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Shirley Anne Reimer (Dioguardi)

October 3, 1950 - October 15, 2021

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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: Stojna Wind
Relation: medical student

I remember so fondly my time as a medical student many years ago, following Dr. Reimer from patient to patient in her practice. She was so bubbly and kind and honest and competent, the perfect mentor for a young female student! My sincere condolences to her family and friends.

From: Sonya Gulbransen
Relation: Patient and friend

I am so devastated and sad with this news. She was more than a gynecologist… we were friends right from the first time we met. I’ve been her patient since my early 20’s. I’m now 63. Her infectious smile, our chit- chats, delivering my 2 children… words can’t explain how much she meant to me.. Sending love, condolences and prayers to all who knew her… especially her family and close friends. She was a phenomenal woman . 💕❤️💕❤️

From: Bruce & Dorothy Reimer
Relation: Relative

We wish to express our condolences to Albert and family. Although we have recently met, your parents were special friends to Jake and Hannah Reimer, Bruce’s parents. May you be comforted today by special memories of your life together. Blessings!

From: Anna Margaret Blakey
Relation: Patient delivered of four babies.

Saddened to hear of Dr. Reimer’s passing. She was an excellent doctor and a lovely person.

From: danica marco
Relation: patient

I will forever remember Dr. Reimer bursting into a full office her white lab coat flapping and her heels ( she was always in heels!) clicking and her arms full of files No matter how busy she was she made you feel heard and supported and cared for. She would firmly hold your arm while taking the B/P and talk about “the passenger”. She always had a smile. She was simply special. My deepest condolences for your family’s loss.

From: Suman Bakshi
Relation: Patient

I haven’t seen a gynaecologist in about 20 years and today I finally got into see one after a year of waiting. When she walked into the room for a few seconds I thought I saw Shirley. After 30 minutes I happen to mention that I used to see Dr. Shirley Reimer but knew she had retired. That’s when Hanna told me. After much shock and sharing how much Shirley did for me I broke down in tears. Tears continue to roll down my face as I write this and I wasn’t able to go back to work. I first met Shirley 30 years ago. I was in my early 20s. There were very few female gynaecologists and she agreed to take me in after another doctor spoke to her about my story. I was blessed to have her as my doctor, she saw me through so much. I’m so very sad to hear of Shirley’s passing and don’t feel like it’s a coincidence that I happen to end up right back where she used to practice. I felt Shirley’s presence today, my heart is filled with so much sadness and gratitude for a woman that was more than a doctor to me. She was like a mom, I shared so much more that she needed to know as my doctor, she was a safe place for me in a world where I didn’t feel safe. I’m so very sorry for your loss. I know this loss all too well. My heart goes out to each and everyone one of you. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

From: Dr Vera Frinton
Relation: colleague

I was saddened to hear of Shirley’s death, but also distressed to know of the years of difficulty she and her family faced. As another of the first women OB/Gynes in Vancouver, our paths crossed regularly although we practiced out of different hospitals. When Shirley was first diagnosed I had the honour of doing locums in her office and helping to care for her beloved patients who missed her very much. Shirley will be remembered as the heroine she was. My sincere condolences to her family.

From: Homa Fattahi
Relation: Patient

I am extremely saddened to learn that my beloved doctor has departed leaving us behind. Over a span of 3 decades she looked after my well-being. I never forget her electrifying presence either in the office or in the operating room. I am still in shock for our loss. A great soul, she will remain in my heart as long as I live, for she is unforgettable as a great doctor and persona. My deepest condolences.

From: Paula Marconato
Relation: Patient

I am deeply saddened to hear of Dr. REIMER’S passing. I first met Dr. Reimer in 1995 after a bout with infertility, I had finally become pregnant with my first and was referred to Dr. By my GP, in his words she was the best of the best, and that was to be on point. I connected with her immediately. I remember always waiting in her office for hours before seeing her, but I didn’t care, I would of sat in her office for a week straight to see her! You could see it in her eyes, she loved her patients and her career!!! I went on to have 3 children.. however I didn’t need a specialist for my last one, but I delivered all babies at BCCH, and she would recognize my name and slip into my room to say hi and congratulate me. She was the best Dr. ever…such a loss for the women of BC and especially her family. Sending you all prayers during this difficult time. Love and light always

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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