An indelible mark, Manitobans we lost in 2012
From leaders, both in politics and sports, to artists and adventurers -- Manitoba lost many who made a difference for others
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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 05/01/2013 (3503 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
It was a year that saw the loss of a former mayor, a trailblazing female politician, a legendary paddler and a champion football coach.
But it also saw the deaths of the dean of wildlife artists, a man who quit one of the country’s top jobs over principle, a longtime provincial cabinet minister and a founder of the country’s first regional theatre.
Bill Norrie may have been low-key and soft-spoken, but Winnipeggers loved him and re-elected him as their mayor several times, making him the city’s second-longest-serving mayor.
Norrie, who died in July at 83, was mayor of his city from 1979 to 1992, where he oversaw the Core Area Initiative, which led to the creation of both Portage Place, the housing behind it, and The Forks.
“He is one of those rare individuals who enters politics wishing to make a difference and leaves politics having made a difference,” former councillor Chris Lorenc said at the time of Norrie’s death.
“He was somebody who never worried about getting credit for things,” said former mayor Glen Murray.
“He worked very hard to get things done. He was a selfless man in an extraordinary way.”
Norrie was born in St. Boniface and received a BA from United College, now the University of Winnipeg, before becoming a Rhodes Scholar and studying at Oxford University. He later received his law degree from the University of Manitoba.
His political career began in 1965 when he was elected as a Winnipeg School Division trustee. He successfully jumped to city council in 1971, before losing his first mayoral race to Robert Steen in 1977.
Two years later, after Steen suddenly died, Norrie won his first election for mayor. He would win again four more times.
Thelma Forbes saw a lot of change during her century of life — and she herself brought along some of it.
Forbes, who died last January, was born on the farm and lived in Manitou starting at age of four. She was schooled in Manitou and later graduated from Normal School in 1929 to teach in Manitou, Ninette, Glenora and Rathwell before getting married.
But politics was in her blood, a love encouraged by her mother pasting photographs of electoral candidates on a bulletin board in the kitchen.
She was working as campaign manager for a Tory representative in 1959 when he suddenly died. Encouraged by Progressive Conservative Premier Duff Roblin, Forbes threw her hat in and became the third woman ever elected to the province’s legislature and the first Conservative.
Forbes had two more firsts before leaving politics in 1969: becoming the first female Speaker in the province’s legislature, and only the second in the Commonwealth, and becoming the first female cabinet minister.
Don Starkell might not have been born with a canoe paddle in his hands, but once he picked one up he was rarely without it.
Starkell, who died in January at 79, was still paddling 22 kilometres a day until 2010 when he was injured in a fire at his house.
With his son Dana, he paddled more than 19,000 kilometres from Winnipeg to the mouth of the Amazon River in Brazil, encountering rough waves, armed bandits and drug runners along the journey.
Starkell later paddled more than 5,000 kilometres through the Canadian Arctic, until getting stuck in the Northwest Passage and losing parts of his fingers to frostbite.
The trips are memorialized in his books Paddle to the Amazon (1987) and Paddle to the Arctic (1996).
The Winnipeg Blue Bombers won three Grey Cups with Cal Murphy as coach or general manager, but they’ve come up dry since he left.
Murphy, who died in February at 79, has been called one of the most influential people in both the history of the Blue Bombers and the Canadian Football League. He had nine Grey Cup rings before retiring, five with Edmonton, three with Winnipeg, and one with Montreal.
Murphy was born in Winnipeg and was hired by the Bombers in 1983, and was named the CFL’s top coach that year and a year later when he led the team to a Grey Cup win after a 22-year drought.
He was general manager when the team won the cup two more times and when the city hosted the 1991 Grey Cup.
After leaving the Bombers, he later became head coach of the Saskatchewan Roughriders. He was working as a scout for the Indianapolis Colts when he died.
Murphy was inducted into the Bomber Hall of Fame in 2002 and the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in 2004.
We’ll never know how successful an artist Clarence Tillenius would have become if he hadn’t lost his painting arm in an accident in 1934.
Tillenius, who died last January at 98, went on in the decades to come to become the dean of Canadian wildlife artists after teaching himself to paint again with his left arm.
“He lived the Canadian national anthem ‘Our true north strong and free’… He captured Canada in its wilderness in the wild,” said Peter Heymans, curator of the Pavilion Gallery, built in part to hold a permanent exhibition of Tillenius’ works.
Besides a collection of 200 oil paintings commissioned by Monarch Life Assurance to grace their annual calendars, Tillenius is known for his large dioramas in museums including the bison hunt at the Manitoba Museum and ones inside the Canadian Museum of Nature. He was inducted into the Order of Manitoba in 2003 and the Order of Canada in 2005.
James Elliott Coyne left his job after taking a stand on principle — and the independence of the Bank of Canada and others around the world is his legacy.
Coyne, who died in October at 102, spent years working in the federal civil service, but it was in his position as the Bank of Canada’s second governor and president of the Industrial Development Bank that he will be remembered for.
Coyne resigned to end what has been called the Coyne Affair or the Coyne Crisis. Coyne had been making repeated speeches criticizing the then-Diefenbaker government’s fiscal policies of borrowing massive amounts of money to stimulate the economy, while Coyne himself rejected lowering interest rates.
The majority government voted to fire Coyne, but the Liberal-dominated Senate rejected the bill. Coyne himself resigned the next day on July 13, 1961.
“He took a stand on the need for independence of the bank and for it not to be pushed around by government policies of the day,” said Otto Lang, a Liberal federal cabinet minister in the 1970s.
“Now every sensible country that has a solid way of doing things does it that way.”
Larry Desjardins was a renowned sports player, but his play in politics helped change the province’s political and social landscape.
Desjardins, who died at 88 in February, is remembered for helping create the country’s first home care program and restoring French-language rights in Manitoba, leading to francophone school divisions and French immersion in classrooms.
Earlier in life, Desjardins played baseball for several teams including the St. Boniface Native Sons, football with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, and hockey with the St. Boniface Juniors and Esquires as well as president and general manager of the St. Boniface Junior Canadiens. He was inducted into the Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame in 1990.
He was first elected a Liberal-Progressive MLA in 1959, and was re-elected several times, including after he switched to the NDP, until resigning in 1988. He served as ministers of health, urban affairs, tourism and sport.
The theatre scene in Winnipeg and across the country would be different if Tom Hendry had remained an accountant.
Hendry, 83, died last month, but not before he spent decades founding or co-founding several theatre companies and organizations.
Hendry had been putting himself through school to become an accountant by acting in radio and on the stage before joining John Hirsch to be co-founder of the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre in 1957.
But Hendry didn’t stop there. In the years to come, he founded the Playwright’s Co-op, now the Playwrights Union of Canada, the Toronto Free Theatre, and the Playwrights Colony at the Banff Centre for the Arts. He was also the first literary manager of the Stratford Festival.
Hendry was also a playwright himself, winning the Ontario Lieutenant-Governor’s medal for his play Fifteen Miles of Broken Glass. He wrote other plays as well as television shows including King of Kensington.
stHe was honoured with the Order of Canada in 1995, the renaming of the RMTC Warehouse Theatre in his honour, and a statue of him and Hirsch outside the RMTC main stage theatre.
JAN. 8 — Bill Martin-Viscount, 61. He was a ballet dancer. He was born in Manitoba and lived in Libau. He began taking dance lessons in Selkirk when he was 11, and two years later he received a scholarship to the Royal Winnipeg Ballet under Arnold Spohr, later studying in England, Denmark and Russia. He was the RWB’s principal dancer for 11 years. He formed a professional school in 1972. He was the first Western choreographer to be invited by the Chinese Ministry of Culture to stage several productions.
JAN. 11 — Michael Byrne. He specialized in pensions. He was an actuary who worked in the insurance industry and specialized in the group and pension fields. He was vice-president of Monarch Life, Manulife and North American Life. He left the insurance industry to become the first Warren Chair in Actuarial Science at the University of Manitoba as well as being a professor there. He retired from the university in 2004, but in 2010 he rejoined the Asper School as executive-in-residence. He was a chairman of the Manitoba Pension Commission and longtime member and chairman of the Society for Manitobans with Disabilities’ pension committee.
JAN. 12 — Hugh Laughlin, 93. He was an aviator and member of a prominent political family. He enlisted in the Royal Canadian Air Force before the Second World War and trained pilots from across the Commonwealth once war broke out. He retired as head of search and rescue for Western Canada. He was the grandson of MLA Andrew Laughlin, the son of MLA John Bell Laughlin, the father of MLA Linda McIntosh and grandfather of Tory Leader Hugh McFadyen.
JAN. 15 — Olive Gory, 92. She grew very early tomatoes. You wouldn’t recognize her name, but you’d recognize her photo holding ripe tomatoes. She was an award-winning gardener who, in the 1990s, became the face of Kozy-Coats, the family business of selling water-filled frost covers to give tomato plants and other plants help in the spring.
JAN. 16 — Hal Sigurdson, 79. He wrote about sports. He joined the Winnipeg Free Press as a copy boy and worked his way up to covering the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. He was sports editor at the Calgary Albertan and assistant sports editor at the Vancouver Sun before becoming Free Press sports editor from 1976 to 1989, and sports columnist until his retirement in 1996. He was inducted into the media wings of the Canadian Football Hall of Fame, Manitoba Hockey Hall of Fame, Winnipeg Football Club Media Roll of Honour, and the Manitoba Sportswriters and Sportscasters Association Media Roll of Honour.
JAN. 19 — Mary Andree, 85. She helped generations of Transcona students. She grew up in the North End and moved to Transcona after she married. She was a trustee and chairwoman of the Transcona-Springfield and then the River East School Divisions for 43 years. She was a founding director of the Transcona-Springfield Education Foundation. She also volunteered with the Girl Guides as a Brown Owl for 18 years. She was honoured with the Queen’s Golden Jubilee medal.
JAN. 26 — Doug MacIver, 58. He bolstered the Winnipeg Blue Bombers’ defence. He played for the University of Manitoba Bisons before being a draft pick of the Blue Bombers in 1975. He played for the Toronto Argonauts from 1976 to 1978, then the Saskatchewan Roughriders before coming back to the Bombers. He was part of the Bombers’ 1984 Grey Cup championship team.
JAN. 21 — George Dalgleish. He helped people fix their homes. He worked in the renovation business for several years. He then went on to host his own television show on CKND-TV showing homeowners how they could do household, building and repair jobs. The show was syndicated to other stations in Canada. He was also an author and radio phone-in host.
