Myrtle Lena Cook
1947 - 2009
Myrtle L. (McCallum) Cook passed away peacefully with family by her side at the Grey Nuns Hospital Nov. 20, 2009.
She was born July 7, 1947, the fifth of eight children born to George and Millicent McCallum in Ocre River, Man. The family moved to Macinack, Man., then to Melville, Sask.
Myrtle married Hugh Cook in 1965. Hugh and Myrtle then moved to Williams Lake, B.C., where they raised their three sons: Jim, Vern and Keith. They relocated to the farm west of High Prairie in 1974.
Myrtle worked for Mr. Gould making wedges for a mine in Grand Cache, as a matron for the RCMP, as an Edmonton Journal courier, and in the lumber industry before going to work first at the High Prairie Hospital, then the J.B. Wood Nursing Home.
In May 1988 she completed her Personal Care certificate. She continued to take courses relevant to her work, in order to keep herself current until she resigned in 2000. She then opened her country care home which she ran until her death.
Myrtle also provided foot care in her home to her residents and to other elders. In addition to her care home, she and her son Vern established a new business under the name of Wapiti Pawn.
Myrtle was a determined, caring and a dedicated volunteer involved with many organizations such as the Royal Purple, the High Prairie Friendship Centre, the High Prairie Community Health Care Council and the Pioneer Thresherman’s Association.
Myrtle faced a lot of challenges in her life: the loss of her home to fire, the breakup of her marriage and becoming a single mother responsible for three growing boys. As well as raising her boys, she took on the responsibility of raising three grandchildren rather than see them go into foster care. Family was everything to Myrtle. Her greatest challenge, one she could not overcome by sheer will power, was to be her health.
Myrtle is survived by her sons: Jim, Vern (Michelle) and Keith (Joanne); her grandchildren and great grandchildren, Crystal (Ken), Collin, Kyle, Conner, Carter, Shelby, Angela (Adrian), Grant (Nicole), Stacy (Colin), Amber (Travis), Josh, Sierra, Alisha, Kaleb and Ethan; her sisters, Margaret, Alma, Martha, Louise and her brother, Andy; as well as many other relatives and friends.
She was predeceased by: her father George; mother Millicent; sisters Gladys and Jean; and a half-brother, Harry Cull.
A memorial service was held Nov. 26, 2009, at the Triangle Hall with Pastor Steven Grande officiating.
If friends so desire, donations may be made to the Canadian Diabetic Association as an expression of sympathy.
Darren Clark Robert Fjeld
Darren Clark Robert Fjeld passed away suddenly on Oct. 15 at the age of 32 years. Darren was born June 7, 1968, the oldest son of Russell and Shirley Fjeld. Darren lived his entire life in High Prairie and anyone knowing him knew him to be a special person. Darren was a husband, father, son, brother, grandson and friend. He took these roles with a kind of love and pride that he put into every aspect of his life. But none compared to the pride his had for his wife, Tracy and his daughter, Amber and how much in love he was with both of them. Darren had several interests and a deep appreciation for old cars. All you had to do was say "Harley motorcycles" and you had his full attention. He also enjoyed woodwork. He had a great love for music and was especially proud of his jukebox. What Darren enjoyed most was spending time with Tracy and Amber. Being a husband and a father were two roles Darren took very seriously. He was a natural at both. Darren had a contagious personality and a unique sense of humour. There never was a time that he didn't have a joke or a funny story to tell. He was affectionately known to his in-laws as "The Little Viking". Darren leaves to mourn: his wife, Tracy; his daughter, Amber; parents, Russell and Shirley Fjeld; brother, Kelsey (Rae-Anne) Fjeld; grandmother, mother-in-law and father-in-law, k brothers and sisters-in-law and many close relatives and endless friends. Darren was predeceased by his daughter, Erica, in 1997.
David Patrick Louis O'Rourke
David Patrick Louis O'Rourke was born on Oct. 23, 1979, in Grande Prairie. He left us on April 13, 2005, at the age of 25 years.
