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Joe was born an identical twin Feb 11, 1938 to Peter and Catherine Ries, on a farm south of Prelate. It was near the end of the Depression, in an old house that was probably poorly insulated. The baby wasn’t due yet, so Grandpa headed to town, travelling with a horse and cutter.
While he was gone, Grandma went into labor and gave birth to twin boys – all by herself. She placed the babies in the bread warmer of the stove to keep them warm. She was the only adult in the house. Aunt Rosela was 27 months and Grandpa’s brother, Pius Ries, was around 12 years old. Hard to imagine, isn’t it??
Dad took his last breath Jan 8, 2024 at the Herbert Long-Term Care facility at the age of 85 years young.
He leaves to cherish his memory Elaine, wife of 61 years, Daughter Mary (Nigel) and her children Darcy (Amanda), Adam (Betty), Sandy (Jim); Daughter Theresa (Clarence) and her children Brandy (Brent) and Brendan (Melinda); Daughter Lillian (Darcy) and their children Gordie (Jessie) and Stephanie; Daughter Bernadette (Clark) and their children Aaron (Amanda), Morgan (Cody) and Sydney (Austin); Only Son Bernard (Rhonda) and their children Janine, Jewel (Ty), and Jazlyn; and Daughter Joan (Brian) and children Dallas, Austin and Alexis, and many great grandchildren.
He also leaves behind his siblings - twin brother Louis (Helen), Rosela, Helen (Ross), and Jim (Donna), in-laws Clem (Irene), Liz, Doris, Amy, Pat, Marilyn (Gord), Pauline (Gary), Matt, Dave (Deb), Rick (Pattie), Randy, Camille (Randy), Bob (Darlene), Lynne, and Bruce, and many nieces and nephews.
Joe was predeceased by his parents, Peter and Catherine, In-laws Martin and Eva, and Martin’s 2nd wife Betty, brothers-in-law Pete, Ed, Mervin, John and Martin, and nephew Doug.
Dad only had a grade 5 education, but was very intelligent. In the olden days there was only 1 or 2 channels to watch on television. Dad designed and built a TV tower that folded down to make shorter to transport and take down in strong winds. We got to watch 5 different channels on tv, quite a treat in the 70’s! A few of these antennas were made and sold in the Lancer area, and all built by dad. We always did our own butchering of beef and pork, so Dad built an electric meat bandsaw to cut up meat, much faster than using a knife! He also made and sold lots of these to local neighbors.
He worked at CPR for 13 years, then Yard Foreman for Bill Andreas’s farm in Lancer for 11 years, then in 1979 he started working at Fabro in Swift Current and was there until he retired. His favorite pastime was woodworking, making various items for family and friends. Not sure how it began, but pallet wood became furniture! He planed his own wood and glued together to create beautiful pieces of furniture. I believe all his grandchildren were given a Hope Chest he created out of reclaimed wood. The patterns were all in his head, not too many were written down for later use by others. Everything he built was extremely sturdy. He has made kitchen table and chair sets, buffets, Grandmother and Grandfather clocks, bookcases, accordion sewing chests, and dressers to name a few of the things we have to remember him by.
Joe was never short of words, he would talk to anyone who would listen, even if he didn’t know them. And about things most of us didn’t want to discuss, and some things you just didn’t need to know about.
A few years ago we knew something was not quite right when Mom took over the talking and Dad listened to the conversations. He didn’t do very much work in the garage, but started walking and riding his bike around town to keep himself busy. Father’s Day 2020 (during COVID) he fell in the garden and broke his leg. He was rushed to Regina by ambulance and spent 3 weeks there. Mom was the only person that could visit him at the hospital, so we would drive her to Regina to visit him. When he was transferred back to Swift Current, he spent time at Clover House for rehab. The staff made him get up and walk to get his leg stronger. He discovered that his cane upside down was a great golf club to knock around a wad of paper in the hallways! The staff videotaped it and shared with the family. His memory was getting worse and we made the decision to put dad in long term care the summer of 2021. The staff at the Herbert Nursing Home were so good to Dad, he was very content being in their care.
Dad - through the years, hardships of life refined you. You leave behind memories we will never forget.
We love you, Joe, Dad
Donations to the Alzheimer Society of Saskatchewan, or to the Herbert and District Integrated Health Auxiliary would be appreciated by the family. Arrangements entrusted to Warren's Funeral Home. For further information please call 1-306-773-8831 or 1-800-267-6606, or visit our website at www.warrensfuneralhome.com and express your sympathy to family members on the tribute wall.
Alzheimer Society of Saskatchewan
301 - 2550 12th Ave., Regina SK S4P 3X1
Herbert & District Integrated Health Auxiliary
P.O. Box 520, Herbert SK S0H 2A0