Ralph Edgar Gurry
Father: James William Gurry
Mother: Jessie Alberta Howlett
Family 1: Ralph Edgar Gurry
- Sex: M
- Born: 21 APR 1913
in Neepawa, Mb
- Died: 11 NOV 1996
in Kamsack, Sk
- Buried: in Riverview Cemetery; Kamsack, Sk
The following was taken from a local history book entitled "Spinning
Stories - A Woven History - Kamsack, Togo, Veregin, Runnymede, Cote",
printed in 1988 by the Kamsack History Book Committee:
"John Howlett, Sr., originated at Elmira, Ontario. About 1900 he settled
his family on a farm near MacDonald, on his "Portage Plains" of Manitoba.
Also farming on these plains were brothers Percy and Berty Hutchinson, a
couple of English immigrants. There were four Howlett girl. Ida and
Florence, the two older girls, married the Hutchinson brothers.
In 1911, Mr. and Mrs. Percy Hutchinson and their family of two boys,
Gifford and Roy, homesteaded in the Lilyvale School District, north of
Kamsack. Bert and Florence Hutchinson and their two boys, Tracy and
Herbert, settled near Silver Creek School about the same time.
The two younger Howlett girls attended Portage business college. Jessie
got a job at the telephone office in Neepawa, Manitoba, where she met and
married James Gurry in 1912. He was originally an American, naturalized a
Canadian, and was the C.N.R. roundhouse foreman. The Gurry's had a son
Ralph in 1913.
Lillian, the youngest Howlett daughter, got a job at the Wawanesa Mutual
Insurance Company at Wawanesa after her business course. She met and
married Ted Blain and resided at Wawanesa for the rest of her life.
When the United States entered W.W. I in 1916, James Gurry moved his
family back to Richmond, Virginia, where he became a foreman in a
munitions factory. James died as a result of the Flu epidemic of 1918.
Jessie then returned to Wawanesa, with her son Ralph, where she managed
to get a position as stenographer with the Wawanesa Mutual Insurance
Ralph attended school at Wawanesa through Grade XI, but to give him
something to do more than just roam, he spent his summer school holidays
on the Hutchinson farm at Kamsack.
In 1931-32, Ralph attended Grade XII at Kamsack. He boarded at the Bill
Brown home. The winter of 1932-33 he worked on the Bert Hutchinson farm
north of Runnymede for the Government Grant of $5.00 per month.
During the 1933-34 school term, Ralph attended Brandon Normal School. In
1934-35 he taught at Pretty View School, north of Veregin. From January,
1936 to June, 1937, he taught at Out Post School, north of Arran. For the
1937-38 school year he taught near Glenboro, Manitoba, where he met
Lillian Pennycook, it was back to the Percy Hutchinson farm where a
living was earned either farming or truck driving
In August, 1940, Ralph and Lillian were married at Kamsack. Ralph joined
the 16/22nd Saskatchewan Horse (Active). Their daughter Elizabeth was
born in August, 1941.
After over five years service in Canada and Overseas, Ralph was
discharged at Winnipeg late in 1945. Following a short motor mechanics
course in Winnipeg, the Gurrys moved to Newdale, Manitoba, where Ralph
was employed as a mechanic for about six months.
In the fall of 1946, the Gurrys returned to Kamsack where their first
residence was on the second floor of the Legion Hall. Ralph worked first
as a truck driver with Roy Hutchinson, and then as a partsman and then a
bookkeeper in E.J. Johnson's Garage. When Ed Johnson sold his garage to
Wes Allan, Ralph carried on as the firm's accountant until 1953.
Ralph joined the Kamsack Volunteer Fire Department, under Jim Parkinson,
in 1946, and was appointed Fire Chief after Mervin Finnie about 1950; a
civic duty he retained until the spring of 1977. From 1954 to 1984, Ralph
sold life insurance, representing Mutual Life of Canada. In the spring of
1984, just prior to his 71st birthday, he finally formally retired.
As the children reached High School, Lillian went back to her original
occupation of Dental Assistant, working for Dr. Mazur and then for Dr.
Sullivan. This was followed by a few years of working in the store at
Madge Lake, during the summer months.
After a business course in Saskatoon, and a period of employment at the
University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon, Elizabeth moved to Edmonton
where she worked in the University and then married Rae Donald, a Civil
Louise who was born in 1947, attended University in Saskatoon, then
worked for Social Services in Edmonton; then returned to Saskatoon and
married Barrie Gallop, a school teacher.
Donald, born in 1951, decided on railroading. He is married, has a home
in Jasper, Alberta, and is employed as a conductor for the C.N.R. "
- Elizabeth Anne Gurry
- Lillian Louise Gurry
- Donald Ralph Gurry
Please send corrections, additions or comments to James William Elwood Howlett
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Copyright 1996 © Tim Doyle