Pat's grandmother remembers him as a small boy marching along as if he owned the world. At eight years old, Pat Jr. had to assume the responsibilities of the eldest child, when his 10-year-old sister, Grace, suddenly lost her life. Pat started taking care of the house fires. As he had to wait, he started carving little guitars because he was bored.
As a young child, Pat gave himself to God. At 12 he understood the skills he needed in his world were different than others and refused to be distracted. When Pat was 16, he and his father went to Edmonton to buy the most expensive electric guitar. This started him on the road of music and ministry mentored by his Dad. He brothers joined him with bass guitar and drums. Their vision was to inspire young people and give them destiny. Pat became a youth pastor at 17 years old and later became a worship song leader at the Lighthouse Church.
He found the love of his life, but he had to wait three years for her to grow up. Pat married his sweetie, Grace Kaiser, on Sept. 13, 2003. They were delighted to know they would have a baby by Nov. 11, 2005.
The brothers' band, Dragnet, played together for 10 years. Pat saw he needed to start Jon's dream. As a teenager Patrick started at Stan Deynaka's sawmill. Everyday Pat would hike across the field to work, except when it was raining.
Since the age of 12 Pat wanted to build himself a cabin. He loved to work with wood. Stan helped him with that dream. Pat also worked for neighbouring farmers at various jobs.
Pat's father taught him how to use the tools of the drywall trade. Even though her became his father's sander Allan Smith offered Pat a job and trained him to become a trucker. As well, Allan gave Pat a different perspective to life that he was grateful for. For his last six months he worked at Eldon's Transport in Rainbow Lake, as a tank truck driver.
Pat impacted young people to stay on fire for God. Day by day he would read his Bible and pray faithfully.
Pat left behind: his wife, Grace, and his unborn child; his parents, Patrick and Elaine O'Rourke; and his grandmother, Phyllis Labrentz; brothers Jon and Paul; Bill and Karen Kaiser, the parents of his wife; brother-in-law Aaron; and many uncles, aunts, cousins and friends.
Pat is now reunited with his grandparents, Louis O'Rourke and Ruby O'Rourke, Rev. Norman Labrentz and sister Grace Suzanne O'Rourke.
Delores June Dunn
Delores June Dunn (nee: Campbell) went to be with her Lord on August 24th, 2002, at the age of 66 years. Darling wife of George Edgar of High Prairie. She also leaves to cherish her memory four sons John, Peter (Colleen), Pgillip (Bev) of High Prairie, James (Roxy) of Valleyview and two daughters Lois and Joy of Grande Prairie and 11 grandchildren.
She is survived be her mother Dorothy Isabelle Campbell and will be lovingly missed be her four brothers Sam (Bonnie), George (Shirley), Jim (Beth), David, and three sisters Vi (Marvin) Meager, Martha (Tom) Treadon, Debbie (George) Beavers, who all reside in the United States, and many friends. There was a viewing held at the Bethel Baptist Church in High Prairie from 7-9 pm, Wednesday, August 28th. The Funeral Service was held at the Bethel Baptist Church on Thursday, August 29th, 2002, at 2:00 pm.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that, memorial donations be made to either Key-Way-Tin Bible Institute (Site 633, Comp 8 RR1, Lac La Biche, AB. T0A 2C1) or Peace River Bible Institute (Box 99, Sexsmith AB. T0H 2C0).
Desjarlais, Gary Joseph
Gary Joseph Desjarlais passed away peacefully at Victoria Hospital on Friday, July 24, 2009, at the age of 56 years.
Gary was the loving companion of Valerie; father of Darcy (Krystal), Tanya (Chris), Josh and Gary Alexander (Melanie); grandfather of Paige, Kira, Aurora, Kolton, Brayden and Nathan; beloved son of Denis and Elizabeth; dear brother of Cauline (Doug), Robin (Heather), Bernie (Kim), Brian (Sid), and Kevin (Stephanie); as well as many aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
He was predeceased by his sister, Darlene.