FEB. 2 — Bill Benson, 91, He is a member of the Manitoba Hockey Hall of Fame. Playing centre with the Winnipeg Monarchs, he was on several teams that won the provincial title. He won the Manitoba Junior Hockey League scoring title in 1940 and then turned pro, playing two seasons in the NHL with the New York Americans. He served with the Canadian Armed Forces and then played in the American Hockey League from 1946 to 1950 with Cleveland and Pittsburgh. After retiring from hockey, he worked for Great West Life. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1986.
FEB. 4 — Jack Weiss, 82. He survived the Holocaust. He was born in Czechoslovakia and lost his mother at an early age. With his father, he was deported and interred at Auschwitz-Birkenau. Forced to march west by Nazi officers when the Russian Army approached, he was alone and shuffled between orphanages and refugee camps after the Second World War ended. He was brought to Canada by the Canadian Jewish Congress when he was 17. He later owned taxis and worked as a Winnipeg Transit driver for several years. His 2005 autobiography, Memories, Dreams and Nightmares, won a Canadian Jewish book award.
FEB. 7 — Wanda Karwacki, 84. She painted a painting presented to the Queen. She was born in Poland and came to Canada as a baby with her parents. She studied art at St. Mary’s Academy and her artworks were exhibited in several exhibitions in Winnipeg. Her painting of a Manitoba Crocus was presented to Queen Elizabeth II during her visit to Manitoba in 1970.
FEB. 11 — Thora Cooke, 87. She helped preserve the pictorial history of the West. She was a historian who, with journalist Eric Wells, began collecting historic photographs of Western Canada as a provincial centennial project in 1970. From there, the collection grew to become the Western Canada Pictorial Index with about 70,000 images and a mandate to “preserve, catalogue and disseminate photographs that depict the history and culture of Western Canada.”
FEB. 12 — Gordon Woligrocky, 74. He was a master carpenter whose major works will be seen for generations. Besides cabinets, he constructed the large Red River ox cart at Selkirk Park and the antique vehicles in the Manitoba Museum.
FEB. 13 — Gary Pollard, 63. He helped thousands of Manitobans play music. He was a trumpet player and band instructor who worked at Garden Valley School Division in Winkler and at schools in St. James and Charleswood. He played with various groups in the city and taught private lessons.
FEB. 15 — Andre Roziere, 89. He was an award-winning archer. He was born in Notre Dame-de-Lourdes. He won numerous Canadian archery championships, including the Challenge Trophy in 1961 and 1962 and the Canadian Free Style Field Championship from 1961 to 1963. He represented Canada at the World Archery Championships in 1964. He also manufactured archery equipment and started Andre Roziere Archery and the Silver Arrow Archery Lanes. He was recognized by the Manitoba Sports Federation in 1971.
FEB. 21 — Ben Van Ruiten, 91. He helped people from his native Netherlands. He was born in the Netherlands and lived there through the German occupation in the Second World War. He later came to Canada, first living in Victoria and then Winnipeg where he owned Florists Supply. He was the Honorary Consul of the Netherlands for 17 years and was Honorary Colonel of 17 Wing for 13 years. He was honoured with the Meritorious Service Medal from Gov. Gen. Michaëlle Jean in 2007.
FEB. 23 — Odilon Larochelle, 88. He was a priest who helped refugees. Born in Quebec, he was ordained in the priesthood in 1956. He was a pastor at churches in Winnipeg and southern Manitoba and was administrator of the St. Boniface Pastoral Centre. His best known role in the church was as Diocesan Director of Refugees where he helped more than 2,600 refugees come to Winnipeg. For this, the federal government honoured him with the Canada 125 medal in 1992.
FEB. 26 — Gary Brazzell, 78. He was a lawyer who gave back to his community. Born near Moline, he joined James Richardson & Sons after graduating from law school. After getting his call to the bar he worked with a Winnipeg law firm for 15 years before founding his own firm, which became Taylor Brazzell McCaffrey. He was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 1977 and served on the boards of numerous corporations, including Moffat Communications, VIA Rail Canada, and Ladco. He was legal counsel for the North Portage Development Corp. during its development. He was honorary counsel for Mexico in Winnipeg. He also raised funds for several organizations and causes, including the Brandon University Foundation and Alzheimer’s residence and research.
FEB. 26 — Kenn Collier, 79. He treated his patients and community. He graduated with a pharmacy degree in 1956, but after getting married, decided to go back to school and become a doctor. He practiced in Portage la Prairie after graduating. He was president of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Manitoba. He retired from medicine in 1990, becoming chief medical officer for Manitoba Health’s insured benefits branch and vice-president medical services at the Central Manitoba Regional Health Authority. He returned to practicing in rural communities in southern Manitoba from 2003 to 2011.
FEB. 27 — John Pitcairn, 76. He was an accountant who never forgot his alma mater. He was a chartered accountancy student at United College when he met the woman who would be his wife, Bernice Blazewicz. After he graduated and was employed by Deloitte and Touche, they moved to California. They later formed Pitcairn Accountants where they specialized in forensic accounting in litigation cases around the world. After his wife’s death, his gift to the University of Winnipeg resulted in the creation of the Bernice Blazewicz Pitcairn Learning Commons at the school’s library. He was president and chairman of the Marin Symphony and was on the boards of the San Francisco Opera and Santa Barbara Opera.
FEB. 29 — Sharon Pollack, 61. She helped people with cancer while fighting cancer. She was an elementary school teacher whose doctor found a lump in her breast in 1997. Through the ensuing years of drugs and treatment, she began volunteering at CancerCare Manitoba’s Look Good Feel Better program. From there she was hired as the coordinator of the new Guardian Angel Caring Room, the home for its wig program, as well as overseeing programming for women living with cancer.
MARCH 2 — Laurie Oleson, 62. She kept local Icelanders up to date. She worked in several careers including a doughnut cook, St. Amant Centre aide, and manager of the Winnipeg Press Club. She was editor of the Icelandic weekly newspaper, Logberg-Heimskuingla for several years.
MARCH 4 — Gordon Bragg, 89. He helped people with Parkinson’s disease. He was a geologist who worked for mining companies. While working for Hudson Bay Mining and Smelting, he discovered the Coronation and Chisel Lake mines. His wife was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in the 1960s and he cared for her until she died. He was president of both the Parkinson’s Foundation of Manitoba and the organization in Toronto and led the first exercise classes in Winnipeg for people with Parkinson’s.
MARCH 7 — Dave Hrechkosy, 60. He was a hockey player with the nickname The Wrecker. He came from the North End and played first for the West Kildonan North Stars in the Manitoba Junior Hockey League before rising to the Western Canada Hockey League’s Winnipeg Junior Jets in 1970. He signed with the New York Rangers in 1972, but got his first taste of the NHL with the California Golden Seals. He scored 29 goals and had 49 points as a rookie and finished runner-up for the NHL’s rookie of the year in 1975. He played five more years in the NHL.
MARCH 7 — John Friesen, 89. His dream was to own a Ford dealership and he did. He left the farm near La Salle at 17 to work for Erb’s Transfer. He later owned several autobody and service businesses, including Johnnie’s Service, Sanford Motors and Corydon Motors in the 1960s. He finally owned his flagship, Landau Ford Lincoln, in 1977, and was dealer principal for 35 years.
MARCH 8 — Kjell Talgoy, 86. He was from Norway and never forgot his heritage. He came to Canada when he was four and grew up in the Logan Avenue neighbourhood. He spent his career in sales and was active in many work-related organizations, including the Society for Coatings Technology and Master Brewers Association. He was on the board of the Scandinavian Centre and served as president of both the Viking Club and the Norwegian Canadian Club.
MARCH 9 — Bob Fraser, 89. He was a printer by trade and a piper by passion. He was born in Scotland and joined the Royal Air Force during the Second World War. He became a journeyman printer after being discharged and came to Canada with his wife and three children in 1957. He worked for Public Press and rose to become manager. He was president of the Graphics Arts Board of Canada. When he was a child he received bagpipe lessons from an instructor who refused to get paid, but asked him to continue the tradition and teach others. He did by founding the Lord Selkirk Boy Scout Pipe Band after coming to Canada, never asking for payment. He was the Pipe Major of both the Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders and the St. Andrew’s Society Pipe Band.
MARCH 10 — Paul Buteux, 72. He was the country’s foremost scholar on nuclear arms and deterrence. He was born in England and, after graduating with a PhD in philosophy in international relations, was hired by the University of Manitoba’s political studies department. He retired as a professor in 2008. He wrote two books that are still the pre-eminent texts on NATO and nuclear weapons. He created the research programme in strategic studies, was director of the Centre for Defence and Security Studies, and started the annual political studies graduate student conference, now in its 29th year.
MARCH 14 — Leatrice Cohen, 77. She worked tirelessly with her husband for charitable causes. She was married to Samuel, who, when he died in 1988, was president of Gendis Inc. and chairman and CEO of Saan Stores Ltd. She worked with him while he helped establish the St. Boniface Research Foundation International Award and played a role in establishing the Winnipeg Concert Hall, Manitoba Theatre Centre and Winnipeg Art Gallery.
MARCH 15 — Sister Olivine Fiola, 92. She was a pioneer in inclusion of people with disabilities. She was a member of the Missionary Oblates of the Sacred Heart and Mary Immaculate. Wanting to have people with hearing disabilities treated equally in the church, she learned American Sign Language in 1966 and was called the guiding spirit behind the Manitoba Catholic Church of the Deaf in Winnipeg for 44 years. There is now a weekly mass every Sunday, as well as pastoral home visits and a once a month mass in the personal care section of Deaf Centre Manitoba. She was also one of the founders of Deaf Centre Manitoba. She was honoured in 2010 with a room at the centre being renamed the Fiola Room.
MARCH 15 — Roland Clegg, 100. He collected horse-drawn carriages. He farmed and operated a welding business for years in Arrow River. He began collecting and restoring antique horse-drawn equipment, eventually acquiring about 90 carriages and creating the Clegg Museum. The collection will be available at the Prairie Mountain Regional Museum in Shoal Lake/Strathclair.
MARCH 18 — Art Foster, 84. He was a tennis champion. He worked at Great West Life, but after work he was involved in sports. He was provincial singles tennis champion for six years and won several doubles titles with his friend Dr. Ken McRae. He won three Canadian national titles in senior singles and doubles in 1988. He was awarded the Order of Sports Excellence in 1988 and he was the first person inducted into the Manitoba Tennis Hall of Fame in 2006.
MARCH 19 — Len Goldsborough, 80. Motorists see his woodwork when they drive past Starbuck. He was a longtime teacher and principal in the St. James School Division. After retiring to a farm, he served on several boards and committees in Starbuck and the RM of Macdonald. From his home woodworking shop, he created the town sign that greets visitors, as well as the replica grain elevator beside it.
