It was a year that saw the passing of an aboriginal leader who said no, a longtime peace activist and perennial mayoral candidate, a woman who died on her own terms, a prominent business leader, a pillar of justice and a grocer who fought for low milk prices.

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It was a year that saw the passing of an aboriginal leader who said no, a longtime peace activist and perennial mayoral candidate, a woman who died on her own terms, a prominent business leader, a pillar of justice and a grocer who fought for low milk prices.

Elijah Harper

Elijah Harper was born on Red Sucker First Nation in 1949, and attended residential schools before enrolling at the University of Manitoba.

Elijah Harper


Elijah Harper

He was elected chief of his reserve in 1978 and held the position until he successfully contested the 1981 provincial election to become NDP MLA for Rupertsland — the first treaty aboriginal to be a provincial politician.

Harper rose to become minister of northern affairs before the minority Pawley government was defeated in a nonconfidence vote and the Filmon government came to power in 1988.

Two years later, Harper became known across the country when he held an eagle feather and said his famous "no," refusing to vote in favour of allowing a vote in the Manitoba legislature for the Meech Lake accord.

A unanimous vote was needed. Because of Harper’s stance, Manitoba, as well as Newfoundland, didn’t vote in favour of the accord, and it died.

For taking this action, Harper was voted Newsmaker of the Year by The Canadian Press.

"The problem is we, as aboriginal people, have not been dealt with fairly, and also the governments have not dealt with the aboriginal issues the way we would like them to have," Harper told CBC during the debate over Meech Lake at the time.

Harper later sat for one term as a Liberal MP and was the commissioner of the Indian Claims Commission for several years. He died last May in Ottawa of complications connected to diabetes at age 64.

Nick Ternette

For years, Nick Ternette was a common sight on the downtown streets of Winnipeg during peace marches, constantly wielding a bullhorn and yelling out "What do we want?" to get the response, "Peace."

Nick Ternette


Nick Ternette

Ternette’s name was also seen many times on mayoral ballots, as he used civic election campaigns as a soapbox to push for issues that concerned people at the lower end of the economic spectrum.

But in recent years, Ternette was more commonly seen going around downtown in a wheelchair after losing his legs to an illness in 2009. He died in March at age 68.

"Manitoba has lost a dedicated champion of the people," Premier Greg Selinger said at the time of Ternette’s death.

Ternette was born in West Berlin in 1945 and came to Canada when he was 10.

Besides working in the peace movement, Ternette also helped found Klinic and in the 1960s, he taught a revolution course at the Free University to help the hippies who came to the city.

Right up to his death, Ternette continued to speak out. In his final years, he was chairman of the editorial board of Better Times, a free newsletter published by Winnipeg Harvest for its clients.

Robert Chipman

If not for Robert Chipman, Winnipeg might never have got back into the NHL.

Robert Chipman


Robert Chipman

Chipman, who died in September at age 87, started with owning a single car dealership in 1963, and grew the company to become Megill-Stephenson, with interests including real estate, automotive, construction, financial services and sports.

It’s also how his family was able to buy the Manitoba Moose, build the MTS Centre and then purchase an NHL hockey team more than two years ago.

During the official announcement that True North had bought the Atlanta Thrashers, Chipman told the Free Press "I’ve been saying for a number of years that Winnipeg lacked two things — a National Hockey League team and IKEA.

"I think Winnipeg now has equal status with Montreal, Toronto, Calgary, Edmonton, Ottawa and Vancouver as a truly important Canadian city."

Alfred Monnin

Alfred Monnin judged Manitobans for decades.

Alfred Monnin, seen in a1998 photo


Alfred Monnin, seen in a1998 photo

As a lawyer, he was appointed a Court of Queen’s Bench justice in 1957, the same year the Soviet Union launched its Sputnik satellite, West Side Story debuted on Broadway, and Louis St. Laurent was prime minister.

Monnin went on to become a Court of Appeal justice five years later and chief justice in 1983. He retired in 1990.

After Monnin retired, he was appointed chairman of the inquiry into the 1995 provincial election, which resulted in his finding members of the Tory party tried to split the vote in three provincial ridings by financing third-party candidates.

At the conclusion, Monnin called the Tory members’ actions an "unconscionable debasement of a citizen’s right to vote."

"In all my years on the bench I have never encountered as many liars in one proceeding as I did during this inquiry."

Susan Griffiths

Susan Griffiths never entered the public realm for most of her life. It wasn’t until weeks before her death in April that she gained nationwide attention.

Susan Griffiths, 72, died surrounded by family at a Dignitas clinic near Zurich.


Susan Griffiths, 72, died surrounded by family at a Dignitas clinic near Zurich.

Griffiths, who was diagnosed with multiple systems atrophy, a rare, incurable brain disease, in 2012, chose to die by assisted suicide in Zurich because the procedure is illegal in Canada.

Because the 72-year-old Griffiths decided to tell the media what she was planning, she reignited the debate over assisted suicide.

Just before she flew to Switzerland, Griffiths wrote a letter to federal MPs asking them to reconsider the issue of doctorassisted suicide and "work very, very hard" toward making it legal in Canada.

"I would have preferred to die in Canada," she wrote, adding she was living with pain and if she stayed here, she would "eventually lie in bed heavily sedated, with mechanical contrivances and shifts of impersonal caregivers tending to my every bodily function. I have chosen not to live with this extended life sentence."