Donations to the London Regional Cancer Centre, care of London Health Sciences Foundation – Cancer Program, 747 Baseline Road East, London, ON, N6C 2R6, would be appreciated by the family.
A tree will be planted by the Evans Funeral Home, as a living memorial to Gary.
Lawrence Martin Dettling
Lawrence Martin Dettling was born May 15, 1930 at Friedenstal, Alta. to Martin and Cecilia Dettling. He was the fourth youngest of nine children. He passed away peacefully Oct. 27, in the High Prairie Hospital. Lawrence is survived by: his daughter, Florence Willier of Faust; brother George (Elizabeth) Dettling or St. Albert; sister Barb Cail of Edmonton; sister Rose Maudy of Edmonton; sister Matilda (Denis) Thera of Chase, B.C.; sister Tillie Wharton, or Boyle, Alta.; as well as numerous nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by: his mother, Cecilia in 1948; his father, Martin, in 1965; sisters Pauline and Magdeline; and brother Andrew. The family thanks the staff at the High Prairie Hospital for their wonderful care over the years. A memorial service will be held at Pleasantview Lodge in High Prairie Nov. 8 at 2 p.m.
Donald Raymond Strause
1930 - 2003
Donald Raymond Strause was born on June 6, 1930 to Ella and Jacob Strause in Ponoka, Alta. He passed away on Nov. 23, 2003 at his home in Spruce Grove at the age of 73 years.
Don was the second oldest of six children. He attended school in Ponoka until Grade 9. Through his life he drove truck, became a plumber with a gas fitter, steam fitter and heat certificates. He apprenticed many upcoming plumbers.
He met Victoria Lupul in 1952 and they were married June 12, 1953. They had six children and later adopted one more. Don and Vicki moved to High Prairie in 1961 and then out to the homestead in 1963.
Don and Vicki divorced in 1983. He was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in December 1992. He still had a sense of humour with the Parkinson's progressed.
Don will always be remembered by his families, friends, neighbours and fellow workers as someone who could make anything he set his mind to, from the Chev crewcabs where he cut two trucks apart and put them together to make one. He did this with a Datsun truck and made his own motorhome out of a truck and pull-type camper. He loved working with wood and made many beautiful pieces including China cabinets, tables and benches. Anyone knowing the families of Don has seen his work and appreciated his beautiful work.
He leaves to mourn: his daughters, Donella (John) Hart; Corrie (Bim) Ireland; Anna-Lisa (Tom) McDermott; Elena Strause; his sons Dahn (Lori) Strause and Stephen (Jess) Strause; grandchildren Jonathan Hart, James Hart, Debbie Hart, Andy Utz, Tracy McDermott, Wanda McDermott, Susan McDermott, Anais Cochin, Brandon Tan; great-granddaughter Mishyla Anderson-Hart; his brother, Norm (Marge) Strause; his sister, Gloria Kurluk, Jean (Tom) Brossiuk; and sister-in-law Kaye Strause.
Don was predeceased by: his brother, Murray, who died at the age of eight years in 1947; his son, Juan Raymond, in April of 1960 at the age of 20 months; his father in 1969; his mother in 1982; his brother, Gary, in 1990; and his grandson, Raymond Samuel Hart in December 2000.
He is sadly missed by his wife Juliet and her children as well as everyone who knew him. They love him and he will always be remembered in their thoughts and hearts.
Douglas Raymond Lauck
Douglas Raymond Lauck was born on Aug. 13, 1951 and passed away on Aug. 13, 2004 at the age of 53 years.
Doug was raised on a farm near High Prairie and attended Prairie River school. He remained in the area where he worked over the years as a hunting guide, a trapper, a tree faller for logging companies and a blaster for the M.D. of Big Lakes.
Doug and Gaby were married on April 5, 1975 and lived in High Prairie for a few years. In 1987 they decided they preferred the country life and moved to their acreage in Joussard. Doug and Gaby raised two children: Rhaylene, who was born on Sept. 26, 1976; and Roger, who was born on Aug. 20, 1979. Doug and Gaby made sure that both their children received a good education.