MARCH 23 — George Douglas, 64. He helped people play music. He took over the family business– St. John’s Music — after his father died in 1975 and he expanded a single 1,700-square-foot store to a company with seven stores in seven Canadian cities and the second largest musical instrument retailer in Canada. He also co-chaired the Optimist Band Festival for 25 years, turning it into the country’s largest concert and jazz band festival.
MARCH 25 — Don McKinnon, 88. He has helped generations enjoy the Whiteshell Provincial Park. He served in the RCAF during the Second World War. He joined the Manitoba Forest Service afterwards and was posted for a decade in Falcon Lake as chief ranger in charge of construction and operation. He was instrumental in developing the Falcon Lake Golf Course as well as the ski resort and cottage subdivisions.
MARCH 27 — Ken Tacium, 54. He helped children with disabilities. He was born in Ontario and moved to Winnipeg with his family in 1967. He played sports as a teenager, hockey with the St. Boniface Saints and football with the St. Vital Bulldogs and Mustangs. He suffered a severe spinal cord injury in a 1979 car accident, which left him a C6-7 quadriplegic. He graduated from the Faculty of Law at the University of Manitoba in 1985, and started his own law firm with two partners in 1987. He worked with a friend to set up The Movement Centre, an organization that helps children and adults with physical disabilities, and sat on their board for several years.
MARCH 29 — Marcel Thompson, 74. He sold cars. He was born in Lorette and went to school in St. Boniface. After operating a John Deere lawn equipment business, he decided to follow his father’s footsteps into the transportation business. He owned and operated Frontier Toyota for 36 years and also owned Frontier Subaru and Frontier Autobody. He was president of the Toyota Dealer Council and the Manitoba Motor Dealers Association, working to get an agreement with all auto dealers to only be open Monday and Tuesday evenings.
APRIL 1 — Maurice Oakes, 69. He played baseball. He was born in Saskatchewan and played baseball in Brandon and Dauphin. He was a member of Canada’s 1967 Pan Am Games baseball team with the highlight being the team’s 10-9 victory over Cuba, that country’s first loss in 12 years of international competition. He hit a home run and two other hits in the game and caught the final out after running down a flyball in pouring rain. He was a three-time inductee into the Manitoba Baseball Hall of Fame and was also inducted into the Saskatchewan Baseball Hall of Fame.
APRIL 1 — Cor Janson, 73. He introduced Winnipeggers to zoo animals. He was born in the Netherlands and worked at the Rotterdam Zoo before coming to Canada in 1964. He worked for years at the Assiniboine Park Zoo and was a regular guest with zoo animals on CKY’s television show Archie and his Friends featuring Uncle Bob. He fired the shot from a tranquilizer gun to knock out a snow leopard that escaped from the zoo in 1974.
APRIL 3 — Michael Bzdel, 81. He led Ukrainian Catholics. He was born in Saskatchewan and ordained a Ukrainian Catholic Church priest in 1954. Pope John Paul II appointed him Ukrainian Catholic Archbishop and Metropolitan in 1992. He resigned in 2006 when he turned 75.
APRIL 3 — Bernard Brown, 80. He designed several local buildings. He was born in England and came to Canada in 1953, after getting his design diploma at the South East Essex School of Architecture. He was art editor of Canadian Architect Magazine in 1954 and 1955. He joined the Winnipeg architectural firm Green Blankstein and Russell to help design the city’s new air terminal and won the national design competition to build the new city hall. He also designed the Assiniboine Community College in Brandon, the Autopac Claim Centres, and the Holy Family Nursing Home.
APRIL 3 — Pat Flynn, 63. The old-school newspaperman was mourned by a newsroom he helped lead for almost 30 years. He joined the Winnipeg Tribune in 1972 as a reporter, and established a reputation for flair and accuracy. When the paper folded in 1980, he and several other Trib staffers moved over to start the Winnipeg Sun. He joined the Free Press in 1981 as night city editor and went on to become city editor, night news editor, deputy editor, and finally travel editor. He took early retirement in 2010 but continued to edit and write on a contract basis. His last published story in the now-defunct Boomer was about getting naked at Wreck Beach in Vancouver to fulfil a wish on his bucket list.
APRIL 4 — Joyce Christie. She had a passion for social justice and sports. She volunteered at Oxford and Westworth United Churches and the Winnipeg Presbytery Executive. She was president of the Winnipeg YWCA, the Manitoba Synchronized Swimming Association, and the Women’s Inter-church Council of Canada. She was on the board of Synchro Swim Canada, Manitoba Sports Federation, and the Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame.
APRIL 6 — Jack Coulter, 90. He helped save the lives of Winnipeggers. He began fighting fires during the Second World War in Southampton, England, during the blitz, and came back to spend more than 42 years with the Winnipeg Fire Department. He rose through the ranks and finished his career as chief. After retiring, he became a founding board member of the Winnipeg Fire Department Historical Society and was instrumental in being able to use Fire Station No. 3 as a museum. He also helped produce the book Alarm of Fire, a history of the fire department.
APRIL 7 — Leonard Leboldus, 71. Born in Saskatchewan, he came to study medicine and science at the University of Manitoba. He specialized in urological surgery and he spent his career at the Winnipeg Clinic where he rose to become head of the urology section and chief executive officer. He was instrumental in establishing the Prostate Cancer Dinner, the first in Canada.
APRIL 8 — Ted Bloomer. He owned hotels. He served in the navy until returning to Winnipeg and joining the family’s grocery business. He later build, owned and operated the Charleswood Hotel with his brothers and later owned and managed other hotels, including the Marlborough Inn. He was a president of the Manitoba Hotel Association and the Western Hotel Association. He was a founder and past president of the Charleswood Curling Club.
APRIL 10 — Alan Sweatman, 91. He was a lawyer who tried to save the original Winnipeg Jets. He was in the navy in the Second World War and after the war studied law at the University of Manitoba. He worked with Thompson Dorfman Sweatman and was named a Queen’s Counsel in 1962. He was president of the Law Society of Manitoba and served on numerous community boards including the Convalescent Home of Winnipeg. He was chairman of the Canadian Council of Christians and Jews and the Save the Jets committee and he was president for three years of the St. Charles Country Club.
APRIL 10 — Doug Edmondson, 78. He had a passion for selling cars. He was working with Sun Life before he decided to be a car salesman. He sold so many cars he rose to be general manager at Birchwood Motors before deciding to own his own dealership in Portage la Prairie. He owned Edmondson Chev Olds until 1992. He was elected as mayor and served the community from 1988 to 1992.
APRIL 10 — Lynn Stephen, 62. She helped generations of Winnipeggers learn the highland fling. She began dancing at an early age in highland, tap and Irish dancing. She worked as a child life specialist at the Children’s Hospital before leaving it in 1987 to concentrate full-time on her Lynn Stephen School of Highland Dance. She was honoured with a life membership with the Scottish Dance Teachers Alliance.
APRIL 12 — Bill Fisher, 72. He may have been Winnipeg’s saviour. He was an engineer who worked with Hugh Munro Construction. He worked on the original Red River Floodway as well as the floodway expansion. He was instrumental in the quick construction of the Brunkild dike during the Flood of the Century in 1997, and the Lake St. Martin drain in 2011.
APRIL 13 — Walter Perepeluk, 84. He was the first mayor of Lynn Lake. He was born in Sifton and grew up in Rorkton, where his father’s business, Central Meat and Grocery, was located. He moved with his wife to Lynn Lake when the community was founded to manage his father’s new store there. He also was a member of numerous community committees there, including the boards of the chamber of commerce and hospital and was the first elected mayor of Lynn Lake.
APRIL 14 — Glenn McWhinney, 81. He was an outstanding athlete in two sports. He played junior football with the Weston Wildcats before joining the Edmonton Eskimos as their quarterback in 1952. Nicknamed ‘The Keeper’, he played in two Grey Cups, winning in 1954. He joined the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in 1955 and was named most valuable Canadian player. He suffered a career-ending injury when he broke his neck in 1956, but he continued as a scout for two more years. He then started playing basketball as a guard in the Winnipeg Men’s Senior League, winning two championships with King’s Best in 1956 and 1960 and one with The Blues in 1963. He is a member of the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame and was admitted into the Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame in 2011.
APRIL 15 — Bob Jones, 87. He helped develop the country’s mutual fund industry. He was born and raised in Winnipeg and, after serving in the Second World War, he graduated from the University of Manitoba with a commerce degree. He became a securities analyst at Investors Syndicate and rose through the ranks, retiring in 1991 after serving as president and chief executive officer and board chairman. Not only was he a director with other Canadian companies, including Power Corporation and Great-West Life, but also as a volunteer on the boards of the Health Sciences Centre, the University of Winnipeg Board of Regents, and chairman of the Winnipeg School Division’s Sinking Fund Trustees.
APRIL 16 — Fred Chafe, 82. He was born in Newfoundland and later ended up in journalism. He was the Winnipeg bureau chief of Canadian Press and was president of the Winnipeg Press Club in 1970, volunteering as well for the club’s Beer and Skits shows.
APRIL 16 — Liz Bevis, 74. She supported health care. She was born in Edmonton and came to Winnipeg as a child. She graduated from the University of Manitoba and became an elementary school teacher. She then went into business and was an expert in income tax preparation. She volunteered with the University Women’s club and was chairwoman of the Health Sciences Centre. After moving to Nanaimo, she sat on the board of the Nanaimo and District Hospital.
APRIL 17 — Elizabeth Fontaine, 83. She helped people fight addictions. She was born in Sagkeeng First Nation and later moved to Winnipeg with her family. She got a job with Social Development in 1971 and then with the Native Alcoholism Council of Manitoba in 1973, where she worked until she died. She was one of the original workers and the supervisor/elder at the Pritchard House Treatment Program, helping more than 70,000 clients who used the agency. She was featured in a documentary The Mother of Many Children.
APRIL 19 — Robert Sizeland, 93. He helped others have Christmas. He was born and raised in Winnipeg and, after serving in the Second World War and working with the City of Winnipeg and then Systems Equipment Ltd., went on to open his own business. He was active in the Masonic Lodge and volunteered for the United Way. He was president of the Christmas Cheer Board for 10 years.
APRIL 19 — Americo Tome. He was a pillar in the Portuguese community. He was one of the first Portuguese immigrants here in 1957, first living in northern Manitoba before coming to Winnipeg in 1962. He opened the city’s first Portuguese grocery at 477 William Ave. The store moved to various locations until landing at Sargent and Beverly in 1984. He was a founding member of the Portuguese Association of Manitoba.
