2020-07-15

Power couple in Lunenburg business, arts scenes dies

by Keith Corcoran

One of the local arts and business communities' most prominent couples, Susan Jane Reibling, 72, and Guenther Reibling, 68, both died in their home on July 5.

Authorities confirmed that the RCMP were notified by paramedics about two deceased individuals in a residence. The power couple lived on Corkum's Island.

Law enforcement attended the scene and the investigation showed the deaths were not a criminal matter, nor is foul play a factor. Police also said there is no further investigation into the matter.

The Reiblings' passing sent shock waves through the Lunenburg area community.

Among their various business endeavours, the Reiblings were the owners of Stellar Investments Inc., which owns and operates an investment portfolio of properties spanning Nova Scotia, from waterfront land overlooking Lunenburg, to premium brightly coloured retail and restaurant spaces on King and Lincoln Streets, and warehouses in Blockhouse and Dartmouth.

The Reiblings were also the force behind the Cilantro shop, a retailer of kitchenware, bakeware, cookware, and cutlery. Blockhouse is home to one of the outlets.

The couple had been involved with the Folk Harbour Festival for more than a decade, helping to house visiting musicians, among other things.

"Guenther and Susan Reibling began their life in Lunenburg buying old properties and renovating them keeping as much historical integrity as possible," reads a HomeStyle Magazinearticle from 2015.

"Susan was born in Montreal but her parents were originally from Nova Scotia. While growing up, Susan and her family spent every summer visiting Nova Scotia. When her Dad eventually retired, her parents moved to Lunenburg. When Susan introduced her husband, Guenther, who was born in Munich, Germany, to Lunenburg, he too fell in love with its tranquil beauty," reported the magazine.

At the end of December 2019, the Reiblings approached the Folk Harbour Society, offering to discharge the mortgage on the opera house to the tune of $300,000.

In a letter to the Folk Harbour Society, the Reiblings stated that they were "pleased to see the Society acquire the Opera House in order to expand their programming and provide entertainment in a beautiful facility."

They also acknowledged the Lunenburg Folk Harbour Society for its work to "preserve and showcase traditional folk music from a range of cultures and regions."

"Over the years Susan and Guenther have done so much to enhance and beautify Lunenburg. They were a very generous and community minded couple and will be greatly missed," the Lunenburg Rotary Club said in a social media post online. "We send our sincere condolences to their family and many friends."

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