Obituaries / Life Stories

Mary Tirk

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Mary Tillie (Kowbel) Tirk, of Saskatoon, SK.  She passed away peacefully Thursday September 27, 2018 at the age of 86.

Mary was born on the family farm near Lanigan, SK November 25, 1931 to Rose & Nick Kowbel and was the fourth of seven children. She had a happy upbringing on the farm with her brothers, Albert and Steve & sisters, Helen, Jeanie, Verna and Adele.  She pursued a career as a secretary at CIBC and teacher until meeting and marrying her husband Joe Tirk in 1954. After marrying the couple moved to Reward to begin their lives together, running several successful businesses, including an Esso Station, Hotels, and Laundramats. The family was blessed with 4 children between the years of 1956-1970 and Mary was instrumental to the success of the businesses while also caring for the children full time. Mary and Joe relocated one last time to Saskatoon in 1972 where their family continued to grow with the addition of several grandchildren and a great granddaughter—she had a deep love for all of her family. 

Mary was an avid reader, accomplished cook and talented book keeper. She also enjoyed crocheting, knitting, puzzles and cards–she was known as a ruthless Uno player to friends and family.

Mary was preceded in death by her brother Albert (2013) and sister Verna (2015). Sheis lovingly remembered and greatly missedby her husband Joe andchildren; Ron (Candace), Linda (Ron), Allan (Desiree) and Brian. She was also a beloved grandmother to, Kristen, Makenna, Nicholas, Dakota, September, Gracie, Sierra, Jacob and great-granddaughter Audrina, who all cared deeply for her. She was a dear and kind lady who always put her family first.

Mary will be remembered fondly for her kind spirit and quick wit. Our heartfelt thanks to the staff at St. Paul’s Hospital and St. Ann’s Home for the loving and tender care you gave her.  Remains will be interred at The Columbarium at St. John’s Cathedral located at 816 Spadina Cres E.  At Mary’s request there will be no public memorial. In lieu of flowers the family requests donations be made to the Canadian Cancer Society.

Mildred Snell

Mildred Snell passed away peacefully at the Watrous District Health Complex on September 26, 2018. Mildred was born on December 17, 1909 in Grafton, North Dakota. She moved to Elfros, SK, with her family in 1918. In 1930, she moved to the Kilmory District where she met her future husband, Bert Snell. They were married in 1936. They took over the family farm in 1941 until 1966 when their son, Howard, took over the farm. They moved to Watrous when they retired. Mildred was very active in the Watrous Hospital Auxilary, still helped with meals at the farm and enjoyed every minute with her grandchildren. She loved playing cards with her friends and played cribbage up until the last couple months of her life.

Mildred was predeceased by; her husband, Bert in 1986; her son, Robert in 2013; daughter-in-law, Elaine in 2006; grandson-in-law, Sean in 2011; brothers, Cliff and Henry; sisters, Myrtle, Margaret, Edith and Mabel.

Surviving are; her son, Howard (Sandra); 8 grandchildren; 13 great grandchildren; 3 great great grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.

At Mildred’s request there will be no funeral.

Kenneth George Britton

Ken was born in 1929 and grew up in Gallivan and then Maymont where at 17 he began working with the CNR which took him to Saskatoon where he met Shirley. Eventually they married in Beatty and lived in Melfort and started a family there. From there were stops in Brooksby, Maymont and Rosthern as a Station Agent and then Saskatoon as a Dispatcher where he worked until he retired.

Retirement allowed Ken & Shirley to travel with friends and Ken became involved with many organizations as a volunteer. Ken worked with the Refugee Committee at McClure Church which sponsored many families that in-turn became second families to Mr. Ken and Mrs. Shirley as they were affectionately called. Ken was involved with many other organizations including Open Door Society, Riversdale Kiwanis Club and Chimo Chordsmen. He was recognized for his work volunteering when he was awarded as Saskatoon’s “Citizen of the Year” in 1996.

