EDWARD WILLIAM GULA
June 2, 1945 – September 6, 2008
Ed was born on June 2, 1945 in Dawson Creek BC. The 4th of 8 children, Ed lived in the backwoods of Cherry Point Alta. until he left home at age 16. Ed only received a Grade 9 education, but his last report card boasted all A’s & B’s. Being mechanically gifted, Ed was able to build or fix anything. When a new electrical tool or appliance was bought, it came out of the box and Ed would have to dismantle it and then put it back together to see how it worked.
Ed worked as a roughneck and drove water truck for Jim McIntosh. Driving tow truck was short lived when he was nearly killed by a drunk driver while out on a recovery. Ed operated equipment for Ray Jones and then worked at Tompkins Construction. Alex Podulski mentored Ed and encouraged him to pursue his Heavy Duty Mechanic Journeyman ticket. In 1978 Ed challenged the test and received his certification. Though he worked on a variety of equipment, he was a CAT man at heart. Ed also worked for VE Brandl and then Finning for 15 years. As Gula Mechanical Services, he contracted to a variety of companies, but spent most of those years at Surerus Construction.
On May 15, 1971 Ed Gula and Lyn Gerow were married at St Luke’s Church. This is where life & legacy truly began. Ed and Lyn moved into a small house on a ¼ acre in Clairmont subd. Ed went to work clearing trees and levelling dirt. He and Lyn lovingly created a home for their 3 children and extended family. They lived there for nearly 30 years.
Over the years, Ed developed his love and skill in growing a garden and tending a greenhouse. Cucumbers and tomatoes from the greenhouse, everything else you could imagine in the garden. Ed’s veggies were certainly family famous; children would sneak into the garden, some military style on their bellies, to raid the pea patch or whatever they could. There were always plenty of tomatoes and cucumbers to share.
After purchasing 5 acres in Charlie Lake, Ed again had fun clearing trees, moving dirt and hauling fill. A new house was moved on and Ed built a garage. Of course there was a greenhouse and a huge garden. He bought a New Holland tractor and played as he worked. He was always busy either outside or in his garage. He worked until shortly before he was admitted into the hospital.
Ed blessed his family with many memories. He drove thousands of miles thru BC and Alta., camping and fishing and camping some more. Ed truly loved outdoors, nature and the river hills, especially in the fall. Family drives on Sunday were to the Peace or Beaton river hills for the view and a hike. In the summer there were bonfires in the back yard nearly every night, children played tag and easy-over in the dark. He took his family fishing and boating or down to the creek that ran behind their house. By the grace of the Lord and Ed’s determination, he provided a life and a childhood he could have only imagined growing up.
Ed was a quiet man, a thinker, with a quirky smile and a dry sense of humour. He was not flashy. He was proud and stubborn, but not prideful. He was a man who saw what needed to be done and did it. If you asked for help, generally he would. While sick, Ed rarely complained about the pain or the situation he was in. He did what he could until he couldn’t and then humbly accepted help. Ed’s illness came and took him so quickly, but his family is thankful for many blessings. Ed had very little pain. He hated being incapacitated and didn’t want to be any longer than he was. He didn’t have to endure the horrors of therapy and still not be healed. Most important of all, Ed realized how much his family loved him.
Though Ed is gone, he is not. His legacy continues through his children and grandchildren, his memory through those who knew him.
Ed is survived by his devoted wife Lyn, daughter Lynette and her children, Riley, Kiera and Connor, son Dale and his daughter Tayla and son Ryan, daughter-in-law Christa and their daughter Mazy.
Also by brothers George, Lawrence (Sylvia), Phil (Ingrid), Stan (Ellen), sisters Alice, Barb (Tom), Margaret (Mark), Mother-in-law Flo Gerow, Brother-in-law Bert Gerow, sister-in-laws Gloria (Bob) Kaechler, Pat (John) Hartel, Donna Fleming and many nieces and nephews.
Thank you to: Dr. H. Brussow for your compassionate care
The nurses at the Fort St. John Hospital and the Palliative Care society
Pastor Don Holloway for your prayers of comfort for Ed and family
Brian and Sean Surerus and the Surerus Construction Family, we can’t thank you enough for your support, generosity and kindness
Our friends and family, your love and prayers truly are a blessing for which we are ever thankful
For those wishing to do so, donations in Ed’s memory can be made to the Fort St. John Hospital Foundation’s CT Scanner Campaign.
