Thank you everyone for coming out to celebrate Dad’s life. Dad was born on this day in 1923 in Binscarth, MB. His parents Jean and Delima lived in St. Madeleine. Grandpa died when Dad was twelve and he quit school to help Grandma with Uncle Leo and Wilfred.
When I drove around with Dad, he would say I worked here and here. He remembered all the farms and the families he worked at. Any money he made went to Grandma and he got room and board.
Dad was a resilient man, when he was a little older, he got a letter from a young lady, but he couldn’t read it, so he taught himself to read. And to his last days he always had a hunting magazine or a book and would read every day.
Dad worked for a building mover out of Russell when Uncle Wilfred phoned him and told him that the CN was hiring. Dad went to visit in 1957 and landed a job with the CN. Dad met mom in Saskatoon and had three kids. Myself, Lisa and Liona and mom had Sharon from a previous marriage. Dad was a great father. He always had time to take us fishing, hunting, or play catch in the back yard. He spent countless hours going to baseball or hockey games. He never raised his voice or hand, but you knew when to smarten up just by a look. One-time dad bought us all new rods and reels and we went fishing. Liona fell asleep and dropped her rod into the lake, Dad just gave us that look and shook his head. I snagged her line and pulled her rod back in and he went back to smiling again. Later dad was unpacking the truck at home and he noticed the rods weren’t in the truck. We forgot them at the lake.
Mom passed in 1979 and dad never married again. He always said that mom was his best friend.
Dad retired from the CN after 25 years of service, he was 61 years old. He moved back to Russell, then Rocanville and finally Spy Hill. In Spy Hill he became part of the community and was known as the trapper. He would help farmers with nuisance beavers and coyotes. In fact, one time a mouse ran across the floor in the Spy Hill bar and the waitress working jumped on a chair and yelled “Call Lionel, he’s the trapper!”
Dad always had a garden going in the back yard. He would bring Sandi and I vegetables every year. One year he brought tomatoes, not paying attention to what he brought. When he came, he had six boxes of cherry tomatoes for Sandi to can.
Fall was his favorite time of the year. That’s when he would get his traps and guns ready for the upcoming hunting and trapping seasons. When I was a kid, we would come to Russell to visit Grandma and go deer hunting. We would meet with Uncle Leo, Robert, Joe and whoever else was with them and have lunch on the border. Great food and laughs were had by all.
Dad would always take me to Ste. Madeleine and tell me stories of life back then. He always told me this is where he wants to be. I guess you can take the boy out of Ste. Madeleine, but you can’t take Ste. Madeleine out of the boy. Dad has come full circle; he will be missed by all who knew him and loved him.
Welcome home Dad.
Ducks Unlimited Canada
Box 160, Stonewall MB R0C 2Z0