Family was the most important thing in Ken’s life.  He spent many years supporting his kids and grandchildren in their activities. Huskie Hockey was a passion that remained to his last days as he always inquired about the team and the new rink.

Ken loved to have his family around, taking drives in the country, skating on freshly frozen ponds, riding his bike, playing hockey and having coffee with friends until his health restricted his activities in his last few years.

The family thanks all of the staff at Samaritan for their compassionate care of Ken this last year and the nurses and doctors at the Saskatoon Cancer Clinic.

We will miss him with all our hearts, but celebrate our time and memories with him. Ken leaves behind his loving wife of 65 years Shirley, children Doug (Val), Barry (Karla), Tom (Margie) and Bev (Dave) and grandchildren Cory, Adria, Jessalyn, Sean, Angelle, Madison, Max, Eric and Josie as well as his brother Alan and sister Margaret (Scott) and numerous nieces, nephews and many many friends.

Sarah Morgan

Sarah (Thiessen) Morgan, 86, of Saskatoon, SK. passed away peacefully surrounded by family on  September 10, 2018 in Saskatoon, SK.  A celebration of Sarah’s life will be held at Mayfair United Church (902 33rd St W) in Saskatoon, SK at 1:00pm, Saturday, September 15, 2018. A reception will follow at Mayfair United Church.

Sarah was born on May 3, 1932 in Hague, SK.  She married John in Saskatoon, SK. on June 21, 1950 and it was here they raised their children.  Her greatest pleasure was received spending time with her family.

She was preceded in death by her husband John in 2001. Sarah is lovingly survived by; her children, Glynne, Charles (Maxine), Dennis (Patti), and Colleen (Wayne); and her grandchildren and great grandchildren.

She was dearly loved and will be greatly missed by her many relatives and friends.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to The Salvation Army Saskatoon or Operation Smile Canada.

William Henry Fredrick Struthers

William (Bill) Henry Fredrick Struthers (Aug 4, 1926 – July 27, 2018) passed away after a courageous battle with cancer with his family by his side at Kindersley Heritage Manor. Bill is predeceased by his wife Vannetta and is survived by his sister Vera Campbell, son Bill (Jeannie) and daughters Debra (Brian), Karen, Shelley (Todd), Vanessa (Glen), Sandra (Steve) plus numerous nieces, nephews, grandchildren and great grandchildren. Bill was an army veteran and a Legion member since 1956. He loved his jobs driving truck and moving furniture which he retired from at the age of 84 years young. His one hobby was bird watching. He had a book with the breeds listed and he sat on the deck and fed and watched them. Bill and Vannetta’s Celebration of Life will be announced shortly. Thank you to the Nurses and Doctors of the Kindersley Heritage Manor and the Kindersley Hospital for the care of our Dad. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the Canadian Cancer Society.

David Lawrence Baird

It is with great sadness that the family of David Lawrence Baird announce his passing on July 19, 2018. David was born in Dauphin, Manitoba on October 27, 1942 to Roy and Helen. He will be deeply missed by his family and friends.

Gerald Arthur Charman

CHARMAN, Gerald Arthur 91, of Saskatoon passed away on September 7, 2018. He was predeceased by his first wife Yvette, mother Mary and father Gerald. Jerry is survived by his wife Eleanor, her children Derrick (Taletha), Trent and Kelly (Dean) and their children Colton and Cheston and Jerry’s children Guy (Gwen) and Karen (Dale) and their children Malory and Graig (Janna). Jerry was born in Winnipeg Manitoba on October 12, 1926. He relocated to Saskatoon in 1946 and married Yvette the following year. Jerry worked for American Optical as an optician for many years before branching out on his own. He partnered with the Optometrist company of Chaplin and Krueger until his retirement. In his younger years he played many sports and later coached both hockey and baseball. Many will remember Jerry for his quick wit and always a joke to tell (over and over). He loved puttering in his backyard, vacations to Arizona and watching sports. Gerald met Eleanor in 1986 and the two were married July 1988. They took many trips together and loved life. A celebration of Gerald’s life was held at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, 1215 McKercher Drive on Wednesday, September 12 at 1:00 p.m. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the SPCA, 5028 Clarence Avenue, Grasswood, SK S7T 1A7 of Osteoporosis Canada.

