March 16, 1935 – September 13, 2021
The world lost a beloved mother, grandmother, great-grandmother (Oma), sister, aunt, friend, and partner on September 13, 2021, at Riverview Health Centre in Winnipeg, MB. Anne (Anne with an “e” as she preferred to be known!) lost her 5th and final battle with cancer, but it never stopped her from giving her whole heart to those she loved each day.
Anne leaves behind many broken hearts - her three daughters Janet Nickel (Rick Mahon), Karen Nickel, Barbara Nickel (Gregory Defoe); her three grandchildren Kimberly McCance (Carson McCance), Gregory Tkachuk, and Logan Defoe as well as one great-granddaughter Emily McCance; three siblings Peter Reimer (Mary), Agatha Peters, and Lena Penner; sister-in-law Dorothy Schellenberg; special friend and companion, Philip Ringham; as well as many nieces, nephews, cousins, neighbours, and friends.
She was preceded in death by her best friend, husband, and soulmate Fred Nickel (1988) as well as her parents Abram and Anna Reimer (nee Hiebert) and siblings Kay Bruneau, Abe Reimer, Dietrich Reimer, Mary Reimer, Elizabeth Reimer, and Dickie Reimer.
Anne was born on March 16, 1935, the third of ten children born to Abram and Anna Reimer in the Kleefeld, MB area of the rural municipality of Hanover. She was not born to an easy life, but she had a way of making the best of most situations. She married the love of her life Fred Nickel on November 29, 1952. They began their married life farming in the Grunthal area but soon decided they wanted to try something different so they purchased a farm in the Ridgeville, MB area and headed southwest with their first two young children. There they built their dairy farm on 320 acres and raised their now three daughters. To supplement their income on the farm, Fred would work at the Manitoba Sugar Company in Winnipeg. During that time, Anne single handedly managed the farm, child rearing, and home upkeep. She also sewed leather gloves at home for the Perfect Glove Manufacturers to bring in extra income. Many beautiful memories were made on that farm that they built – baseball games in the yard, saskatoon berry picking, horseback riding, camping in the pasture, naming new baby calves, playing make believe in the playhouse to name a few. Around 1977 the dairy cattle part of the farm was sold off and Anne decided to find employment outside of the farm. For a few years she worked at the Emerson Hotel restaurant and at the same time she and dad provided transportation and assistance to a coin collector where they were able to travel across Canada and the US, experience new foods, and new places.
Always a lover of books and education, and extremely intelligent, she decided to go back to school to open up more job opportunities. She took her GED and went to Success-Angus Commercial College in Winnipeg to obtain her Administrative Assistant degree in 1981. Once that was completed, she started working as the medical receptionist/office manager at the Emerson Clinic in 1982. In 1988, after her husband Fred passed away, the always extremely independent Anne decided to remain on the farm, renting out the land but still able to snowplow her own driveway!
She took on part time work at a brokerage firm in Emerson and at the Emerson Duty Free to keep herself busy and make extra money which she used to take trips to Florida, British Columbia, and Alberta to name a few. In 1993, she embarked on a huge adventure when she traveled to South Africa and then returned there in 1995 to attend the wedding of two of the doctors she had worked for. She worked in the clinic for 16 years before retiring in 1998 and sold the farm to move into Winnipeg. Her long-time co-workers became her loving friends as was her heartfelt way – to “adopt” and care for those around her.
As the travel bug had bitten her, she took another trip to England to visit friends and a Panama Canal Cruise in 1999. Although she was retired, Anne wasn’t one to sit still. In Winnipeg, she joined a widow/single group where she made many friends and took part in special outings. She became the companion and caregiver to her friend’s mom in Winnipeg. She continued to travel, visit family and friends, knit caps and scarves for the homeless and new tenants in her building, read voraciously, play cards and family games, visit casinos, go dancing, play Wii bowling, go camping in the summer, and enjoyed gardening, soup making and canning. During the last year and a half, she made over 1,000 masks that were donated to residents in her building, the University of Manitoba, children’s organization, and anyone who needed them. Always one to keep her hands and mind busy, she worked on various art projects – paintings, rug making, and diamond art.
She was always happiest surrounded by her loud, rambunctious family. She was the grandma and Oma that got down on the floor and played. She loved to cook for them and still being competitive, beat them at canasta or Dominoes or finish that puzzle with the last piece! She was her family and friends’ staunchest supporter – loving and kind, fiercely protective. Loyal, trustworthy, generous, kind, and compassionate, Anne would do anything for family, friend, or neighbour. She was and will always be our biggest inspiration.
A special thank you to Dr. Brendan McCarthy at HSC who advocated for mom when she first became ill, Dr. Craig Harlos her oncologist (whose socks mom thought were cool and loved to comment on), and Dr. Web and the palliative care team at Riverview Health Centre.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Cancer Care Manitoba.
Family and friends are invited to say a final goodbye to Anne at 2 PM on September 18, 2021 in Friedenstal, MB at the Zion Lutheran Church followed by internment at the cemetery there. Manitoba Health Covid guidelines will be followed for this service which includes capacity limitations (approx. 75-100 attendees max), social distancing, masking and being fully vaccinated.
Anne’s family kindly requests that her friends and family take a few minutes to honour her memory by visiting her tribute page at Ethicaldeathcare.com. A photo-biography as well as memories and stories published by those who knew her, are available there.
Give dad a big hug from us, Mom. Until we meet again, all our love to you both. We will miss you beyond measure!
Memories, Stories and Condolences
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