With a heavy heart, the family of Nelson Auger, long time resident of Grouard, passed away April 6, 2010.
Nelson was born Sept. 8, 1971 at High Prairie. He was 38 years old and will be dearly missed.
Left to mourn his loss and cherish his memories is his loving family: wife Terri Cardinal; sons Dodge, Chance, Bay-lee and his precious daughter Novalee; father Dan LaMouche Jr. of Grouard, AB; and his family Leanne, Elyssa, Hayley, Ben, and DJ; sister Shannon (Bob Brunen) LaMouche of Hinton, AB and their children Shantelle, Daniel, Louis-lee, and Heather; sister Lorraine LaMouche of Hinton, AB, and spouse Dan Daigle; sister Loretta LaMouche of Edmonton and her children Shania, Brent, and Devin; sister Laura LaMouche of Edmonton and her children Taylor and Dominic; sister Lisa (Don Beaverbone) LaMouche of Edmonton, AB and their children Eli, Sabastian, and Denver.
Memorial services were held April 12, 2010 at the Grouard Mission Church at 1 p.m. with Father Abraham Srambical officiating. Nelson was laid to rest with his belated mother Maria LaMouche (nee Auger) at the Grouard Cemetery immediately following the service.
1986 - 2003
Trisha Leah Calliou passed away on May 11, 2003 at a young age of 16 due to a single vehicle roll over on East Prairie Road between 7:00 pm and 7:30 pm.
Trisha was born on November 14, 1986 in Edmonton to Patsy Calliou and Davey Tallman. Her siblings are Anthony Calliou and Erica Calliou.
All will know that they have an auntie up in heaven who became a special angel.
Also, nine stepsister/brothers from her father. Numerous Uncles, Aunties and cousins from both side of the family. She got to know both of her grandparents. Godparents were Uncle Terry Calliou and Auntie Rosalie Tallman. Two Godchildren Drayton Calliou and Kendra Calliou.
Trisha lived in High Prairie with her mother from 1986 to 1988. Brother Anthony was born in 1988 then in early 1989 moved to Edmonton. Trisha attended Playschool, Kindergarten and grade 1 at Belmead School. Sister Erica was born in 1991. They all moved to Slave Lake where Trisha attended grade 2 at CJ Schurter School and grade 3 at E.G. Wahlstrom School. They then moved to Sucker Creek were she attended grade 4 to 6 at High Prairie Elementary School, grade 7-8 at Prairie River Junior High School, grade 9 at St. Andrew's and grade 10-11 at E.W. Pratt High School. She had only 1 1/2 month of school left to complete her grade 11. Trish always said she wanted to graduate no matter how long it took, even if it took 5 years. Her goal was to graduate, find a good job, buy a vehicle and move out of High Prairie area.
I found in her Grade 9 Reflection Book, a mission statement she wrote that stated "I believe that we were put on this earth to accomplish something or achieve something before we die". Apparently, she reached that goal because she was taken so soon.
Trisha loved to play volleyball, basketball, talking on the phone with her friends, visiting family and friends. Her uncles and aunties could depend on her when they needed a babysitter, she loved to do things for her family and friends.
Trisha was so young and vibrant, full of life. She had a lot of potential to become a beautiful independent woman. Now we will never know what she could have done to change the world, she left us so soon. Not yet a women, yet just a girl. But while she was here, she made the world a better place, with her smile on her face, sense of humor and the love for everyone. She made everyone seem so special and welcomed right up until the end. You felt very privileged to have known her.
We will always know she will be watching over us from above. Sadly missed and forever loved by her mother Patsy, brother Anthony, sister Erica, nephew DeShaun, family, Junior Cunningham, Joey Cunningham, Stacey Cunningham, Nicks Carifelle, Denae Cunningham, Mary Lauck, Heather Anderson, Jamie Badger, Chantel Ominayak, Diane Calliou, Melissa Calliou and from all her other friends. It is hard at times but like a song she wanted to be played at her funeral "Life Goes On" by Tupac Shakur shows us, we have no choice but to continue to live on no matter how much we hurt or miss her everyday.