Joyce Leatrice Zayonce

Joyce Leatrice Zayonce was born in Rabbit Lake, Saskatchewan to Edward and Genevieve on September 3, 1945. She passed away on September 8, 2018 in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Joyce will be deeply missed and lovingly remembered by her family and friends.

William Cook

Bill passed away September 1, 2018 after a lengthy illness.

He was employed at the Saskatoon Fire Department for 30 years until retirement.

He was predeceased by; his parents, Phyllis and Henry; Brother, Tom; Sister, Doris; Mother and Father in Law, Jessie and John Switzer; Brother in Law, Bill Olson; and Sister in Law, Donna Switzer.

Left to cherish his memory are; His Wife, Bonnie; and Sister, Joyce Olson; His Children, Jim (Janice) of Mission BC, Jack of Red Deer, Randy of Aldergrove Alta, Marcy of New Westminister, BC and their families, Brian (Kim) of Winnipeg and their Children Levi, Rayne and Caelan, David (Danelle) of Saskatoon and their children Dallas and Dylan. Bill was an avid sports fan and played football for the Saskatoon Hilltops for 4 years and then refereed football in Saskatoon for many years.

At Bill’s request there will be a private grave side service for family.

In lieu of flowers donations can be made to the Burn Unit of RUH or charity of your choice.

Lorne Harry Wilner

Lorne Wilner passed away at the age of 73 in his Saskatoon apartment on September 1, 2018. He was predeceased by his parents and his sister and is survived by his nephews, Mitchell and Shale Kazdan. He taught at Kindersley Composite High School in 1968 – 69 and he taught at other schools as well. He moved to Saskatoon where he drove taxis for many years. Following that, he was employed at Denny’s Restaurant and at the Hudson Bay Company. He finally moved into a Senior Housing Apartment. A number of medical problems developed necessitating constant oxygen as well as heart problems. He had a keen mind and memory especially relating to politics sports and current events, he eagerly expressed his opinions on coffee row. He is fondly remembered by his friends Bill and Karen Haffermehl and family as well as others.

