Theodore Basarab was born in a small house at Randall’s Beach Oct. 29, 1923 to George and Olga Basarab. The family moved to a farm two miles west of High Prairie where he spent his life. It was Nov. 11, 1950 that Ted and Catherine met at the Armistice Dance. They courted for 7 ½ years and were married at the St. Paul’s Catholic Church July 7, 1958. They were blessed with twins, Darrell and Deborah, June 30, 1959 followed by Louise March 25, 1961, Tara March 30, 1964, and Garth Aug 3, 1967. Their beautiful family was complete. Ted’s youth was spent working on the family farm for over 65 years, the yard, fields and with the livestock. When he had free time he loved to play baseball on the local High Prairie team traveling to other towns in the Peace Country. He passed his love of the game onto his children spending time playing ball in the yard. His daughter, Deb, could be heard calling “Scrub One!” while Tara had to be coaxed to play because she always got injured. This passion for baseball carried on into his later years where he watched his favourite team, the Toronto Blue Jays on TV. Ted was very diligent and took great pleasure in maintaining the records of his purebred Hereford cattle herd. He spent many hours grooming and preparing the livestock for shows and sales. Spring was an exciting time for the family - a busy time when the new calves were born. Ted took great pride in maintaining the family farm. He was particularly fond of his new John Deere lawn tractor and he needed a lot of convincing to let anyone else drive it. Ted also assisted his mother and in the years to come his wife, Catherine, with their huge garden. Ted’s children spent many hours riding on the farm equipment while he was doing the farm work. A special treat was to share his thermos of coffee and sandwiches. They also have fond memories of the toys he would create for them which included little willow whistles and racing tractors made out of thread spools. The children loved to tag along with him to the barn when he milked the cows. While playing with the cats and running in-between stalls, if the children were not quick enough on their feet they would laughingly get squirted with milk by Dad. Ted enjoyed Louis L’Amour westerns and old movies. He travelled throughout the northern states of America in the summer of 2001. The rugged terrain and majestic pines of Wyoming reminded him of the scenery in his favorite John Wayne movies. Ted loved the mountains and while traveling through America he had the opportunity to visit Mount Rushmore for the first time. Ted travelled by plane for the first time in April 2006 to visit his daughter, Debbie, in Ontario. His only comment about the flight was, “It was pretty rough.” One of Ted’s hobbies was wood working. He created many pieces of furniture for the family and took pleasure in restoring the antiques he inherited from his mother’s collection. He took his children berry picking and fishing at Hilliard’s Bay in the summer and ice fishing to Snipe Lake in the winter. Ted was a quiet, gentle man who spoke few words. Ted’s words, when spoken, were heeded as they held knowledge and wisdom. He always had a stash of treats for his grandchildren and himself. He enjoyed taking his grandchildren for walks and their little legs worked hard to keep up to Grandpa’s stride. Ted’s most precious treasures were: his loving wife, Catherine; his children and his grandchildren: Shawna, Loren and Devin Rose; Mitch, Greg, Kelci, Katie, Kim and Kellie Parker; Ashley and Jessica Basarab; and Sam and Thomas Basarab. One of Dad’s favourite things were the family suppers loving prepared by Catherine. Mom is a wonderful cook and Dad was blessed with the enjoyment of her doughnuts, bread, sweets and delicious meals for almost 50 years. The children have many special memories of their Dad. Darrell shares his love of the land and farming with his dad. Deb would much rather spend time outdoors with Dad than cleaning or cooking. Louise’s fondest memories is her Dad encouraging Mom to let her become a Grade 1 dropout. Garth spent many spring hours tagging along with Dad to the homestead and letting the calves suck on his fingers. Tara shares her love of animals with Dad, especially dogs and cats. Dad was the last living member of his family of seven siblings. He is survived by his loving wife Catherine, Darrell and Deanna (Blaikie) Basarab, Steve and Deb (Basarab) Parker, Dave and Louise (Basarab) Rose, Tara Basarab, Garth Basarab and his 13 grandchildren. We’ll miss you, Dad!