A Celebration of Life service was held on September 12, 2008 at the Charlie Lake Church, officiated by Pastor Don Holloway
Elmer Ladouceur was born August 11, 1953 in Lac La Biche to Johnny and Ida Ladouceur. He grew up in the Caslan area near Buck Lake where his dad had a boat rental business. As a member of a large family (seven boys and two girls) Elmer developed a variety of hands on skills which served him well throughout his work life. Elmer moved to Edmonton when he was 14 and started his work life as a general labourer.
In the 1980’s Elmer had a brush with death as he was electrocuted on a work site and had to be revived. He sustained burns to his shoulder as well as impairments to his short term memory and his reading and writing skills. Over time his memory did improve but he continued to struggle with his reading and writing.
His life in Silver Valley began in 1992. Margaret and Elmer were married on May 2 and for the remainder of his life he worked and lived in the area. During the 16 years Elmer and Margaret were married, they shared in a number of trips to the USA, both to visit Margaret’s mom as well as to help Margaret’s aunt while her husband recovered from hip surgery.
Over the last 16 years Elmer has worked diligently for a number of local businesses. He started as farm labourer for Ed Matiaszow, at the Silver Valley sawmill, for Stan Johnson, Don Turner, Orin Toews and for Tim Garner in a number of capacities. Elmer did a stint working for Borek Construction in Fort Nelson and in 1994 had a logging block in the Blueberry Forest. Those who Elmer worked for can attest to the varied skill set that Elmer brought with him to his work.
Elmer enjoyed music and playing guitar. If there was someone around to jam with, he would thoroughly enjoy it. He told of meeting country singer Patsy Cline as a boy when she came with others to rent a boat and fish on Buck Lake. He was also handy with some traditional skills such as beading and ceramics and we all witnessed his mechanical abilities with the number of vehicles he worked on.
Elmer met an untimely death in the early morning of September 22, 2008 in a vehicle accident on the edge of Dawson Creek. He leaves to mourn his wife Margaret, adult children Cathy (granddaughter Brooklyn), Jared (wife Lisa with grandchildren Erika, Jiles and Brianna) and Susan, sister Mildred (Roy), brothers Roy and Archie and sister Marlene as well as numerous other relatives. He also leaves friends here in silver Valley and will especially be a significant loss to Tim Garner as a friend and right hand man.
A funeral service was held on September 27, 2008 at the Savanna School Gymnasium, Silver Valley, Alberta, officiated by Pastor Floyd Anderson and Cornelius Thiessen. Interment followed in the Blueberry Mountain Cemetery. Expressions of sympathy may be made in memory of Elmer by way of a donation for a- Bursary for Automotive Mechanic “NAIT advancement Office” c/o Elmer Ladouceur #101-11762-106 Street, Edmonton, Alberta T5G 2R1 or the SPCA 637-114 Avenue, Dawson Creek, BC V1G 3A1.
Doreen was born on March 8, 1938 in Edmonton; she grew up in Alberta Beach and Pouce Coupe before settling in Dawson Creek with her family. She married Ralph Atkinson on February 8, 1958. They had three children Joanne, Robbie, and Michelle. She went to Northern Lights College and became a bookkeeper. She worked for Randy Benoiten before her and Lila Derfler opened A & D office services. She was at A & D office services until her time of death. She loved her work and her clients. Her work was her life.
Doreen and Ralph enjoyed their time with their children playing cards, baseball, and hockey. Doreen enjoyed spending time with her family. She loved to read, cross-stitch, and knit sweaters for her grandchildren. Doreen and Ralph also both enjoyed bowling.
She will be greatly missed by all including her husband, children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, brother, sisters, sister in-law, brother in-laws, nieces, nephews and many friends.