Joe Cantor

Joe Cantor wanted to sell groceries and help people on limited incomes. He ended up doing both.

Winnipeg grocer Joe Cantor in 1999.


Winnipeg grocer Joe Cantor in 1999.

Cantor, who died in May at age 88 of a massive heart attack after working a full day at the grocery store bearing his family’s last name, was a legend in the city.

He and his twin brother, Oscar, took over their dad’s grocery business in the mid-1940s and built it to the point it expanded into a new building on Logan Avenue just a few years ago.

It was the prices that kept customers coming back: Cantor’s son, Ed, said his dad "always believed in selling milk and bread below cost because it is basic food."

During the mid-1980s Cantor’s stance got him in trouble with the provincial government because he was selling milk for 16 cents less than the minimum price allowed by law. Cantor won the battle and the province discarded the minimum price.

Other passings

Jan. 1 -- Michael Cox, 78. He helped the city's movers and shakers feel at home in Western Canada's oldest private club. He trained as a chef in England and Switzerland before coming to Winnipeg in 1971 to manage the Manitoba Club. Other clubs offered him jobs in the years to come, but he served 28 years at the Manitoba Club before retiring.

Jan. 2 -- D'Arcy Best. He worked hard for the Princess Pats. He served with the Princess Patricia Canadian Light Infantry, was president of the National PPCLI Association and supported the PPCLI Army Cadets. He was treasurer and editor of the newsletter of the Manitoba and northwestern Ontario branch when he died. He was honoured with the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Award.

Jan. 3 -- Anton Pflug, 85. He served his cultural and religious community. He left Serbia for Canada in 1953, became a member of the German Society of Winnipeg and held several positions, including president. He was a founding board member of the Hansa Credit Union. He served as president of the Parochial Society of St. Joseph's Roman Catholic Church and was ambassador of the Majestic Alps Folklorama pavilion in 1990. He was honoured with the city's community service award in 1974.

Jan. 3 -- Jack Atchison, 89. He electrified the province and helped seniors sparkle. He joined Manitoba Hydro after coming to Canada with his family in 1956. His 32-year career saw him help develop the utility's first DC transmission line, then the world's longest, between northern Manitoba and Winnipeg, starting its export-services division. He also started up the University of Manitoba's high-voltage research laboratory. After retiring, he served several years as president of Creative Retirement Manitoba.

Jan. 3 -- Hy Beatty, 85. He kept hockey players in line. He was born in Winnipeg and was a chartered accountant by profession, but hockey was his passion. He played for the 1946 Memorial Cup champion Winnipeg Monarchs and later spent 15 years refereeing hockey in the MJHL, WHL and the OHA, as well as being president of the MJHL. He was inducted into the Manitoba Hockey Hall of Fame.

Jan. 4 — Jose (Joe) Sulit. He was a voice of the Filipino community. He came to Canada from the Philippines in 1974, with his wife and daughter joining him a few months later. Two years later, while working full time as a welder at New Flyer Industries, he joined CKJS 810 AM part-time to host the evening show Radyo Pilipino. He later left his New Flyer job to co-host Good Morning Philippines in 1989. He signed off on Dec. 19, 2008, after 32 years on CKJS.

Jan. 5 -- Joe Guy Wood, 71. He helped aboriginal people. He was born in Island Lake and served on the band council in the early 1970s before becoming chief for eight years. He later promoted aboriginal causes at the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs, Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak Inc. and the Island Lake Tribal Council. He was chairman of Northern Child and Family Services.

Jan. 5 -- Marijke Vogel, 84. She helped Manitoba children speak and hear. She was born in the Netherlands and came to Winnipeg with her husband and son in 1957. She worked as a speech therapist with the Manitoba Rehabilitation Hospital, the province's Child Development Services, and the Child Guidance Clinic. She was a founding member and first president of the Manitoba Speech and Hearing Association in 1958, a role she repeated in 1971.

Jan. 7 -- Hubert Bouillet, 89. He helped students and fought fires. He was born in Saskatchewan and came to Manitoba after the Second World War. In Gimli, he was a commissionaire at the RCAF Air Base in 1956 and later joined the Seagram Distillery. He served two terms on the Evergreen School Board, including one as chairman, and spent 20 years as the volunteer fire chief of the Gimli and RM fire department. He also served 10 years on the Manitoba Fire Chiefs Association board.

Jan. 7 -- Denis Cloutier, 77. He was a broadcaster. He worked with CBC and was part of the broadcast teams for the 1976 Olympics and 1978 Commonwealth Games. He moved to Stonewall, then opened his own radio station in Selkirk, CFQX FM, which is now Winnipeg's No. 1 country radio station. He founded the Manitoba Classic and Antique Auto Club.

Jan. 8 — Katherine Wowchuk, 111. She was the province’s oldest person. She was born in Austria and came to Canada with her family at 14, settling near Arborg. She married and lived on a homestead near Fisher Branch where she raised four children with no running water and a wood stove. She lived there until moving into a personal care home at 97.

Jan. 9 -- Francis Muldoon. He helped improve our laws. He was a Winnipeg lawyer for 14 years before being named chairman of the Manitoba Law Reform Commission in 1970. Because of his success in that position, he was appointed vice-president and then president of the Law Reform Commission of Canada. He was appointed a Federal Court justice in 1983 and served until retiring in 2001. His decisions included awarding retroactive Canada Pension Plan benefits to aboriginals working on reserves.

