‘She was in it for the people’: Letisha Reimer remembered

Friends reflect on a 13-year-old who they say had an irresistibly contagious laugh

Letisha Reimer's friends say she was a vivacious girl with a contagious laugh and a generous spirit.




She was only 13.

But Letisha Reimer was a budding young woman who brought her vibrant smiles wherever she went and left them on the faces of those she met along the way.

She was generous.

“She cared so much about other people. Always. Always thought of other people. Always giving hugs and smiles. Her smiles… Her smile is contagious,” a friend for whom Letisha babysat told The News.

Letisha had the right personality for a babysitter. She was fun and caring and spoke to children many years her junior as if they were her equal.

She was the only babysitter trusted with the two young brothers.

“I trusted her to keep my children safe and the fact that she wasn’t safe just kills me,” the boys’ mom said.

She was also a girl of her word.

The same mom recounted how Letisha stuck to her word when she said she would do the Run for Water with her. She could have run with her school friends, but stayed at the side of her adult friend through the whole course, even slowing to a walk despite her long healthy legs, which could have taken her to the finish line much quicker.

“She wasn’t in it to win,” Letisha’s friend said. “She was in it for the people.”

South Abbotsford Church, where Letisha worshipped, made a Facebook post about her on Wednesday afternoon.

“Letisha was a beautiful young lady who was an active part of our church family,” the post says. “Her smile and joyful personality brought a ray of sunshine into the lives of all around her.”

The post garnered an overwhelming response.

Hundreds of people commented, expressing heartbreak, pain and grief over Letisha’s death. They promised to pray for her family and that of the other girl attacked on Tuesday.

Josh Giesbrecht, who taught her as substitute teacher at Abbotsford Middle School last year, said Letisha was a favourite student.

“It hurt like crazy to find out it was her who had died,” he wrote.

In an email to The News, Giesbrecht said: “Letisha was one of the kids who had just the right sense of humour to make me laugh, and it made me look forward to teaching their class.”

Members of South Abbotsford Church addressed reporters on Thursday evening, sharing memories of the girl they knew and loved.

Letisha was a devoted Sunday school teacher and volunteer, they said. Stories of a bubbly and fun person were recounted.

Just last weekend, only days before her death, Letisha was at a weekend retreat with more than 100 other young Christians. Kenzi Dirks, a youth leader, relayed a story she heard from another camp leader.

Letisha was in her cabin when she was suddenly overcome with a burst of energy and started laughing and dancing around.

“Her goofy side would often come out like this, when Letishsa was just being Letisha,” Dirks said. “And Letisha’s laugh was oh so contagious. When she started, you could not help but join in with her.”

Members of Letisha’s church spoke of her dedication to service, driven by a deeply held faith in her God.

She was the first to put herself forward when on mission trips, including serving the homeless.

South Abbotsford Church’s lead pastor Matt Ewert said he was looking through pictures of a recent volunteer activity where members of the church did yard work for community members. He was unable to find a clear picture of Letisha, however, because while other youth would look up, smile and pose for a shot, she had her head down, engrossed in the task at hand.

Letisha had been studying in a common area of Abbotsford Senior Secondary with her close friend on Tuesday afternoon when the random violence descended. They were both attacked without any known reason. While her friend – who cannot be named due to a court-ordered publication ban – appears to be recovering in stable condition, Letisha succumbed to her injuries.

She was only a few weeks into being a high school student and was taken from her loving family, her school, church, friends, and community.

She had not spoken much about her plans for the future to the mom she babysat for. She’s described as living in the moment, taking joy where she found it and radiating it back into the world.

Her friend was looking forward to seeing Letisha become a young woman in the coming years.

“She wanted to grow up.”

 

Related stories:

Abbotsford Senior closed and counselling being offered

Condolences pour in, including from Prime Minister and Premier

No motive known yet, police say

 

Just Posted

Relationships, continuity top health-care concerns for Agassiz residents

Feedback during Fraser Health events showed access to health care needs to improve

Development on the horizon for Harrison Hot Springs Marina

The property has been the subject of a number development proposals over the years

Chilliwack Players Guild brings first ever radio play to stage

An Affair of Honour is based on a true story, written by the father of a Chilliwack man

‘Big hearts and even bigger feet’: Comedian sends Harrison humour to the silver screen

Jonny Harris will see the town highlighted on his small-town comedy series ‘Still Standing’

More staff being hired at Fraser Valley seniors homes

Number of care hours for residents lags behind provincial targets

VIDEO: Car flies across median, flips over edge of Brunette overpass

Dash cam footage shows a vehicle speeding across a Lower Mainland overpass

Lower Mainland teacher resigned after ‘inappropriate discussions’ with elementary students

Tracy Joseph Fairley resigned from Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows district April 23, 2018

Surrey needs 350 more cops, activist tells council

‘Right now we are 350 police behind what our population requires,’ politicians are told

Indigenous energy summit includes session on pipeline ownership options

Steven Saddleback of the Indian Resource Council says a session will feature presentations on financing models

Japanese grand champion Kisenosato retires from sumo

The 32-year-old Kisenosato was the first Japanese-born wrestler in 19 years to gain promotion to sumo’s highest rank

UPDATE: Accused B.C. high school killer found fit to stand trial

Gabriel Klein is accused in the 2016 stabbing death of Letisha Reimer at Abbotsford Senior Secondary

Right-wing, neo-Nazi, white supremacist groups an increasing concern: Goodale

Ten people died in April 2018 when Alek Minassian allegedly drove a rental van down the busy stretch in Toronto

Where mattresses go to die

Mattress Recycling opens the largest of its kind mattress-recycling facility in Hope

Canadian stock exchanges to conduct lottery for ‘POT’ ticker amid high demand

The symbol became available after fertilizer Potash Corp. officially merged with Agrium Inc. in early 2018

Most Read