Stella Wolfe (Krawec)
Stella Wolfe (nee Krawec), a recent resident of Rycroft, Alta., and formerly of High Prairie, passed away in Spirit River, Alta. on Jan. 20, 2005, after losing her courageous battle to cancer.
Stella will be lovingly remembered and sadly missed by her mother, Tillie Krawec of High Prairie; her four children: Janette (Jim) Voysey of Edmonton, Carey (Leona) Humeniuk of High Prairie, Karen Barney of Grande Prairie, and Allen (Sally) Wolfe of Peace River; her four grandchildren, Joshua Humeniuk, Kelsey Voysey, Alexander Wolfe and Carley Wolfe; step-granddaughters Marcie (Lucas) Willier and Michelle Foster; step great-granddaughters Sarah, Cameron and Olivia Willier. She also leaves to mourn her companion, Mervin Burback of Rycroft and his family, who became her children, as well as she became a part of their lives.
She also leaves to mourn her brothers and sisters: Maurice Krawec of Calgary, Peter (Ann) Krawec of Clearwater, B.C., Nick Krawec of High Prairie, Joe (Doreen) Krawec of Grande Prairie, Tony (Annette) Krawec of Calgary, Mary (Wayne) Konelsky of Rocky Mountain House, Olga (Larry) Shmit of Fort Saskatchewn, Lena (Dwayne) Vivian of St. Albert, and Jeanne Krawec of Duncan, B.C., as well as numerous nieces and nephews and many friends.
Stella was predeceased by her brother, David, in 1933, her father, Phillip Krawec in 1992, and her husband, Harry Wolfe, in 1994.
Stella was born and raised in the High Prairie area. She worked for many years at the Bay and then at Stedmans IGA for 20 years before retiring to Rycroft with Mervin Burback. Stella's interests were many. She loved the outdoors enjoying golfing, camping, quadding, hunting, etc. Indoors she tried every craft there was. She sewed beautifully and made many a graduation gown or bridesmaid dress. She did woodwork, crocheted, quilted and painted. Stella loved music and spent many weekends at the country jamborees playing guitar and singing.
Stella was generous and loving, kind, compassionate, creative and wise and her presence will remain with us all.
The funeral for the late Stella Wolfe was held at St. Paul's Roman Catholic Church in High Prairie on Jan. 27. A second memorial service for Stella was held in Rycroft Feb. 3 at the United Church.
Ruth Isabel Sloan
Ruth Isabel Sloan (nee Cuthbert) passed away on Dec. 17, 2005.
Ruth is survived by: her loving husband Lawrence, by her children Daniel (Dorothy) and children Garrett, Brenna and Kelsey; Karen Irla (Michael) and children Trina Connell (Derek), Brent (Nevada); Marshall (Brenda) and children Lorraine Krogsgaard (Aaron), Lindsay, Corrine and Ann; David (Gwen) and children Cole and Rayleen; and Holly Mertz (Brad) and son, Chris.
Ruth is also survived by four great grandchildren: Chelsea, Talon, Cassidy and Jack; sisters Ethel (Betty) Tanghe, Verna Tanghe and Elsie Sloan and brothers Phillip (Ted), Mark (Nibs) and Melvin (Red) Cuthbert and Wilfred, Doug and Frank Lacosse.
Ruth was predeceased by her parents Tom and Mae; brothers Armony (Bus), Russell (Mert), Percy (Bobby) and Murrill (Big).
1921 - 2006
Roy Turner, 84 of Grande Prairie, Alberta passed away peacefully on June 13, 2006 surrounded by his family.