Doug enjoyed local sports. In his younger days he played ball with the Peavine Rangers. It was from this group that he acquired the nickname of Mucktoon. He also participated in the March annual Joussard ice fishing tournament with Jerry Nessman many times.
Other things he always took part in involved fun times with family and friends such as having a singsong while he played the guitar, playing cards or chucking bean bags. When losing or near losing in competitive games he would harass opponents in hopes of gaining the edge. And if he won, you could be sure he'd never let you forget it.
Doug loved the outdoors. His pastime passions and his work involved him being somewhere out in the woods. He most enjoyed those things that involved a loud noise. Doug loved guns. He loved dynamite and he loved chainsaws. The bigger the noise, the better he liked it.
Doug was a marksman and loved hunting. If he shot at something, it was a hit. In the fall you would find him in his old, faithful rusted out Toyota or his quad, cruising cutlines looking for moose and enjoying his time outdoors.
Doug is survived by those who loved him: his wife, Gaby; daughter Rhaylene and son-in-law Cory; son Roger and daughter-in-law Amanda; his mother, Mary; brothers Donald (Pearl), David (Frances), Vernon (Jeannie) and Dennis (Jackie); sisters Barbara, Joan, Judy, Mary (Myler), Louella (Doug), and Wanda (James); mother-in-law Yvonnette Comeau; brothers-in-law Paul (Marg), Raymond (Pat), and Roger (Bev); sisters-in-law Jan, Denise and Beatrice (Graham), and many nieces and nephews. Doug was also looking forward to the birth of his first grandchild at the end of October.
Doug was predeceased by his father, Selmer; brothers Harold and Kenny John, and sister Shirley.
Donald David Cooper
Donald David Cooper, known to one and all as David or Dave, was born on January 15, 1968 in Gillette Wyoming. His parents, Brenda and then husband Donnie, were told that he was not expected to live, as he was born 8 weeks prematurely and weighed only 3 lbs 8 oz.
In the delivery room alone (as it was unusual in those days for husbands to be present) Brenda waited for what seemed like hours before she heard a tiny cry come from her newborn son. Without being shown to his mother, David was whisked out of the room. Doctors told Brenda and Donnie that the next 72 hours were critical. During those72 hrs his heart stopped at least twice, but he fought back. He had a desperate will to live. It seemed to Brenda that with every breath her son took his belly button would touch his spine. David was so sick that the medical team would not allow anyone to touch him, other than the staff. It was six long weeks before Brenda was allowed to touch her son. And not until the seventh week that she finally held him for the first time. At 2 months and a whopping 5 lbs, David came home. Being a sound sleeper, Brenda was afraid she wouldn't hear him at night. She was also afraid she or David's Dad would roll on him if they put him in their bed. So Brenda placed him in a plastic baby bathtub on 2 kitchen chairs right by her bed and that's where he slept for several months.
At 5 months, David's double hernia was finally repaired, because he had reached 10 lbs. A few weeks later, however, he came down with pneumonia! He recovered from this, and was a very engaging, responsive baby, but Brenda was still uneasy that something was not right as his legs needed to be pulled apart to change him, and at 12 months he stilll could not sit up alone.
When David was 13 months old a pediatrician gave them the news that their son had Cerebral Palsy. Little did they know that, the years ahead would be extremely difficult for David and his parents. In the first seven years of his life, David got a brother, Jerry, and a sister, Holly. David also had 8 operations to try to loosen up his tight muscles. Each operation required months of physical therapy, In fact physical therapists became a fixture in his life.
When David was 7, the family moved from the United States to Canada, to homestead. That, however, did not come to pass as David's father returned to the States and Brenda and the children stayed near Donnelly, Alberta, with Brenda's father, W.O. and step mom, Ann. David had just started into school and it was becoming apparent that David had some learning problems. In fact, his kindergarten teacher took it upon herself to tell Brenda that her son should be institutionalized. That was the wrong thing to say. From that moment on, David was always breaking down the barriers that surrounded handicapped people. He was the first child to attend Grouard School in a wheelchair, the first disabled child there to be integrated into a regular classroom, the first child in High Prairie Elementary to come to school in a wheelchair, and so on.
