January 18th, 2021

SATURDAY, January 19, 2019

By Lethbridge Herald Obituaries on January 19, 2019.


“Ksoowawagasii” – Spider

April 18, 1942 – January 10, 2019

We express our deep sadness at the passing of our father, grandfather, uncle, & friend Tony Blackwater. Tony passed away at the Cardston Hospital on January 10, 2019 at 77 years of age, after a brief illness.

He is survived by his children, Bruce Devine, and Jessie Blackwater, grandchildren, Trissly, Nealim, Blade (Devine), Wilton, and Ryder. He is also survived by his sister, Joan (Joe) White Man Left, nephews, nieces, and his extended family.

Tony was born to Henry Black Water (Cochrane) & Mary (nee Rider) Black Water at the Blood Indian Hospital and was raised in Standoff. He attended the St. Mary’s Residential School and worked in various places throughout, Southern Alberta, B.C., and the State of Washington, USA.

Tony was always proud of his children and spoke highly of his son, Bruce’s artistic abilities, and was also proud when his daughter, Jessie and her accomplishments. Tony was a champion Blackfoot Old Style Chicken dancer and won many competitions in his lifetime. He cherished the friends he made and considered them as part of his family as he traveled throughout Canada and USA attending cultural celebrations and powwows. He danced with such finesse and never strayed from the dancing style of Siksikaitsitapi. He represented our Blackfoot Confederacy with pride each time he entered the powwow circle. Tony was also a track & field athlete and won many trophies in the running events. He loved music and in his younger days would play his blues music while his nieces would sit outside his window on a hot summer day listening to good ol’ rock and roll music. Tony also dabbled in art and gave his beautiful oil paintings to his nieces and nephews.

During Tony’s retirement he devoted his life to his grandchildren and family. He was very proud of their skills and talents. He was a devoted Grandpa, taking his grandkids to school; to the park, or Dollar store became part of his daily routine, which he loved, and his grandkids will forever cherish.

A Family Service will be at Legacy Funeral Home, Cardston on Sunday, January 20, from 5:00 – 6:00 p.m. followed by the Wake Service at the White Calf Hall in Standoff from 7:00 – 11:00 p.m. The Funeral Mass will be at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Blood Reserve on Monday, January 21, at 11:00 a.m. Interment at St. Catherine’s Cemetery.

Condolences may be sent to: http://www.legacyfuneralhome.ca

Leroy Church

1931 – 2019

It is with great sorrow that we announce the passing of our beloved husband, father, grandfather and great grandfather, Leroy “Johnny” Michael Church on Wednesday, January 16, 2019 at the age of 87 years. The Funeral Service will be held at Southland Funeral Chapel, 5006 – 48 Avenue, Taber on Sunday, January 20, 2019 at 2:00 P.M. A private burial to follow at the Taber Memorial Garden. Condolences may be forwarded by visiting our website at http://www.southlandfuneral.com. Left to cherish his memory is his wife Lorraine; children Michael (Sheri) Church of Bonnyville, Joan (Denis) Odland of Vauxhall, Nola (Kevin) Milos of Lethbridge, Rosemary (Hank) Robinson of Taber, Richard (Josey) Church of Hays and Dawn (Donald) Cameron of Vauxhall; fifteen grandchildren and twenty eight great grandchildren. He is also survived by his mother-in-law Irene Feist as well as numerous sisters-in-law, brothers-in-law, nieces and nephews, too numerous to mention. He was predeceased by his parents Lazarus and Mary Church; brother Royce Church and father-in-law Phillip Feist. Leroy was born in Blaine Lake, Saskatchewan on September 21, 1931. He moved to Hays in 1959 to start farming, which is where he met the love of his life Lorraine Feist. Together they spent the next fifty eight years building a life that was dedicated to raising their family. Leroy was proud of his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. There was never a moment or get together where he didn’t show them how proud he was of them and how much he loved them. His family was the light of his life. A few of his other passions were his farm, fishing, hunting, camping and Stampede Wrestling. Leroy was a simple man but made an impact on all those who knew him. If friends so desire, memorial tributes in Leroy’s memory may be made directly to the Alzheimer’s Society, 40, 1202 – 2 Avenue South, Lethbridge, Alberta T1J 0E3 (http://www.alzheimer.ca). The family wishes to express their appreciation to the staff at Linden View for the care given to Leroy. Arrangements in care of Southland Funeral Chapel, Taber. Telephone: (403) 223-8778.


VIOLA “VI” BERNICE COCKBURN, beloved wife of the late Charles Cockburn, passed away in Lethbridge on Saturday, January 12, 2019 at the age of 94 years.

