Family and friends of Daryll Fenton will remember him as a vibrant character, whose love for life was obvious and whose urge to fix things extended to home repairs and caring for injured pets.
Fenton (68), drowned in Moose Lake on Saturday.
Fishing with his 65-year-old wife, Fenton fell out of the boat at about 1:50 p.m. He was not wearing a life jacket and was unable to get back into the boat.
Naomi Murray, his daughter, said her mom tried everything to save him.
"My mom tried for 15 minutes to get him back in the boat, however the waves and wind kept blowing her away from him and for some reason, I’m assuming shock and hypothermia, he could not grasp the rope she kept throwing out."
After he slipped under water and did not resurface, she went to the nearest cottage to call for help.
Sprague RCMP and the Hutterian Emergency Aquatic Response Team (HEART), and the RCMP Search and Rescue team (marine and ground) began a search of the water and shoreline.
At 11 p.m., with the assistance of HEART, Fenton’s body was found.
Murray said he left a big impression on anyone he met.
She described him a fixer who took on all projects including vehicles, houses, and pets. He was also a dog lover who embraced the outdoors, going fishing and camping when the opportunity presented itself.
"My dad had a heart and saw potential for anything broken. That included homes, pets and people," she said. "He didn’t see brokenness. He saw potential. He saw people through the eyes of Jesus. I think that is his legacy."
In a draft of his obituary shared with The Carillon by the family, his faith was described as the most important part of his story. He was active in church, and loved to share his faith with others at every opportunity.
In a Facebook message Naomi Murray said the family has been "overwhelmed with love and support", adding they feel very thankful for all who helped, especially HEART.
"They brought his body home to us, though his spirit is with his Father," she wrote. "This team prayed and mourned with us and has called and shown amazing support to our family."
"The HEART Team blessed us with their calling by shining God’s light into our lives in our darkest hour," she added in a message to The Carillon.
That type of support was evident throughout the day as well.
Murray said RCMP members and local firefighters tasked with the search went above and beyond. Local cottage owners and anglers offered their time and the use of their boats.
When her mother was in shock and suffering from the cold, she was given a hot shower and food at a local cabin. Silver Beach Resort supplied food and hot drinks to the family at no charge.
While the events of Saturday, May 29 are a story of tragedy, Murray said it is also one of coming together.
That’s why she’s asking people to consider a donation to HEART who does not accept money for their services.
"Daryll had a special place in his heart for the Hutterite people, and he was a fan of the HEART team preceding his death," she wrote. "To have them be a key component in his recovery is not lost on any of us. We wish his death to be a blessing to the HEART team so they can continue to bring closure and healing to families of tragedies like ours."
To make a donation etransfers can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cheques can be mailed to: HEART Team Inc, Box 819, Morris MB, R0G 1K0.
Donations can be marked in memory of Daryll Fenton.