Jan. 11 -- Mitrat Oucharyk, 91. He built a Ukrainian Catholic church. He was ordained in Winnipeg to the diaconate in 1945 and ordained to the priesthood in 1946. While pastor in Sifton, he reconstructed the church and rectory and the nursing home, and while in Dauphin he built a parish church and hall, developed a catechetical centre and was active in constructing the St. Paul Personal Care Home. He was honoured by being appointed vicar general for the Archeparchy of Winnipeg in 2001.

Jan. 12 -- Ashley Thomson, 91. He was a pioneer in helping people with kidney disease. He was born in Saskatchewan and finished his medical degree at the U of M. He was awarded the Chown Prize in Surgery in 1945. He was interested in cardiac research but with limited technology here, he went to Philadelphia to see a blood-pressure monitor, then had a machinist and electrical engineer build one in Winnipeg. He also built his own dialysis machine in 1954, enabling the province's first hemodialysis treatments in 1957. He was instrumental in the formation of the Kidney Foundation of Canada's Manitoba branch in 1969.

Jan. 16 -- Diane Swan, 72. Her blood helped thousands of babies. She was born in Winnipeg and donated the Rh antibodies in her blood plasma more than 1,000 times to the Winnipeg Rh Institute to save the lives of babies of Rh mothers.

Jan. 20 -- Arthur Wellby, 71. He was a legend in local boxing. He was born in Pakistan and moved to England as a child. He began boxing in England and won the Nationals in 1963. He joined the Manitoba Boxing Commission in 1980 as a boxing referee and judge and refereed many of the country's best boxers including Donny Lalonde and Dan Vandal.

Jan. 26 -- Jean Delorme. She was a Transcona booster. She ran the Miss Transcona Pageant for more than two decades and organized a reunion with the past winners during Transcona's centennial in 2012. She was involved with the Transcona Hi Neighbour Festival and was responsible for getting the mascot, Hi Neighbour Sam, moved back to Transcona. She was honoured with the Mayor's Award and the Queen's Diamond Jubilee award for her volunteer work.

Feb. 2 -- Harold Hurst, 95. He treated people's skin. He was born in Winnipeg and did his medical training at St. Boniface General Hospital. During the Second World War, he was trained in tropical diseases when deployed to the South Seas. After the war, he did graduate study in dermatology and when he returned to Winnipeg, he was one of only five dermatologists in Western Canada. He was president of the Canadian Dermatology Association, head of the dermatology section at HSC, and associate professor at the U of M.

Feb. 7 -- Pat Ball, 86. She made figure skating bigger in the province. She began designing and making costumes for the Winnipeg Figure Skating Club in 1959, continuing for more than 30 years. She became a member of the club's executive two years later and then went on to become an executive member of the Canadian Figure Skating Association's Manitoba branch as well as a CFSA judge. She was inducted into the Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame in 1994.

Feb. 12 -- Sylvia Bowers, 100. She survived the Second World War to help a rural community in Manitoba. She was born in England. During the Second World War, a building she was working in was bombed and she was buried alive in the rubble. She survived there for three days until being rescued. She came to Canada as a war bride and lived in Amaranth. While there, she was president of the Langruth Legion Ladies Auxiliary and part of the Amaranth Women's Institute.

Feb. 13 -- Terry Tergesen, 79. He was raised in a Gimli shopkeeping family, but his heart was in architecture. He graduated from architecture in 1958 and set up an architecture firm in 1962. He designed hospitals, seniors homes and apartment buildings. He was president of the Icelandic Festival of Manitoba in 1979 and 1980.

Feb. 14 -- Ranendra Sinha, 73. He helped get rid of bugs in grain. He became a research officer at Winnipeg's Agricultural Canada Research Station in 1957. He became an expert on protecting stored grain from insects, mites and microflora. He was the first Manitoban to be honoured with the Entomological Society of Canada's gold medal for outstanding achievement in 1985. He founded the Yoga Society of Manitoba.

Feb. 17 — Marty Halprin. He loved to ride a bike. He started to ride when he was in his teens and kept riding.He went on to compete in triathlons and Ironman competitions. With his wife, Celia, he founded Mint Ventures, which became Celia’s Jewellery and later was named Marty’s Diamond and Gold Exchange. He died after completing a 24-hour mountain bike race in Nevada.

Feb. 21 -- Norm Oman, 82. He promoted men's health. He was a pharmacist and owned Salter Drugs, across from St. John's High School. He decided to switch careers and become a teacher and helped produce several theatre productions at schools. After his diagnosis with prostate cancer, he worked to found the Manitoba Prostate Cancer Support Group and establish the Prostate Cancer wing at CancerCare Manitoba.

Feb. 24 -- Rick Smoke, 50. He helped quarterback the country's junior football program. Junior football was his life. He volunteered and coached with the Winnipeg Hawkeyes, Winnipeg Rods, St. Vital Senior Mustangs and St. Vital Junior Mustangs. He was a past president of the Manitoba Junior Football League and, until his passing, had been on the executive of the Canadian Junior Football League for more than 25 years.

Feb. 26 -- Jim Ferguson, 87. He was a farmer who became a politician. He farmed in Helston and volunteered at organizations in Gladstone. He was elected as MLA for Gladstone in 1969 and served as Conservative party whip and legislative assistant to then-agriculture minister Jim Downey before retiring in 1981.