1923 - 2015
Farming was his livelihood. Fishing, hunting, trapping, cat skinning and driving were also pastimes that drove and entertained our father, John Belyan. He was one of the hardest working men I knew.
John was born in Konush, Slovakia on July 26, 1923 to Mike and Julia Belyan. He was one of seven children: Mike, my dad, Mary, Annie, George, Steve and Ted.
Grandpa came to Canada in 1927. Grandma, Uncle Mike, dad, Aunt Mary and Aunt Annie came four years later in 1931. Grandpa homesteaded in Simon Meadows where Uncle George, Uncle Steve and Uncle Ted were born.
Shortly after, the family moved to Gilwood beside the Ochran family. These two neighbouring families became friends. Dad did not know that the tired little six-year-old that he would carry home after playing at the Belyans would be his future wife.
Dad grew up with little schooling for at that time the school was far from the homestead. Dad chose to quit school in Grade 2 to go trapping, hunting, working on logging in the bush and sawmills.
During the war, dad was enlisted. He completed training but didn’t see action. When he returned home, dad and Uncle Mike each bought a quarter of land by the East Prairie River and started farming in 1946.
In 1950, dad married that little girl, Annie Ochran. Bless you, mom! With that union came Joe in 1952, Alice in 1954, dearest sister Debbie in 1959, and in 1964 I came.
Dad’s crops continued to grow and prosper. He loved being out in the fields. Nature and the outdoors were a comfort to him.
Dad treated his family with discipline, respect and mostly love. We never wanted for anything. Mom’s word was law but when dad gave you that look you knew you had to behave. He taught us one of the most valuable lessons in life is stand up for what you believe - he certainly did. We are who we are because we had a father like him.
I learned that one of the most important things he had was his family: Joe and his wife Anna, Alice, Debbie and myself; his grandchildren Chris, Rachel, Michael, Jocelynne and Jonathan; his great-grandchildren, Lilah, Caleb, and Tyson, whom he greatly loved and appreciated.
He spent many hours on his trap line hunting and fishing.
In 1985, dad’s life took a drastic change when our mom suffered a stroke in December. Mom became dependent on dad and he was absolutely wonderful with her, catering to her every need. He traveled with her to warm and sunny destinations. Sadly, mom passed away in 1991 and his second daughter, Debbie, passed away in 1994. It was sadness that he dealt with - with dignity.
He continued to travel including trips to South America and Asia with a very close group of friends. After these trips, dad made a trek to Alaska in his motorhome with Olga with whom he spent several enjoyable years until her passing.
His solitary life continued with his favourite hobby driving to view the crops and see who was fishing at Snipe Lake and Shaw’s Point. Driving the country roads was an enjoyable daily adventure.
In 2002, dad had a quadruple bypass which added 13 great years.
In 2003, dad turned 80 and many of you came to join and celebrate. What a party! We had a helicopter ride for him and he said, “I want to live.”
He started to slow down a bit in his late eighties. Afternoon naps were a little longer, but he still had time to do all his driving. Dad’s morning routine was brown toast and coffee - his nickname at A&W. A new truck, he continued to drive, with a GPS to see where he went. Tell the story of dad’s truck burning in 2012.
Within the past year, dad moved into the Pleasantview Lodge. Before that we couldn’t get him in there to save our lives. He said that “it was full of old people.” But once he got there he was so happy. Alice took him to the farm for tea. After the last drop he was ready to go back. We were very grateful that he was content to be there. He showed strength until the very end, and he had some enlightened words for us. “I want a beer.”
Thank you, dad, for all of the wonderful memories we have of you. We will treasure them forever.
On March 26, 2013, Rose Lizee, a long-time resident of High Prairie, passed away at the age of 79 years.
