Donald Keith (Don) Knutson
December 5, 1936 – July 7, 2014
In his 77th year of living life to its fullest, Don Knutson passed away suddenly at the Whitehorse General Hospital, with his beloved wife and soul mate Margaret at his side. Don and Marg had just celebrated their 55th wedding anniversary on July 4th.
Don was born in Jasper, Alberta. During the war years, the family lived in various places while Don’s father Wes was serving in the Royal Canadian Navy. The family settled in Edmonton, where Don could be found exploring the river valley, playing trombone with the Edmonton All Boys Marching Band, or spending summers at Jasper with his extended family. His summer job washing railway coaches eventually led to Don’s apprenticeship as an electrician and the start of a career at Canadian National Telecommunications in Edmonton. With a young and growing family, Don began what would become a lifetime of volunteering by getting involved in his sons’ field trips and Cub camps, and by coaching hockey. Some of the family’s best memories are from the summers spent at the cabin in Robb, on the Alberta Coal Branch, where they explored the hills, mountains and lakes. There wasn’t always a lot of money in those times, but Don and Marg taught their kids that real happiness wasn’t something you could buy. They shared their love of canoeing, skiing and being in the outdoors with their boys, and how to find joy in the world around them.
In 1979, Don was transferred to Whitehorse with Northwestel, where his job continued to take him all over the Yukon, Western Arctic and Northern BC as part of the expansion of microwave service. Despite retiring in 1993 after a 40-year career, Don was hardly ready to slow down. Instead he turned his energies to new volunteering opportunities and also to becoming Papa to his cherished grandchildren. Don’s hands were never idle, always building wooden toys, helping his kids with renovations, or whipping up the latest creation in the kitchen. Along the way, Don and Marg sailed the Kaitlin Rose from Vancouver Island to Skagway, where they explored the Lynn Canal for several seasons. Don and Marg also enjoyed travelling, whether to Newfoundland in their 5th wheel, or to Europe, Brazil, and New Zealand. Don’s bass drum kept the beat for the Midnight Sun Pipe Band, representing the Yukon on two trips to Scotland, including a performance for the Queen.
Retirement provided Don the opportunity to pour more energy into his many volunteer roles, most notably his 40-plus years of service to the Royal Canadian Legion. Although Don never served in the military, his commitment to veterans stemmed from his mother’s long time involvement with the Legion, as well as the wartime experience of his father and uncles. Whether it was serving six terms as president, creating the Whistling Pygmies, organizing poppy campaigns, or welcoming visitors to the branch, Don’s enthusiasm for the Legion and its role in the community was unmistakeable.
Don also brought leadership and experience to many other organizations, including Autism Yukon, The Yukon Council on Aging, the Canadian Power and Sail Squadron, the Transport Canada Recreational Boating Advisory Board, Learning Disabilities Association of Yukon, the New Chelsea Society, Mount Sima, and the Whitehorse Waterfront Trolley. At the time of his death, Don was the driving force behind the Vimy Heritage Housing Society, investing countless hundreds of hours towards realizing his dream of a supportive housing option for seniors in Whitehorse.
Although Don was always modest about formal recognition, he more than earned every award he received, among them the Royal Canadian Legion’s Life Membership, Meritorious Service Medal, and Palm Leaf to the Meritorious Service Medal (the Legion’s highest award); the Minister of Veterans Affairs Commendation, the Commissioner’s Award for Public Volunteer Service; and the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.
Don was predeceased by his parents, Wes and Iris Knutson, and by his sister Karen Passmore, who always looked up to her big brother. Don will be deeply missed by Margaret, who gave him the support he needed to carry out so much of his work; his sons Doug (Jean Jobagy), Russ (Claudiane Samson), Ken (Trix Tanner), and Thom (Kent Macaulay), who had the best dad, role model and friend anyone could hope for; his grandchildren (Kaitlin, Aven, Tori, Malcolm, Tammy, Sarah, Lou, Clare), for whom Papa will always be a special person in their hearts; brother Ken (Sandy); brother-in-law Terry Passmore; cousin Dennis (Edith) Mackay; extended family, countless friends, colleagues and former coworkers across the miles.
In the spirit of his mother, the greatest gift Don leaves to his family and community is the desire to work towards the needs of others. Don and Marg instilled in their children the values of loyalty and compassion, and to ensuring there was always room at the table for another person. He fought long and hard for the things he cared about, but always with the same smile and witty quips that made people laugh and want to be around him. Don’s shoes will be immensely hard to fill, but the best way to honour his memory is to honour the values he so deeply embodied every day of his life.
A celebration of Don’s life and achievements will be held on Thursday, August 14, at 2 p.m., at the Mount McIntyre Recreation Centre. Please join us afterwards at Don’s favourite watering hole, the Royal Canadian Legion Branch #254, 503 Steele Street.
The family wishes to express its deep appreciation to Dr. Avery and the compassionate and caring nursing staff at Whitehorse General Hospital; the ambulance crew; and all those who worked to bring the family together in Don’s final moments with us.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Don’s name to Autism Yukon, Learning Disabilities Association of Yukon, or a charity of your choice.