March 1 -- Gary Gross, 74. Music was his life. He began music lessons at age four and won the Eaton's Good Deed Talent Contest at age eight. He taught at several music schools before founding a chain of seven rural stores and studios. He played in several nightclubs, once in the Gary Gross Quartette. He later moved to Toronto, where he appeared on TV shows such as Front Page Challenge and The Friendly Giant.

March 6 — Sandi Funk, 63. She helped the aboriginal community.

She was born in Winnipeg and began working with the Department of Veterans Affairs. In 1984, she became interested in her aboriginal roots and began working and volunteering to help that community for the next three decades. She was executive director of the Original Women’s Network.

March 3 -- Lawrence Cormack, 84. He was a proud Scot. He was born in Moosomin and moved to Scotland when he was four. He moved back to Canada in 1948 and spent 33 years with the Scarborough Board of Education before coming to Winnipeg, where he was director of the Scottish Heritage Council of Manitoba and co-chairman of the Tartan Day committee. When he died, he was president of the Winnipeg Robert Burns Club and on the board of the St. Andrews Society of Winnipeg.

March 20 -- David Anderson, 80. He backstopped the University of Winnipeg's athletic programs. He joined the University of Winnipeg in the 1970s and pioneered the athletic programs still there today. He established what is now the Wesmen Classic, developed the school's athletic scholarships, and helped develop the Duckworth Centre. For his efforts, the gymnasium inside the Duckworth Centre was named after him.

March 22 -- Barry McQueen, 78. Sports was his passion. He began playing sports in junior high and went on to win the city championships with Daniel McIntyre High School, before joining the Winnipeg Rods and then the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in 1956. He went on to become chairman of Winnipeg Enterprises and a director of Assiniboia Downs.

March 25 -- Wayne Fleming, 62. Hockey was in his blood. He played hockey in high school before joining the University of Manitoba's hockey team, first as a player, then as coach. He became an assistant coach with the New York Islanders in 1997 and went on to coach several NHL teams. He was also part of Canada's silver-medal team at the 1992 Olympics and gold-medal team in 2002. He was honoured by being inducted into the Manitoba Hockey Hall of Fame.

March 30 -- Victor Sobkowich, 90. He helped blind people dance. During his architectural career, he designed numerous buildings, including the Holy Family Ukrainian Catholic Church on Grant Avenue -- a design featured in Architectural Digest magazine in 1962. He met his wife, Betty, at a dance and they later became founding members of the Westview Dance Club in 1968. The couple also taught clients at the CNIB how to dance.

March 31 — Craig Walls, 64. He loved the theatre. He was theatre school director for the Manitoba Theatre for Young People and then artistic director of Agassiz Theatre, directing Maureen Hunter’s first three plays. He was executive producer of the Fringe Theatre Festival from 1992 to 1995 before becoming the director of the arts branch in the Department of Culture, Heritage and Tourism.

April 7 -- Betty Feniak, 92. She helped people get a meal. She began teaching at the U of M and rose to become a professor, department head, acting dean and associate dean of the faculty of home economics. She and a student piloted the Meals on Wheels program here and she was a past president of the Provincial Council of Women, the Canadian Home Economics Association and the Canadian Home Economics Foundation. She was honoured with a YWCA Woman of Distinction award and with the Order of Canada in 1988.

April 16 -- Hugh Comack, 89. He brought television channels into homes. He was a veteran of the Dieppe raid, and went on to become commanding officer and brigadier general of the Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders of Canada Reserve Unit. He was hired by the Manitoba Telephone System in 1948, and was chairman and producer of both the opening and closing ceremonies of the 1967 Pan Am Games. After that, he became president of Greater Winnipeg Cablevision until retiring in 1987. He was national chairman of the Canadian Cable Television Association and the Canadian Corps of Commissionaires.

April 26 -- Sandor Dusa, 78. He helped families go camping. He was born in Hungary and came to Canada as a young adult. He was part owner of the company that developed the Boler Trailer, the first lightweight camper made out of fibreglass. As the company's master mould-maker, he created the mould used to produce the thousands of trailers that got their name because they was shaped like a bowler hat.

April 30 -- Joan Anderson. She helped fight cancer. After her mother died of cancer, she began volunteering with the Canadian Cancer Society, ultimately rising to become the national vice-president and leading the committees that fought tobacco advertising and encouraged the use of sunscreens. She was a national board member for the PC Party of Canada and was on the boards of Prairie Theatre Exchange and other organizations. She was honoured with a Canada Volunteer Award, a Canada 125 Medal and an honorary life membership in the Canadian Cancer Society.

May 4 -- Royden Richardson, 59. He worked in finance and helped local communities where he lived. He spent 36 years working as a financial analyst with Richardson Securities and rose to become vice-president and director of marketing. He was an adviser and shareholder with James Richardson and Sons Ltd. He was a governor of Junior Achievement of Canada and a member of the investment committee of the David Suzuki Foundation.

May 7 -- Ken Blight, 79. He created a highway landmark and coached champion hockey teams. He was a farmer who, with his wife, started the Little Red Barn vegetable and fruit stand on the Trans-Canada Highway near Portage la Prairie. He coached the Oakville Seals to league championships from 1968 to 1974. He was inducted into the Manitoba Hockey Hall of Fame in 2009 as a member of the 1957 Poplar Point Memorials and the Manitoba Baseball Hall of Fame for his baseball prowess.

