July 16th, 2024

SATURDAY, February 18, 2017

By Lethbridge Herald Obituaries on February 21, 2017.


ALEXANDER “ALEX” BENE, of Lethbridge, passed away at the Chinook Regional Hospital on Tuesday, February 14th, 2017 at the age of 87 years.

Alex is survived by his beloved brother Peter (Sharon) Bene of Lethbridge and sister Annie (Joseph) Szalavary. Besides his siblings, he will be missed by his nieces and nephews as well as numerous great and great great-nieces and nephews.

He was predeceased by his parents Peter Sr. and Juliana Bene.

As a child, Alex lived in Gelenes, Hungary. The family moved to Southern Alberta in 1939. Alex worked hard beside his brother; farming and tending to the animals. Alex loved to go bowling, dancing and he always had his music on.

A Small Family Funeral Service will be held at CORNERSTONE FUNERAL HOME, 2800 Mayor Magrath Drive South, Lethbridge, AB, on Saturday, February 18, 2017 at 3:00 P.M.

The Graveside Service will be held in the spring.

To send a condolence, please visit


Frank (Ted) Wilfred Firth July 1, 1952 – January 23, 2017

We are very saddened to announce the sudden passing of Ted while he was away on vacation in Mexico. Ted was a wonderful father, grandfather, great-grandfather, brother, uncle, great-uncle and friend. Family and friends are invited to attend a Celebration of Life for Ted, which will be held on one of his favourite days of the year, St. Patrick’s Day, Friday, March 17, 2017 from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. at Westminster Community Hall (411 – 16 Street North, Lethbridge).

Helen (Lena) Wall

1921 – 2017

Mrs. Helen (Lena) Wall, beloved wife of the late Mr. Peter Wall passed away at the Edith Cavell Care Center on Friday February 17, 2017 at the age of 95 years. A Memorial Service will be held at 1:00pm on Thursday, February 23, 2017 at the COALDALE MENNONITE BRETHREN CHURCH, 2114 18th St, Coaldale, AB with Pastor Gary Burke, officiating. A private family graveside will be held prior to the service in the Coaldale Cemetery, Mennonite section.

Visit http://www.mbfunerals.com to send a private condolence.

Margaret Hunter

1924 – 2017

It is with extreme sadness that we announce the sudden passing of Margaret Donaldson Hunter. Born in the Crowsnest Pass, she was the middle child of three born to Alexander and Susan Bain, who emigrated from Scotland. At the time of her passing she was the only surviving member of this family unit, having been predeceased by her brothers Alex and Jim.

After her marriage to William (Bill) Okrainetz in 1946, she moved to Medicine Hat and was the mother to four children, Lyndell, Robert, Glen and Kent. After Bill’s passing in 1967, she married Joseph (Joe Hunter), and joined him in Lethbridge, where she resided until her passing. Her three sons predeceased her.

She is survived by her daughter Lyndell Ruff (Robert), three Grandchildren, Cameron Ruff (Miranda), Jamie Ruff and Jennifer Arthur (Robert Williams), and three precious great grandsons, Huxley Ruff, Rory Ruff and Alexander Arthur.

She was active in Presbyterian churches in both Medicine Hat and Lethbridge and contributed knitting, sewing, baking, etc to their many fundraising activities. Prior to moving to Lethbridge, she worked in the Medicine Hat General Hospital as a Nursing Aide. In retirement, she contributed freely of her time to Meals on Wheels and the Lethbridge Regional Hospital and enjoyed travelling, golf and cribbage (at the Lethbridge Senior Centre).

She last resided at The Garden View Lodge in Lethbridge.

A Celebration of Life will be held at 2:00 PM on May 13, 2017 at the Hillcrest Cemetery, with Renso Castellarin, officiating.

Margaret requested that we thank family and friends who took time out of their busy schedules to visit her.

We wish to thank Margaret’s many friends as well as the caregivers at The Garden View Lodge, who made Margaret’s latter years enjoyable and comfortable.

Visit http://www.mbfunerals.com to send a private condolence.

Mathilda Rempel

1937 – 2017

Mathilda Rempel (nee Schmold), beloved wife of the late John Rempel, passed away on February 1, 2017, surrounded by her children and grandchildren, after a hard-fought battle with Alzheimer’s. A Memorial Celebration of her life will be held 1:00pm on Saturday, February 18, 2017 at the COALDALE LUTHERAN CHURCH, 2006 – 20 Street, Coaldale, AB. If you knew and loved Mathilda, please join us in celebrating her life and legacy.

Visit http://www.mbfunerals.com to send a private condolence.