A book of condolences will be available at the Celebration, and at www.heritagenorth.ca/obituaries
February 14, 1931 - July 10, 2014
It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Gordon Berndt of Dawson City. Gordon passed away on July 10, 2014 in Whitehorse at the age of 83 years.
A service for Gordon will be held at a later date in Alberta.
Anyone wishing to offer a condolence or share a memory may contact the family or do so at www.heritagenorth.ca and clicking on the obituary page.
Cards can be mailed to the family or Heritage North Funeral Home 412 Cook Street, Whitehorse, Yukon Y1A 2R1 and they will be forwarded to the family.
Joseph Louis Couture passed peacefully in the arms of his loving parents on
June 29, 2014. Louis was born at 5:05 pm on June 28, 2014 at BC Woman's Hospital, and was gathered into our heavenly father's warm and loving embrace the following day.
During his short time here on earth he touched many lives and was deeply loved by family and friends. His life was a brief gift that will live on in our hearts and memories forever.
Louis is the beloved son of Guy Couture and Kathy Ellis of Dawson City, Yukon. Louis is survived by his loving big brother Joe Couture of
Dawson City, Yukon, paternal grandparents Gerald and Jan Couture of Dawson City, Yukon, maternal grandparents David and Rezna Ellis of Toronto, Ontario, and his many aunts, uncles, cousins and so many dear friends.
In lieu of flowers we would be honoured to have you support the BC Woman's Hospital Neonatal ICU at: Kathy Ellis's online fundraising page through BC Woman's Hospital website (www.bcwomens.ca).
A private family graveside service will be held with a public wake to follow at
St. Mary's Catholic Church Meeting Hall in Dawson City on a date to be announced.
Shelley Patricia Paul
July 17, 1961 – June 23, 2014
Glow brightly, little light
We will love you
Never forget you
Always be with you.
It is with great sadness that we announce the sudden passing of Shelley Paul.
There will be a celebration of her life on Saturday July 5, 2014 at 21 Strawberry Lane starting at 3:00 p.m.
Please join us with your stories and memories to share. Please call 633-4018 if you require more information regarding the service.
In lieu of flowers donations can be made to Shelley’s niece Eva von Flotow. A donation jar will be available at the celebration of life.
Rita Kluane Joe
July 23, 1931 - June 14, 2014
Funeral Service will take place
Monday June 23, 2014
Burwash Landing, Yukon
Rita left us to be with the Lord on June 14, 2014. She passed away peacefully at St. Pauls Hospital in Vancouver, British Columbia with her loving family by her side.
She is survived by her husband of 53 years, Thomas Joe, her children; Joyce (Terry), Darlene (Gerald), Helen (Joe) an son John. Her sister Margaret and brother Peter.
Grandchildren; Timothy, Roger, George, Chad, Lily, Kluane, Katherine, Gerald Jr., Mariah, Tsyaa, Rita, John John, and Emanuel.
Great Grandchildren; Rayanne, Rene, Rhyan, Olando, Hunter, Bristol, Evee, and Katlyn.
She is also survived by many nieces and nephews from the Joe, Johnson, Doris, Sias, and Blackmore family.
Friends and everyone that knew Rita are welcome to join her family for viewing at Heritage North Funeral Home located at 412 Cook Street in Whitehorse, Friday June 20, 2014 from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Out of respect for Rita's family we request this to be drug and alcohol free.
Beryl Joyce Gourlie
July 29, 1930 - June 11, 2014
We will be having a Life Appreciation Service for Joyce Gourlie on Tuesday, June 17th at 1:30 p.m.
The Service will be held on Crocus Cove at Copper Ridge Place, all are very welcome to attend.
We’re going to miss this lovely lady with the big heart. For those of you who knew her stories, “Jumper Boy” will not be invited.
William (Bill) Simpson
December 22, 1933 - June 11, 2014
Bill left his family and friends peacefully after a struggle with heart disease. Missing him are Diana, wife of 54 years, son Stuart (Christine) of Atlin BC, son Doug (Kim) of Medicine Hat, AB, and Susan (Kevin) of Medicine Hat AB, 9 grandchildren and 3 great grandchildren. The family wishes to give sincere thanks to; Dr. Buchanan, Dr. Barnes, the staff at the hospital, Home Care and all of the many friends that have been so kind.
In lieu of flowers, a donation to the Heart & Stroke foundation would be appreciated.
A memorial service will be held starting at 2:00 p.m. June 15, 2014 in the Grey Mountain Room at Mt. McIntyre Recreation Centre located at 1 Sumanik Drive in Whitehorse, Yukon. We hope you stay for refreshments and visiting afterwards.
December 17, 1939 - April 17, 2014
Lionel completed his life's journey on April 17.