Roy was born in Meyronne, Saskatchewan on October 11, 1921. He grew up in Woodrow, Saskatchewan. Roy met the love of his life, Dorothy Harper, in Toronto, Ontario. Roy and Dorothy homesteaded on a farm 25 miles west of High Prairie in the Peace Country where they raised their four daughters. Roy retired from farming in 1983 and moved to Grande Prairie to be closer to family. He kept very busy with carpentry work and curling. His greatest pride and joy was his cottage at Winnigami Lake. Roy is survived by his loving wife of 56 years, Dorothy; daughter Elizabeth (Rene) of Fox Creek, Alberta; daughter Kathy of Winnipeg, Manitoba; daughter Susan (Marcel) of Grande Prairie, Alberta; and daughter Vicki (Mike) of Grande Prairie, Alberta; grandchildren, Suzanne, Tammy, Nancy, Carrie, Michael, Amanda and Matthew, and great-grandchildren, Alyssa, Samantha, Parker, Teagan and Hudson.
Funeral service will be held on Friday, June 16, 2006 at 4 p.m. from Oliver’s Grande Prairie Funeral Chapel (10005-107 Avenue).
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Grande Prairie Care Centre.
Judge Roger Phillip Smith
Judge Roger Phillip Smith is being remembered by friends and colleagues as a fair and impartial judge with a degree of compassion unmatched on the bench.
Judge Smith passed away suddenly at his home April 9 at the age of 65 years.
Colleague Judge L.E. Nemirsky was the first to pay tribute to Judge Smith after his untimely passing with a few words before High Prairie provincial court began April 11.
"He was a wonderful person, a good friend and a very good judge. Those of you who know him will miss him greatly as will I."
"All I can say is we were shocked and saddened, " says High Prairie RCMP Staff Sgt. Dan McNaughton speaking for all RCMP members. "He's been an active member of our community. We had an excellent relationship and enjoyed working with him."
"He was a very knowledgeable and gifted man who enjoyed helping people, " adds High Prairie Probation senior officer Dan Brault. "He will be sadly missed."
Roger Phillip Smith was born in the southern coastal town of Weymouth, England, on Sept. 8, 1939. He grew up and received his education there until moving to the English Midlands and enrolling in the University of Birmingham. Roger obtained his degree in law and graduated from university in 1961. He would then spend the next several years in various professions including teaching law in an English college.
In 1969, Smith was called to the English Bar and began practicing law in London. He continued to practice law there until he decided to move to Grande Prairie in 1973. He entered private practice and was subsequently called to the Alberta Bar in 1974. He would eventually leave private practice and become the only Crown prosecutor at the time in Grande Prairie. He would continue working in that position until 1977 before moving to Drumheller, Alta. to again work in the office of the Crown prosecutor.
Smith returned to private practice in 1979 when he moved to Edmonton. He continued in private practice until once again he returned to Grande Prairie, this time to assume the position of chief Crown prosecutor in 1982. He would stay in that position until 1986 when he would be appointed as a judge of the Provincial Court of Alberta on July 28. He had now reached the pinnacle of his personal career, and a goal he had strived for since entering the legal profession as a young man in England.
Judge Smith resided in High Prairie and would have regular sittings in High Prairie, Slave Lake, Faust, Red Earth Creek and Wabasca. Other sittings, when needed, would see him travel to every courthouse in Northwest Alberta and at times, the entire province. He was still active and served as a judge until the time of his death.
Judge Smith's eulogy was delivered by Ron Howells at the funeral April 16.
"Judge Roger Smith will always be known for his fairness and impartiality and his passing will create a void that will be difficult if not impossible to correct, " says Howells.
Judge Smith always abided by a golden rule.
"My golden rule is that although I can take away their freedom and money, I won't take away their dignity. Power should never be so awesome or controllable."
Howells also described Judge Smith as a man of remarkable intellect, compassion, understanding and loyalty, and one who should be a role model for all.
Judge Smith is survived by: his wife, Joanne; son Guy Smith and wife Sherry Hansen-Smith, along with granddaughters Hannah and Erika; daughter Becky and husband Ed Kop, along with grandchildren Chelsea, Ben and Sebastian; stepdaughter Jodi and husband Stan Sware, along with grandchildren Annika, Bryar and Katija. His surviving relatives in England include his stepbrother, Arthur, his half-sister Christine and his cousin, Jackie and her husband, John Mowlam.