When David was 8, Brenda married Leonard Sahlin and the Sahlins and Coopers became a farm family. David also got 2 additional brothers, Clinton and Erik, and a sister Rachel. His new brothers and sister were a little taken aback by David, until they got used to his jerky, stiff movements and his hair-trigger temper. It took awhile but they soon came to know that Salt Prairie was where they belonged. David was very happy.
It had always been a challenge to give David normal childhood experiences. But the family tried and succeeded in many innovated ways. One of the more memorable ways, was when Leonard bolted a 5 gallon pail to his old Cockshutt fender, lined it with foam rubber, put a car seat belt on it, so David could experience farm life first hand. He spent many happy hours strapped to that fender getting covered in dirt. Another time, a box was built for him that he could stand in at the sink and wash dishes. It never takes a Mom long to figure out a way to put her boy to work.
At age 12, David, who was slow but not dumb, began to realize that his life was not like that of his brothers and sisters. They were all starting to have boyfriends and girlfriends. David's first love was Sherry Lefort who babysat for Leonard and Brenda when they went out. Early on David had shown a very real appreciation for women who were "hot". Everyone can remember how he'd smile and his legs would slowly rise up off his foot pedals when an attractive female would say "Hi".
David became severely depressed. He wasn't learning much in school, and he felt ostracized much of the time. Jeremy fought many a battle to keep kids from teasing his brother. David was very upset every night during the school week, because he was falling farther and farther behind his peers. The only thing that could get him to sleep was the Valium syrup Dr. Laughlin prescribed, but this also made him extremely drowsy all the next day. This situation was very hard on David and the family, and after 3 months precipitated his move to Peace River for 4 years to attend school and live in a group home. Every Friday, the old Ford van headed to Peace River to pick up David to spend the weekend at home, and every Sunday it took him back. Many tears were shed as a result of this arrangement, so at 15 David came home again and started school at Prairie River Junior High.
At 18, David finished school and moved to Grande Prairie to chase women and cruise the bars. It was during those Junior High years, followed by his years in Grande Prairie, that David acquired life long friends, some present here today.
In Grande Prairie his main goal was to chase girls and cruise the bars. While there, David had a DJ business, which he loved, even though he had to depend on friends to help him. He spent hours pouring over music and making recorded tapes for everyone. One of the things that David was so proud of was his DJ system, which he never failed to show off. He spent 12 years there and was very happy. Unfortunately his trusting nature got him into trouble. Once, David took a trip to BC with a "buddy", and was left for 3 days with no food and no money in a hotel room. The buddy had been arrested, and he had David's cell phone and wallet. Finally, David was able to contact his mother and he was sent home. Brenda had had enough; she insisted he move back to Salt Prairie. Since the new house was finally completed and he wanted his own space, David moved into the old log home. In September of this year, David would have lived in the old house for 5 years on his own.
David spent many hard hours working at hauling firewood using on an old quad that Leonard remodeled so that David could drive it. He loved his quad, and was extremely protective of it, as his nephew, Jordan, can attest. The quad had to be parked directly outside David's window so he could see it, or you were in trouble. Nonetheless, David had a special place in his heart for his nieces and nephews, as evidenced by all the goodies he kept in his fridge for Denae.
David was legally blind, (eyes damaged by too much oxygen at birth) so driving the quad was a huge challenge. Leonard had many obstacles to overcome trying to mark a trail that David could see, to get to the wood that Leonard cut, and then to figure out how to get David and the quad up to Newman's without David having to go on the road and get mowed down! Leonard, and Audrey & Peter Newman were kept busy rescuing him when he got high centered on a stump along his route or was too tired to get back on his quad after loading up his trailer. He relished the freedom and independence of hauling wood and it was well worth the minor hiccups.