May 17 -- Linda Giesbrecht, 61. She judged many people. She grew up on a farm in the Plum Coulee area before graduating from the U of M's law school in 1976. She worked as a Crown attorney in Winnipeg, Dauphin and Portage la Prairie before being appointed a provincial court judge in 1988. She sat on the bench until retiring in 2010. She was the first woman to be president of the Provincial Judges Association of Manitoba.

May 25 -- Jim Duncan, 87. He was a legend in the cattle business. He was born on the family farm in the RM of North Norfolk and later raised his own cattle there. He expanded into a livestock order buyer operation and for more than 50 years was known as Gentleman Jim at Manitoba Auction Marts. He served on numerous boards, including the Brown Swiss Association, the Austin Credit Union, Manitoba Pool Elevators and the Manitoba Debt Review Board. He served on the RM of North Norfolk council for 23 years, 21 of them as reeve.

May 28 -- Omer Van Walleghem, 95. He produced milk. With his brother, he took over the family business, Royal Dairies, after their father died. He continued to manage the dairy even after it was sold to Beatrice Foods in 1965. He went on to become chairman of the Manitoba Milk Pricing Board and president of the Manitoba Dairy Association. He also raced and raised pigeons, was president of the Manitoba Pigeon Association and was considered in Winnipeg to be the Godfather of Racing Pigeons.

June 4 -- Harold Einarsson. He created a large curling rock. He owned Harold's barber shop in the West End and was co-owner of the SS Lord Selkirk. He was a president of the Manitoba Hair Stylists Association. He planned and supervised the building of the world's largest curling rock, a roadside attraction in Arborg.

June 5 — Dave Elias, 43. He was a champion curler. He was a two-time Manitoba men’s curling champion, playing on both the Mark Lukowich 2002 champion rink and the Randy Dutiaume 2005 champion rink.

June 14 -- Rod Bushie, 60. He was a leader of the aboriginal people. He was born in Hollow Water First Nation and later went on to become chief of that reserve for 18 years. He was elected grand chief of the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs in 1997. He was one of the architects of the transfer of aboriginal child welfare services to First Nations and Métis control.

June 16 -- John Muchin, 92. He helped people read Ukrainian books. He was born in Ukraine and came to Canada after the Second World War. When he arrived in Winnipeg in 1963, he was first a librarian at J. Richardson and Sons before becoming Slavic librarian and cataloguer at the U of M. He increased the Slavic collection from 5,000 to 56,000 items by 1990, and compiled a card catalogue of every Ukrainian book published in Canada. He also published two books.

June 22 -- Jose Poneira, 90. He played the piano. He was born in Germany and studied music in Switzerland. He developed his love for Latin music while living in Argentina and Cuba before moving to New York City and then Canada. He was on the cover of Life magazine playing at Prince Rainier and Grace Kelly's engagement party. He hosted CBC's national show A Song for You from 1962 to 1964 before becoming a fixture in the Fort Garry Hotel's Palm Room for more than 20 years.

June 27 -- Don Baizley, 71. He represented hockey stars. He first gained prominence when he represented WHA Winnipeg Jets superstars Anders Hedberg, Ulf Nilsson and Lars Erik Sjoberg. He went on to represent other stars, including Teemu Selanne, Joe Sakic, Peter Forsberg, Paul Kariya and Theoren Fleury. He was considered one of the most influential men in hockey and was a mediator during the NHL lockout in 2004-05. He was a member of the Manitoba Hockey Hall of Fame.

July 19 -- Joan Jarvis, 79. She was an artist who helped artists find a home. She was born in Kenora and enrolled in the U of M's faculty of fine arts in the 1970s. Her work, mostly in clay, garnered her a grants from the Manitoba Arts Council and Canada Council, one of which helped her research putting gemstones into porcelain. She was the driving force behind transforming the Exchange District's Gault Building into Artspace and the founding chairwoman of Artspace's board of directors.

Aug. 3 -- Ron Meadmore, 79. He worked and played on fields. He was a farmer who worked the fields in southern Manitoba until retiring in 1999. But he also played on the football field, playing seven seasons for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and three with the Saskatchewan Roughriders. He was a member of Grey Cup teams in 1958, 1959, and 1961 and was inducted into the Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame as a member of the 1958 Blue Bomber champion team.

Aug. 7 -- Peter Aitchison, 71. He climbed mountains. He was born in England and received his master's degree in mathematics in the United States followed by his doctorate in Australia. He was hired by the University of Manitoba as a professor of applied mathematics. He restarted the Alpine Club of Canada's Manitoba branch and developed the province's rock-climbing routes. He was honoured with the Alpine Club's Silver Rope Award for Leadership in 1989, and with fellow Mount Manitoba expedition members received the Order of the Buffalo Hunt in 1992. He died while climbing Mount Victoria.

Aug. 13 -- Paul Quinton, 87. He helped the community while cleaning suits. He was born in Winnipeg and served in the navy during the Second World War. He returned to the family business, Quinton's Cleaners and Launderers, and was president until he retired in 1987. He was commodore of the Winnipeg Canoe Club in 1954 and was on the board of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers for 15 years, serving as president in 1970 and 1971. He was inducted into the Bombers Hall of Fame in 1993 as a builder.