APRIL 23 — Charlie Rafter, 89. He was longtime aide to successive Lieutenant Governors. He grew up in the West End and worked for Scott Bathgate Ltd., and the federal government’s manpower and immigration department. During the Second World War, he joined the RCAF and was a wireless air gunner with the 422 Squadron. After the war, he joined the Air Reserve after it was formed, later being appointed Honourary Colonel of Air Navigation School. He was a longtime governor of the Commissionaires Manitoba. He was appointed Aide-de-Camp to the Lt.-Gov. of Manitoba and served 32 years in the voluntary position with seven Lieutenant Governors starting with Errick Willis through to Yvon Dumont. He was honoured with the Order of Canada, the Order of the Buffalo Hunt, and the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal for all his community service.
APRIL 25 — Bruce Barr, 66. He was a photographer. He took photography at Ryerson Polytechnical Institute in the early 1970s and returned to Winnipeg to start his photography career. He was a founding member of the Winnipeg Photographers Group and Floating Gallery in 1981. He continued as a commercial photographer and got a patent for his idea of a contact printer for printing negatives in rows and columns directly onto photographic paper.
APRIL 25 — Byron Watt, 77. He helped build Thompson. He was born in Saskatoon, raised in Winnipeg, and in his early twenties moved to Thompson in 1958. He became involved in 16 different businesses — including a motel, A&W, Gondola Pizza, and GM dealership — and is recognized in a Thompson history book as being a key builder of the city. He semi-retired at 36, but after moving to Edmonton he again began going into business, including opening BAACO Pizza with more than 50 locations and a home construction business.
APRIL 27 — Bruce McDonald, 78. He wanted people to be healthy. He received his doctorate in nutrition at the University of Wisconsin in 1963, and later, in 1968, accepted a position at the University of Manitoba. He received many awards there, authored two books and 25 scientific papers, and was made professor emeritus. He then was executive director of the Manitoba Health Research Council from 1997 to 2004. He was also appointed to Health Canada/Heart and Stroke Canada and the Canadian Agri-Food Policy Institute.
APRIL 27 — William Burch, 86. He helped memorialize the Canadian air effort during the Second World War. He was born in Selkirk and shortly after graduating from high school he enlisted in the Royal Canadian Air Force, taking navigator and bombardier training, but the Second World War ended before he could be deployed. He was a member of the Wartime Pilots and Observers Association. He was instrumental in establishing the Garden of Memories to commemorate Manitoba’s participation in the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan at 1 Canadian Air Division Headquarters
APRIL 29 — Lucien Cote, 86. He played baseball with his siblings. Cote and his eight brothers played baseball in Vasser, at one point all on the community’s team at the same time. He pitched and played infield and is remembered for possessing a fierce passion for the game. He was often recruited with one of his brothers by Minnesota teams in tournaments. With his dad and brothers, they were inducted into the Manitoba Baseball Hall of Fame in 2007.
APRIL 29 — Bona Emeruwa, 88. He was born and died in Nigeria, but in between he helped the Afro-Canadian community in Manitoba. He had two masters degrees, one in economics from Howard University in Washington, D.C., and the other in education from the University of Manitoba. He taught at Kelvin High School and while there he became president of the Afro-Caribbean Association of Manitoba. As president he worked with the association to purchase the building on Watt Street, which is still its permanent home.
MAY 2 — Ruth Mitchell, 76. She pushed forward women’s issues. Instead of staying in Carberry as a young woman to work as a telephone operator, she became only the second woman from that community to go to Brandon College. She became a teacher. She was one of a group of women who pushed successfully for the provincial government to reform Family Law in the 1970s. She became executive director of the Manitoba Advisory Council on the Status of Women and director of the policy unit of the Manitoba Women’s Directorate.
MAY 16 — Bill Hanson, 57. He loved television. He started at CKY-TV in the advertising department in 1983. By 2002, he was vice-president and general manager of CTV Winnipeg. He was vice-chairman of the St. Boniface Hospital and Research Foundation and on the board of Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Winnipeg.
MAY 16 — Lloyd Moist, 90. He fought fires. He was born in Winnipeg and joined the Winnipeg Fire Department in 1940. He served in the RCAF in the Second World War before rejoining the department, spending 45 years fighting fires. He rose to become fire chief in 1981 until retiring in 1985.
MAY 16 — Garth Somers, 68. He promoted boxing. His boxers included Mark Riggs, Brooke Wellby and Terry Jesmer during the 1980s and 1990s.
MAY 17 — Tom Oleson, 66. He wrote columns in the Free Press. He studied archeology and anthropology at the University of Manitoba before becoming a copy boy at the newspaper. He rose through the ranks to become literary editor and a member of the editorial board in 1974, writing both columns and editorials.
MAY 19 — Christine Schuhmann, 55. She had the voice of an angel. She was born in Switzerland and came to Canada with her parents when she was 24, to open Christine’s Exclusive Shoes in Montreal. After getting married, they moved to Elma where they opened H&C Electronics. She worked as a medical receptionist and doctor’s assistant until December 2011 at the Whitemouth District Health Centre. She released six CDs and sang in concerts in North America and Europe. Her song in German, Du bringst die Farben zurueck in mein Leben was the number one song in Germany for several weeks in 2011.
MAY 23 — Violet Nelson, 35. She was a natural leader. She was born in Swan River, the first girl born to the Nelson family in five generations. She volunteered in Katimavik when she was a teen. She was district commissioner of the Girl Guides of Canada and developed curriculum and recruited leaders for aboriginal Girl Guides. She was a board member of the Native Women’s Transition Centre for 10 years and was serving as chairwoman when she died.
MAY 25 — Rhoda Cummings. She instilled a love of music with her son. She left an abusive marriage when her son, Burton, was a year old. Working at Eaton’s, she encouraged her son to take piano lessons. Without the scrimping and saving she did to pay for those lessons and other things for her child, her son might not have had the music career he has had.
MAY 25 — Olga Kowalchuk, 77. She supported the Ukrainian community. She was born in Angusville and, after going to teacher’s college in Winnipeg, became a teacher. She married a farmer in Oakburn and later, for eight years before he retired, lived in Winnipeg with their family while her husband farmed more than 300 kilometres away. She held numerous executive positions with the Ukrainian Women’s Association of Canada and was president and executive secretary of the Manitoba branch. She was honoured with the National Self Reliance League of Canada top award for community service in 2006.
MAY 27 — Norma Kristjansson, 85. She volunteered in the local Icelandic community. Her father immigrated from Iceland and she grew up on a family farm in Oakview. She was active in the community and was president of the Icelandic Canadian Frón, the Winnipeg chapter of the Icelandic National League of North America, a board member of the Scandinavian Cultural Centre, a president of the St. Charles Country Club ladies section and Manitoba Doctors’ wives association, and cultural chair of the Icelandic National League.
MAY 29 — Leslie Few, 97. He built the places where sports teams and athletes played. He was born in England and came to Canada in the 1950s with a construction firm to help build the Distant Early Warning System (DEW line). He worked on the Olympic stadium in Montreal before coming to Winnipeg to supervise the building of the Richardson building, Board of Grain Commissioners building, and several apartment blocks. He then went on to plan, develop and supervise the building of Skydome in Toronto.
MAY 31 — Justin Lysack, 20. He loved sports, but lacrosse was his passion. He started playing with a mini hockey stick, with his cat or grandmother as goalie, and kept advancing through sports. He represented Manitoba six times at national championships in both box and field lacrosse. He died shortly after assisting on a goal for his team.
JUNE 3 — Ron Morin, 68. He was one-half of one of the most successful partnerships in Winnipeg police history. He was born in Winnipeg and later joined the Marine Corps in the United States and served around the world, including fighting 14 months in Vietnam. Returning to Winnipeg, he joined the St. Boniface Police Department as a constable and rose through the ranks of an amalgamated city police force to positions including chief of the Winnipeg bomb squad. Morin, along with his robbery-homicide partner David Shipman, is credited with solving an estimated 100 homicides. The two men were responsible for the arrest and murder conviction of Winnipeg police patrol officers Jerry Stolar and Barry Nielsen.
JUNE 3 — Gladys Carefoot, 90. She helped entertain people wherever she lived. She was born in Miniota and received her associate degree in piano and theory from the Toronto Conservatory of Music. She taught music in Shoal Lake and was organist there and later in Brandon and Virden. She served as president of the Virden and Arts Music Festival and was its official accompanist for 29 years. With her husband and others, she helped save the Aud Theatre and served as secretary of both the restoration community and the board of the theatre.
JUNE 3 — Ivan Ciaputa, 96. He was from Ukraine and helped Ukrainians here. He came to Canada with his wife and one-year-old child in 1952, and worked as a butcher and store owner. A longtime member of Sts. Vladimir and Olga Cathedral, he was president of the Ukrainian Youth Association and the Canadian Ukrainian Institute.
JUNE 5 — Kathleen Selci, 84. She gave back to her Ukrainian community. She grew up on the family farm in Angusville before becoming a teacher. She and her husband ran the M and K Cafe in Buchanan before her husband’s career took them across Western Canada. Living in Winnipeg, she was a longtime parishioner at St. Basil’s Parish and was active with the Ukrainian Catholic Women’s League where she was president and was a member for 50 years. She also served on the Ukrainian National Council.
JUNE 5 — Shaunna O’Brien-Moran, 47. She helped make movies here. She was born in Ontario and came to Winnipeg to study literature and women’s studies at the University of Manitoba. She loved film and was the first executive director of the precursor to On Screen Manitoba, the non-profit organization that represents the province’s screen-based media industry. She was a freelance production co-ordinator and manager before joining the Credo Group. Her credits include being production executive of Guy Maddin’s Twilight of the Ice Nymphs and episodes of the television series The Adventures of Shirley Holmes and My Life as a Dog.
JUNE 6 — Peter Peters, 98. He was ‘Potato Pete.’ He was born in Ukraine and came to Canada with his family when he was 11. He taught in schools for seven years before serving with the RCAF in the Second World War. He contracted tuberculosis and battled it from 1946 to 1951. He graduated from the University of Manitoba with the gold medal in agriculture and joined the province’s agriculture department. His work in potato marketing led to the province’s commercial potato industry and the processors to set up chip and french fry plants here. He was the driving force behind the establishment of the Manitoba Potato Commission, Manitoba Potato Marketing Board, Peak of the Market, and the Strawberry Growers Association of Manitoba, which is now the Prairie Fruit Growers Association. He was president of the Western Canadian Society for Horticulture and revitalized The Prairie Gardener. He was inducted into the Manitoba Agricultural Hall of Fame in 2009.
