Norris Anthony (Sam) Reichmuth
After a battle with cancer, long time Binscarth businessman, Norris Anthony “Sam” Reichmuth passed away February 4, 2015 at the Russell Hospital at the age of 80.
He was predeceased by his father Anthony Leo Reichmuth and his mother Ada Louise Reichmuth (Yont). Surviving are his beloved wife of 55 years, Valerie Rose Reichmuth (Werle), daughter Jodi Digby (Jason), granddaughter Jade and son Mark (Sarah) and grandsons Bailey, Colbey, Jorey and Tavrey.
Sam was born in Russell Hospital on February 3, 1935 and spent his early years growing up in Marchwell, SK. Sam’s parents made the move to Binscarth where they operated a hardware store for many years. One day Sam’s dad, while visiting Valerie’s parents, Rose and Bill Werle, mentioned to Valerie who was home from Winnipeg, that he had a son and that he wouldn’t mind having Valerie for a daughter in law! He said that Sam was on his way to Winnipeg for school and asked for Valerie’s phone number to give to Sam. Valerie agreed, not really expecting a phone call. Well, Sam called. A coffee date later and it wasn’t long after when Sam said he didn’t want to drive to Langenburg all winter, maybe they should get married. October 24, 2014 they celebrated 55 years.
Sam and Valerie moved to Binscarth and helped with the hardware store then eventually took over. It was during this time that Sam attended school in Winnipeg to achieve his certification in Refrigeration, Air Conditioning and Plumbing and Heating.
In March of 1967 a baby girl arrived, their daughter Jodi Lyn and 3 years later a son, Mark Anthony. No two better blessings have there been should you ask them!
Sam and Valerie then purchased the former catholic church building and set up what is affectionately known as “the shop” on Binscarth’s Russell Street. More than just repairs went on in that shop as Sam was an avid woodworker. From handcrafted jewellery boxes for Valerie to hockey equipment drying racks for the kids. A special woodworking project was a wooden rocking horse for the grandchildren. There wasn’t much that Sam couldn’t fix at that shop either, including broken lamps, toaster ovens and other small appliances that most would have thrown out.
Sam enjoyed many weekends hunting up at the “gooseshack” with his hunting friends but the most special times were when his son Mark was old enough to join him. Sam recently discovered that girls can hunt too when he was able to hunt geese with his granddaughter Jade, son in law Jason and grandson Bailey!
Fishing at Namew Lake, Lake of the Prairies and many others were a source of great joy for Sam and his family. Summers, when their kids were young, were spent at the cabin at Clear Lake.
Gardening was a big part of Sam’s and Valerie’s lives. The gardens got smaller as the years went on, but they were no less prolific. Sam is particularly known for the raspberries he grew and the delicious wine he brewed from them. He even won a “Taste of Manitoba” home crafters wine award for his raspberry wine. The produce from their garden was generously shared with family, friends and neighbors every year as many of you know.
Sam was a social man and enjoyed MANY hours at the local coffee shops. Every time he came home he was asked “what did you learn?” and every time he said, “nothing”. Even though he spent his 80th birthday in the hospital he still bought the coffee crowd their coffee that day.
Sam had a loving and generous spirit. He was a defender of the underdog and supportive of his family and community. He had a gentle spirit and it showed from the way he treated the many dogs that came into his life to the plants he and Valerie tended in their gardens. As he drove his work van to and from his many service calls, Sam had a smile and a wave for everyone.
He is missed.
EULOGY FOR OUR DAD (Video Below)
Our Dad was a proud man. He took pride in the work he did for others when repairing whatever it was needed repairing. He never cut corners and was frugal and practical. But not cheap, he knew when to get the best and that you got what you paid for. We learned, that if something was too good to be true it probably was. That there was no free lunch but if someone offered to buy, just say yes!
And he was proud of his children and grandchildren as witnessed by his appearance at music recitals, hockey and baseball games and 4-H presentations over the years. I have heard some say at the hockey rink that the rare time that Dad was not at a game, finally gave someone else a chance to win the 50-50!
He was interested in other people and while visiting me at University, instead of standing in the residence elevator facing the door and watching the floors go by he’d turn, face the others, stick out his hand and say “Sam, Sam Reichmuth, Jodi’s dad! Who are you!” Not sure if he was trying to embarrass me or scare the boys away. . maybe a little of both.
But he truly was interested in people. He listened more than he spoke and always had questions about what you were talking about…what you’d been doing…what you were working on. He gave advice without sounding like it. He would try to solve any issue big or small and often doodled on napkins or paper to solve the latest puzzle or mock up a quick blueprint for an ice fishing shack or utility trailer or log splitter or whatever!
Dad gave back more than he ever took out of this life. If he needed some sort of tool for the garden he didn’t just go out and buy it, he ran down to the shop and made it. He recycled all kinds of used things into new things. Mom and Dad wasted nothing and the secret to their amazing garden was the ever growing compost pile.
Dad could cook too, ok not really, but he did feed us bacon and eggs for supper the very rare time my mom was away. MMM breakfast for supper, still the best.
But bbq? Oh, Dad could bbq! I was visiting once from Vancouver and trying my hand at being a vegetarian cause that was the cool thing I guess….Dad never once made fun of me. He just bbq’d everything I loved, chicken, steak, hotdogs, and by the end of that visit I was cool no more. Gonna miss that chicken!
He loved our mother. He did just about anything for her and with her. They gardened together and it brought such joy to spend time outside with the earth, the apple trees, and so many many flowers. It was a source of great pride for them both to take anyone who visited on a walk through the gardens. I say gardens because back in the early years there were three! Dad also kept a row of apple trees that bloomed and produced a variety of delicious apples. And yes some of them even made it into the wine! But Dad was particularly proud of his raspberry patch and the wine and mom’s jelly that came from that.
Grandkids and our friend’s kids often got to enjoy a trip in the golf cart with Dad or Mom. It usually included a stop in the strawberry patch for a fresh berry, a handful of peas, a quick check of the zucchinis and peppers and ended with an apple off one of the trees. What a great place to grow up and witness a work ethic and responsibility that some days seem lacking in today’s society.
Mom and Dad fished together and many summers when Mark and I were young they packed up the station wagon and drove many hours to Sturgeon Landing, in Northern Manitoba, with two excited kids to spend a week fishing on Namew Lake. At one time, that was fishing like no other and shore lunch days were our personal favorite. Mark and I got to explore the rocky shore and hidden cabins while mom and dad prepared the meal. Dad filleted the fish (there were always fish!) and mom cut and cooked onions and potatoes, opened a can of beans and sliced garden tomatoes and cucumbers! Honestly, to this day there is nothing better and Mark and I both continue to enjoy this same activity with our own families.
But beyond doing things together Dad worried about her and her health and together they did a fine job of looking after each other. I know he was fearful for her should she be left on her own. Don’t worry dad, we got this.
And lastly, we just want to say thanks Dad. We thought there would be more time but we are grateful for you that there wasn’t. So Dad, thank you, for your example of how to be a man, how to be a father, how to love a wife. Thank you for the life lessons and thank you for the love. Thank you, from the bottom of our hearts Dad, thank you…so very much.
Funeral Home: Braendle Bruce Funeral Service
Town/Prov: Binscarth, Manitoba
Date of passing: February 4, 2015