WALTER REIBIN, beloved uncle and great-uncle, passed away peacefully at Talarico Place in Castlegar, B.C. on Sunday, October 16, 2016 with his great-niece at his side.
Walter was born on May 14, 1921 in Kamsack, Saskatchewan to John and Annie (nee Sherstobitoff) Reibin. His parents moved to Grand Forks, B.C. in the mid-1940’s but Walter stayed behind and lived much of his life in Saskatchewan.
In his late teens, Walter moved to Saskatoon to live with his sister Mable and brother-in-law Bill Berniece, where he worked for their business, Bill’s Taxi. He met Jean McCallum at an ice rink in Saskatoon when she caught his attention by throwing an apple core at him. He was quickly smitten and they soon married on June 19, 1942. The next month, on July 20th, Walter enlisted in the Royal Canadian Air Force where he repaired airplane parts, until discharge on October 23, 1945. Shortly after, Walter and Jean moved to Regina where Walter began what became a long career with SaskTel (1947-1972) building and repairing telephones and other component parts. He was schooled in Advanced Electronics and he was very proud to be part of the SaskTel family. He was also a certified member of the Telephone Pioneers of America.
Walter was a generous man and always kept an eye open to help those in need. After retiring from SaskTel he continued to offer his expertise at no cost to help those who could not afford otherwise. He possessed an inventive mind. Many of us will remember him for his creative gadgetry and repair work. Why buy new when he could put pieces and parts together to fix or make something better? His mind was always at work!
As a young man, Walter enjoyed many sporting activities such as playing golf, ball, hockey and skiing. Where would one ski in Saskatchewan in the 1930’s, you might ask? Well, always one for ideas, there was Walter on skis, holding on to long ropes tied to the back of a car driving across a frozen field!
Together, Walter and Jean volunteered with Regina Little Theatre for many years, he as a set designer/builder and she as the organist. He was very fond of this work and was especially proud of the very successful 1960’s production of the Louis Riel story. They also volunteered for twenty years for the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies, sharing their love for the animals in care, as well as their own precious dog, Snowball. Individually, they were each awarded Honorary Life Membership certificates from the Regina Little Theatre and a Service Award for Meritorious Service from the Humane Societies. They were active in a bowling league, enjoyed the company of many, many friends and travelled extensively in Canada and the U.S.A.
In 1988 Walter and his wife moved to Burnaby, B.C. to be closer to extended family and enjoy the west coast. They kept busy in retirement exploring the city and enjoying the company of new friends and family. Though they had no children, Jean and Walter were favourites amongst numerous nieces, nephews and extended families. They travelled regularly to B.C. and eastern Canada to maintain these treasured relationships.
Walter’s beloved wife, Jean, passed away suddenly on April 17, 1999. Within a few years he sold their condo and moved to Shannon Oaks, an independent seniors’ home in Vancouver, where he was happy to reside. He enjoyed many new friendships, especially the companionship of Dagmar Bemister. He was especially close with two nieces, Beatrice Hooper and Paulette (Ralph) Tedesco, all of whom visited often.
On in his years and slowing down, in early 2011 Walter decided to move to Castlegar where his great-niece, Linda Areshenkoff, could care for him on a regular basis. He enjoyed his new surroundings at Castlewood Village until June of this year, when he suffered a minor fall and subsequently was moved to Talarico Place in August.
Walter was a quiet man, with a kind and gentle nature. Comments abounded from caretakers and fellow residents that “Walter is such a nice man.” And it’s true. He would always express his gratitude and appreciation to others for his care or a kind word. He was very much loved by family and will be greatly missed.
Walter was predeceased by his parents; brother Peter Reibin; sisters Doris Reibin, Mable Berniece and Kathleen Areshenkoff; wife Jean; niece Beatrice Hooper; nephew Nick Areshenkoff; and other extended family.
He is survived by nieces Paulette Tedesco, Langley, British Columbia; Mable Blakely, Vancouver, Washington; nephew Bill (Marge) Areshenkoff, Edmonton, Alberta; and many great-nieces and great-nephews.
Many thanks to his physicians during his time in Castlegar, the caregivers at Castlewood Village and Talarico Place, home nursing, the mobile lab, and foot care. Thank you to the staff at Grand Forks Funeral Home for your compassionate care.
Thank you for the heartfelt sentiments received from friends, family and Walter’s careworkers. It was an honor to have been a part of his life in such a meaningful way. Your friendship and support has been very much appreciated.
Cremation has taken place. There will be no service but please take a moment to remember Walter in prayer on November 6, 2016 at 11:30 a.m.
May he rest in peace in God’s Heavenly Kingdom.