JUNE 8 — Joe Haywood, 78. He went from death row to helping military veterans. He served in the military for 18 years and saw action while he was a United Nations peacekeeper in the Belgian Congo. Returning to Winnipeg, he gunned down a defenceless man and woman in a St. Boniface house, and was on death row until being convicted of manslaughter by a jury and sentenced to 12 years in prison. It was later determined that the slayings were caused by his post-traumatic stress disorder, a diagnosis that only came while he was in prison. The diagnosis sparked his life’s work, beginning a campaign that resulted in PTSD being officially recognized by the Canadian government and military, with Canadian veterans getting the benefits and help they need. He also ran the Health Sciences Centre’s chemical-withdrawal unit for seven years and wrote a book with journalist Peter Warren titled Mr. God I am Sorry. He was also co-founder of Winnipeg’s Addictions Recovery Inc., as well as two halfway houses for alcohol and drug addictions. He also was a rodeo judge and he trained horses for Russell Crowe’s first movie, For The Moment and the movie The Last Winter.
JUNE 8 — Ian Elkin, 65. He had an eye for film. He graduated with a history degree from the University of Manitoba but his lifework became the hobby he picked up while a student. He got hold of a 16-mm movie camera and shot his first film Profits and the Puck. He then worked for the CBC and the National Film Board shooting documentaries. He became an award-winning cinematographer for the films The Last Winter, Lost in the Barrens, For the Moment, and The Outside Chance of Maximilian Glick. He was a founder of the Winnipeg Film Group in 1974.
JUNE 9 — Rachel Browne, 77. She was the matriarch of dance in our community. She was born in Philadelphia and began ballet dancing when she was six. She came to Winnipeg to join the Royal Winnipeg Ballet in 1957. She founded Winnipeg’s Contemporary Dancers in 1964 and its affiliated school in 1972. She choreographed more than 80 works including The Woman I am, Old Times Now and Edgelit. She was inducted into the Order of Canada in 1997 and was honoured with a lifetime achievement award from the Manitoba Arts Council, the 2000 Canada Council Jacqueline Lemieux Prize, and the 1995 Jean A. Chalmers Award for Creativity in Dance. The WCD renamed its performance venue the Rachel Brown Theatre in 2008.
JUNE 10 — Helen Cook, 63. She was a leader of her community. She was born in Winnipegosis and later lived in Winnipeg. She became chief of the Bloodvein First Nation for several years and continued working to help the community until the end of her life.
JUNE 12 — Richard Stovel, 91. He helped defend North America. He was born in Winnipeg and went to St. John’s-Ravenscourt School and the University of Manitoba before enlisting in the Second World War, during which he received the Air Force Cross in 1943. He joined the Stovel Company but then decided to rejoin the military for the next 36 years. He rose to become Lt. Gen. Deputy Commander-in-Chief of NORAD in Colorado before retiring in 1976.
JUNE 12 — George Mulligan, 85. He made Manitoba roads safer. He graduated as a doctor from the University of Manitoba in 1955 and began his practice in Ste. Rose du Lac and then Neepawa. He trained to be a surgeon and became the head of the emergency department and the intensive care unit’s surgical consultant at Health Sciences Centre. He founded the U of M’s road safety research unit, which conducted investigations of traffic collisions. He successfully lobbied for mandatory seatbelt and motorcycle-helmet use legislation.
JUNE 12 — Ercole Albo, 87. He made Winnipeggers healthier. He was born in Italy and came to Canada after the Second World War. With his brother, he was one of the first to open an Italian specialty grocery store in Winnipeg. His last business, involving his immediate family, was Sunrise Health Foods. The local chain has expanded to four locations in Winnipeg and is one of only two original tenants left in the St. Vital Centre.
JUNE 14 — Michael Baron, 88. He has helped house many seniors. He was born in Dauphin and moved to Winnipeg after marrying. He trained as a pilot in the Second World War but served as a chef. He worked with CN Rail for 45 years as dining car service manager, but, with his wife, also opened several personal care homes. They opened the Baron Nursing Home in 1954, followed by the Acadia Nursing Home, Maples Personal Care Home, River East Personal Care Home, Baron Estates and the Irene Baron Eden Centre.
JUNE 14 — Mona Dixon, 92. She loved ice, whether skating or curling. She was born in Brandon and graduated from Daniel McIntyre Collegiate. She was a Manitoba champion and international speedskater. In curling, she was Manitoba Golden Gal champion in 1984 and was president of the Manitoba Ladies Curling Association in 1977-78. For her contributions, she was honoured with a lifetime membership from the MLCA.
JUNE 19 — Albert Blake, 92. He was a Manitoba horse racing institution. He began working races as a trainer at Whittier Park. While he never won the track’s trainer of the year award, he won the Manitoba Lotteries Derby twice and is 19th in the all-time Assiniboia Downs trainers’ standings with 356 wins.
JUNE 21 — Dennis Carter, 91. He helped build landmarks. He was born in Montreal and grew up in England before taking architecture at the University of Manitoba. With Ernest Smith, they founded the architectural firm Smith Carter. The buildings designed by his firm include the Centennial Concert Hall, the Manitoba Museum and the Great-West Life headquarters. He was also the architect for Rae and Jerry’s Steak House.
JUNE 22 — Jeff Connery, 53. He grew vegetables. He grew up on the farm and became head of Connery’s Riverdale Farms after his brother died. The farm is about 1,000 acres in size and grows strawberries, asparagus, broccoli, green onions, cooking onions, carrots and grain.
JUNE 25 — Hugo Acuna, 62. He supported both his native Chile and the local Chilean community. He was arrested and tortured by the Pinochet government before fleeing the country in 1976 and ending up in Winnipeg. He worked as a roofer until returning to Chile with the United Nations as a freedom fighter in 1985. The effort to unseat Pinochet failed and he returned to Winnipeg, making the city his permanent home. He served as president of La Asociacion de Chilenos de Winnipeg and helped bring music and folk dance groups to Folklorama from Chile.
JUNE 27 — Larry Jocelyn, 81. He ran hotels. He started in the hospitality industry as a bus boy at the Hudson’s Bay store and by 1955, he was manager of the store’s seven restaurants including opening the Paddlewheel. He later became the general manager of 26 Gordon Hotels and, after buying five of them, changed the name to Gordon Hotels and Motor Inns. He was president of the Canadian Restaurant Association’s Manitoba branch and the Hotel Association of Canada and on the executive committee of the Manitoba Hotel Association for 41 years.
JUNE 29 — Vic Pinchin, 93. He was Mr. Rainbow Stage. His day job was with Canada Safeway where he worked for 35 years and retired as vice-president. But he was a life-long entertainer, singing with dance bands in the 1940s and directing a Gilbert and Sullivan group in the 1950s. He performed with the Manitoba Theatre Centre, joined Rainbow Stage in 1962 and did various work with them including announcing right up until shortly before he died. He performed in 19 productions and was a former president. He was on the troupe’s inaugural Wall of Fame. He was also a president of the Lions Club of Winnipeg and on the board of the Red River Exhibition.
JUNE 29 — Judy Sawatzky, 72. She worked hard to promote Winkler and area. She was trained as a teacher and taught for 20 years. She opened a travel agency there and was on the executive of the local chamber of commerce and the Manitoba Chamber of Commerce. She was parade marshall of the Winkler Harvest Festival and co-chair of the Winkler Arts Council. She was a director of the Pembina Valley Development Corporation.
JUNE 30 — Wesley Hart, 75. He was a leader in his community. He was chief of the Fisher River Cree Nation in the 1980s.
JULY 2 — Armin Stojke. He helped police officers dive. He came to Canada with his stepmother when he was 15 and worked at his uncle’s farm. He spent 10 years as a wrestler known as Mr. Clean. He spent 27 years in the Winnipeg police department during which he was instrumental in forming its search and rescue dive team and training and certifying officers for scuba diving.
JULY 4 — Margaret Grant, 89. She had a pool named after her. She taught swimming at the YWCA and earned all of the Royal Life Saving Awards possible, including the highest achievement, the Diploma. She set up the entire learn to swim and water safety program in Fort Garry and in appreciation the council named the Margaret Grant Pool after her. She also taught and coached synchronized swimming and was president of Synchro Manitoba.
JULY 9 — Ike Hussain, 74. He helped Selkirk residents. He was born and became a doctor in India, before becoming a surgical resident in the United States. He completed his surgical training at the University of Manitoba and started his practice in Selkirk where he worked for the next 40 years. He was president of the Selkirk Medical Centre for 30 years and served on several committees of the Manitoba College of Physicians. He was co-founder of the Selkirk and District Community Foundation.
JULY 16 — Barrie Campbell, 89. He developed better wheat for farmers to grow. After graduating from the University of Manitoba and getting his doctorate at the University of Minnesota, he had a long career as a plant scientist with Agriculture Canada. He devoted his career to breeding and developing nine rust-resistant wheat varieties for Prairie farmers. For this he received many awards and honours, including being inducted as an officer into the Order of Canada in 1989 and getting an honorary degree of Doctor of Science from the University of Manitoba.
JULY 17 — Joyce Jaworsky, 75. She loved flowers. She worked as a nurse, being promoted to a head nurse position, but then changed career directions to raise her family. She work first with the Children’s Aid Society and then the province’s Income Security Department where she retired as assistant director. With her daughter, she began designing floral arrangements for weddings and anniversaries. She joined the Manitoba Orchid Society where she was honoured with four American Orchid Society awards. She was serving her second term as MOS president when she died.
JULY 17 — Ernest Mulcahy, 89. He was a war veteran who helped other veterans. He was born in Halifax and volunteered in the Second World War when he was 17. He was wounded at the Battle of Cassino and later fought in France and Belgium. He worked in the Halifax Dockyards before serving in the Royal Canadian Air Force from 1951 to 1963, rising to rank of sergeant. After retiring, he was president of the Air Force Association in Winnipeg and Saskatoon and volunteered in several positions with the Royal Canadian Legion, including zone commander and district commander. He was honoured with the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal in 2002 and the Minister of Veteran Affairs Commendation in 2010 for helping veterans.
JULY 18 — Louise Charette, 53. She was an award-winning CBC news reporter. She was seven when her mother died and she began caring for her younger sisters. She worked in several jobs but then went to journalism school before joining the CBC. She received a gold medal in 2003 from the New York Festivals for her series about Winnipeg’s growing aboriginal population while another series, No Safe Haven, about the lack of housing for the mentally ill, was honoured with a human rights journalism award and one from the Canadian Mental Health Association.
JULY 20 — Dmytro Jakymeczko, 89. He went from working for the Ukraine Railroad to building a church in Canada. He was born in western Ukraine and farmed with his parents before working for the railroad. He came to Canada in 1951 and settled in the Portage la Prairie area where he worked with CN Rail on track maintenance. He was president and secretary of the Ukrainian Catholic Church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Portage and was instrumental in the building of a new church. He was a founder of the Ukrainian Education and Cultural Centre and he was knighted into the Knights of St. Vladimir.