Aug. 14 -- Molly Robinson, 82. She was a pioneer in Thompson. She was instrumental in establishing the YWCA in Thompson and was executive director. She was a director and vice-chairwoman of the Manitoba Human Rights Commission and served as a city councillor and deputy mayor. She was president of the Thompson Chamber of Commerce, Thompson Nickel Days, the Northern Manitoba Recreation Association, the Manitoba Winter Games and the Gimli Art Club. She received several honours, including the Order of the Buffalo Hunt in 1998, and Thompson named a street for her, Robinson Way, in 1997.

Aug. 15 — Robert Taylor, 73. He took photos of wildlife. He developed the Saskatchewan Museum of Natural History’s audiovisual department before joining the Manitoba Museum of Man and Nature. He then began a 40-year career as one of North America’s foremost wildlife photographers, opening a gallery in Osborne Village and creating a publishing house. His books included The Manitoba Landscape — a Visual Symphony. Just before his death, he was inducted into the Order of the Buffalo Hunt.

Aug. 16 -- George Hrycak, 87. He tailored his help in the community. He grew up on a farm in Saskatchewan and came to Winnipeg as an adult to work in the garment industry. He opened Gregg's Men's Wear in 1950, expanding it to add Riverdale Sportswear and Gregg's Insurance and Realty in the years to come. He was president and honourary lifetime member of the Ukrainian National Federation -- Winnipeg branch.

Aug. 17 -- Vaughan Baird, 85. He fought for the French language in Manitoba. A lawyer, he successfully challenged the constitutionality of the province's English-only laws after another lawyer, Roger Bilodeau, was issued a speeding ticket in English. He also was a defence lawyer at the province's first French-only trial in 90 years. He pushed for federal funding to enclose the Pan Am Pool for the 1967 Pan Am Games. He helped found Sport Manitoba as well as a sports lottery that became the Western Canada Lottery Corporation. He established what is now Diving Canada and was honorary president at the time of his death. He founded the Aquatic Hall of Fame and Museum of Canada. He was inducted into the Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame in 1984 and the Order of Canada in 1992.

Aug. 18 — Winifred Paktong, 101. She was the first person of Chinese heritage born in the city. Her proud parents named her after the city. After her father retired as head cook at Health Sciences Centre, she went with her family to live in China and later married. When Japan invaded China in the Second World War, the family fled to French Indochina. She came to Canada with her children in the early 1950s.

Aug. 26 -- Alice Schultz, 98. She was a trailblazer in law enforcement. She was raised in Winnipeg but moved to Camper after her marriage. After they moved back to Winnipeg she became one of the first four policewomen hired by the Winnipeg Police Force in 1955. She worked for the police force for 20 years and after retiring, worked as a sheriff's officer for several years.

Aug. 26 — Bill Taylor, 68. He ran his own railway — albeit a small one. He was the president and founder of the Assiniboine Valley Railway. Every Christmas, many people would travel down the lit driveway of his Charleswood home to climb into small railway cars and be taken through his property past displays with thousands of lights. He was a past president of the Winnipeg Model Railroad Club and he owned W.A. Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Ltd.

Aug. 31 -- Norman Tilley, 96. He sold property. He farmed for about a dozen years, but because it was so far for his daughters to go to school, he sold the farm and moved to Portage la Prairie. He became a real estate broker, and for the next six decades, he sold residential, commercial and agricultural property. He helped found the Manitoba Real Estate Association and the Portage Real Estate Board and served as president of both organizations. He served as a city councillor from 1980 to 1986.

Sept. 5 -- Curtis Gray, 57. He helped make people secure. He was a DJ at dances before beginning to install alarms in the family business, AAA Alarm Systems. He rose to become owner and president, and with his co-owner sister they made the company the largest privately owned alarm company in Western Canada. He was chairman of the Winnipeg Convention Centre.

Sept. 8 -- Don Reichart, 81. He was an artist. He was born in Libau and later received his fine arts degree at the University of Manitoba before becoming a professor there. His work is in the National Gallery of Canada, Art Gallery of Ontario, and Canada Council Art Bank among other places.

Sept. 9 — Klaus Hochheim, 55. He was a Prairie boy who became an expert in sea ice. He was born and raised in Winnipeg and went to the University of Winnipeg and the University of Manitoba, earning his PhD in geography. He went on to work with the U of M’s Centre for Earth Observation Science. He was observing sea ice in the Arctic when the helicopter he was in crashed into the sea.

Sept. 12 -- Ken Little, 84. He was one of the province's greatest athletes and excelled in five sports. He was born in Winnipeg and dominated high school track, winning six city and six provincial titles in the 100- and 200-yard sprints and set five records. He helped the Winnipeg Maroons win two senior hockey championships in 1953 and 1954. He won the Manitoba Junior Championship as running back with the Weston Wildcats in 1949. He won baseball championships with the Rosedales and the St. Boniface Native Sons, being named an all-star in 1951 and 1953, and was offered a pro contract with Connie Mack's Philadelphia Athletics. He won two provincial curling championships as second on the Bruce Hudson rink in 1964 and 1967. He was named one of five finalists as Manitoba Male Amateur Athlete of the Century in 2000.

Sept. 12 -- James Ladd, 67. He helped people play football. He began playing organized football when he was 14 and he was a quarterback on the St. James Jets juvenile football team. Later he became a football coach, spending more than 30 years with the St. Vital Mustangs and the St. Paul's Crusaders. He helped found the Winnipeg Rifles Junior Football Club, was president of the Coaches Association of Manitoba for five years, and is responsible for raising the age of midget football to 19. He was inducted into the Manitoba Football Hall of Fame as a coach.

