Herbert Egon Reetz was born June 16, 1927 in Goldenau, West Prussia, Germany, the first son of Paul and Hertha Reetz, and the third child of seven children. His father Paul immigrated to Canada in August 1927. Herbert followed with his mother Hertha and sisters Troudie and Clara in April 1928. Four other siblings were born in Canada, the youngest and only surviving sibling is his brother Gerd.
Growing up on the family farm north of Churchbridge he attended school at Beresina School where he enjoyed learning, but, due to being needed on the family farm he only completed grade 8. He enjoyed his working on the farm, working with both machinery and horses. He left home in 1946 to work for a farmer in Kelvington, SK. 1947 brought him back to Churchbridge to work for his father in exchange for the home half section of land. In late 1947 Herb got a job in Ontario. He worked in Ontario for the next 10 years in the mining and forestry industries as well as many other odd jobs, like taxi driver and fishing guide. It was in Ontario that he met and married his wife Lois McLean in 1949. Together they raised seven children. Douglas, Carolyn and Robert born in Ontario and Thomas, Yvonne, Elizabeth and Donna born in Saskatchewan after they moved back to the family farm in 1957. Herb farmed very successfully until 1992. He travelled extensively throughout the world touching every continent in the world except Africa and Antarctica, most of them several times. Many of his trips were agriculture related, but several were sightseeing and re-acquainting with family back in Germany. While enjoying the winter warmth in Weslaco, Texas, Herb also authored a personal autobiography called “The Reetz Story – The Story of a Saskatchewan Farmer”. Herb quit travelling in 2000. His last trip was a two month visit to Oahu, Hawaii to visit his son Thomas.
His other passion was flying. He started flying in 1970 after harvest and got his private pilot licence just before seeding started in the spring of 1971. He flew until late fall 1993. During his 23 years of flying he travelled extensively with various aircraft he owned, as well as his 15-minute flights around the farm to check out the neighbourhood.
He also got his glider pilot licence as well as tow plane qualification and did extensive work with the air cadet glider program, volunteering his time and experience to that organization for many years. Herb spent the last 20 years close to home in Churchbridge with a few of those years spent in Gimli, Manitoba area living with his daughter Betty.
Herb passed peacefully in the evening hours of February 23, 2019 at the Esterhazy Care Home with Doug & Lois, Carolyn and Robert at his side.
Herb was pre-deceased by his parents Paul and Hertha; his wife Lois; five siblings; his mother & father-in-law; brothers-in-law Douglas and Phillip; sisters-in-law Pat and Loretta; nieces Robyn, Lorraine, and Christa; and nephews Larry, Carmen and Norman.
He is survived by his son Douglas (Lois); daughter Carolyn (Allen) Babyak; son Robert (Linda); son Thomas (Cindy); daughter Yvonne (Edwin) Stow; daughter Elizabeth and daughter Donna (Ron) Kapchinski, along with 20 grandchildren and 19 great-grandchildren.
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