Norman Williams

1938 – 2017

Norman Edward Williams of Foremost, passed away on Tuesday February 14th at the age of 78 years, 9 days before his 79th birthday. Friends & family are invited to pay their final respects between 3:00pm – 4:00pm on Sunday, February 19, 2017 at MARTIN BROTHERS RIVERVIEW CHAPEL, 610-4 St. S., Lethbridge, AB. A celebration of Norm’s life will be held on Monday, February 20th at 2:00 pm at the FOREMOST COMMUNITY HALL, 801 1st Ave West.

Visit http://www.mbfunerals.com to send a private condolence.


DAVID ARTHUR PAUL PACAUD, of Lethbridge, passed away suddenly at home on Wednesday, February 15th, 2017 at the age of 62 years.

Funeral arrangements will be announced once completed.

To send a condolence, please visit



Paul M. Raczka, Pii takit si pimi (Spotted Eagle), also known as Api si pis to (White Owl), 74, passed away suddenly on Sunday, February 12, 2017 in Choteau at the Medical Center, with his wife, Albertine Crow Shoe, at his side. Visitation will begin at 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm at Eden’s Funeral Home in Fort Macleod, Alberta, on Monday, Feb. 20, 2017. The funeral service will be on Tuesday, Feb. 21, 11:00 am at the Piikani Nation Community Hall and a meal to follow. Paul was born on December 29, 1942 to Eugene and Irene Raczka in Buffalo, New York. Paul was a known historian, a Blackfoot Piikani knowledge leader and ceremonialist. In 1963, Paul enlisted into the United States Army, joining the Special Forces 101st Airborne Unit, and serving through 1966. He then went on to the University of New Mexico, where he started the “The Singing Wire” Ripples through Life on the KUMN radio station. In 1972, he left New Mexico and moved to Alberta, Canada in 1972, with his previous wife Elaine and two young daughters, Jennifer and Denise. He was adopted by late Laura Crow Shoe Buffalo; and other families who are being recognized, the late Ed & Ruth Little Bear; the late Joe Crowshoe Sr. and the Rose Potts family. Paul was one of the people instrumental in reviving the All Brave Dog Society, as well as the Blackfoot ceremonies on the Piikani Nation. In 1977, he was transferred into the All Brave Dog Society, where he was transferred the Bear Dog Bundle. Over the years Paul, held many bundles and obtained numerous transferred rites and he was a current Beaver Bundle owner. Paul was Piikani at heart; his true passion was Niitsitapiipatapiisiin Blackfoot Ways of life from ceremony and song. Paul was committed to helping the younger generation in teaching them sacred cultural protocols. His heart has been with the Piikani Peoples, Elders, clans, sacred societies and his holy children. He is an acknowledged traditional leader. He was a keeper of sacred songs from past ceremonialists and received many cultural transfers over the decades. He was humble and would not boast about his achievements. He followed the ways of his traditional elders and teachers whose stories he shared kindly. Paul was closely connected to many clans throughout “Indian Country”, which he established life-long relationships. He adopted many children and grandchildren establishing a large spiritual family of whom attended Paul and Albertine’s Beaver Bundle ceremonies. Paul traveled to art shows throughout the western United States and Canada buying, selling and appraising art work. His friend David Levine said it best, “Paul was an example of how one can become what one embraces. He became what he willed himself to be”. A passage from his latest book, A Blackfoot History, The Winter Counts : “To my father, the first storyteller in my life; and to all storytellers, whoever they may be, past, present and future. May their stories live on forever, for they carry the essence of life itself.” Paul is survived by his daughters, Jennifer (Eric), and Denise (Jackie); his wife Albertine; sons Josh and JT (Val); grandchildren Keon, Brittany, Karson and Kylee; brothers Ken (Mary) and Tom; and numerous nieces and nephews. We acknowledge his close friends, Jerry Potts Jr, Melvin Provost, Willard Yellowface, Shirlee Crow Shoe, his Brave Dog brothers and his ceremonial “Otakkaiksi”. He was preceded in death by his parents Eugene and Irene Raczka; and his Brave Dog brothers who have gone before him. We would like to thank everyone who was a part of his life.