Death is very hard but sometimes life can be harder. We know how much pain you were in and now we can be happy because that pain is gone and you are in a better place. We all will miss you tremendously. It’s amazing to realize how many people you have influenced including us five. Jamie for example is such a caring mother and does a great job teaching her kids while being stern with them just like you did. Jesse has grown into a man so quickly. He is responsible and working hard at his job to make a great life for himself just like you did. Mathew also understands the importance of hard work and has learned from your patience. He knows his time will come he just has to be ready. He is still the fashion freak you taught him to be and it shows each day when he chooses his shoes very carefully just like you did. Alex found out the hard way that when you play cards for money you mean business. He learned at a young age that betting his lunch money with you before school would not only leave him broke but hungry once noon came. Alex has learned many things from you, like the importance of my education, my finances, my goals, and most importantly my happiness. I work hard at life now because I realize how hard my family before me has worked. I will spend my life working to make things better for my grandchildren just like you did. I am who I am with your help. We all are who we are because of you. Grandma, it is important to tell the people here today that in no way is this goodbye; it’s just “see you later”. We love you and miss you already.
WITH LOVE YOUR GRANDCHILDREN
Jamie, Jesse, Erik, Mathew, Alex.
Written by Doreen’s sister, Judy Hunter and read by her niece Richelle Greek.
I’m the youngest and favorite of the five Ed and Jeanne Hunter children. In the last week or so I have been doing an awful lot of thinking and thought I would share a few things that keep coming to mind about Doreen, who I called Dee Dee when I was very young. She has always been my big sister, even when at 8, I was bigger than she was. I don’t know much about her younger years because I’m around the same age as her kids but I do remember a story mom used to tell about a holiday, I think it was to Yellowstone Park, Bud and Bob had been saving comic books for the Big trip and had collected a box full. Somewhere along the road Doreen got sick and threw up in the box. Dad pulled the car over and chucked the box of comics in the ditch. Mom said the boys were so mad she thought they were going to kill her. Doreen was a businesswoman and worked very hard over the years to build up A & D Office Services, which she did mostly on her own. From what I know, I believe she was a good businesswoman. She could be very tough and very stubborn, sometimes to the point that you just wanted to grab her and give her a good shake, I don’t think she would deny this. She wasn’t perfect but who is, for sure not me. She wasn’t a huggy kissy type, and seldom let her emotions show but there was a soft, sentimental and very generous side to Doreen people might not know. Every now and then over the years a birthday card would arrive from her and the theme would always be the same. I know I don’t say it but you know. And I did know, they were always signed Love D.
I remember as a kid Christmas Eve’s. We were allowed to open one gift and I always picked the one from Doreen. I knew that it would be the greatest gift and it always was. She loved to play cards and I remember her coming to the house Wednesday nights to play crib with dad. The stakes were always the same, a quarter a game, 50 cents a skunk, and before I would go to bed we always played one game of “Happy” so I could play too. The ante was 15 cents, I don’t remember if they let me win but somehow I think so. A couple of times I’ve got myself into a bit of a bind and it would only take one phone call to Doreen, she would never judge and would always help me out. Once I arrived home jobless and she didn’t think twice, she gave me a job.
For a time I bowled on her bowling team curled on her curling team and I knew no matter what happened in my life she would always be on my side. I was home this summer and got to help celebrate her and Ralph’s belated 50th Wedding Anniversary. We all sat around together after supper, with a cup of coffee and a piece of cake who’s name has been censored, talking about everything and talking about nothing. Doreen said she had really enjoyed the evening and I had too. There are some things in life you just know. I know she loved her family and I know she loved us. She didn’t have to say. The last time we spoke was a couple of days before she left for Ohio. She called to say she was going. Her conversation has always started the same way with “Hi Jude,” I can still see her crooked little smile. I asked her “How she was feeling”? To which she replied “really good”, that’s what she always said, I know it was for my benefit. She said they were getting ready to go to Jo’s. I asked her if she was up for the trip. She said “Yup”, and that Ralph and Michelle would be there. The last thing I said to her was to give everyone my love and to have a good trip. I should have told her that I loved her and I’m sorry I didn’t but I know she knew. In my heart I know she has been reunited with the very best of the best. I just hope she has enough quarters.
A Memorial service was held on September 25, 2008 at the Notre Dame Roman Catholic Church, Dawson Creek, British Columbia, officiated by Father Michael Anyasoro. Inurnment followed in the Dawson Creek City Cemetery Columbarium.