Rose is survived by five children and nine grandchildren: Lavern (Sheila) and children Carmen and Trent; Bernard; Bernadette Loyst and son Keith; Elaine (Lindsay) Pratt and children Steven, Nicole and Shelby; Lorna (Dean) Haubrich and children Erin, Megan and Cara. She is also survived by her sisters Ann Beamish, Olga Babkirk, Mary (Chuck) Geale, Minnie Proc and Elsie (Bill) Montgomery, and one brother Roger (Megan) Kosar.
She was predeceased by her husband Harvey, parents Nicholas and Mary Kosar, brother Matthew, and sisters Helen and June.
Rose was born on the farm in Heart River on May 30, 1933 to Mary and Nicholas Kosar. She was the third oldest of 10 children and attended the Heart River School until Grade 8. Rose helped on the family farm and the lifestyle became her passion.
In 1952 Rose married Harvey Lizee and settled in Prairie Echo. She took pleasure in being a mother, homemaker, and living in the country. There was tiresome work and simple delights; tending the garden, the animals, and the yard, listening to frogs and birds, picking berries and baking, raising children and visiting friends.
Rose was a great cook and especially skilled at making homemade bread. She enjoyed spending time with her grandchildren and showed pride in their accomplishments.
Rose loved to crochet but also spent a lot of time analyzing the weather, watching sports and news on TV, and worrying about her children and grandchildren. She greatly appreciated when family and friends would stop by to visit, particularly her sisters whom she shared many stories and laughs with.
In 1976, Rose started work in High Prairie at the Pleasantview Lodge. She took joy in working with the seniors and made many great friends during her 20 years there. Rose’s most recent years were spent in the company of two four-legged friends, Kirby and Macy. She loved being a daycare for the dogs and raved to everyone how loveable they were.
Rose’s incredible home-cooked meals, humour and her fun-loving spirit will be forever remembered by her friends and family.
A memorial service was held on Saturday, March 30, 2013 at St. Paul’s Roman Catholic Church in High Prairie.
If friends so desire, donations in Rose’s memory may be made to the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Alberta: No. 150, 9405-50 St. Edmonton, AB T6B 2T4.
Harold (Bud) Keay
Harold (Bud) Keay was born on Feb. 6, 1939 in Seattle Washington. He attended school in High Prairie and Red Deer, and then took a two-year course in mechanical technology at SAIT in Calgary.
Bud and Donna were married Dec. 27, 1960 in High River and came to High Prairie to farm the following spring. They lived in town for a year before moving to the farm which is still their home. Jeff was born on Sept. 28, 1963, James on Dec. 1, 1964, Karen on March 15, 1969 and Fred on Oct. 10, 1972.
Bud was active in the community in many ways - minor hockey, 4H, president of the Agricultural Society, I.D. Advisory Board, delegate on the Hog Producers Marketing Board, and Farming for the Future. As well as grain farming, he raised sheep, pigs, and cattle. Technology and innovation was his forte. If it was new and different, he had to try it or find a better way. He was a major proponent of developing and constructing Alberta’s first rural water line in 1982. Winters were spent hauling fuel and logs and remodeling the farm house.
Bud had several interests, such as snowmobiling, fishing, hunting, quadding, boating, and rangering. His hobbies included photography, gardening, cooking, wood-carving, bead-making, and stained glass. The last 19 winters were spent in Arizona and summers were spent between the farm and the lake, which he enjoyed with his children, grandchildren, and friends of all ages.
Bud was predeceased by his son Jeff, parents Heber and Sadie, brothers Heber, Jack, Bill and Roger, and sister Emma.
Bud is survived by his wife Donna, children and grandchildren: James, Laurie, Dawson and Emma, Karen, Ken, Sam, and Max, Fred, Shauna, Grayce, Eve, Sage, Brooke and Dex, Tracy, Aly and Chloe, sisters Eva and Sophie.
