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Shirley Anne Reimer (Dioguardi)

October 3, 1950 - October 15, 2021

Tribute

Dr. Shirley A. Reimer MD. F.R.C.S.C.

Obstetrician and Gynecologist

03 Oct. 1950 – 15 Oct 2021

Shirley Anne Reimer (ne: Dioguardi) slipped away quietly in the early hours of Oct 15th, after a tragic 12-year struggle, which she faced directly, stoically and with tremendous courage.

She leaves behind her husband, Albert, her children, Caroline Begg-Smith (Jason) in London UK, and grandchildren, Charles, Philip and Louisa, then Michael in Toronto, with grandson, James, and Julia Dugaro (Matt) and grandchildren Stella and Adam.

Shirley was predeceased by her parents Philip and Laura Dioguardi but is survived by her brother Paul (Carmen) Dioguardi of Ottawa.

She also leaves brothers and sisters-In-law Jack Reimer (Dorothy) in Victoria, Dick Reimer (Sharon) in North Battleford, and Jim Reimer (Elaine) in Morgan Hill, California. She also leaves numerous nieces and nephews, in Ontario, BC and California.

But of particular mention were her parents-in-law, Diedrich and Mary Reimer (predeceased) whom she loved as her own, particularly Mary Reimer, for whom she had a strong mutual affection.

It was with her family that Shirley took the most pleasure, and pride. There was a lot of travel with them to fishing lakes, long distance drives, air travel, and sailing. There was always a vivid concern for their health and education. She loved cooking with them and referred to her extensive collection of cookbooks and old family recipes. Her personal ‘pasta nights’ at home were always begun with a small glass of wine and Andrea Bocelli. Guests, socializing in her home, normally never left the kitchen. These gatherings also often involved cooking together, and there was always lots of cheer.

She loved to travel, mostly to Europe, but also South America and Asia, and Israel. In 2003 she spent 3 months in Cefalu in Sicily, taking an Italian language course.

Shirley was born in Ottawa, where she went to St Joseph’s School, then pre-med at the University of Ottawa where she was the silver medalist, and medical school. She then moved to Winnipeg for the 4-year residency in OB/Gyn, and met and married Albert, her husband of more than 45 years. After graduation, she practiced in Winnipeg for a year before moving to Vancouver early in 1981.

It was there that she developed her practice, her professional status, and a loyal following. She provided her patients with maternity care at BC Women’s Hospital, where she was valued by patients and colleagues for her effervescent and dedicated care in the case room. She provided gynaecologic care at Mt. St Joseph’s, and later at St Paul’s Hospital. She also provided leadership in the Surgery program at Mt. St Joseph’s and was the second Head of the Division of General Obstetrics and Gynaecology within the UBC Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. Most importantly, she will be remembered within her department as a delightful colleague.

Shirley was always expanding her skills and knowledge – additional courses at Harvard, or traveling to Xian, China to learn more about Chinese traditional medicines, and their interactions with conventional medicines, or London (Hammersmith) for training in microsurgery.

When asked why she chose OB/Gyn with its arduous hours, she would invariably say that it was because it was “happy medicine”.

The family has already received messages from a number of her former resident student with comments such as, “Respectful, collegial, honest, funny, warm, smart, practical, friendly, compassionate, caring, fashionista, devoted to family. She was all that and more.”

The family would like to express thanks to the many physicians who attended Shirley, particularly, Dr Valerie Gruson, Dr. Dean Foti, and Dr. Rossali Pilapil-Lee. We would also like to thank VillaCarital, who remained COVID-free, and especially the care workers in the “Palermo” wing for their gentle and cheerful care.

A Memorial Service/Celebration of Life will be held at Fraserview Church, 11295 Mellis Dr, Richmond, BC V6X 1L8 on Saturday Nov 13th at 2pm. An opportunity will be made available following, for those wishing to speak about her. The facility is large, with opportunity for reasonable spacing. For those that cannot attend, or those who wish to communicate privately with the family, an email address has been established at sareimer.memorial@outlook.com. A video recording will be made of the service, and then uploaded to an Onedrive account. Anyone requesting the link to that file are asked to send a message to the email address given above.

Publicly viewed comments may be submitted to https://www.wiebeandjeskefh.com/obituaries/. We trust that those in attendance will have been vaccinated and will exercise good judgement.

There are many causes which Shirley would have people directing memorial gifts to, but her greatest concern was maternal care and her greatest love was lifting a newborn for the first time, which she did so very many times, each of which she thought was the most beautiful ever. We request that in lieu of flowers, a donation be made in support of “Maternal Fetal Medicine” at: bcwomensfoundation.org/dr-reimer.