Judge Smith was predeceased by: his mother, Marian Lewis; his father, Sid Smith; and his stepfather, Arthur Lewis.
A celebration of Judge Smith's life was held at High Prairie St. Paul's Roman Catholic Church April 16 at 2 p.m. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Heart and Stroke Foundation.
Patrick William Wald
Patrick was born in Edmonton, Alberta on Oct. 4, 1984.
Left with me to mourn are: his sisters, Candace and Heather (Sebastien D. Eschambeault) and baby niece Sophia; his father Albert Kilkenny; step-dad Gary Wald; uncles Leonard (Ruth) Berry, Jim (Pat) Berry, Myron Kilkenny of Fairview, Michael (Nadine) Kilkenny of Qualicum, B.C.; aunt Margaret Berry of Peace River; grandmother Joyce Persson of Grande Prairie; several cousins, extended and blended family members and innumerable friends.
He was predeceased by: all of his natural grandparents, Oscar and Margaret Berry of High Prairie, Bill Kilkenny of Grimshaw, and Frank and Joan McPhail of Grimshaw; his uncle, Bob Berry of High Prairie; his little cousin Rose from Grimshaw; and our blended family Grandpa Rod Persson of Grande Prairie and two young men he considered to be his brothers, Nick Daskewich and Mike Christopher.
The funeral service was held for Patrick at St. Paul’s Roman Catholic Church in High Prairie on Oct. 17, 2005, with Father Louis Saldanha officiating. He was laid to rest in St. Mark’s Cemetery in High Prairie.
A celebration of Patrick’s life was held on Oct. 9, 2005 at the Five Mile Hall, Grande Prairie.
If friends so desire, donations may be made to Kev’s Kids c/o Sun-FM, Suite 200, 9835-101 Avenue, Grande Prairie, AB T8V 5V4, as expressions of sympathy.
Muriel Jeanette (Jacobson) Blaikie
Muriel Jeanette (Jacobson) Blaikie was born Oct. 7, 1912 in Bawlf, Alta. to Andrew and Annie Jacobson, immigrants from Norway.
Muriel was the third of 10 children including five girls and five boys.
As a young woman, Muriel worked at various lumber camps as a cook's helper, where she eventually met Harris Blaikie. They were married on Aug. 18, 1937. Her marriage certificate noted that at the ripe old age of 23, she was a spinster. Following their marriage, they made their home in Whitecourt, Alta. where Harris was an accountant. Before too long, Charles (Chuck) was born, followed by Howard, Richard (Dick), Janet, Stan, Gordon (Jim) and Ron. The family moved around the Whitecourt area trying to make ends meet and put enough food on the table at various jobs.
Finally, in 1958, Muriel and Harris moved to High Prairie where Harris took a job as secretary-treasurer for the Town of High Prairie. Muriel worked for a time cleaning the town office and the RCMP building. Mostly, she remained devoted to raising her family.
Following the death of her husband in 1978, Muriel resided alone in her home in High Prairie until her death. She received her driver's license when she was 65 and drove herself, even within recent months. She began to travel throughout Western Canada and the western United States with her sister, Olive (Toots). She came home with many wonderful stories.
Muriel made many beautiful crafts through her years and many of us have been blessed with her handiwork, be it a quilt, a spoon rack or a macramé chair. She loved to play a little bingo here and there and trips to the casino were agreed upon without a moment's hesitation. She loved to watch any sport on TV, especially hockey or auto racing. She would cheer for any hockey team except Toronto or Montreal. She was known to be able to watch a hockey game on TV and listen to another on the radio at the same time, although she would never admit it. She would take a keen interest in specific athletes and it was as though Muriel knew her favourite sports stars personally. She would enjoy telling her children and grandchildren about the highlights of that person.
Muriel loved to read. Often, late at night, her bedroom light would still be on, telling those concerned that she was probably right in the midst of a great story. Family members were also aware that a visit or a telephone call too early in the day, say 11:30 a.m. or so, might mean Muriel may not be available.
