January 24, 1925 – July 23, 2011
Dad left us very suddenly on July 23, 2011. His passing was swift and painless, and for that we are thankful. He leaves to mourn his son Trevor, daughters Pat (Gord) and Rae; extended family Debbie (Sam); grandchildren Kristen, Tim (Kim), Glenn, Donna, Trevor Jr. (Tracy), Tracey (Brad), and great-grandchildren Hunter, Jaeger, Garrett, Chris, Avery, Kelsey, Amy, Breanne, Jenna, Nicole, and Christopher; also Dad’s brother Peter (Wally) and family, and sister-in-law Dorothy and family. He will be sorrowfully missed by life-long friends Jim and Arlene, and their sons Drew and Roger.
Dad was pre-deceased by his beloved wife, Ollie, his mother and father, brother Alex and sister Mary.
Dad was born January 24, 1925, and received his education in Dauphin. In September, 1943 he enlisted in the army and received his basic training in Shilo and Woodstock, Ontario. He then returned to Shilo and was shipped overseas. He went from England to France and joined the Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders in Belgium. From there they moved ahead through the Netherlands and Germany on their way to liberating Holland. He developed complications of the lung and was sent back to England where he spent some time in Lady Taplow Hospital. He then left England on the Lord Nelson Hospital Ship, and back to Winnipeg where he spent over a year in King Edward Sanitorium (now Riverview). He was discharged in 1946.
In 1947, he met Olive Kidd (whom he quickly re-named Ollie) and they were united in marriage for 56 years until her passing in February, 2004. He provided well for her children: Pat, Trevor and Rae.
He worked for C.N. Railways and Via for 38 years where he spent summers on the grain haul to Port Churchill. In his latter years, he worked passenger trains as conductor. The highlight of his career was when he was chosen as Conductor for the Royal Train with the Queen and her family in 1970. He retired in 1986.
Dad enjoyed all four seasons–especially summers at the lake with his grandchildren Kristen, Tim, Glenn and Donna.
He enjoyed hunting and fishing and all sports, especially his passion for golf. He would even take two weeks holidays in the early spring to go to warmer climes with his friend Jim where they could get an early start in the season–then back home to play tournaments throughout Manitoba. After retiring, Dad also had a part-time job as Marshall at Clear Lake Golf Course for a few years. Having golf memberships at Dauphin and Clear Lake was the best of two worlds. He loved being out amongst nature.
Also, after retirement, Dad loved curling for the winter months, but had never curled in his life. He decided to make his own sheet of ice in the back yard at home, where he practiced the slide and delivery with Mom holding the broom. With help from his good friend, Mike, and others, he learned the game, and in a short time was playing with the Seniors and different leagues throughout the club. The highlight of his curling was when he played in the Dauphin Centennial Bonspiel in March, 1998. He also played with the Dauphin Legion No. 20 and went to many bonspiels throughout Manitoba. He was a long time member of Dauphin Legion No. 20 in Dauphin.
Life was never the same after Dad lost his precious Ollie in 2004. He sold the family home and moved into a seniors’ condo. His health steadily declined until he had to be moved into Dauphin Personal Care.
In order that he could be closer to family, he was moved into Deer Lodge Centre in Winnipeg, June 2010, where he remained until his passing. The care he received there was exemplary. Our family can’t thank the staff enough for their professionalism and dedication. To the staff and support staff, you know who you are because we’ve told you so – you are the best of the best. God bless you all.
A Celebration of Dad’s Life was held at 2:00 p.m. on Thursday, August 4, 2011 at the Riverside Evergreen Chapel in Dauphin. Mom and Dad were buried together in the Veterans’ Plot at the Dauphin Riverside Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, donations in memory of Walter may be made to a charity of one’s choice.