Bud passed away suddenly in Casa Grande, Arizona on Jan. 20, 2013 at the age of 73 years. He will be so greatly missed as he was such a fun-loving husband, dad, grandpa, and friend.
It is with God’s Grace and mercy that we announce the passing of Kathrine (Kay) Froese.
Kathrine chose to be with her Lord Saviour Jesus Christ on Saturday, May 4, 2013, and joins her husband Olie (1998), and her grandson Kevin (1997).
Kay leaves behind three children: Shirley (Roy) Woodcock of Westlock, Ronald Froese of High Prairie, and Deborah (Harold) Braucht of Houston, Texas; five grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren; and numerous relatives and friends.
A private celebration of her life was held Wednesday, May 8.
Our mother and grandmother, Anne Borsky (nee Nadkrynechny), passed away peacefully with her family by her side at the age of 88 years at Ridgeview Lodge in Kamloops, B.C. on May 5, 2013.
Anne was born in the Ukraine Dec. 13, 1924 and immigrated with her family to Canada when she was three years old. Her family settled in Sunset House as homesteaders.
Anne married Alex Borsky and moved to High Prairie. She lived a hard life but appreciated everything to its fullest. One of her favourite times was being in the bush picking saskatoons and other wild berries to bring home to make jam.
Anne was a master gardener and was the envy of her neighbours, especially for her raspberries, flowers and vegetables. She was also very proud of winning gardening awards in her community. Her gardening efforts and skills fed her family all year long and any extra vegetables that weren’t frozen or canned would be sold at one of her famous yard sales.
After raising her family, Anne worked in the High Prairie school system. Everyone in High Prairie knew her because of her special relationships with all the children. She also volunteered at the local library and museum during her spare time. Her donations to the High Prairie Museum are her legacy to the people in her town.
Anne was predeceased by: her husband Alex; sister Eva; and her beloved daughter Janet at age 16. The loss of Janet deeply affected Anne and changed her forever.
Anne leaves behind: her two children, Errol (Alice) and Mary (Alastair); six grandchildren, Dave, Elizabeth, Yolanda, Noah, Robin, Cassie and Julia; brother Ken (Anne); niece Valerie (Steve); nephew Rick (Monique) and their children Tenille and Carter as well as her dear friend, Shvam, and her many friends in High Prairie and Kamloops.
At Anne’s request there will be no funeral but we will be burying her ashes in High Prairie later this summer and will celebrate her life with her friends.
Dr. Kendel Sunico Tang
Dr. Kendel Sunico Tang left this earth peacefully on Sept. 19, 2012, at the age of 73 years, at the University of Alberta Hospital in Edmonton after a courageous battle with cancer and kidney disease.
Kendel was born in Bacolod City, Philippines, on May 23, 1939. He was the eldest of five children. He earned his Bachelor of Education degree at the University of San Carlos in Cebu City and pursued graduate studies in the United States at Michigan, New York, and Harvard.
In 1970, Ken completed his doctorate in Educational Psychology at the University of Hawaii. He served as the youngest principal at Cebu American School, and as a department chairman and professor at De La Salle University in Manila.
Ken started his Canadian career teaching at Alberta Vocational College in Grouard. Ken was a lifetime member of the Psychologists Association of Alberta, and provided counselling services throughout northern Alberta.
In 1988, Ken accepted a Psychology Instructor position at Grande Prairie Regional College and retired in 2006 as an Instructor Emeritus. As a proponent of lifelong education, after retirement Ken achieved a Certified Immigration Consultant designation via Humber College.
Ken married Virginia Berenato on Jan. 6, 1975. They eventually settled in High Prairie, where their two children, Kevin and Karen, were born. In High Prairie, Ken was active in the Lions Club and St. Paul’s Parish, embracing Canadian culture to its fullest, while still staying proud of his Filipino roots and supporting his extended family overseas.
In Grande Prairie, Ken held leadership roles in both the Filipino and multicultural associations. The Tang home was a welcome haven for many newcomers to Canada.