Paul Reginald Greenough

Paul’s family is sad to announce his peaceful death in the early hours of September 1. Paul was born in Bristol, England. He graduated from the Royal Veterinary College in London in 1947. For the next 19 years he worked in private dairy practice mostly in Castle Cary in the county of Somerset. He married Pauline Barlow, his childhood sweetheart, in 1948 and they had six children: Timothy, Rosalyn, Anne, Sally, Mark and Peter. Paul and his partners developed the first large animal hospital in Southern England. Early in his practice life Paul took an interest in cattle lameness. His first film “Lameness in Cattle” was sold and distributed by a pharmaceutical company. Paul was an ardent rugby player, a game which he played from the age of 10 until 36. While in Castle Cary he and two colleagues founded a veterinary cooperative, Centaur Services, which today is the largest company supplying pharmaceutics to veterinary practices all over the British Isles. In 1966 Paul brought his family to Canada and became a member of the faculty of the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM), University of Saskatchewan, from which he retired in 1992. Soon after his arrival, he took a year’s leave of absence to work for a project sponsored by FAO to develop an audio visual service at the Autonomous University of Mexico. On his return he was appointed Director of Audio Visual Services at the University. In 1972 Paul married Sharon Leedahl and this marriage was blessed with a son, Paul Tobias, and a grandson. When Paul returned to the faculty of the WCVM, he spent the first two years teaching the anatomy of the limb. This experience equipped him for his higher studies and research into the cause, treatment and control of lameness in the dairy cow. Until about 1985 Paul directed his clinical work towards the treatment of individual lame cattle. Later he was invited to study problems in beef cattle which initially was related to conformation and the association between founder and nutrition in intensively fed bulls. However, his most important work aimed to reduce the incidence of lameness in dairy cattle, a condition which causes the greatest pain that cows are forced to suffer. Paul was proud of his contribution to the understanding of animal welfare. Throughout his academic career Paul was a writer and delighted in storytelling. One story was developed as a 300-page book which won a Saskatchewan Writers’ Guild Award (1988) for describing his sabbatical leave spent at the University of Mexico while living in a travel trailer with his wife, Sharon and young son. He published many reviews and research reports in veterinary journals. In addition, he coauthored the standard veterinary textbook on bovine lameness “Lameness in Cattle” which has gone to three editions and been translated into four languages. Perhaps the favorite among his publications is a booklet that he coauthored for the ZINPRO Corporation especially for cattle producers. This booklet has had about 80,000 copies printed and been translated into several foreign languages. After Paul retired in 1992 he became an international lecturer on bovine lameness, an expert litigation consultant, and an on-farm consultant in bovine lameness. He continued his research into his 80’s. In 2000 he started to carve and paint wild birds, a hobby he enjoyed for the rest of his life. Another of his retirement hobbies was cooking and writing an anecdotal story of his life. Paul was predeceased by his son Mark in 2004 (and daughter-in-law Sandra in 2008) and daughter Anne in 2014. Left to grieve him is the love of his life Sharon, his wife for 46 years, and his children Tim (Laurene), Rosalyn (Paul), Sally (Ken), Peter (Jayne) and Toby (Jackie), as well as 13 grandchildren, 14 great-grandchildren, and 1 great-great-grandchild. The family wishes to thank Dr. M. Jutras of the Lakeside Medical Clinic for his attentive care of Paul for so many years. There will be a private family gathering later in the month.

Samuel James Russell

Samuel (Sam) James Russell, 57, of Saskatoon, Sk. Passed away after a courageous battle with cancer on August 31, 2018. Sam was born on April 30, 1961 in Saskatoon to Sanford Russell and Anne Truyien. Sam spent his childhood in Saskatoon then moved to Vancouver for several years. He had moved back to Saskatoon about 8 years ago. Sam worked construction and renovations as a carpenter most of his adult life. Sam was a Montreal Canadiens, Saskatoon Rush and Saskatchewan Roughrider fan. Sam enjoyed nothing more than spending time with family and friends. And family and friends will miss his smile and his laughing eyes. Sam was survived by his girlfriend Bonnie Gamble; his brothers Darrel (Patty) and Brian (Tracy); his sister Brenda (Jack) and numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents. A celebration of Sam’s life will take place at a later date.

Donna Lynn Switzer

It is with heavy hearts we announce the passing of Donna Lynn Switzer, Donna passed away August 29, 2018 in Saskatoon. Donna was born May 2, 1943 in Saskatoon She was predeceased by her parents John and Jessie. Left to cherish her memory is her sister Bonnie (Bill) Cook. Nephew Brian (Kim) Cook and children Levi, Rayne, Caelen. Nephew David (Danelle) Cook and children Dallas, Dylan Donna will be missed and loved by family and friends.

Robert John Turnbull

Robert John Turnbull was born in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan to Kenneth and Betty on July 31, 1952. He passed away on August 26, 2018 in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan. Robert will be deeply missed by his family and friends.