He was born December 17, 1939 – the youngest of ten children born to Joseph and Minnie Stokes of High Prairie, Alberta. It was here Lionel first took an interest in curling, competing in the 1959 Alberta high school championships that developed into a lifelong passion for the sport. Lionel continued curling after moving north, winning the Yukon championship numerous times. At the 1975 Brier in Fredericton, NB Lionel and his mates finished the competition tied for second place – no playoffs in those days! Their record two years later at the 1977 Brier in Montreal, PQ was not quite as outstanding however Lionel was named All-Star Second. Lionel was also honoured to be a fifth for the Chuck Haines rink at the 1981 and 1991 Briers. In 1982 Lionel & his wife Debra represented the Territories at the Seagram Mixed curling championships in Timmons, Ont. Lifelong friendships were forged along the way as Lionel’s calm and gentle demeanour endeared him to everyone he met.
Lionel brought a sense of loyalty, strong values, sound ethics and integrity to his long career in business. Lionel and the Edgewater were synonymous. He started pouring draft in the pub in 1969 and by 1982 was sole owner of the hotel. Most days he could be seen either at the front desk, in the lounge or the Cellar Dining Room. Lionel was respected and cherished by all those who worked for him during his 40 years at the “Edge.” Suffice it to say that after Lionel sold the business in 2009, the “Edge” was never the same.
Loving and wise, he quietly led his family, teaching them and many others by example. Lionel is survived by his wife Debra, sons Brent (Kathy and Joseph), Brad (Heidi, Kyla and Luke) and daughter Sue (Chris, Brendan and Brody). Also mourning his loss are his brothers Donald (Kathleen) of Rancho Santa Fe, California, Jim (Anna) of High Prairie AB, Wally (Betty) of Grande Prairie AB, Jack of Kinuso AB, and sisters Dora Szusko of Edmonton AB, and June (Nori) Nishio of Nanaimo, BC as well as extended family in the UK and Australia.
Our deepest thanks to Dr. Owen Avrill, Dr. Allison O’Hearn, Dr. Danusia Kanachowski, the entire medical ward and home care team involved for the attentive and compassionate care shown Lionel and his family.
All the special people in Lionel’s life are too numerous to mention - and you know who you are - know that he leaves you with a smile and a glass of wine that is more than half full – so enjoy the memories and have “just the one."
In accordance with Lionel’s wishes there will be a private family burial. In lieu of flowers Lionel’s family invite you to consider a donation in his memory to a charity of your choice.
Anyone wishing to offer a condolence or share a memory are invited to do so at www.heritagenorth.ca on the obituary page. Also cards can be mailed to Heritage North Funeral Home 412 Cook Street, Whitehorse, Y.T. Y1A 2R1 and they will be forwarded to the family.
Harmeny Daniel (1958-2014) artist, mother, daughter, sister, friend, and aunt (Honey).
Harmeny’s warmth and compassion were unlimited; each day she fulfilled her desire to make the world a better place.
Her passion for writing led her to write a book, plays, poetry, and landed her a stint writing for a local newspaper. Never short of inspiration, Harmeny drew on the energy around her, and had an unparalleled insight.
Harmeny was immensely proud of her two children, Ian and Leifka Vissers. She taught her children to be strong, independent, and always ensured that they felt loved. Harmeny’s lasting influence will always guide Leifka and Ian through exciting, challenging, and loving lives.
Harmeny had an exceptional amount of love for her siblings; to Jann, Colleen, Patrick, and Thorrin she was a constant source of encouragement, love, and humour.
Harmeny is survived by her mother, Jean Maw, whose unwavering support has been with her through every one of life’s adventures.
Harmeny’s life was brightened by the many exceptional friends she surrounded herself with over the years. While Harmeny was born in the lower mainland, she was drawn to the Yukon by its raw beauty, and it is here she found her true home.
Harmeny touched everyone she met – her light will linger.
Due to her immense popularity and resulting demand, there will be celebrations of life in Whitehorse on Saturday April 12th in Rotary Peace Park at 2:00 p.m., with reception to follow at the Whitehorse United Church (601 Main St) and in Langley, British Columbia at Sharon United Church, 21562 Old Yale Road on Saturday, April 19th at 2:00 p.m. Please bring a photo of yourself to the service.
Flowers are respectfully declined; if you wish to honour Harmeny, please consider contributing to a charity of your choice or to one of the charities below in her name;
BC Cancer Society
The Mae Bachur Animal Shelter
126 Tlingit Street
102-211 Hanson St.
Inviting Destiny In
Life and how you live it
open to opportunity and chance
ready to say yes
YES I say
I am ready
I am willing
I am able
And so I invite Destiny in
and whatever work and blessings she
brings with her
Joe Evans passed away in Whitehorse on March 27, 2014 at the age of 56 years.
A memorial service for Joe will be held on Saturday, April 5th, 2014 at 11:00 am at the Anglican Church of Northern Apostles, 45 Boxwood Crescent, Porter Creek.
A reception will follow the service. You are welcome to bring your photos and stories of Joe as well as a food platter to share with everyone.