Ken coached and competed in amateur athletics at regional and provincial levels in table tennis and running, and also enjoyed basketball, tennis, and hiking. He had a strong faith life and was active in the church. Ken loved nature, animals - especially his dogs King and Prince - music, movies, and travelling to visit friends and family.
Ken is survived by: his loving wife of 36 years, Virginia; son Kevin (Christy Cheremshynski, and daughter Karen Christian (Nicholas); grandson Gavin Kennedy Christian; sister Kelly Esporas; nephew Conrad Dupaya, and niece Arlene Failma (Corey Rikkers); half-brother Arsenio; other family members in the Philippines and Canada; and many close friends.
He is predeceased by: his parents, Kwong and Florita; mother-in-law Lina Failma; half-brother Alejandro, and half-sister Arsenia.
A prayer service was held for Kendel Tang at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Grande Prairie. A funeral mass was held Sept. 29 at St. Joseph’s Church. Interment followed at the Grande Prairie Cemetery.
Memorial donations in Dr. Kendel Tang’s name may be made to Grande Prairie Home Care Services. Donations will also be accepted towards a scholarship fund being established in Dr. Tang's memory.
Gwen Gordon was born on Oct. 6, 1948 in the town of Sturgis, Sask.
Her first four years were spent in the tiny rural teacherage of Mananah School. This school was three and half miles east of Sturgis. This teacherage was where her parents, Hudson and Patricia Armstrong, lived when they were first married and where her father taught Grades 1-8. This teacherage was one mile south of the half section that they also farmed.
Gwen was joined in 1949 by a sister, Sharon (Westberg) and in 1951 by a brother, Chuck Armstrong. In 1954, the family moved to the nearby town of Sturgis where Gwen took her schooling from Grade 1-12. She was always an excellent student and participated in school sports and other activities.
Gwen attended the University of Regina from 1966-1969 where she attained a Bachelor of Arts Degree with distinction majoring in history. She moved to Saskatoon in 1969 to attend the University of Saskatchewan and graduated in 1970 with a Bachelors Degree in Education in Secondary Education, also with distinction.
While in Saskatoon, she met Harold (Hi) Gordon. They were married in 1971 and moved to High Prairie in 1972. Gwen began teaching at AVC Grouard in 1973. She loved her work at the College, where she stayed as a teacher and later an administrator until her retirement in June of 2011.
In April 1980, Gwen bought a farm home and a quarter section of land in the Big Meadow area northeast of High Prairie. She loved her home and garden and her pets and was renowned for her generosity in sharing her garden produce, her hospitality and her excellent meals and baking. Her pets were always a very major part of her life.
Gwen was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2005 and recovered with treatment. This repeated itself in 2009. Her cancer returned this spring.
Gwen died peacefully in the loving arms of her Heavenly Father at 3 a.m. on Nov. 3, 2012.
Gwen is survived and mourned by: her sister, Sharon Westberg and Sharon’s husband, Pat Westberg; her brother Chuck Armstrong and his wife Holly Armstrong; and her eight nieces and nephews and their children.
Gwen was predeceased by: her parents, Hudson Armstrong in 1990 and Pat Armstrong in 2010; her husband Harold Gordon in a boating accident in 1977; her beloved companion Denny Gouchier in 1979; and by her partner Paul Pavlik, who died of cancer in 2005.
Iris Marzella Williscroft
It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Iris Marzella Williscroft (nee Butz), of Edmonton, on Jan. 7, 2011, only 17 days after her 89th birthday. She was born Dec. 21, 1921.
Iris is survived by her loving family: sons Keith of Wembley, Alta., Richard (Judi) of south Edmonton and daughter Linda (Vic) Casavant of Hanceville, B.C.; six grandsons, three granddaughters and 11 great-grandchildren; her sister June Wight, of Victoria, BC, ; two sister-in-laws, Charlotte Butz and Judy Butz, both of Dewberry, Alta.; as well as many nieces, nephews, great nieces great nephews.