Lionel James Houston

We are saddened to announce the passing of Lionel James (Jim) Houston (August 21st, 1937 – August 11th, 2018 of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan). Jim leaves behind his best friend, wife and partner of 59 years, Joan. Jim and Joan produced three children: Susan (Don) Fillo, (Andrew and Emily), Dave (Ralyne) Houston (Zach, Alyssa, Kael and Jag) and Gary (Sallie) Houston (Jordyn, Ethan, Isaac, Samuel, Abigail & Elijah). Jim was predeceased by his parents Jim and Vivian, in-laws Emil and Muriel Spielman. He is survived by two sisters: Eileen (Del) Botheras of Sundre, AB and Diane Houston-Neville of St. Albert, AB, and many nieces and nephews. Jim was also predeceased by two special brothers-in-law – Dennis Spielman and Mel Neville. Jim grew up in Calgary and ran his two horses, Blackie and Queenie, on the Bow River in the city and as he grew up he fished the Highwood River before there were roads and hunted in the wide open spaces. He met Joan Spielman when her family moved in across the alley in Calgary when he was 18. He drove a ’55 Pontiac convertible and picked up his new neighbor. It worked. They were married in 1959 while Jim worked at Burns Meats and began their family in 1960. In 1966 they relocated to Saskatoon where Jim began his career at Intercontinental Packers and started following his kids in their sports, especially the boys’ hockey through many years with the Flyers and the Contacts. Summer camping trips through Alberta and BC left many happy memories and a lot of adventures. Jim and Joan built their first cabin at Chitek Lake in 1978. In 1980 they moved to Richmond, BC as Jim ran Intercontinental Packers in Vancouver. After that Jim and Joan relocated to Moose Jaw where they worked together to build Moose Jaw Packers into an international supplier exporting to the US and Asia. In 1994 they returned to Saskatoon and split their time between Chitek Lake and Saskatoon. Chitek Lake would remain a passion and a destination for the rest of his years. Jim had some very special friends over the years in Saskatoon who departed before him. We hope Dad is having coffee, a round of golf and a beer with Don and Ron Leedahl, Eric Karolat, Murray Edwards and all the other hockey Dads. The family would like to extend their gratitude to the Royal University Hospital. Their care and dedication to Jim was inspiring and greatly appreciated. The memorial took place at the German Club on Saturday Sept 15th.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to Kidsport Saskatchewan

Christina (Tina) Roussin

Christina (Tina) Roussin passed away peacefully on the night of August 4th surrounded by her loving family. She passed away just a little more than an hour shy of her 55th birthday.
A prayer service was held on August 15th at 7:00 pm in Saskatoon at Holy Family Cathedral followed by a celebration of Tina’s life on August 16th at 10:30 am at the same location.
Tina was born on August 5, 1963 in Regina SK. She graduated from Esterhazy High School in 1981 and went on to obtain a degree in Nursing from the University of Saskatchewan. After convocation, Tina worked as a registered nurse in Edmonton before moving to Saskatoon where she began her 29 year career with Saskatoon Health Region. She spent the majority of her nursing career working as an operating room nurse at St. Paul’s Hospital; however, she did spend some of those years working as a clinical nurse educator at St. Paul’s Hospital and Saskatoon City Hospital.
Tina loved sewing, gardening, flower arranging, cooking and baking. Her greatest pleasure was received when spending time with her family, caring for and nurturing all of us in her own way. She was everyone’s rock and confidant. Tina’s contagious smile and sparkling green eyes have left a lasting image in our minds.
Tina is lovingly survived by her daughter Aryn (Matthew), parents Laurent and Susan, siblings: Terry (Andy), Kim (Dale), Lori (Mike) and Larry (Oralene); her nieces and nephews: Wes (Amber), Jesse, Keegan (Natasha), Jason, Tynan, Justin, Alexis, Mathieu, Anica, Jada, Jayden, Jaevion, Cara and Drew. She will be missed by many aunts, uncles, friends and relatives.

