Roger - our Husband, Dad, Gramps, Brother, Cousin, and Friend. We still can’t believe you’re gone. You crossed over to the other side on Christmas Eve (December 24th). You have struggled so long with health issues and finally your body had just had enough. Everything happened so fast the week before you passed, and your condition was a mystery to all! Much to our surprise, cancer was one of the culprits.
Mom (Mary Jean) is heartbroken and is going to miss you terribly after being together for 55 years. Not a minute goes by that she doesn’t think of you. Your two daughters (Carla and Linda) feel so empty without you. You took over being a Dad, to your son-in-law, Paul (Linda), after his own Dad passed and he is forever grateful. And what can we say about Rachelle and Eriq? Your grandchildren were the light of your life and you loved them so much, as they did you. You were so proud of them and they had such a special bond with you. They will miss you terribly. Your brother Doug (and Pat) are going to miss your Saturday night phone calls, catching up on people and news from here in Winnipeg and back home in Nova Scotia. We know that family was everything to you, and that you especially enjoyed the times you spent with your cousins Margo (and Jack) and Jan (and Rob) and their children, and your brother-in-law John (and Bev). You were one of those guys who could be counted on for anything, and your passing will be felt by all those friends and neighbours who knew you.
Dad, you lived such a full and happy life! You were born on February 15th, 1944 (79 years ago) in Caledonia, Queens County, Nova Scotia. You left there at the age of 17 to join the Canadian Armed Forces, where you trained and worked in Communications. You achieved the rank of Master Corporal and you were extremely well-respected and loved by your co-workers. You had an opportunity to serve on a peace-keeping Tour in Egypt before you met Mom while you were stationed in Nanaimo. Your love blossomed fast, marrying in less than a year (1968) . Off the two of you went to your posting in Germany and what adventures and joy you had travelling all over Europe together. Linda came along in Germany and then Carla a couple of years later when you moved to Petawawa, Ontario. Other postings included Medicine Hat, Red Deer, Winnipeg and Shilo. You finally got tired of moving and retired in 1991. After that you still worked as a civilian for the military for 9 more years with Winnipeg as your final home base.
You sure loved to travel and you especially enjoyed the family camping trips in our little pop up tent trailer - the four of us, sometimes Uncle John, a cat and a dog!
Being out in nature was your happy place, whether you were camping, fishing, hunting, or at the cottage at West Hawk with Margo and Jack. Your yearly “Guy’s” fishing trip was always such a highlight for you. You spent many a weekend, or evening golfing with friends or family and you were never deterred by the many balls you had to hunt for in the woods! When you slowed down and had to give up many of the active things you loved, you enjoyed so many hours in your sunroom with Mom and puttering around the yard and garden.
Another great love of yours was your animals. Your home was never without a cat or dog (or both) and you had such a special connection with them. Gus, your cat is out of sorts since you’ve been gone and misses you so much already. Your respect for and knowledge of wild animals was incredible and you taught us all so much.
Your pride and joy was always your children and grandchildren. You loved to show us girls off when we were little, and the same was true for your grandchildren. You changed diapers, made pigtails, taught us all to fish, attended Guiding and school events, hockey games, choir and band concerts and much more over the years.
Mom was the love of your life. You did so much together and thoroughly enjoyed each other’s company. You spent many hours on road trips, talking, watching movies, reading, enjoying a great meal and visiting with friends.
We miss your joking and teasing. We miss how you would do anything for anyone, and your ease in making friends with strangers. We miss how you would buy a meal for a homeless person without a second thought. We miss your cooking, and conversations about the world news. We miss looking at your new coins and most of all we just miss you.
We know that you are finally at peace and with your mom (Melita), your grandparents and all your animals. We look forward to the day we can be together again. We know that you are keeping an eye on us and are close by in spirit, and that brings some relief.
We will respect your wishes to be cremated with no funeral service and will plan a family BBQ later this year. If anyone wishes to honour your memory with a donation, we will ask them to consider the World Wildlife Fund of Canada; wwf.ca or the Wildlife Haven Rehabilitation Centre; wildlifehaven.ca
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