REYNOLD ( Reyn) JOHNSON December 30, 1952 – February 13, 2017

Our beloved Reyn passed away in a tragic accident on February 13, 2017. He grew up in Lethbridge, attended local schools and was in the Lethbridge Swim Club where he made lifelong friends. At the University of Lethbridge, he competed in judo, and met his wife, Brenda (Leahy). They were married in 1977, farmed with Brenda’s parents in the Taber area for two years and then settled in Lethbridge. Reyn worked on obtaining his commercial pilot license and began crop spraying, then instructing in the Lethbridge area. He and Brenda moved to Calgary in 1985, where Reyn continued his aviation career, working at Jordan Flight Training, Business Flights and then Time Air (which became Canadian Regional Airlines and finally Jazz Airlines). After retiring from Jazz, Reyn began instructing students at Mount Royal University Aviation in September 2016. His career in aviation spanned over 34 years and he logged over 20,000 hours. He was proud of his aviation career but most important to him was his family – his beloved wife Brenda, son Lucas (born in 1988) and daughter Maryse (born in 1991). In 2012, Reyn became a devoted grandfather to Isaac, then Abigail in 2013 and two days before his death, he welcomed Jacob into the family. Reyn lived life to the fullest throughout his 64 years. He was a man of faith and a devoted friend to many. He was warm, kind and welcoming to all. Reyn loved to ski, golf, travel, play piano and guitar, woodworking, ride his Harley and most of all, to entertain friends and extended family. Reyn is survived by his loving wife Brenda, his son Lucas, his daughter Maryse (Peter) Doner, three grandchildren Isaac, Abigail and Jacob Doner; his brother Clifford (Louise) and their sons, James and Nick. He was predeceased by his mother Dorothy and his father Jim. Reyn was greatly admired and respected by his family, friends and colleagues. He will be deeply missed. Relatives and friends are invited to Prayers and Tributes at St. Michael’s Catholic Community (800 – 85 Street SW ) on Thursday, February 23, 2017 at 7:00pm. Funeral Mass will be celebrated at St. Michael’s Catholic Community (800 – 85 Street SW ) on Friday, February 24, 2017 at 11:00am. Photos, memories and condolences may be shared through http://www.evanjstrong.com. In lieu of flowers, tribute gifts may be made in his name to STARS or a charity of your choice.

Arrangements in care of EVAN J. STRONG FUNERAL SERVICES 403-265-1199

Sybren Visser

1928 – 2017

Mr. Sybren Visser of Lethbridge, beloved husband of Mrs. Arlene Visser, passed away at St. Michael’s Palliative Care on Tuesday, February 15, 2017 at the age of 88 years. A Memorial Service will be held at 3:00pm on Saturday, February 18, 2017 at MARTIN BROTHERS RIVERVIEW CHAPEL, 610-4th St. S., Lethbridge, AB, with Deacon Isaac Driedger, officiating.

Visit http://www.mbfunerals.com to send a private condolence.


1939 – 2017

KAI RAYMOND YIP, beloved husband of Madeleine Yip, of Lethbridge, passed away peacefully at the Chinook Regional Hospital on Wednesday, February 15, 2017.

Kai is survived by his loving wife of 27 years, Madeleine. He will be lovingly remembered by his children and grandchildren; Shannon (Les) Standcumbe – Dallas and Lily, Shelley (Wade) Yip – Chase, Steven Yip, Carolyn (Greg) Puckett – Miles, Geoff (Takako) Shakespeare – Lena, Christine (Andres) Suarez – Diego and Nico. Kai is also survived by his sisters Jeano Chow and May (Billy) Poon; and brothers Stan (Jane) Yip, Bruce (Minnie) Yip, and Tom (Shirlyn) Yip and numerous nieces and nephews.

Kai was predeceased by his brother David and nephew Conrad.

Kai was well known as an active member in local, provincial, and national boxing as an athlete and a coach. As a boxer, he competed across the country and was a provincial and national champion. One of the highlights of his career was representing Canada in the 1958 British Empire Games in Cardiff, Wales. He was inducted into the Lethbridge Sports Hall of Fame, the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame, and the Canadian Boxing Hall of Fame. As a coach, he trained amateur boxers at the Lethbridge Boxing Club for 35 years. He was also a part of the Canadian coaching staff at the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles.

Kai was very active in the community of Lethbridge. He served on the boards of the Lethbridge and District Exhibition and the Rocky Mountain Turf Club. He was also a member of the Chinese Freemasons. He was awarded a Key to the City of Lethbridge in 2010 for his service to the community and local sports. In later years Kai took up painting and did many lovely pictures of his grandchildren, animals, and scenery.

A Celebration of his Life will be held at the ROCKY MOUNTAIN TURF CLUB GRANDSTAND, 3401 Parkside Drive South, Lethbridge, AB, on Tuesday, February 21st, 2017 at 2:00 P.M.

In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts in Kai’s name can be made to the Cardiac Device Clinic, c/o Chinook Regional Hospital Foundation, 960 – 19 Street South, Lethbridge, AB, T1J 1W5.

To send a condolence, please visit http://www.cornerstonefuneralhome.com

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