“(I do not know what it is about you that closes

and opens; only something in me understands

the voice of your eyes is deeper than all roses)

nobody, not even the rain, has such small hands”

E.E. Cummings

Condolences

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Pages: 12

From: Wiebe and Jeske Funeral Home

Wiebe and Jeske Funeral Home Staff send our condolences to family and friends.

From: Angela Couldwell Torres
Relation: patient

I remember Dr Shirley Reimer with fondness and deep respect for her wonderful care she provided to me during a difficult pregnancy. She had a sense of humour so we would joke about my issues I faced at that time. She was well respected because when I was in BC Women’s all the staff I encountered would speak so highly of her. My sincere condolences to her family.

From: Linda & Thomas Fong
Relation: Patient

Dr. Shirley Reiner looked after me during my second pregnancy and she helped deliver a healthy baby boy in 1989. I will never forget her care and kindness when my pregnancy was deemed “risky” due to my diabetes. I will always remember her words guiding the young doctor’s hands in “stitching” me up after a very quick delivery! I am very thankful to have been one of many recipients of contributing to her “happy medicine”! My deepest sympathies to her family.

From: Darlene Wone
Relation: Patient

I am saddened to hear of Dr Reimet’s passing . As my gynaecologist she was always cheerful , informative and we shared stories of our adult children and the grandchildren soon to be born . Without her , I don’t know how I would have faced a total hysterectomy with such reassurance of a positive outcome. I can only imagine what she offered to her family and friends and how profound her loss is . Her smile and good nature will always be remembered .

From: Bernice Reimer McDonald
Relation: Husband's cousin

I send my sincere condolences to Albert and all of Shirley Reimer’s family – Shirley was a remarkable woman and doctor who leaves a legacy of love and light, bringing new life into the world. Blessings and prayers, Bernice Reimer McDonald

From: Donna Glover
Relation: school friend

Shirley and I attended school together from grade one to grade 13 and remained friends beyond. Shirley was easy to get along with, had good morals, and was a wonderful friend. I fondly remember our two summers as camp counselors and how friendly and fun Shirley was. I am deeply saddened that she has passed so soon as she was an important person to many, many people.

From: Billy Johnston
Relation: Winnipeg days.

Hi Al, It was with great sadness that I heard of Shirley’s death from Malcolm Jones. Although I have not been in contact with you since the Winnipeg days , I have fond memories of working with Shirley. I remember, enthusiasm, humor and kindness. She was a joy to work with. I send my condolances to you and the family.

From: Andrew Ellison
Relation: Partner and friend at Seymour clinic

Shirley saved my obstetrical bacon on more than one occasion.
Why she should have been struck down with such a debilitating disease God only knows.
Perhaps in the fullness of time God will tell us.

From: Susan Haworth
Relation: Patient

My condolences to Dr. Reimer’s family and friends. Even though Dr. Reimer wrote HIGH RISK on my file, I always felt I was in the best of hands and safe when she delivered both my children. My husband was very impressed with her sewing skills. Thank you Dr. Reimer.

From: Maureen Jang
Relation: Patient

Dr. Reimer was my doctor for both of my pregnancies. I always felt reassured and safe knowing that Dr Reimer was guiding me as I knew she was the best OB/Gyn doctor out there. She delivered my first son and I was scared up until I saw her come into the delivery room. I will always be grateful for all her amazing care and thank you for taking care of me and my two sons. Our family is forever grateful to Dr Reimer . My deepest sympathy to all the family.

Pages: 12

Service Schedule

  Celebration of Life

Date & Time:
November 13, 2021
Beginning at 2:00pm

Location:
Fraserview Church
11295 Mellis Drive
Richmond, BC Canada

11295 Mellis Drive
Richmond, BC Canada

Memorial Gifts

We request that in lieu of flowers, a donation be made in support of “Maternal Fetal Medicine” at:

bcwomensfoundation.org/dr-reimer.

Thank You Notice

Send Flowers

Floral Tributes may be ordered directly through our supplier for delivery throughout the entire lower mainland, from Hope to Vancouver:

Wiebe & Jeske Funeral Home
202-31314 Peardonville Rd.
Abbotsford BC
V2T 6K8

info@wiebeandjeskefh.com
604-859-5885

When ordering please have the name of the deceased, the date of the funeral service and the address/phone number of the delivery location for handy reference.

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