer,_Margaret_Loewen_(1947-2019)&oldid=166529.




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