JULY 20 — David Golden, 92. Thanks to him, we can make phone calls to Northern Canada. He was born in Sinclair and was readying to go to England as a Rhodes Scholar when he enlisted for the Second World War. He spent most of the war imprisoned after trying to defend Hong Kong. He joined the federal public service after the war and three years later he was deputy minister of defence production and industry, during which the Avro Arrow project was cancelled. He was chairman of the board of Carleton University and chairman of the Parliamentary Centre for Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade. He was the first president of Telesat, which was created by the government to make the country’s communications industry share the costs of satellite communications. When the Anik A1 communications satellite was launched, he made the first telephone call from Ottawa to the Far North. He was honoured with the Order of Canada, honorary doctorates from the University of Manitoba and Carleton University and the John H. Chapman Award from the Canadian Space Program.
JULY 21 — Nick Mikos, 68. He made great hamburgers. He was born in Greece and came to Winnipeg in 1961. He began working at Mrs. Mike’s in 1967 and was joined at the eatery with his brother in 1969, when they bought the business. He turned the burger place into a St. Boniface institution serving four generations of customers.
JULY 23 — Alice Little, 82. She was an award-winning teacher. She started her teaching career as the teaching principal of a two-room rural school in Hilton. She taught English at Ecole Norberry and Collegè Jeanne-Sauvé until 1990, during which she piloted programs. She received the Encyclopedia Britannica award from the Canadian College of Teachers in 1983 for outstanding teaching in the country’s two official languages. She was presented with the Pioneer Award by Premier Gary Doer in 2008.
JULY 24 — Mervin Farmer, 74. He kept his communities informed. He grew up on a farm until he moved to Stonewall at 17. He worked in the print shop of the Stonewall Argus until he bought the business in 1966. He founded Interlake Publishing to operate both the Argus and the Teulon Times. He founded the Interlake Spectator in 1973 and the Selkirk Journal in 1985. He was president of the Manitoba Community Newspaper Association and director of the Canadian Community Newspaper Association. He sold the business to Quebecor in 1992 and retired in 1999. He was also president of Stonewall Minor Hockey and the Western Interlake Intermediate Hockey League and served as a councillor in Stonewall. He was a founding member of the Manitoba Elk Growers Association and had one of the first elk farms in the province.
JULY 26 — Ralph EisBrenner, 93. He was mayor of Emerson. He joined the armed forces during the Second World War and, because of being fluent in German, became part of a unit that was flown into occupied territories to do intelligence and reconnaissance missions. He came back to his family in Emerson and began working as an immigration officer with Canada Customs and Immigration. He was elected mayor of Emerson in 1976 and was mayor during the 1979 Red River flood. He served as mayor until 1983.
JULY 27 — Mel Dagg, 80. He wrote for hunters and fishers. He served with the RCAF from 1951 to 1971 before being employed by Sears, Telesky Taxidermy and the transportation department. But it was hunting, fishing and writing he lived for. With his glasses on his face in his small column photograph, he wrote the Free Press’ Outdoors column about hunting and fishing for more than three decades starting in the 1960s.
JULY 28 — Bill McLeod, 93. He sparked the revival movement in Canada. He was born in Winnipeg and invited Jesus into his life when he was 22. His first pastorate was in Rosthern, Sask., and he went on to preach elsewhere, including ministering for the Shantymen’s Christian Association at logging camps from 1945 to 1953. He began the Tabor Baptist Chapel in Transcona before he became minister at the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Saskatoon. It was there, a few years later, that he sparked the Canadian revival movement — which also spread into parts of the United States by encouraging weekly prayer meetings at his church. By 1971, hundreds of people came to the church and a core group formed to serve other pastors and churches. The group became the Canadian Revival Fellowship in 1972. He established the Bird River Bible Camp in Manitoba.
AUG. 1 — Bill Lewycky, 86 . He helped his community. He was born in Rossdale and moved to Winnipeg to work and volunteer in church and youth organizations in the North End. Moving with his wife to Shoal Lake, he owned the Red and White Shopping Centre, Kady-Lo (Curb) Farm Service and Bumper to Bumper Hardware Store, as well as farms. He was mayor of Shoal Lake from 1980 to 1990 and chairman of the Birdtail School Division from 1969 to 1978. After retiring and moving to Winnipeg, he was on the board of St. Andrews College and a member of the Ukrainian Professional and Business Club of Winnipeg and the Sons of the Ukrainian Pioneers.
AUG. 1 — Marshall Haid, 75. He was an award-winning architect. He graduated from architecture from the University of Manitoba and received his masters in architecture in Sweden. He designed schools, hospitals, office buildings and private residences. He received the Premier’s Award for Design Excellence in 1982 and Heritage Winnipeg’s preservation award for excellence in 1987 and 1989. At one time his firm, Haid, Haid Donner, was the largest architectural practice in the province. He was president of the Manitoba Association of Architects.
AUG. 2 — David Henderson, 83. Thompson is located where it is thanks to him. He graduated from the University of Manitoba’s faculty of architecture with bachelor and masters degrees in town planning. He started with Metro Winnipeg’s planning commission before becoming the first director of planning for Fort William, Ont. He became Manitoba’s first director of municipal affairs in 1957 where he did the location and design for the development of Thompson. He was appointed Winnipeg’s planning and social services commissioner with the newly created Unicity in 1972, staying there until he retired from the city in 1988. He was a longtime member of the Salvation Army Advisory Board.
AUG. 3 — Garry Robertson, 72. His voice would be recognized by many. He grew up in River Heights and went to university wanting to be a dentist, but that changed after he joined the campus radio station. He became a radio broadcaster at CKRC, CJOB and other radio stations in Brandon, Kenora and Yorkton. He also founded Garry Robertson Music Services for dances. After he retired, he helped create and produce nostalgia radio station CJNU.
AUG. 4 — Bud Riley, 86. He coached the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. He was born in Alabama and was coaching college football before he was brought to the CFL by the Saskatchewan Roughriders. He coached six CFL teams during his career including the Blue Bombers from 1974 to 1977, getting to the playoffs three times. He is the father of former Blue Bombers coach Mike Riley.
AUG. 4 — Leon Vanderkerckhove, 88. He was a politician in the RM of Rockwood for almost half his life. He was born in Swan Lake and moved to Stony Mountain when his dad bought a farm there. Later, while working for car dealerships, he sold so many Fords he was one of the top 50 salespeople in Canada three times. He was elected to Rockwood council in 1955 and served 41 years, including 16 as reeve. While reeve, Oak Hammock Marsh was developed as Ducks Unlimited’s headquarters and the Stonewall and District Health Centre was built. The baseball sports field in Stony Mountain was dedicated to him for his involvement in community sports.
AUGUST — Samuel Segev, 86. He wrote about the Middle East. He was born in Palestine and while serving as a colonel in the Israel Defence Force reserve he was wounded fighting in the 1948 War of Independence. He married a woman originally from Winnipeg. He wrote for the Israeli newspaper Ma’ariv and corresponded to the Winnipeg Free Press for 30 years. Starting in 2001, he started writing a weekly column about the Middle East in the Free Press comment pages. He also published seven books including The Iranian Triangle.
AUG. 8 — Don Comstock, 85. He was a journalist whose heart was in performing. He wrote for the Winnipeg Tribune and was a member of the Winnipeg Press Club, serving as its president in 1977. The club’s annual Beer and Skits show was a highlight and he wrote, directed and performed in it, winning the show’s highest honour, the Zim award. He worked for more than 30 years in public relations at Manitoba Hydro, and established the Hydrogram there. He teamed with his friend Ron Chambers and they performed as a vaudeville sketch due, Ron and Don, across the Prairies.
AUG. 10 — Randy Minuk, 57. He was a prominent criminal defence counsel. He became a lawyer in 1978 and opened his own law practice shortly after. He was a volunteer at the Rady Jewish Community Centre and a committee member of the annual Y sports fundraising dinner. He worked at the Israel Folklorama pavilion for several years.
AUG. 14 — Ernie Friesen, 94. He was a leader in his community. He was born in Gretna and after graduating he earned a Bachelor of Arts at the Winnipeg Normal School and began teaching in Bloomfield. He spent 42 years in education during which he was supervising principal at Steinbach elementary schools and assistant superintendent in the Hanover School Division. He was chairman of the Bethesda Hospital Board from 1954 to 1979, chairman of the Eden Mental Health Board and member of the Manitoba Film Classification Board for nine years. He was a councillor in Steinbach for six years before becoming mayor for six years until 1992.
AUG. 17 — Donna Grescoe, 84. She was the Little Magic Fiddler. She was born in Winnipeg and was a child prodigy on the violin at five years of age. She studied the violin in Winnipeg, Chicago and New York and played at Carnegie Hall in 1948 before touring Canada. She played on the Ed Sullivan Show in 1955, and CBC’s Showtime. After her final solo performance in 1959, she returned to Winnipeg to teach. She was a founding member of the Manitoba Conservatory of Music where she taught until 1988. She was a member of the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra from 1974 to 1979. The book, The Little Magic Fiddler, was written in 1951 about her early life as a child prodigy.
AUG. 19 — Ann Kaprowy. She was born in Arborg, but created a North End institution. She was the owner of The Original Shop on Selkirk Avenue. She operated the fine ladies dress shop for more than 50 years and she was called “the last of the ladies.”
AUG. 21 — Don Raleigh, 86. He was one of the most popular players in New York Rangers history. He was born in Kenora but spent most of his life in Winnipeg. His nickname was Bones — because of his slight weight — and he first played for the Rangers when he was drafted at 17 by the team during the Second World War — making him still the youngest player to ever play for the team. He came back four years later and played with them for another 10 years, two of which he was captain. He was the first player to score back-to-back overtime goals in the Stanley Cup final. He was inducted into the Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame, the Manitoba Hockey Hall of Fame as well as the Brandon University Hockey Hall of Fame.
AUG. 22 — Joyce Patterson. She helped educate students in St. Boniface. With her husband she founded Green Acres Funeral Home and Cemetery and Len Don Landscaping and Construction. She was elected trustee and then chairwoman of the St. Boniface School Board and sat on the executive of the Manitoba Association of School Trustees.
AUG. 26 — Russell Johnstone, 93. He was a champion bowler. He grew up in his father’s 10-pin bowling alley and not surprisingly both he and his brother picked up the sport. He was the city’s 10-pin bowling champion in 1961, and was inducted into the Manitoba Bowling Hall of Fame in the 1990s.
AUG. 29 — Maara Haas, 92. She was a writer. Her writing career began when she was awarded first prize by the Independent Order of the Daughters of the Empire for her essay Let No Man Dare to Call Me Foreigner when she was 15. She wrote the books The Street Where I Live in 1976 and On Stage with Maara Haas in 1986. She was honoured with an honorary doctorate from the Free Academy of Arts and Sciences in Kiev, Ukraine, for her work in translation.
