Obituary of Norman Grienke
Norman Clarence Grienke, 82 of Winnipeg, Manitoba, passed away suddenly on January 28, 2022 in Winnipeg at Health Sciences Centre.
Norman is survived by his daughter Valerie Thiessen (Mark), grandchildren Leanne & Andrew Thiessen, sister Cheryl Andres (Ron).
He was predeceased by his wife of 50 years Sandra (nee Reimer), parents Carl & Pauline Grienke, brother Edwin Grienke, sister Evelyn Krentz.
Norman, the third of four siblings, was born at the Steinbach Hospital on June 2nd, 1939, only three months before the outbreak of World War II as his mother Pauline (Carl) liked to remind friends and family alike. While growing up on the family farm, Norman attended school in Friedensfeld and Steinbach. Halfway through grade 9, the movie theatre and pool hall in town were favoured over in class learning, as well as full time work in construction, building homes.
Norman joined “The Country Playboys”, a band that became a fixture in the area performing at many weddings, socials and dances. By the age of 16, Norman had moved to Winnipeg and began employment at The Woods Dryden Paper Bag Company (Reed International, Daishowa Paper) as a machine tender and remained with the company for the next 31 years and even after his retirement in 1987, was called back in as a consultant. Norman’s skill and insight working with large industrial machines resulted in his promotion to Manufacturing Manager. This position afforded Norman various opportunities for travel, the highlight being a trip to Africa to purchase an automated handle machine for paper shopping bags. Shortly afterward, Norman designed an inserter machine to increase its productivity and it is still being used today.
Norman met Sandra in Steinbach, on a blind date. They were married September 21, 1963 and were together almost 51 years when she died in August 2014. They enjoyed an active social life, regularly attending stock car races, snowmobiling, bowling (winning many league trophies), golf & later in life, Winnipeg Goldeyes fans & season ticket holders.
Devoted grandparents to Leanne and Andrew they attended, seemingly, all of their ballet recitals, squash, badminton tournaments, baseball games, band concerts and more throughout their lives. Fishing skills honed with friends and family were passed on to the grandchildren over many years on Lake of the Woods.
His green thumb yielded bumper crops of vine ripened tomatoes, along with bushels of Goodland apples from a single tree in the back yard.
Norman was an avid card player, “rouk” & cribbage being the most favoured, along with whist drives in Friedensfeld. In addition to the annual family Christmas gatherings with games of cards & knipsbrat, there were all day kleasel parties with family & friends, where there could never be too many cooks in the kitchen and rotating Grey Cup parties with lifelong friends, that became a long held annual tradition for over 40 years.
Leisure travel destinations included the East Coast, West Coast, Alaska, Hawaii, Mexico, Las Vegas, California, Texas & Churchill, often accompanied by family and friends.
In 2016, widowed for 2 years and less ambulatory, he moved into Catherine Place, participating in card bingo & always looking forward to the several weekly cribbage games and tournaments in Winnipeg & surrounding rural Manitoba venues with partner Dennis, often bringing home the top prize.
Confined to a wheelchair & requiring greater care, he moved into the Southeast Personal Care Home, April 2021, where he was loved by staff and residents alike.
At their final visit, over the 2021 Christmas season, Grandpa won all the games of cribbage played with his adult grandchildren.
The family would like to express our appreciation to all the staff at Catherine Place.
Special thanks to the staff at Southeast Personal Care Home for their exceptional care.
Cremation has taken place.
A memorial service will be held on Tuesday, April 26, 2022, at 2:00 p.m. at Birchwood Funeral Chapel, Steinbach, MB.