When the Lutheran Church began to offer services in the church at Triangle, Muriel began attending regularly when the roads were good and when she was feeling well enough. In 1991, she was confirmed in the Lutheran faith.
In 1992, when she tuned 80, her children hosted a surprise birthday for her. It was the first party that she had to celebrate her many birthdays.
Muriel leaves behind her loving children: Chuck Blaikie of Wabamum, Alta, Howard (Gerry) Blaikie or High Prairie, Richard (Sheryl) of High Prairie, Janet (Robert) Lemay of Enilda, Stanley (Cathie) Blaikie of Edson, and Ron (Marilyn) Blaikie of Sherwood Park; 19 grandchildren; 21 great grandchildren; her brothers, Jack (Norma) Jacobson, Stanley (Nancy) Jacobson and Ken Jacobson; as well as numerous nieces and nephews.
She was predeceased by: her husband, Harris Alex Blaikie in 1978; one son, Gordon James Blaikie in August 1994; her parents; and six brothers and sisters.
Muriel spent 92 years with us and passed away Jan. 12, 2005, in High Prairie, after a brief illness. She lived a good and happy life. Her family is thankful that she graced our lives for so long, and that she was well and clear-minded until the end. She was the core of the family and will be missed sorely.
A small prayer service was held at the Lutheran Church in High Prairie Jan. 19 to commemorate Muriel's life. Interment will follow at a later date.
1914 - 2006
Aboriginal veteran passes away leaving legacy
Fred Myles Belcourt, known by most as Mike Belcourt, was born in Heart River on Sept. 2, 1914, one of six children born to Daniel and Sophie Belcourt.
Mike’s father passed away when he was 15. As the eldest son he went to work to support his family. It was while he was working in the Northwest Territories that World War II broke out in Europe. Mike traveled down to enlist in Peace River.
“A lot of my friends had already gone over and I didn’t want to be left behind, ” he later recalled.
He first served with the 2nd Canadian Army Service Corp and was often responsible for drilling platoons. Mike then went on to serve as a Lance-Corporal with the 5th Canadian Service Corp.
In 1943, aboard a ship headed to Italy, his convoy, which included 35 other vessels, was attacked at dusk.
“I looked up and saw that we were completely surrounded by enemy aircraft. I was one of 36 gunners and we positioned or guns at a 45-degree angle and commenced firing. The enemy started dropping torpedoes, we could see them coming through the water at us.”
They were able to save all the vessels with the exception of a hospital ship that was hit making it necessary for the passengers to abandon that ship. All but one nurse were rescued. The convoy scattered in all directions to evade further attacks and Mike went on to Italy where, with six men under his command, he braved it through heavy artillery to get ammunition and supplies to the troops.
In 1994, while volunteering to organize events for the Elders that included recognition of our veterans, I first spoke with Mike about his experiences in the war. I remember that day so well as we sat in the upstairs office of the old office and he began to share his experiences. We both cried and I was so moved by what he had said that I was determined to locate and speak with the other veterans on all the eight settlements.
When I finished collecting their stories I sat with Mike and we decided to approach Ottawa to appeal for a review of the treatment of the Aboriginal veterans when they left the service. Although they were entitled to land, education, insurance and counseling most veterans told me they were never told about these benefits and never accessed them. These findings began the appeal to the federal government and in 1996 Mike and five other Metis veterans went before a standing committee on Aboriginal peoples chaired by Jane Stewart and told their stories.
After hearing them the committee unanimously agreed that there had been an injustice done and their recommendation was to looking further into it and doing something about it. The National Aboriginal Veterans Society took up the cause and it resulted in the placing of a large statue on Parliament Hill recognizing the contribution of aboriginal soldiers to the war effort, a scholarship foundation being established for veterans’ descendants and many Aboriginal veterans being taken back to Europe to bring closure to their war experiences.
Canada has finally officially acknowledged the huge contribution of Aboriginal veterans and it all began in a little office at Gift Lake Metis Settlement with Mike.