SEPT. 2 — Bud Foster, 95. He supported golf in the province. He was born in Ontario and moved to Winnipeg in 1929. After serving in the Second World War, he was employed by CN Rail and then Supercrete. He played many rounds of golf at the Canoe Club, Charleswood Golf Club and Elmhurst Golf and Country Club. While at Elmhurst, he was its president from 1970 to 1973. He served as president of the Manitoba Golf Association in 1979 and was on the rules committee of the Royal Canadian Golf Association from 1979 to 1989. He was inducted into the Manitoba Golf Hall of Fame in the builder category in 2006.
SEPT. 4 — Charles Marshall, 80. He was an award-winning interior designer. There was nowhere in the country to study his love of fashion and costume design, so he graduated with a degree in interior design from the University of Manitoba. He began teaching in the department and went on to head it. He was a founding member of the Interior Designers of Canada Foundation. His practice, Grant Marshall Interiors, designed interiors across the country. He opened a boutique for women’s clothing, The Third Step, in 1965. He designed the interior for the Anne Ross Daycare Centre, for which he received the Premier’s Award for Excellence for Interior Design, and the Ronald MacDonald House. He designed costumes and sets for the Royal Winnipeg Ballet and was a board member of the RWB and Rainbow Stage. He was inducted into the Rainbow Stage Wall of Fame in 2009.
SEPT. 6 — Murray Anderson, 86. He played the trumpet. He was born in Winnipeg Beach and adopted because his mother died giving birth to him. He took piano lessons for seven years but switched to trumpet when he 15 after hearing Harry James play. He played reveille during the Second World War and with the Canadian Armoured Corps Band. After the war, he began playing in Winnipeg dance bands and a few years later was fronting his own bands and on his own radio programs on CKY and CKRC. His band, the CKY Playboys, was invited to play several times at Winnipeg Blue Bombers games.
SEPT. 9 — Ross Smith, 78. He helped his community of Portage la Prairie. He was born in Ottawa and joined the RCMP in 1955. He was posted in several detachments in Manitoba during the next 24 years. He retired and became an insurance adjuster in Portage la Prairie for the next 23 years. He served as a city councillor for 18 years and chaired several civic committees. He was on the Portage Hospital board and was president of the Yellowhead Highway Association. He also served the Portage Library Board and was director of ARC Industries.
SEPT. 10 — Allan Mackenzie, 80. He commanded pilots and businesses. He was born in Jamaica and moved to Canada in 1950 to join the Royal Canadian Air Force. He advanced through the ranks and was appointed chief of staff for the Canadian Air Force in 1978. He left the air force in 1980 to become vice-president and chief operating officer of Gendis Inc., being promoted to president and CEO in 1989. He also served a year as president of Sony of Canada. He was honoured with the Commander of the Order of Military Merit, an officer of the Order of St. John’s and this year the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal. He was made honorary chairman of the Manitoba Provincial Committee of the Air Cadet League of Canada in 2010.
SEPT. 12 — George Smith, 78. He kept Santa Claus alive in Winnipeg. He spent almost 40 years with the Winnipeg Fire Department, retiring as battalion chief. He formed the Winnipeg Fire Prevention and Education committee and did fire safety promotions with the media. While with the East Kildonan Fire Department, he bought the Santa Claus Parade from Eaton’s in 1966 for $1.50 with St. Vital firefighter George Killen. The pair ran the parade for years until giving it to the Jaycees in the mid-1970s. He was honoured with the Premier’s Volunteer Service Award in 2008 for his leadership of the Toy Mountain Campaign.
SEPT 12 — Felicite Warner, 87. She helped children learn to love books. She was born in England and came to Canada after marrying in 1952. When her kids were young, and looking for something for them to do after school, she and another mother brought in ringette. The two women were inducted into the Manitoba Ringette Hall of Fame in 1990. She served as a Fort Garry School Division trustee for 12 years. She started working for the children’s bookstore Growing Minds and after it went out of business joined McNally Robinson. While there she wrote Fel’s Faves and was so successful selling her favourite book, Slinky Malinki, that the New Zealand-based author called to thank her. She also told the bookstore to start selling a book not yet available in Canada featuring a character named Harry Potter.
SEPT. 18 — Herbert Allen, 87. He loved fishing and the outdoors. At the age of 16, he became the youngest licenced pilot in Canada. He was involved with the Manitoba Game and Fish Association, which led to his hosting an outdoor show on television. He invented a net rule still used as the principle tool for net measurement and he pioneered colour-tinted nets. He was given an award from the federal government for pioneering the distribution of this province’s fish to Europe and Japan.
SEPT. 18 — Bingo, 14. Her bark was heard around the world. A Jack Russell terrier, she came to be with a Manitoba family after her Ontario owner heard their child needed a trained dog to alert the parents when their son stopped breathing and began choking. After years of service, during which the dog alerted the family countless times, the grateful boy created a Lick-it list, which brought his dog treats from people around the world and gained the pair worldwide media attention. The foundation for Cesar Millan, the Dog Whisperer, has set up a charity fund in the dog’s memory.
SEPT. 20 — Jack Henderson, 85. He was the city’s fire chief. He was born in Norwood and joined the St. Boniface Fire Department in 1947. He rose through the ranks and became Fort Garry fire chief in 1972. After the department amalgamated with Winnipeg’s fire department with Unicity, he worked in several positions and became the city’s fire chief in 1985. He retired in 1991.
SEPT. 22 — Stanley Kolt, 83. He valued education. He received his PhD in education after studying and getting degrees at the University of Manitoba, Chicago and North Dakota. He was a teacher and administrator in the Winnipeg School Division for years. He was on the board of the Manitoba Teachers’ Society, president of the St. John Cantius Fraternal Aid Society and president of Czas, the Polish language newspaper.
SEPT. 24 — Elbert Chartrand, 60. He helped the Métis people. He was mayor of Duck Lake in the late 1970s. He worked at the Swan River Friendship Centre for 30 years, 29 of which he was executive director. He was elected to the board of the Manitoba Metis Federation and served as finance minister and vice-president of the northwest region.
SEPT. 29 — Bill Hobbs, 85. He was a doctor who became known for his paintings of railways. He was born in England and practised as a doctor in rural areas there. He immigrated to Canada and practised in Gainsborough, Sask., where he also became mayor and was key to seeing the paving of the streets and the construction of a public swimming pool. He moved his practice to Regina, where he opened one of the first walk-in clinics. After retiring to rural Manitoba and then Brandon, he picked up his paint brush full time and became one of the country’s most famous railway artists. A copy of one of his paintings was presented to Queen Elizabeth as the province’s gift during her last visit here.
SEPT. 30 — Robert de von Flindt, 76. He is the father of child psychology in the province. He was born in New Jersey and received his masters and PhD degrees in clinical psychology at Arizona State University. He was recruited to Winnipeg in 1970 to set up the first child psychology internship program at the University of Manitoba. He was the program’s first training director and was a longtime mentor to generations of child psychologists in the city.
OCT. 5 — Sheila Rabinovitch, 98. She was an award-winning journalist. She was born in Saskatchewan and came to Winnipeg in 1926 after her father built the Brooklands Hotel. After going to the University of Manitoba, she moved to Toronto and worked as a journalist, becoming department editor at Industrial Canada magazine. She later came back to Manitoba where she jointed the Women’s Committee at the Winnipeg Art Gallery and taught art in schools. She started a new career as a writer-broadcaster for CBC Radio, where she won awards for her documentaries, including one on Cora Hind, and was nominated for an ACTRA Award for one on Ralph Connor.
OCT. 5 — Bob Douglas, 80. He helped farmers and the community. He grew up on the family farm near Minnedosa and became involved in 4-H. He was elected chairman of the first National 4-H Youth Council in 1950. He was appointed youth director for the Manitoba Federation of Agriculture and Co-operation in 1956, and through this he became director and manager of its residential youth camp at Clear Lake, Camp Wannakumbac, until 1987. He was a founder of the Manitoba Farm Bureau and became its executive secretary. He was part of the creation of Keystone Agricultural Producers and was its first general manager. He was inducted into the Manitoba Agricultural Hall of Fame in 2004. He was elected city councillor for Stevenson-Grant’s Mill in Winnipeg from 1982 until 1992, and was chairman of the protection, parks and culture committee.
OCT. 5 — Dale Rempel, 49. He was involved in the growth of Morris. He was born there and worked in Morden after graduating from the University of Manitoba. He created Dale’s Hail for crop insurance while in his first year of university. He moved back to Morris in 1990 and began Rempel Insurance Brokers. He was a past president of the Insurance Brokers Association of Canada and had just completed the 2011-12 term as president of the Insurance Brokers Association of Canada. He was a president of the Morris Community Development Corporation and was a director of the Valley Ag Society and Manitoba Stampede. He was key to bringing the Pembina Valley Twisters Junior Hockey Club to Morris and was the club’s president.
OCT. 6 — Jayantilal Raichura, 79. He helped people who couldn’t help themselves. He was born in Uganda. He studied law in England before returning to Uganda to work as a lawyer. He left for Winnipeg in 1966 with his family joining him a few months later. He was appointed the province’s Public Trustee in 1974 and stayed in the position until retiring in 1990. A lawyer by profession, he was appointed a Queen’s Counsel in 1982.
OCT. 8 — Eric Barthel, 78. He worked as an accountant with his dad and then opened his own private practice, EC Barthel and Associates, helping his clients for almost 60 years. He was president of the German Canadian Business and Professional Association of Manitoba and president of the Hansa Credit Union.
OCT. 11 — Bill Ezinicki, 88. He got his nickname with his punishing body checks. He was born in Winnipeg and started playing hockey while a child. His professional career began with the Winnipeg Rangers and then the Oshawa Generals, which won the 1944 Memorial Cup. He was known as ‘Wild Bill’ with the Toronto Maple Leafs during which he played on three consecutive Stanley Cup championships (1947 to 1949), and two All-Star games (1947, 1948). After he hung up his skates, he played golf and won the New England PGA championship in 1956 and 1958, as well as other championships through the years. He was inducted into the Manitoba Hockey Hall of Fame, the Toronto Maples Leafs Hall of Fame, the New England PGA Hall and Fame and the Massachusetts Golf Association Hall of Fame.
