FIshing 08
Official Obituary of

Daren Reiter

March 26, 2024

Daren Reiter Obituary

Daren Anthony Reiter

With a broken heart and immense sadness, we bid farewell to a loving son, brother, husband, father and grandfather. Daren passed away peacefully at his home in Grindstone Provincial Park on March 26th at the age of 60 surrounded by family and friends.

Daren’s warmth, fellow-feeling and invariable offers of help will be forever remembered by all who knew him. He will be deeply mourned by his sons Benjamin, Barret (Shafagh) and Jeremy (Mariette); grandchildren Jessa, Sawyer, Laurel and a fourth expected April 18; parents Peter and Caroline; sister Kathy (Wes), brothers Kevin (Carla) and Darcy (Dixi); nieces and nephews, and many wonderful friends and family. He was predeceased by his loving wife of 36 years, Crystal, who passed away in October 2023.

Daren was born in Unity, Saskatchewan, the second son, and third child, of four children on October 23, 1963. He spent his early years on the family farm, just outside Luseland Saskatchewan, where he graduated from the local high school. Daren made the decision to pursue a career as an electrician not long after his graduation in 1981. He did his apprenticeship as a Construction Electrician with Pat’s Electric in his hometown, with education at the Saskatchewan Technical Institute in Moosejaw. He received his Construction Electrician Journeyman certification in Saskatchewan in June 1985. A highlight from this period of his career was his responsibility for supervising, planning and coordinating the electrical construction of the new city library in North Battleford between 1986 and ’87.

Daren met the love of his life, Crystal Dyck, in Luseland in the Summer of 1984. She had taken a summer job there life-guarding and he was immediately smitten. They were married in 1987 and relocated to Winnipeg where Daren found work at McGavin’s Bakery. In 1988, Daren secured a position with Manitoba Hydro, where he worked for the next 30 years. He eventually certified as a Journeyman Power Electrician in Manitoba in June 1990. The job with Hydro took Daren and Crystal all over the province: initially Seven Sisters, then Selkirk, Gillam, and, finally, back to Selkirk in 1998 where they resided when Daren retired in 2020, as Interlake Regional Supervisor with the Apparatus Maintenance Division.

Daren took on a wide variety of roles over his time at Hydro, consistently demonstrating a commitment to improving himself and his position, a value he instilled in all of his children. He attended numerous training programmes and classes, from tech to business administration to management and safety. He never turned down an opportunity to learn, often serving himself as an instructor at Hydro’s Stonewall Trades Training Centre. Daren first worked as a trainee at Hydro’s generating stations in Seven Sisters and Selkirk, performing routine maintenance and repair. In Gillam he served as an electrical technician on both the Henday and Radisson generating stations, moving up quickly thanks to his diligence and work ethic. In Selkirk, he was a senior electrical technician at the generating station, helping to oversee its transition from coal to natural gas. In 2003, he moved into the apparatus maintenance department, climbing up to regional supervisor by the time of his retirement and serving one stint in the Winnipeg office between 2007 and 2010. Daren’s positive attitude, tenacity and work ethic will be remembered by all who worked with him and serve as a continual inspiration to his sons. His youngest son Jeremy followed him into a career at Hydro.

 Life in Gillam in northern Manitoba with a dog and three young children, born between 1990 and 1995, proved the perfect opportunity for Daren to cultivate his enthusiasm for the great outdoors and sports. He played recreational hockey as a goal-tender and maintained life-long hobbies in camping, fishing, winter and summer, snowmobiling, hiking, boating, tubing and knee-boarding. Daren and Crystal’s first dog, Pepper, was deeply devoted to him and often accompanied him on the knee-board behind the boat. Living at the far end of a long highway, one province away from family, also meant that Daren did a lot of driving. He loved taking roadtrips, both long and short, and regularly spent 10+ hours behind the wheel, seemingly without any fuss. The family did many road-trips, not only to Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia, but also South Dakota, Toronto, Washington, DC, and, more recently, Texas, Vermont and the Maritimes. A major plus of such trips for Daren was an uninterrupted supply of 70s and 80s pop music, only further augmented with the addition of satellite radio. He also enjoyed audiobook thrillers and was just as enthralled as the rest of the family when Crystal took on the project of reading the full Harry Potter series aloud to their children.

