Peter and Edith Reimer

In the middle of posting his fantasy sermon The Old Fool went to a service in memory of Peter Reimer, a widower for only a few years. The Old Fool knew Peter Reimer, 91, and his wife Edith for the last few years of their sojourn on earth. 

King Solomon is purported to have written in Ecclesiastes: “Better to spend your time at funerals.  After all, everyone dies–so the living should take this to heart, (New Living Translation.)  Ecclesiastes was written from the perspective of a wise old man who calls himself The Preacher. 

The Old Fool did not go to Peter’s memorial service to be reminded that his own death is inevitable.  His obesity, five pills taken daily, and the pills to be taken as needed serve to remind him of his mortality. Instead, he went to learn more of Peter’s life.  It was declared, after all, to be a celebration of life.

The Old Fool  learned that Peter was born in Canada and remained a Canadian citizen for his whole life although it was mostly lived in the US.  He was a conscientious objector to war, so as a young man he went to France to help rebuild houses damaged or destroyed by WWII. 

Peter and Edith Reimer

While in Europe he met Edith, a young volunteer from the US.  They fell in love and were married in Europe before returning to Edith’s home in Indiana in 1952.  They had three children of their own, adopted two daughters, and were foster parents in the David Rogers Childrens Home in a children’s home in Wolcottville, Indiana. 

 Peter and Edith were members of Forks Mennonite Church. Edith’s little brown bonnet is on display in a cabinet holding artifacts from Fork’s church history. The Old Fool and the Reimers attended the same Sunday School class and he remembers well Peter’s evident devotion to Edith.  Peter was the owner/operator of Reimer’s Ice Service, Inc., a company that filled an important need in the Amish community.  He took social work and Bible classes at Goshen College.

Edith Kauffman Reimer’s brown bonnet made for her when she was a little girl by her mother.

Peter was active in Gideons International, sang in the Gospel Messengers male quartet.  Yes, to get to know Peter at the memorial service was better than a church carry-in pot luck dinner.  The Old Fool encourages youth to attend funerals.

The Old Fool hopes this post is received as a love letter to all who live, love. and mourn.  Click to subscribe or unsubscribe


About Martin Lehman

I was born 92 years ago, the son of a Mennonite pastor and organic gardener in Franklin County, Pennsylvania. At age 10 I was baptized as a member of the Marion Mennonite Church. I own the "Old Fool" moniker because I want to walk the Jesus Way even though the world and much of the church takes me as a fool for doing so. In my life I have moved from being a young conservative to an elderly radical. I tell that story in My Faith Journey posted on my website.
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