Frederich William Kraushar

Frederich William Kraushar passed away peacefully on Friday, August 3, 2018 at the age of 89 in Langham. Fred is survived by his 6 children, Randy (Wendy), Karen Meszaros, Colleen, Janine (Terry) Wulff, Debby and Regan (Thelma); 17 grandchildren and 46 great- grandchildren; sisters-in-law Doreen Kraushar, Elvira Schindel, Levina Boor, Carol Martens and Florence Martens, Irene Kraushar ; as well as many nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his beloved wife Alta of 67 years; parents Frederich Sr. (Barbara) Kraushar; father and mother-in-law Johann and Katherina (nee Andres) Martens; brothers George and Kenneth; son-in-law Thomas Meszaros; sisters-in-law, Alice Leier, Delphine Martens and Mildred Martens; brothers-in-law, William Schindel, Arthur Martens, Norman Martens and Ken Boor. Fred grew up fishing with his dad and his brothers on the Saskatchewan river. He also had a love of baseball and softball which he played for many years for the Saskatoon Merchants, Saskatoon Pats and the CNR Carmen softball club. Fred met his true love Alta and they were married in 1950 and they settled in Saskatoon where he worked for CNR until his retirement. As per Fred’s request there will be no funeral Services. A special thanks to all the staff at the Langham Senior Care Home.

Elmer Abram Plett

Although it is with saddened hearts that we announce the passing of Elmer Plett, we celebrate a life well-lived by a man of deep, transforming faith, boundless curiosity, zest for life, and determined can-do action.

After a journey with cancer that lasted six years beyond what was expected following his initial diagnosis, Elmer leaves to miss his physical presence his beloved wife of 57 years, Pat, his children Tim (Corinne), Larry (Michelle), Greg (Char), Karen, his 10 grandchildren along with their spouses/partners, his brothers Walter (Olga), Paul, Les (Marian), Ray (Pat), sisters-in-law Irene and Joy, and his many nieces, nephews and friends.

Our sadness at his absence is tempered by our joy that his resilience gave us so many bonus years, and by our relief that his physical suffering, which he endured with such gentle determination, is over.

Elmer was a entrepreneur who ran his business, Plett Construction, in Hudson Bay, SK for 42 years. He served his churches, Canora Fellowship Chapel & Pineridge Fellowship Chapel, and his communities in many roles as a volunteer and leader with integrity and wisdom. He was endlessly creative and crafted many beautiful works of art with wood. Elmer will be remembered for his warm smile, unassuming charisma, thoughtful words, and his generosity in sharing his expertise, insight and love.

As a family we wish to thank those at St Paul’s Hospital Palliative Care who so kindly cared for Elmer in his final weeks of life. We are also grateful for the many who cared for him throughout his journey: the staff of Saskatoon Cancer Clinic, Pain Management Team, Royal University Hospital, Palliative Home Care team, and Lakeview Church.

The family asks that in lieu of flowers, please consider a gift to the St Paul’s Hospital Palliative Care (SPH Foundation tab) or Prairie Hospice Society

The memorial service took place on Wednesday, August 8th at 1pm at Lakeview Church in Saskatoon. Interment followed at Woodlawn Cemetery.

Thoughts and memories may be sent to or

John Patrick Homer

John Patrick Homer passed away in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan on August 1, 2018. He was born on November 2, 1948 in Regina, Saskatchewan to Ross and Pat. John will be deeply missed and lovingly remembered.

William Henry Fredrick Struthers

William (Bill) Henry Fredrick Struthers (Aug 4, 1926 – July 27, 2018) passed away after a courageous battle with cancer with his family by his side at Kindersley Heritage Manor.
Bill is predeceased by his wife Vannetta and is survived by his sister Vera Campbell, son Bill (Jeannie) and daughters Debra (Brian), Karen, Shelley (Todd), Vanessa (Glen), Sandra (Steve) plus numerous nieces, nephews, grandchildren and great grandchildren.
Bill was an army veteran and a Legion member since 1956. He loved his jobs driving truck and moving furniture which he retired from at the age of 84 years young.
His one hobby was bird watching.  He had a book with the breeds listed and he sat on the deck and fed and watched them.
Bill and Vannetta’s Celebration of Life will be announced shortly.
Thank you to the Nurses and Doctors of the Kindersley Heritage Manor and the Kindersley Hospital for the care of our Dad.  In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the Canadian Cancer Society.

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