Obituary of Jean Gimbel
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Jean Gimbel, of Kitchener, passed away peacefully, with her daughters at her bedside, on Tuesday, March 7th in her 88th year. She was born August 7, 1935, to Wayne and Olive Snyder, who owned a livestock farm in the Stanley Park area of Kitchener. Jean married Ronald Gimbel in 1955, and is survived by children Joyce (Paul) Bechtel, Lois Gimbel, Sandy (Kevin) Stanford and Susan (Dan) Lockett. Jean treasured her many grandchildren Jennifer Bechtel (Brian Curtain), Kimberley (Steve) Wilhelm, Melanie Stanford, Christopher (Janine) Stanford, Jonathan Stanford, and Lahara Lockett, and also great-grandchildren Bradley and Brandon Wilhelm, Joseph, Peter and Thomas Stanford, and Benji and Jake Curtain. Also survived by her brother Bruce (Helen) Snyder and sisters Carol Anne Hunt, Marion Snyder and Marjorie Snyder and by Ron’s brothers David (Pam) Gimbel and Jim (Marg) Gimbel. Predeceased by her husband Ron in 2017, brother-in-law Ronald Hunt, and an infant brother, Arthur.
Jean was a loving and supportive wife to her husband Ron. She cared for her family and placed great importance on extended family gatherings. Her farm upbringing contributed to her life as a wife and mother as she carried on with gardening, preserving, cooking and baking, and sewing, throughout most of her life. Involvement in her children’s lives included being a Brownie leader, helping on the executive committee of the figure skating club, and supporting them at childrens’ camp.
Once her children were in school full time, Jean returned to developing her meticulous administrative and bookkeeping skills. She spent a number of years working from home, providing administrative support for a local professor and author who lectured throughout North America.
Jean's quiet but steadfast faith led her to dedicate many years to Stirling Avenue Mennonite Church, serving on many committees including as council treasurer and on WMA (Women in Missions Association). She was very musical. She played the piano and organ on occasion, and enjoyed singing in the choir. Jean was also one of the early women in the Region to obtain an amateur radio license (VE3CBQ) and recently received a certificate for over 50 years licensed.
Ron and Jean built a family cottage at Chesley Lake Camp in the early 1960s and all generations continue to create memories there. Family vacations were an important part of Jean’s life. She embraced remote camping at property they bought along the Madawaska River and completed her first overnight canoe trip in her 40s. She enjoyed travelling; from trailer trips throughout North America including Alaska, to cruises, and bus trips across Europe. In later years Jean and Ron enjoyed time in Florida.
A memorial service will be held at Stirling Avenue Mennonite Church on Saturday, April 22nd at 11:00 am. An opportunity for visitation will take place at Stirling one hour prior to the service. Reception to follow in the church hall. Private family burial at Breslau Mennonite Cemetery. The family wishes to express appreciation for the compassionate and loving care provided over several years by the staff at Trinity Village, especially on Oakridge.
Donations in memory of Jean can be made to the Alzheimer Society or Trinity Village Care Centre.