Sept. 19 — Joyce Collier, 74.
She was a golfer who helped promote the game across the country. She was president of the Manitoba Ladies Golf Association for three years, director of player development with the Canadian Ladies Golf Association from 1998 to 2000, and associate governor of the Royal Canadian Golf Association from 2006 to 2008. She was a driving force behind the formation of the Manitoba Golf Hall of Fame and Museum and was its president from 2003 to 2006.
She was honoured with induction into the Hall of Fame in 2012.

Sept. 26 -- Dennis Alvestad, 71. He coached champion girls basketball teams. When he was a student, he told people he couldn't wait to get out of school, yet he ended up spending his career in education. He started as a teacher at Norberry Junior High and retired from Dakota Collegiate. While at Dakota, he coached the Lancers to four provincial championships and was inducted into the Manitoba Basketball Hall of Fame with his teams in 1976, 1977 and 1979.

Oct. 25 --Alex Dobrowolski, 81. He was a lawyer who didn't forget helping the community. He worked as a railroad brakeman and fireman before joining the Royal Canadian Air Force. He was called to the bar in 1962. He volunteered with the Ukrainian National Federation and served on the Salvation Army Community Advisory Board, including a stint as president, and helped open several of the organization's downtown rehabilitation facilities. He was president of the local chapter of the Kiwanis Club.

Oct. 26 -- Beverley Treble, 76. She helped the next generation of farmers. She was born in Bowsman and graduated from the Children's Hospital School of Nursing in 1961, working as a nurse in Swan River until 1967. She volunteered with 4-H for more than 30 years, rising to be the Manitoba 4-H Council president in 1986. She assisted with the compilation of two community history books and was chairwoman of the Crystal City Printing Museum from 1991 to 2008.

Oct. 29 -- Gil Goodman, 79. He judged people. He graduated with his law degree in 1960 and became a Crown attorney a year later. He was appointed the city's chief prosecutor and then the province's director of prosecutions. As assistant deputy attorney general, he helped enact the province's family-law legislation in 1977. He was appointed a Court of Queen's Bench justice in 1984 and retired in 2009 on his 75th birthday.

Oct. 31 -- Bill Aitken, 78. He graded students and put out fires. While working at Arborg Junior High School, he was appointed the community's fire chief in 1972. Before leaving that position in 1985, he helped form the North Interlake Mutual Aid Fire District and was the first to use summer students to prepare detailed pre-fire plans of each public building in town to aid firefighters. He also served as president of the Kinsmen Club of Arborg.

Nov. 2 -- Norman Chartrand, 87. He ministered to people. He was born in Portage la Prairie and was ordained into the priesthood for the Archdiocese of Winnipeg in 1950. He was Parochial Vicar in Brandon and St. Mary's Cathedral in Winnipeg, and pastor in Portage la Prairie and Middlechurch. He was chancellor of the Archdiocese from 1956 to 1983 and was given the title monsignor from Pope John XXIII in 1961.

Nov. 17 -- Les Mundwiler, 69. He followed his ideals. He was born, raised and educated in the U.S., but came to Canada with his then-wife to renounce their American citizenship in protest of the Vietnam War. He went on to help found housing co-ops in Toronto and conducted research on it for the Manitoba government. He was the owner of Highbrow Books, a local bookstore and publisher, from 1984 until his death.

Nov. 18 -- Lucy Crawford, 90. She helped people hear. She graduated with a pharmacy degree from the University of Saskatchewan, becoming one of the three first female pharmacists in the country. After two of her children were diagnosed as deaf as infants, she began advocating for the hard-of-hearing and deaf. With the Consumers Association of Manitoba, she persuaded the provincial government to pass the Hearing Aid Act in 1972, and then persuaded Bell Telephone not to remove the magnetic coil in phone receivers that allow hearing aids to operate with them.

Nov. 20 -- Tom Scott, 93. He judged cattle. He raised registered polled Herefords at Ninga, which were exhibited and won many prizes at the Brandon Bull Sale and the Toronto Royal Winter Fair. He judged cattle at shows across the country and his preference for larger, rangier animals helped change the character of the Canadian beef industry. He was inducted into the Manitoba Agriculture Hall of Fame in 2006.

Nov. 21 -- Richard Macoomb, 81. He was Mr. Fix-it when it came to knees and hips. He graduated with a medical degree from the U of M and chose orthopedic surgery as his specialty. He was chief executive officer and head of orthopaedic surgery at the Winnipeg Clinic and was a pioneer here for minimally invasive surgery. He was one of the first in Western Canada to do arthroscopic knee surgery. He was president of the Manitoba Orthopaedic Foundation.

Nov. 22 -- Garth Wannan, 69. He helped generations of university students. He was a Trent University counsellor who was president of the Canadian Universities and College Counseling Association. He worked as the University of Manitoba's director of housing and student life, setting up the off-campus housing office and programs such as Boost. He helped found the Canadian University Survey Consortium, which is now published annually by Maclean's magazine, and was president of the Canadian Association of College and University Student Services.

Nov. 23 — Barney Charach, 91. He took photos of graduates and entertainers. He first picked up a camera during the Second World War, when he recorded bomber missions for the Royal Canadian Air Force. After the war, he continued using a camera, starting a business photographing people both in a studio and outside. He became a fixture at high school graduations and University of Manitoba convocations.

