Dad passed away peacefully on Thursday, January 11, 2018 at Bethesda Regional Health Centre, Steinbach, MB at the age of 80.
He is lovingly remembered by his wife Doreen, sons Robert (Kim Warner) and David (Karen), daughters Jean (Nico Vonderbank) and Sandra (Steven Wiebe), Susan (Daryl Friesen), his brother Tom, and sister Kathleen. He was the proud grandad of 9 grandchildren: Richard, Emma, Amanda, Haley, Christopher, Lucas, Kate, Thomas, Alice, and 10 great-grandchildren: Slade, Cooper, Kingston, Elora, Sadie, Nate, Isabel, River, Sebastien and Oliver. He holds a special place in our hearts as a wonderful husband, dad, grandad, great grandad, brother, uncle and friend.
He was predeceased by his parents (Lucas & Alice), brothers (William & Colin), and sister (Alice).
Born in Lancashire, England, Dad grew up on the family farm (Ivah). He married the love of his life, Doreen, in 1958. A few years later they bought the farm where they continued to raise their family. They had four children. The next years were busy as they bought more property, and expanded their dairy herd and sheep operation. Dad was never afraid of taking a well measured risk which he coupled with a strong work ethic. Running a dairy farm means early mornings, long days and a year round commitment to the farm. In spite of this Mum and Dad maintained an active social life. Dad was a great dancer and he and Mum regularly attended local dances and balls; Dad in his suit and Mum in her long gown. Summers were busy on the farm but there was always time for a summer holiday. With four kids piled in the back of the car and the caravan fully loaded behind we would set out to Cornwall or the Scottish coast for our annual family camping trip.
Always ready for a new adventure, Mum and Dad became interested in farming opportunities in Canada and after a visit here in 1981 made the decision to immigrate to the La Broquerie area. They bought a dairy farm and continued to pursue their passion for farming. They embraced the differences and challenges of farming in Canada with enthusiasm; learning how to grow and harvest new crops and keep the farm running in subzero temperatures. Mum and Dad quickly became part of their new community making new friends and hanging up their formal suits and ball gowns for square dance attire.
After selling the farm in 1992, they had more time to travel and pursue new activities, while still staying connected to farming by doing some relief milking. They took many trips across Canada and the U.S., and later spent several winters in Texas. Dad enjoyed golfing, snowmobiling, and had many memorable camping trips in the RV with grandchildren. Dad loved playing cards, and he and Mum enjoyed spending evenings with grandchildren teaching them new games. They were regulars at cards in Steinbach and Anola where they made lasting friendships. Dad loved to putter in his workshop making wooden toys for his young grandchildren and later turned to making garden furniture. Many of us are lucky enough to have those chairs on our decks.
Dad had a great sense of humour, entertaining us with his storytelling and plays on words. He was very funny and has left us with a wealth of anecdotes that we never tire of sharing with each other. Family was central to Dad’s life. He always made time for us and we always felt loved and supported by him. He was a quiet gentle man. We loved him and we will miss him.
A celebration of Dad’s life will be held on Friday, January 19, 2018 at 11:00 a.m. at Birchwood Funeral Chapel in Steinbach. Lunch will be served following the service.
Special thanks to Dr. Dyck. Dr. Reimer, Debbie Krahn and the Palliative Care Team, and all the nursing staff at Bethesda Hospital who helped care for Dad.
Donations may be made in his memory, to the Bethesda Foundation, 316 Henry St., Steinbach, MB, R5G 0P9