Mike believed in hard work and started farming with his parents at a young age. When he returned home after the end of the war, he worked many different jobs that included being a CN Rail worker, millwright in High Prairie, a custodian at Gift Lake CVC, a mailman for the Grouard to Whitefish route by horse and wagon, an elected member of the Gift Lake Settlement council for one term and a member of the Gift Lake School board for two terms.
Mike met his wife, Louise, at a dance in Grouard when she was only 17 years old. They were married on Feb. 21, 1955 in Whitefish. They had their first child the year after who tragically only lived for two years. They went on to have 16 children, 10 girls and six boys.
Mike was a devoted husband and father. He believed he was responsible for providing everything for his family and helped Louise with the many tasks of raising a large family that included going to High Prairie once a week to do the clothes at the laundromat. Louise would sort the clothes and put them into garbage bags so all Mike and Josephine had to do was dump out the bags and load the clothes into the machines.
One day Louise had put a bag of garbage near the bags of clothes to be washed. Not realizing this, Mike picked it up along with the other bags and took them all to town. When he got to the laundromat he began dumping out the bags but when he dumped the bag of garbage all Josephine could hear was cans falling onto the floor and the clatter of garbage flying around. She was so embarrassed she hid and watched the manager help her Dad clean it up. Mike carried on as if nothing had happened but I’ll bet he checked the bags from then on!
Mike took really good care of his family. He thought more of others’ needs than his own. Louise and he were always traveling together somewhere. He seldom left without her. They would travel to the city or to visit relatives.
On one of these trips to Edmonton Mike asked Louise for some face cream to sooth his dried out skin. She told him it was in a tube in her bag. He got it out and put some on his hands and rubbed it all over his face.
“I can feel it working already! My skin feels nice and tight, ” he excitedly told Louise.
He was soon to discover he had grabbed the wrong tube and had put Quick Sew - a kind of fabric glue on his face. All I can say is thank goodness he didn’t have a beard then!
Mike was always trying to make sure Louise had everything she needed and he did his best to take good care of her. It is because of his commitment to her and her well-being, that the family believes kept him fighting to stay alive so long even when he was so sick. He didn’t want to leave her alone.
Chris recalls his dad saying, “If you see someone down and needing help it doesn’t matter what they look like or the color of their skin.. .you need to help them.” Mike never held a grudge and didn’t take sides. He believed all were worthy to be loved and respected and lived by that rule.
Mike loved hunting, fishing and trapping. He was an avid outdoorsman. He was determined to do things himself as long as he could and could be seen chopping his own wood and picking up around the yard in spite of his illness that was obviously taking its toll.
Mike has been a strong voice for the Elders and was named Gift Lake Elder of the Year and received recognition from Gift Lake and the Metis Settlements General Council for his military active duty.
Through the years Moosoom Mike was very active and a whole-hearted man who believed that our kids should learn about themselves. Moosoom became a story teller and through that the youth began learning about their culture.
Moosoom would always participate in our cultural events, including the youth camps in Long Lake. He was very instrumental in keeping our traditional values and beliefs alive and hopefully we all learned a great deal from him. I know I have.
Mike was a faithful member of the Gift Lake Catholic Church and took his role as Lay Minister very seriously. He took his cursillo in 1997 in Hobbema with Charles and Linda McLeod as sponsors.
Mike is survived by: his wife, Louise M. Belcourt; children: Gordon (Freda), Beatrice, Barbara, Vicki, Roland (Barb), Joyce, Karen, Marvin (Roxanne), Josephine (Conrad), Polly (Darwin), Chris (Josie); sister Maggie Travis; 47 grandchildren and 38 great grandchildren; numerous nieces, nephews, relatives and friends.
Mike will be sadly missed by family and friends. Although he didn’t posses much material wealth he leaves behind a rich legacy of traditional values and the ability to find humor and laugh even in the hard times. It is these gifts of his we will keep in our hearts and he will live on in his children and their children’s children and in all whose lives have been touched by him in some way.