Nov. 24 -- Gord MacKenzie, 85. He helped the community. He was president of the Winnipeg Squash and Racquet Club and on the executive board of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. He was president of the Winnipeg Real Estate Board, chairman of the advisory board of the Salvation Army, member of the board of the HSC Research Foundation and on the University of Winnipeg's board of regents. He started the real estate company Gordon R. MacKenzie and Assoc., which merged with Oldfield Kirby and Gardener, and then was sold to A.E. LePage, where he worked as vice-president.

Nov. 24 — Mike Ward, 77. He was the first to don angel wings. He was born in England and began his newspaper career on Fleet Street. After working at several newspapers around the world, he came to Winnipeg and worked at the Free Press as reporter, editor and columnist.
He founded the paper’s annual Pennies from Heaven campaign when he saw donations to the Christmas Cheer Board lagging one year.

Nov. 26 -- Gwenda Nemerofsky, 61. She was the local voice of classical music. She graduated from Concordia University in 1977 with a music degree and came to Winnipeg to work in communications at Marymound, the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada, and the Manitoba Conservatory of Music and Arts. She was classical music critic and columnist for the Winnipeg Free Press for a decade until her death.

Nov. 29 -- Helen Woollard, 84. She was the first female uniformed police officer. She was the first Winnipeg Police Department emergency telephone supervisor in 1959, before being promoted to be a policewoman in 1960. She was the first woman to be in a full regular recruit class and the first to wear a police uniform. She retired in 1989.

Dec. 3 -- Marilyn Huband. She helped the arts. She was chairwoman of the board at Westminster United Church. She was the second chair of the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra and served on the board and volunteered there for so many years, some people began calling it "Mickey's Band" after her nickname. She was appointed Manitoba's representative on the Canada Council for the Arts in 1979, where she served for six years, and she was on the University of Winnipeg's board of regents for two terms.

Dec. 7 -- Alan Wade, 90. He was a longtime city councillor. He was born in Weston, worked in Weston, lived in Weston and represented Weston on city council. After taking a correspondence course in painting and decorating, he apprenticed at CP Rail in coach and locomotive painting and became active in the railway union. He became a member of the CCF and attended the founding convention of the federal NDP. He began working with Stanley Knowles and became manager of Knowles' election campaign while serving as Knowles' assistant for eight years. He ran for city council in 1963 and went on to serve 28 years.

Dec. 8 -- Jaroslav Rozumnyj, 88. He supported his Ukrainian community both here and in Ukraine. He taught at the U of M for more than 30 years and was head of the department of Slavic studies from 1976 to 1989, which he expanded to become the largest in North America. After retiring, he became dean of philosophy at the Ukrainian Free University in Munich and honorary professor at the National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy in Ukraine. He was president of the Ukrainian Academy of Arts and Sciences in Canada and the Ukrainian Cultural and Educational Centre. He received numerous honours including being included in Who's Who in the World.

Dec. 9 -- Charles Burns. He helped save patients quickly. He began practising at Health Sciences Centre after finishing his training in 1958. After visiting a trauma institute in the United States, he became a founding father of Canada's trauma system of getting patients with traumatic injuries to hospital as quickly as possible. He was the first president of the Trauma Association of Canada. He also set up the U of M's Chinese Professorial Sabbatical Program so Chinese physicians could come here.

Dec. 11 -- Jane Koley, 89. She was half the name of an iconic lakeside restaurant. She was born in Poland, came to Canada at age five and first worked as an "elevator girl" at Eaton's. Because of her cooking and entrepreneurial skills, she and her husband, Walter, a Winnipeg police officer, opened up Jane and Walter's restaurant in Sandy Hook. They ran it from 1973 to 1988 before selling it.

Dec. 17 -- Richard Williams. He was an artist. He began showing his work nationally in the United States while he was still in high school. He became director of the U of M's School of Art in 1954 and was there until 1973. Among other works of art, he painted the official portrait of former premier Howard Pawley. His work is in the Winnipeg Art Gallery and the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

Dec. 17 -- Bill McKay, 96. He was a civil engineer who saved buildings. He rose through Underwood MacLellan and Associates to become president. He was president of the Engineering Institute of Canada. He was president of Heritage Winnipeg when several of the buildings in the Exchange District were threatened with demolition.

Dec. 19 -- Al Ducharme, 76. He was a longtime city councillor. He was elected in Glenlawn and served for 21 years. He also loved classic cars and was inducted into the Manitoba Motor Sports Hall of Fame.

Dec. 20 -- Norm Coghlan, 86. He built a company that helped people living with disabilities. He founded Coghlan's Ltd., in 1959. Needing people to build a camp-stove toaster, he found three people with special needs in a workshop. Through the years, Coghlan's added packaging equipment and expanded its product line. That workshop is now called Versatech and employs hundreds of people with disabilities. He was also president of the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce and the Rotary Club of Winnipeg.

Dec. 24 -- Beth Phillips, 95. She helped sick people. She was director of volunteer services at Health Sciences Centre. She served on numerous boards, including the Canadian Red Cross and Social Planning Council of Winnipeg, and was president of the Manitoba Association of Volunteer Administrators. She founded the Canadian Association of Volunteer Administrators, the Peter Pan Club at Children's Hospital, and the HSC Retirees Association.

Kevin Rollason

Kevin Rollason

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.