Keith Allen Hall
Keith Allen Hall was born June 19th, 1947 in Devonshire Bermuda, to Charles and Griszilda Hall. Born and raised on Bermuda’s only Dairy Farm, he was the youngest of 21 children where he was given the nickname Baby Joe by his family and friends. He discovered his talent for music very early in life and at the age of 14 opened for Sammy Davis Jr. in Bermuda where he was offered a tour position. His mother however, thought Keith was too young and rejected the offer.
Growing up in Bermuda in the 50‘s, provided Keith with the perfect backdrop for the many boyhood adventures he would have growing up. It was then that Keith demonstrated another extraordinary talent of getting into trouble. His exploits, some mischievous, some funny, some childishly naive and some dangerous became legend on the island and of great consternation to his mother.
Keith received the Order of the British Empire (O.B.E) when he was a teenager for saving the life of a disabled woman during a riot, and helped calm and disperse the crowd with the help of a friend & Salvation Army Officer. In her gratitude she renamed the street she lived on to Keith Allen Hall Road and remains so to this day. Though he never spoke of this particular honour, he was always amused when he would receive photos from friends visiting Bermuda, standing below this particular road sign.
He studied and trained as a psychiatric nurse but his real love was to be music. At the age of 18, he became a scholarship student of the Julliard School of Music in New York, and appeared in many recitals as guest soloist with BBC Television and Radio. A few years later he attended Booth Memorial College in Toronto to study to become a Salvation Army Officer. Where upon graduation he ministered to the First Nations people of Northern Canada.
It was at Booth Memorial College that Keith met Miriam Ruth Fulcher in the first week of school and secretly started dating soon after. Though dating was against school policy, they nonetheless persevered, and married on May 16th, 1970 in St. Paul Minnesota. His first job as a married man was with the Manitoba School for Boys, where they lived in residence while he worked with active neurotics. (It was a perfect match!)
Their first child, Christopher was born in August of 1971 in Portage La Prairie, Manitoba. Keith soon packed up the family and headed west to Vancouver in 1972, to work with the British Columbian Conservatory of Music. From there he started to tour throughout North America and worked with artists such as John Lennon, Paul McCartney, and Tina Turner.
The family grew larger with the birth of their daughter, Alana in 1974. Soon after he decided to leave his promising music career for the sake of his wife and family to spend more time at home, and moved to Prince George in 1977 to find work. There they attended The First Baptist Church where his love for black gospel music was rekindled and he found a great friend in Reverend Lance Morgan. Their practical jokes and schemes quickly became legendary within the congregation and the community.
Keith decided to go to Dawson Creek and attend Northern Lights College to earn his degree in Agriculture. He started school in 1979, leaving his family in Prince George and come home to them every weekend. The whole family moved to Dawson in 1980 so they could all be together while he finished school. Money was extremely tight and one of their first places of residences was a converted garage. Here they all shared one bedroom, having to take the closet doors off to shove the kid’s bed in to make room. From the outside looking in, one would think they were hard on their luck. But from within they all recollect time as one of their best moments as a family.
Keith graduated in 1981 with his degree in Agriculture and started to save money towards his dream of having his own dairy farm. To that end, he opened Hall’s Second Hand Store. He also began working at the Nawican Friendship Center as the Executive Director, where he would stay for the next 18 years. During this time he became an advocate for the aboriginal community, at risk youth and the elderly. He achieved his goal in acquiring a piece of the Peace Country and started Devonshire Hope Dairy Farm in Sunset Prairie, named after his childhood farm in Bermuda. Unfortunately, family illness was to cut this dream short for Keith and the family. However the Hall’s left quite an impression on the surrounding community, where even today the Potter Family are probably still smiling and shaking their heads at the memories of their former neighbours.
Summer vacations became one of many sources of fond memories for the Hall family. Keith enjoyed taking the family on long road trips, where his answer to the query, “Dad are we lost?” he responded with “I know this place like the back of my head, never seen it, but I know its there… trust me!” He always enjoyed discovering new places and having adventures with his family. The childlike spirit and enthusiasm he showed to his family during these vacations made those moments priceless to all of us till this day.