Viola is survived by her four sons, Dennis (Jackie), Ken (Barb), Craig (Nina) and Wes (Katie) all of Lethbridge, her five grandchildren, Deanna, Daniel (Rochelle), Ryan (Shawn), Aaron (Jennifer) and Stacey, as well as her five great-grandchildren, Christopher, Noah, Hudson, Natalie and Kayle. She is also survived by her nieces and nephews, Pat (Fritz) Herrmann and family, Paul (Sandy) Adams and family, Phyllis (Richard) McNut and family, Doug (Rosemary) Martin and family, Wendy (Robert) Jarvie, Terry (Caroll) Ross and family, and Barrie (Karen) Parent and family.

She was predeceased by her beloved husband, Charles “Chuck” Rhind Cockburn, her parents, George and Louisa Miller, her brother, Clarence Miller, her sisters, Irene Adams and Gertrude Martin, and her sister-in-law, Irene Parent.

Mom was born in Lethbridge on June 15, 1924 to George and Louisa Miller. Eventually, she met Dad and the two were married on July 3, 1945. She accomplished much in her life, including raising four children. She loved her flowers and her garden. She was a wizard in the kitchen and always cooking gourmet meals or baking scrumptious goodies. Everyone was always welcome in her home.

Viola was a beloved wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and friend. Her life was the definition of true compassion and love. Her quiet courage, strength of spirit, creativity and sense of humour will be carried forward by those who knew and loved her.

Viola was laid to rest at Mountain View Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers and in memory of Viola, donations may be made to the Heart & Stroke Foundation: #200, 119 – 14 Street NW, Calgary, AB T2N 1Z6.

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


DOUGLAS JOHN GIBBONS, of Picture Butte, passed away peacefully at the St. Michael’s Health Centre – Palliative Care Unit, surrounded by family on Wednesday, January 9, 2019 at the age of 66 years.

A Funeral Mass will be celebrated at ST. CATHERINE’S CATHOLIC CHURCH, 762 Crescent Avenue, Picture Butte, AB, on Saturday, January 19, 2019 at 11:00 A.M. with Father Ian Gagne celebrating.

Doug will be laid to rest in the Huntsville Cemetery.

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

Brian Illingworth

1924 – 2019

We are saddened to announce the passing of our father, Brian Illingworth, on January 8, 2019, at the age of 94. He lived a long and full life. Brian and our mother, Betty, owned and operated Spic and Span Dry Cleaners for 56 years. Brian loved to talk, had an incredible sense of humour and was a voracious reader. He donated countless hours to his scout troop, taking them camping all year long and teaching them valuable life skills. He was recognized by Canadian Blood Services for his regular blood donations. Dad is survived by his son, Phil (Janet) of Victoria; daughter, Terri of Calgary; 8 grand-children and 2 great-grandchildren. He was predeceased by his wife of 72 years, Betty. Our thanks go to our incredible neighbours, Alma and Charlie Berridge and Bryan Walkey. They enabled our parents to stay in their home and continued to care for them after they moved. We would also like to thank the staff at St. Michael’s Community Support Bed unit, at Edith Cavell Care Centre and at Chinook Regional Hospital for their caring and kindness. A Celebration of Life will be held later this year. For those who wish, memorial donations may be made in Brian’s name to Boy Scouts of Canada – Camp Impeesa, at scouts.thankyou4caring.org/ tributelegacygiving.

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


1944 – 2019

Joseph Thomas Pard, beloved husband of Theresa Pard passed away peacefully surrounded by family on Thursday January 17, 2019 in Lethbridge Alberta at the age of 74.

Funeral arrangements to be announced when completed.

Robert “Nick” Lastuka

1928 – 2019

Mr. Nick Lastuka of Lethbridge, beloved husband of Mrs. Ann Lastuka, passed away on Sunday, January 6, 2019 at the age of 90 years. A Celebration of Life will be held at 2:00PM on Saturday, January 19, 2019 at the LETHBRIDGE COUNTRY CLUB, 101 COUNTRY CLUB ROAD SOUTH, Lethbridge, AB.

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


BERNARDUS “BEN” LOMAN, beloved husband of Elizabeth “Lies” Loman, passed away peacefully at home surrounded by family, on Monday, January 14, 2019 at the age of 87 years.

Ben is survived by his wife of 59 years, Elizabeth; sons Bernie (Debbie), Ed (Sherryl), Paul (Trish), John (Sheryl); and daughters Henriette (Myron), Margaret (Doug) and Jackie (Brian). He is also survived by his 16 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren, with his family still continuing to grow.

Ben was born on November 21, 1931 in Ootmarsum, Netherlands. The oldest of nine children born to Bernardus and Maria Loman, he was raised on the family farm with his four sisters and four brothers. Ben was predeceased by his parents, two brothers, Gerhard and Henny, and one sister, Trudy. He is survived by his sisters, Mary Vander Heyden, Ann Keujer, Ricky Broekhuis, and brothers Jan Loman and Frans Loman.

