Father: James Blakely
Mother: Annie McMillan Ross
Family 1: Gordon Blakely
- Sex: M
- Born: 10 AUG 1919
in Ridgedale, Sk
- Died: 19 JAN 2000
in Virden, Mb
- Buried: 24 JAN 2000
in Virden, Mb
The following obituary was scanned from an issue of a local paper:
"Gordon Blakely passed away on January 19 at the Virden District
Hospital. He was 80 years old.
Gordon was born on August 10, 1919 in Ridgedale, Sask. He worked in the
Carrot River community until he joined the Canadian Army in 1941,
retiring in 1944.
He returned to the Carrot River area where he married Elsie Gress on May
2, 1946. They lived in Melfort and Tisdale, Sask. area where he worked as
an elevator agent, farmer and truck driver. They moved to Virden in 1956
and for the next 28 years he drove trucks for Beaver Trucking, Pete's
Hauling, Koch Oil and C.N. Transport. He retired in 1984 at the age of
During his retirement, he spent his leisure hours playing pool, drinking
coffee with friends and travelling with his family to Expo '86, the
Calgary Stampede, Ottawa and Nova Scotia.
He was a member of the Canadian Legion. His greatest legacy was his nine
children, 16 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
Left to mourn his loss are Isabel (Don) Zorn of Virden; Jim Blakely of
Brandon; Donald Blakely of Dartmouth, N.S.; Margaret (Norm) Knaus of
Lloydminster, Alta; Gwen Readhead of Vancouver, B.C. ; Brock (Colleen)
Blakely of Lloydminster, Alta.; Bruce (Gladys) Blakely of Brandon; Monica
Blakely of Calgary, Alta.; Shannon (Brent) Olsen of Calgary, Alta.;
grandchildren Shaun and Valerie Zorn, Connie (Wayne) Wahlstrom, Heather
Halliday, John and Christopher Readhead, Morgan, Dylan, Riley and Matthew
Blakely, Derek and Katherina Blakely, Erik, Andrew, Blair and Tyler
Olsen;, great-grandchildren Jessica, Nicole, Hayley and Brayden Wolstrom;
sisters Hazel Marienoff, Irma Chittick; brother Dave Blakely of
Ridgedale, Sask.; brother-in-law Joseph (Benny) Gress of Melfort, Sask.;
sisters-in-law Priscilla Gress, Verna Gress, Alma St. Amond, Pauline
Towns; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Gordon was predeceased by his wife Elsie (1993); his parents; brother
Howard; sisters Gladys and Mildred; brothers-in-law Floyd Chittick,
Alfred Marienoff, John Gress, Fernie Gress, Charlie Gress, John Sentf,
Art Town, Eddie St. Amond, Mike Gartner; and sisters-in-law Mary Sentf
and Rosie Gartner.
Funeral service was held at Carscadden Funeral Chapel in Virden on
January 24 at 2 p.m. with Rev. Kim Salo officiating. Legion comrades
performed Last Post memorial service.
All in attendance were considered honorary pallbearers. Active
pallbearers were Norm Knaus, Connie Wahlstrom, Heather Halliday, Shaun
Zorn, Derek and Katherina Blakely and Joe Gartner.
Internment was in Virden Cemetery. G.R. Carscadden of Funeral Chapels
Ltd. was in charge of arrangements."
The following tribute was read at Gordon's funeral:
"My name is Shannon Olsen and I am here to tell you about my Dad, Gordon
My Dad - that is what we all called him when we talked to other family
members. We would say I was talking to my Dad today or my Dad said this.
It was never our Dad, but My Dad. We would also say I was his favorite
and not you. It was sort of our running joke.
Dad was born August 10, 1919 in Ridgedale, Saskatchewan. He was the
youngest of seven children, His mother passed away when he was 8 years
old and that had a major influence in his life. When he was 22 years old,
he joined the army and was discharged in 1944. He married Elsie Gress on
May 2, 1946. They lived in several places and he tried several jobs but
they ended up in Virden, Manitoba in 1956. Dad drove a truck for the
majority of his working career. He worked for Koch Oil/GN Transport for
27 years and retired in 1984. For most of our lives Dad worked seven days
a week, 12 hours a day. Some of my friends didn't even think I had a Dad
as he was never around.
Dad was a private, quiet man who didn't like to be in the spotlight. He
was very easy going and was slow to anger. As a parent both him and mom
didn't believe in spanking. They were more inclined to ground you. He
believed we should always listen to Mom as he missed out on growing up
with a mom.
Mom and Dad were not ones for going out. Family was very important to
them and spending time with them. Both Mom and Dad were very friendly and
inviting to all our friends. Even though they had a lot of their own
children, they were always willing to make room for our friends. Dad
always enjoyed playing cards and games. Even the youngest child could be
included in the card game 3 1. Once he retired, he could finally relax
and enjoy doing things. Though he didn't have time to watch his own kids
participate in sports, etc. he now had the time to do that with his
grandchildren, Once Dad retired, Mom and him had an additional 9 years
together before Mom passed away in 1993. I think Dad was lonely when Mom
passed away but he plugged along. He was able to do a bit of travelling
and the highlight was being able to visit Donald in Ottawa and Halifax.
When Dad was diagnosed with cancer last year we were told that he had
only 3 to 6 months to live. He beat the odds and each day extra we had
was a blessing. Fortunately, we were able to hold his 80th birthday party
for him on the August long weekend and all his family was able to come.
In the last few months as he was ailing, most of his family was able to
spend time with him which always boosted his spirits.
I think the best way to sum up Dad's life is to talk about his family.
Besides his two surviving sisters and brother, he has 5 daughters, 4
sons, 16 grandchildren, 4 great grandchildren as well as brother-in-law,
numerous sisters-in-law, nephews, nieces, cousins and friends. He has
instilled in us the importance of family and I would say that is quite a
We are at peace knowing that dad is now with our mom."
- Isabel Blakely
- James Blakely
- Donald Blakely
- Margaret Blakely
- Gwen Blakely
- Brock Blakely
- Bruce Blakely
- Monica Blakely
- Shannon Blakely
Please send corrections, additions or comments to James William Elwood Howlett
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