From 1989 to 1992 the family started Baby Joe’s, an ice cream parlour in the Co-op Mall. It quickly became a hangout for his children’s friends and family, but he didn’t mind, as he loved participating in his children’s lives and interacting with their friends. Consequently their friends found themselves a part of an extended family that “Uncle” Keith and “Aunt” Miriam enjoyed.
Meanwhile he started Songs of the Spirit Ministries and released an album entitled Songs of the Spirit. He started touring casually with Merril Flewelling in Canada, the US, and Bermuda until 1995 when he was diagnosed with cancer. He left the Nawican in 1996 and started teaching voice on a regular basis in the community, becoming once again “Uncle” Keith to another generation. His home was continuously filled with music, song, and laughter at almost any time of the day, through the lives of his students and their families right up to his passing. During his 28 years in Dawson, Keith did numerous charity and fundraising concerts for people in need and would continue to sing and preach in many of the local churches when the need arose.
He became a proud grandfather in 1998 to Joshua Hall and again in 2002 to Emmaleigh Hall. Though his time with them was brief, he enjoyed hearing of their little adventures and how their personalities and behaviours were reminiscent of his own children at that age, and even of himself when he was young.
In 2004, his first book Uncle Manta and the Children of Pride, the story of his grandfather’s struggle with slavery while finding freedom with Christ, was published. He felt it was one of his greatest achievements. He received a certificate of Recognition for his outstanding contributions as a black pioneer of Northern British Columbia in 2004 from the Ministry of State, and received a certificate of Recognition from the College of New Caledonia for distinguished contribution as a black pioneer for Northern British Columbia as well, in 2005. He was currently working on his second book, about his childhood adventures while growing up in Bermuda when he passed away, but those he worked with on this project intend to complete it and to see it published on his behalf.
The day of his birthday (entrance) and the day of his death (exit) are really of little consequence - it is the dash in between that makes all the difference. Keith figured out how to make the dash significant. Keith is safe at home now. We'd all love to see him again. You and I can by discovering the Faith that he had and following the Lord that he loved.
Keith will most likely be remembered for his powerful voice and presence, but he was much more than that. He will always be remembered as a loving husband, a wonderful father, a patient listener and a generous friend. Keith and his song will be greatly missed by his wife Miriam, his children Christopher (Elizabeth) and Alana, and his grandchildren Joshua and Emmaleigh as well as his countless students and friends. As well as his siblings; Jimmy, Alfred, Richard (Claudine) Hall and Deanna (Wendell) Young; and to his numerous nieces and nephews. He is predeceased by parents Curtis and Grizelda Hall; sisters Constance (Hilton) Burchall, Madeline (Albert) Fray, Sheila Simmons; brothers Druel, Osmond, Charles, Roydon, Sidney, Winston, and Styles Hall.
The Hall family would like to thank Merril Flewelling, Don Pettit, Bert Goulet, Hank Bridgemen, Gary Kroonen, & Brian Cummings for not only their assistance but for their friendship. Thanks to Captain Roger and Francine Lee, Paul LaRochelle and family, and all of Keith’s students and friends who graced us with their song. As well as, Gerry & Peggy Bergeron, Marilyn and Henri Belak, The Alliance Church, Gail & Roy Theissen, the women from The New Beginnings Baptist Church, and everyone else for their phone calls, visits, cards, flowers, and expressions of sympathy - your kindness truly helped us through this difficult time.
Expressions of sympathy can be made to The Keith Hall Memorial Fund at Lake View Credit Union in Dawson Creek.
A Memorial Service was held on September 13, 2008 at the Alliance Church, Dawson Creek, British Columbia, officiated by Captain Roger and Francie Lee.
Rene Andre Regis Roy
A Memorial Service for Rene Roy resident of Dawson Creek, British Columbia was held on Wednesday, January 21, 2009 at 12:00 pm at the Notre Dame Roman Catholic Church, 908 - 104th street, Dawson Creek, British Columbia.
Officiated by Father Ken Uwaoma
Interment of Rene's urn will follow in the Brookside Cemetery, Dawson Creek, BC