OCT. 17 — Richard Appleby, 89. A silly old bear has him to thank for being immortalized in statues. He was president of the University of Manitoba’s student union while getting his law degree. After graduation, he and a friend were active in the oil industry and land development. He was president of the Young Liberals Federation of Canada, the Manitoba Liberal Association, and the Manitoba division of the Canadian Amateur Swimming Association. He was a St. Boniface alderman for six years and then became the community’s city solicitor. He formed the Winnie the Bear commemorative committee with a friend and their wives, which led to the creation of a statue of Harry Colebourn and Winnie, the bear cub he adopted and the inspiration for Winnie the Pooh. The statue is located in zoos in both Winnipeg and London, England. For Appleby’s role in the project, the sculptor put an apple at the base of the statues.
OCT. 18 — David Grant, 90. He supported the community. He was a chartered accountant before the Second World War, but upon his return from the navy he went into the sporting goods industry, working for Cooper Canada for most of his career. He was president of the Kiwanis Club of Winnipeg and a member of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers executive committee and the baseball organizing committee for the 1967 Pan Am Games. He was also a board member of what was then called the Fort Whyte Nature Centre.
OCT. 21 — Vera Watowich. She helped Ukrainian-Canadian students. She received her degrees at the University of Manitoba and became the first female lecturer/researcher in the medicine school’s department of bacteriology. She was a leader in founding the Ukrainian Canadian Students’ Union and was its first president from 1953 to 1958.
OCT. 25 — Hugh Shirley, 74. He made his living with paints but dreamed like Walt Disney. He came to Winnipeg after serving in the navy and established Imperial Paints, which he operated for 50 years. In the 1980s, the businessman unsuccessfully tried to create a Disneyland-like theme park named Huggieland, complete with the seven dwarfs and an enchanted castle, before turning in recent years to a new dinosaur theme park concept, Triassic Park, which he hoped to build on Crown land east of the city.
OCT. 26 — Paul Chyzzy, 79. His fists took him to the top. He was born in Sylvan and went to school in various places including Arborg and St. Paul’s College. He was sparring with a friend when his boxing talent was noted so he was asked to join the Crescent Boxing Club. He became the Manitoba Middle Weight Champ in 1953 and was crowned Canadian Middle Weight Champ in 1954. He later joined the Brooklands Police Force and the Grand Beach Police Patrol.
OCT. 29 — Richard Osicki. His paths were journalism and religion. He received a degree in philosophy and political science at Loyola College and then earned a masters in theology at the University of Dayton. He became a journalist and media producer at CBC radio, becoming executive producer of Identities. He was communications director at Nortel and invented the term ‘intelligent universe.’ He was spokesman and communications director for the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Winnipeg and established the communications and media program at Providence College.
OCT. 30 — Ruby Ashdown, 89. She collected porcelain. She was born in Dauphin and moved to Winnipeg with her family during the Depression. She graduated with an economics degree and worked at Great West Life until she married at the end of the Second World War. She bought a few pieces of antique porcelain early in her marriage and her collection began. Two years ago, she donated more than 200 pieces of 18th- and 19th-century British porcelain to the Winnipeg Art Gallery to create the WAG’s Ruby Ashdown Porcelain Collection. She was a consultant to both the WAG and the Royal Ontario Museum.
OCT. 31 — Harold Backman, 91. He was dedicated to helping Lundar and area. He was a beef and dairy farmer and Lundar’s postmaster. He served 12 years as a municipal councillor, was a Morning Star and Lundar School District trustee, president of the local Legion, and secretary-treasurer of the Lundar Seniors Home and the Lundar Elks Lodge. He received the Premier’s Volunteer Award for his service.
NOV. 2 — Michael Baragar, 81. Thanks to him, many Winnipeggers speak French. He graduated from Kelvin High School and went to both the Universities of Winnipeg and Manitoba. He worked in the chemical industry. He was elected to the Winnipeg School Division and he was chairman in the 1970s. During his time as trustee, he was instrumental in introducing French Immersion to local schools.
NOV. 3 — Errol Black. He was a labour activist. He grew up in Brandon’s east end and went to the East End Community Centre as a teen. Later in life, married with kids, he worked in the centre’s canteen. He was an economics professor at Brandon University for 30 years and was a Brandon city councillor for 12 years. He published several books on the history of the labour movement in Manitoba and Brandon and, with two other people, founded the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives-Manitoba. He was honoured with the Joe Zuken Citizen Activist Award for 2012, the Order of the Buffalo Hunt, and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal. A park in Brandon’s east end is named in his honour.
NOV. 3 — Wade Kojo Williams, 63. He worked to help people in the local African and Caribbean community. He was born in St. Vincent and the Grenadines but immigrated here and became a police officer. He later became a teacher and worked with youth groups. He founded numerous human and minority rights organizations in the city including the Manitoba Coalition of Organizations Against Apartheid and racism, the Forum for the Awareness of the Minority Electorate, Students Against Apartheid and the Calypso Association of Winnipeg.
NOV. 6 — Norm Sundstrom, 71. He was prominent in the legal community. After graduating from high school, he worked in several northern communities with the Hudson’s Bay Company to earn enough money to go to university. After graduating with an arts degree from the University of Manitoba, he taught at the Elm Creek High School before going back to get his law degree. He started at Legal Aid Manitoba and then opened his own practice. He was appointed a magistrate in 1990. He retired in 2010. His 2009 decision to toss nine photo radar tickets issued in construction zones with no workers present resulted in the cancellation of hundreds of tickets.
NOV. 7 — Carol Smith, 88. She helped veterans. She was active at the Royal Canadian Legion, Branch 141, starting in 1973, and she volunteered in numerous positions including vice-president of the Ladies Auxiliary, and Colour Party Sergeant at Arms. She was honoured with the Jubilee medal in 1986, a life membership, the Queen’s Pin, and the Meritorious Service award.
NOV. 8 — Paul Platz, 92. He was a champion hockey player. He was born in Winnipeg and while playing left wing for the Winnipeg Monarchs he won three provincial championships. He turned pro with the Chicago Blackhawks in 1940 and played against NHLers in the Armed Services League from 1941 to 1945. He was inducted into the Manitoba Hockey Hall of Fame in 1990, and is in the Nova Scotia Sports Hall of Fame as a member of the Sydney Millionaires.
NOV. 10 — David Mackling, 92. He worked for peace. He was born and educated in St. James. He loved singing and sang with the Winnicords and then the Pine Tones, which sang at Rainbow Stage and the Hollow Mug, and served a year as president of the Winnipeg Chapter Chorus. He became active in the peace movement and was chairman of the Manitoba Peace Council and a delegate to World Peace Council conferences in Moscow, Warsaw and Sofia. He was president of the Canada-USSR Association for several years.
NOV. 23 — Izzy Peltz, 91. He helped both the Jewish and wider community. He was born in Romania while his parents were moving from Russia to Canada. He became an accountant and financial advisor. He was involved with helping the B’nai Brith Lodge in West Kildonan, the Jewish Foundation of Manitoba and the Winnipeg Jewish Theatre. He became executive director of the Winnipeg Jewish Community Council in 1974 until he retired in 1986, staying on as a director of the foundation until 1991.
NOV. 24 — John Arondeus, 91. He loved lacrosse. He was born in Elmwood and began playing lacrosse at the Kelvin Community Club. He was inducted into the Manitoba Lacrosse Hall of Fame as a player, builder and coach of the national 1954 and 1955 Minto Cup champions. He was owner of Kelvin Electric and served as president of the Kiwanis Club of East Kildonan.
DEC. 2 — Allan Poapst, 88. He was in real estate and helped people around the world. He was with Stevenson and Company and served as president of the Canadian Real Estate Association, the Manitoba Real Estate Association, and the Appraisal Institute of Canada. He was appointed to the Canadian delegation for the United Nations Commission on Human Settlement for five years in the 1980s.
DEC. 2 — Alexandra Schultz, 75. She was a teacher who helped her community of Morris by volunteering. She retired from Roseau Valley School in 1995. She was chairwoman of the RM of Franklin’s centennial book committee, the Morris Hospital Board, and the Franklin Service to Seniors. She was also vice-chairwoman of the Boundary School Board and the Borderland School Board.
DEC. 6 — Aaron Orlikow, 90. He was a pharmacist and last of a prominent trio of brothers. He grew up in Elmwood with his brothers David and Lionel. He graduated from the University of Manitoba as a pharmacist and, with his brother David, bought a drug store on Main Street at Atlantic Avenue and renamed it Orlikow Drugs. Later he started working for the province’s advisory committee on drug purchasing. He was honoured with the Queen’s Golden Jubilee award in 1982, and was named Pharmacist of the Year in Manitoba.
DEC. 7 — Eric Cox, 84. He was a priest who ended up supervising inmates across the province. He was born in England and at 16 joined the Merchant Navy during the Second World War. Coming to Winnipeg, he studied theology at St. John’s College and was ordained an Anglican priest with his first parish at Old St. Andrews. He opened an Anglican halfway house for girls on St. Cross Street before becoming the first Anglican chaplain at Headingley Correctional Institution. He was later appointed the jail’s superintendent and rose to become the province’s director of corrections. After he retired, he was appointed a magistrate.
DEC. 8 — Peter Dyck, 66. He kept people in Steinbach informed about their community. He studied science at the University of Manitoba and was working as a chemist at Inco in Thompson when he changed career directions and became a reporter at The Carillon in Steinbach. He started as a reporter and rose to become editor during his 44 years with the paper, helping it win national and international awards. He was taking photos of Christmas lights for the paper’s annual holiday edition the night before he died. He was recently awarded the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal.
DEC. 8 — May Rodway, 95. She was the writing nun. After she finished school she took her vows with the Fille de la Croix (Sisters of the Cross) and pronounced her last vows in 1942. She taught English and Home Economics in St. Claude, St. Malo, St. Adolphe and Lafleche, Sask. She wrote three books when she retired including A Man for Then and Now about Andre-Hubert Fournet.
DEC. 9 — Doug Lamb, 77. Actor and former MP Tina Keeper wouldn’t be alive if not for him. He was one of the sons of the founder of Lamb Air who helped pioneer the air industry up north. He was flying on the west side of the province when he heard RCMP officers talking about a child — Keeper — at Cedar Lake who would likely die of pneumonia without medical intervention. He flew there and landed in a blinding snowstorm, needing the child’s father to set the plane upright with a bombardier before flying the child to The Pas.
DEC. 23 — Tobasonakwut Kinew, 76. The Anishinaabe elder and University of Winnipeg educator was a residential school survivor. He worked to bring about reconciliation by embracing indigenous people from other nations, non-aboriginal people and people from other religions. He served as Grand Chief of Grand Council Treaty 3 and as the first Ontario regional chief of the Assembly of First Nations.
Kevin Rollason is one of the more versatile reporters at the Winnipeg Free Press. Whether it is covering city hall, the law courts, or general reporting, Rollason can be counted on to not only answer the 5 Ws — Who, What, When, Where and Why — but to do it in an interesting and accessible way for readers.