Life in the north was not without its challenges which Daren met with grit and determination. A positive attitude and good humour meant that Daren and Crystal made a wide network of friends during their time in Gillam, many of whom they counted as friends until the end of their lives. One major challenge the family overcame was a serious car accident in 1993 which saw both Crystal and their eldest son, Ben, hospitalized over a lengthy stretch of time. Daren showed resilience and determination to see the family through the moment, and the long legal case which followed. Another challenge arrived nine years after the family had settled in Selkirk: Crystal was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in the Fall of 2007. Over the whole course of Crystal’s life thereafter, Daren never wavered in his support for her: accompanying her to appointments, to see specialists in Toronto, as well as taking on a major role in their team fund-raising efforts for Ovarian Cancer Canada, which surpassed many tens of thousands of dollars over the years. Daren and Crystal achieved a major milestone when they summitted Mount Kilimanjaro, in Tanzania, in 2013 to raise money to fight the illness. After years supporting Crystal in her fight with cancer, it was a major shock for Daren and the whole family when he faced his own cancer diagnosis in March of 2023.

A major bulwark for Daren throughout these challenges was his Catholic faith. Daren was born and raised in the church, bringing his children every Sunday and leading his wife into the faith not long after they were married. Daren enthusiastically gave back to his church community as a reader, Eucharistic minister, catechism teacher, youth group leader and a member of the Knights of Columbus. For the Knights he served as chairman of several committees, including overseeing the distribution of three bursaries. He also connected the organization with Operation Red Nose, serving himself as a driver over a number of years. He also assisted Meals on Wheels, supported Selkirk’s St. Francis Place homeless shelter and helped the inter-church effort to house refugee families in Selkirk. Daren was also a long-time member of the Manitoba Wildlife Federation, served on the board of directors for the Catholic School of Evangelization in St. Malo and spent many years serving in a leadership capacity for the local branch of Scouts Canada.

Daren and Crystal’s faith also accompanied them on international adventures, including their immersion in the holy waters of Lourdes. Other travel experiences included being awaken by the sound of the Islamic call-to-prayer in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; getting up close and personal with koalas and wombats outside Perth, Australia; scuba diving in the Cayman Islands; cruising the Caribbean near the Bahamas; witnessing Japan’s famous cherry blossoms; taking in Africa’s wildlife on a Serengeti safari; drinking mulled wine in a Parisian winter; camping alongside Snowdon mountain in Wales; appreciating Crystal’s maternal ancestry in Scotland; savouring Sunday roast in London pubs; crossing off a bucket list line item with a trip to Stonehenge; and, most recently, spending a week in Mexico with his sister and brother-in-law.

Daren took great joy in the everyday and the little slice of paradise which was his and Crystal’s retirement home in Grindstone Provincial Park. Always ready to give back, and dive into the local community, Daren was a member of the trails committee. Willing and able to provide his electrical expertise to everyone, Daren also incorporated a small business called South Beach Electric in order to secure permits for his neighbours’ electrical projects. Daren enjoyed exploring everything Grindstone had to offer, in every season. The last couple winters saw him repairing a few old snowmobiles for outdoor adventures and finally upgrading the family boat to something with a lot more horsepower.

Nothing can capture the profound loss which Daren’s death has created for his friends and family. Everyone that knew him will remember his tenacity, work ethic, warmth, humanity and good humour. He was a model of diligence, steadfastness, dedication and sacrifice. His memory will live on in all that met him.

Prayers will be held on Tuesday, April 2nd at 7:30 PM at Notre Dame Roman Catholic Church, 269 Jemima St, Selkirk, Manitoba and can be viewed via the link Funeral Mass will be celebrated on Wednesday, April 3rd at 11:00 am also in the Church and can viewed via the link

In lieu of flowers, trees or candles, the family request that donations be made in his memory to any of the charities to which he dedicated himself or donated generously:

The Catholic School of Evangelization

Ovarian Cancer Canada


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