Unfortunately in the last year or so, David's hips were causing him a lot of pain, and his scoliosis was twisting his back into a crooked mess. He was in pain a lot of the time and made excuses not to go our on the quad. The pain medication made him drowsy and he was waiting to see a specialist in Edmonton for Botox injections, which we hoped, would ease his stiffness and pain.
Before he left us, David was predeceased by relatives such as, his brother Clinton, his Grammy Marjory Sahlin, the Wickwire uncles and aunts, his Aunt Biss, Grandma and Grandpa Cooper, and his father Donnie, his Aunt Iva, cousins Andrew and DJ, and his grandmother Merle. David is now walking and running through the fields of heaven with them, his legs long and strong.
David is survived by his Mother, Brenda (Leonard) Sahlin; sisters, Holly Cooper and Rachel (Ron) Welch; brothers Jeremy (Carrie) Cooper and Erik Sahlin and many nieces and nephews.
Duchesneau, Albert Joseph
Albert Joseph Duchesneau, a long-time resident of Joussard, passed away at the High Prairie Hospital Aug. 18, 2009, at the age of 78 years.
Albert is survived by: his sons Romeo (Isobel), Marcel (Doris), Roger (Linda), Lucien, Maurice (Lorna) and daughter Jackie; brother Raymond; and sisters Germaine, Auroa, Aline and their families; 10 grandchildren and 18 great-grandchildren.
Albert was predeceased by: his wife Jacqueline; son Norbert; great-granddaughter Maddy; parents Joseph and Philomene; and sister Rita.
Lucien Joseph Duchesneau
Lucien Joseph Duchesneau was born Jan. 17, 1961 in High Prairie, to parents Jacqueline and Alberta Duchesneau. He was born the fifth of six boys. Lucien lived with his family, long-time residents of Joussard, until the age of four when he went to live at the Michener Centre in Red Deer.
Lucien, along with his mother Jacqueline and brother Norbert, lived with the challenge of a genetic disorder called Myatonic Dystrophy. Despite a medically predicted short life span, Lucien beat all odds to have a full life until 48 years old.
Twenty years ago Lucien moved to Grande Prairie to reside at Tiger Homes with assisted living. His life has been rich with community involvement and the love and caring of family and friends.
Lucien passed away suddenly at his home in Grande Prairie Oct. 30, 2009. Left behind to mourn his passing are brothers Romeo (Isobel), Marcel (Doris), Roger (Linda), Maurice (Lorna), half-sister Jackie Okimaw and many nieces and nephews.
He is predeceased by his parents and brother Norbert.
Lucien, your gentle and caring nature will be greatly missed.
Walter Fraser Durnin passed away July 2, 2009, in Ashcroft, B.C. at the age of 81 years.
Born in Saskatoon, Walter was the oldest son of Robert Wilbur and Queenie Vashti Durnin in a family of seven. Siblings were Jacqueline, Beth, Rodney, Robert, Frank and Judy.
Walter began teaching in a one-room school after graduating, then attended one year at Dalhousie University before moving west with his family. He taught in northern and Interlake Manitoba, the Rainy River district of Ontario, and the Peace Region in Alberta. While working he completed his B.A. and B.Ed., and advanced to become principal at many schools in High Prairie School Division. His career ended at the level of superintendent of Fairview School Division from 1974-82 and Northern Lights School Division in Saskatchewan from 1986-89.
Walter is mourned by: his wife of 51 years Joyce, (nee Persson) Durnin; his children and grandchildren Margaret (Emma and Alysa) of Cache Creek, B.C.; Katherine (Frances) of New York City; and Guy (Seth) of Cache Creek, B.C.; his siblings Beth (Leon) Brandson of Selkirk, MB; Rodney of Ottawa; Robert (June) of Stratton, ON; Frank of Ogema, SK;
He was predeceased by: his parents, Robert in 1974 and Queenie in 1980; son Robert in 2001; sister Jacqueline Burch in 1994); and sister Judy Beer in 1996.
Walter will always remember him for his wide-ranging interests and knowledge; his devotion to family; his story-telling on our many family trips across Canada; and his love of music and a good joke.
He chose to be cremated. A family memorial will be planned in the future.