An Obituary from his Daughter, Dorothy
It is with great sadness we share the loss of our much-loved Husband, Dad and Opa, John Reiter, who passed away peacefully at his care home on May 23, 2021. He is survived by his wife of 62 years, Anni, his daughter Dorothy and her husband Greg, his son David and his wife Tara, and his grandchildren Jesse and his wife Natalia, Kaitlin, and Emma.
John will be remembered as being larger than life and leaving an impression on everyone he met. He was the life of the party and loved gathering with his friends and family for dinners, parties, camping, wine making and, later in life, meeting at the mall for coffee.
John immigrated to Canada in 1951 and made a wonderful life in Canada. He kept his Austrian heritage alive through the Austria Vancouver Club, which he helped build. He was a regular at the club and enjoyed going dancing on Saturday nights, family nights on Fridays, summer picnics, wine tastings, celebrating Oktoberfest and other traditions with friends and family.
John loved to go on road trips across BC. In 1979 he bought the trailer at Cultus Lake which became his home away from home especially in his later years where he loved to go to relax.
He worked at Burnaby Hospital for over 30 years retiring in 1990.
John moved to Foyer Maillard care facility with Anni in November 2019 where his happy and cheerful demeaner continued to bring joy to everyone around him. We would like to thank the wonderful staff at Foyer Maillard for their caring, kindness and support.
In lieu of a service we invite you to view the memorial tribute video and to leave your messages, memories and photos on this website.
As our paths cross over this year and we are able to meet, we look forward to making a toast with you in fond memory of John.
We will always remember the guidance, strength and love with which he touched our lives and these precious qualities will live on in us.
A Reflection from his Son, David
I remember an old saying “the older I become, the smarter my parents get. . .” I guess that stems from an appreciation of your parents that only the wisdom of time (and age) can offer. This holds true when I think of my father and all of the courageous things he had done throughout his life, and what type of person he was. In my younger years I was quick to find fault with him, and never really appreciated these things until I matured.
When my dad was a teenager of 15 he was subjected to the horrors of the second world war. Even though he was not a soldier and did not join the army, the war was brought to his hometown. A grenade exploded in the room he was in and he almost died that day. Although dazed and wounded with multiple shrapnel wounds, he was pulled out of the fiery wreckage by passing soldiers.
Knowing that he needed to make a change, at the age of 21 he packed up his belongings and headed across the sea to a new land to make a better life for himself and eventually his family. With only a grade 8 education, hardly any money, and unable to speak a word of English, Dad managed to start a new life, get a job and settle down in Burnaby BC.
When I was 21, I was adventurous and started embarking on road trips across the country but my courage would not come close to what my Dad’s was in order to do what he did. I could not have imagined uprooting like that and turning my world upside down as he had done (but ultimately for the better).
In my younger days I also saw Dad as quite the party goer that liked to have a good time. He had many friends and they had gotten together regularly. But as I matured I saw a man who was popular and well liked, and being the President and Vice President of the Austria Vancouver Club introduced him to many new friends. He was always comfortable in that role and he had a knack of making others comfortable around him as well. My “mature me” knows that that is a talent not easily shared by many.
So I know that Dad is looking down upon us and hears me say “well done!” For someone to come from such meager beginnings with little to work with and make a good life for himself and his family is quite impressive!
Thanks for everything you’ve done Dad, rest in peace. We love you and you’ll be missed!
A Poem from his Grandchildren, Kaitlin, Emma, Jesse and Natalia
Do Not Stand at My Grave and Weep by Mary Elizabeth Frye
Do not stand at my grave and weep,
I am not there, I do not sleep
I am in a thousand winds that blow,
I am the softly falling snow,
I am the gentle showers of rain,
I am the fields of ripening grain,
I am in the morning hush,
I am in the graceful rush,
Of beautiful birds in circling flight,
I am the star shine of the night,
I am in the flowers that bloom,
I am in a quiet room,
I am in the birds that sing,
I am in each lovely thing,
Do not stand at my grave and cry,
I am not there. I do not die.
Nos plus sincères sympathies à la famille et aux amis de John Reiter Sunday May 23rd 2021..
Décès pour la Ville: Coquitlam, Province: Colombie britanique