Iris was predeceased by: her husband Harry; parents Sam and Ada Butz; brothers Roy and Adolph; sisters Inez Hartwell, Evelyn Bensmiller, Annette Isert; and daughter-in-law, Doris Williscroft.
The service was held Jan. 13, 2011 at the Glenwood Funeral Home in Sherwood Park, Alta. Friday, Jan. 14. Interment followed at Glenwood Memorial Gardens.
Lena Justine Tomkins
Lena Justine Tomkins was born March 1, 1922, in Grouard, and passed away surrounded by her family March 15, 2011, at the J.B. Wood Extended Care in High Prairie at the age of 89 years.
Left to mourn her passing are: her niece, Adele Laderoute; son-in-law Donald Laderoute; and her siblings Louis, Leonie and Sammy. Lena will really be missed by all her nieces and nephews who are too numerous to count.
Lena was predeceased by: her husband, Charles Marvin “Checker” Tomkins; son Ronnie; parents Peter Anderson and Alice Supernault-Anderson; her sister, Amy L’Hirondelle; and her brothers George, Ernie, Joseph, and Leonard.
Lena, a long-time resident of High Prairie, married Checker Feb. 8, 1939, and together they traveled wherever his army career took them. With their son Ronnie, they lived in places such as Jasper, Petawawa, Ont. and Winnipeg. During this time, Lena was a homemaker and seamstress. They moved to Calgary when Checker retired from the army. Their lives were filled with joy when Lena’s niece, Adele, 7, came to live with them. They loved and cherished her for the rest of their lives.
For many years during their retirement years, they managed the apartment building they lived in. Lena continued to manage the building even after Checker’s death. Even though she was in her eighties, she was always repairing whatever needed fixed. Lena was the “mother hen” of the apartment building and made many friends who in turn, watched out for her.
Lena loved to have people over to visit and never missed an opportunity to have visitors over for tea and cookies. Weekly bingo was a must in their lives and Lena continued to go to High Prairie for as long as her health allowed.
When we were little girls, we were always so excited when Lena would send us these great big boxes of baby diapers, flannelette and clothes that she had made or gathered at the discount stores. It was like Christmas when those boxes would arrive because she always hid some caramel suckers inside for us.
Lena’s niece, Eileen, remembers living with her sister, Dorothy, in Calgary. She always enjoyed going over to see Lena and Checker. They would always tell all sorts of stories and have lots of food to eat. They wouldn’t let any visitors leave until they ate something.
Nephew Lawrence Anderson remembers driving for Lena and Checker when he was young. They had a beautiful ‘67 Chevy Caprice Classic. Lawrence was hesitant to drive as he didn’t have a driver’s licence. Checker told him not to worry as all he had to do was use two hands and off they went. It was the longest two hours of his young life.
Another memory Lawrence Anderson had was a visit they made up north. They followed a truck into Super A when Checker commented, “I don’t know who this stupid farmer is taking his bloody time.” When they parked next to this truck they discovered it was Louis Anderson, Lena’s brother. Lena never let him forget that he called her brother a stupid farmer.
Also, when Gloria, Lawrence Anderson’s wife, was close to giving birth to Lawrence Anderson Jr. in February 1985, Lena insisted he call as soon as the baby came and sure enough they came right over to the hospital.
During the last few years, Lena suffered many losses: Checker in 2003, her Calgary home in 2005 and her leg in 2008. Her positive attitude, faith and inner strength were an inspiration to all of us. Through it all she always talked about moving back to Calgary, where she was eventually laid to rest.
The funeral for Lena was held March 19 at St. Paul’s Roman Catholic Church in High Prairie with Father Abraham Srambical officiating. The eulogists were Dorothy and Thelma Anderson. Interment followed at the Queen’s Park Cemetery in Calgary.