In 1956, Ben left the Netherlands and arrived in the Tofield area as a bachelor looking for new farming opportunities. During the one and a half years he was there he gained farming experience and also made a visit to southern Alberta. In 1958 he returned to the Netherlands to get to know the love of his life, Elizabeth. They married March 31, 1959 and immigrated to Canada, settling in the Picture Butte area and purchasing a farm where he grew sugar beets and grain and raised their 7 children. He always said that his greatest accomplishment was his family. His greatest joy was family gatherings and spending time with his grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Ben was involved in various community activities over the years. He was a director for the Lethbridge Northern Irrigation District for 29 years and also served on the Region 14 Unifarm Board. He was involved with the Picture Butte Chamber of Commerce and the Agriculture Society. Ben was a charter member of the Picture Butte Knights of Columbus and a member of the 4th degree. He held the positions of Grand Knight and District Deputy. Always loving a challenge, he tried his hand at politics, running in a provincial election.

Ben, along with Elizabeth, lived their married life committed to the Catholic Church; their strong faith helped them build a solid family foundation. He was a kind, gentle, generous man who always put others needs before his own. If you needed a hand, he was there to help.

Dad is deeply loved and will be dearly missed; he is now in God’s hands.

A Prayer Service will be held at ST. CATHERINE’S CATHOLIC CHURCH, 762 Crescent Avenue North, Picture Butte, AB, on Tuesday, January 22, 2019 at 7:00 P.M.

A Funeral Mass will be celebrated at ST. CATHERINE’S CATHOLIC CHURCH, on Wednesday, January 23, 2019 at 11:00 A.M. with Father Ian Gagne celebrating.

Ben will be laid to rest in a Private Family Graveside Service.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Lethbridge and District Pro-Life, 1805 – 9 Avenue N, Lethbridge, AB, T1H 1H8.

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

Mary O’Connor-Coutts

1928 – 2019

Mary O’Connor-Coutts (née Comer) passed away peacefully at Edith Cavell Care Centre on Monday, January 14th at the age of 90 years with family at her side, after a long and difficult journey with dementia. Waiting for her in Heaven are her beautiful baby girl Maureen Elaine (“Mo-Mo”) O’Connor, and her sweet grandson Daniel O’Connor. She is survived by her husband and partner of almost 40 years, Colin Coutts, as well as children Kathleen (Terry) Stuckert, Jack (Trudy) O’Connor and Shannon (Bill) Spenceley. She also leaves behind granddaughters Jennifer O’Connor and Alexandra Cattoni, grandsons Eric Cattoni and Ted Spenceley, great-grandchildren Jordan, Mason, Caley, Jesse and Spencer, and one great-great-grandson, James. Mary was born in 1928 near Penhold, Alberta, the youngest of Harold and Olga Comer’s three children. She grew up in rural south-central Alberta, and was smart as a whip, completing grades 6 through 9 in two years. She was always at the top of her class in grades, even though she was at the bottom in terms of age and physical size. She was known as a bit of a scrapper, and didn’t take kindly to being told she couldn’t do something. She was independent, rebellious, smart and curious about the world. When she was 16, she went off to Calgary to nursing school at the Calgary General, and completed eight months of her training before she met Patrick O’Connor at a hardware store in downtown Calgary, and was swept off her feet. They married, and her career became that of wife and mother—to Kathleen, Jack, Shannon and Maureen. And she was a cool Mom. She could do back flips and cartwheels, and even walk on her hands! She was also tough and fierce, especially when it came to being a protective mother. Woe to the teacher that disciplined any of her children too aggressively (even if they deserved it!). Money was always tight; and being immensely practical and creative, she taught herself how to sew and became an amazing tailor. Neighbours used to bring sewing to her, and when they could not pay her in cash, they often gave her fabric in the forms of curtains, tablecloths or other things—which she turned into beautiful, handmade clothing for her family. Life took a sudden turn for Mary at age 36, when she lost little Mo-Mo, aged 3, to a deadly viral illness. Not long after that, she recognized that her marriage was failing. She needed a way to support herself and her remaining 3 children. She didn’t have a car or a credit card, or a bank account or any money to put in it if she did, and she had just lost her youngest child. She knew that things had to change, so she had to focus on what she had, not what she didn’t have, or had lost. What she had was eight months of nursing education that was now 20 years in her past. So, she approached the administrator of the St. Michael’s Hospital School of Nursing, an impressive woman named Sister Clarissa. Mary announced that she wanted to finish her nursing education, but she had to be finished the 3 year nursing program in one year. Something in her story struck a chord, because Sr. Clarissa decided to give her a chance. Over the next 12 months for 7 days a week, she studied, did clinical shifts, and wrote papers, exams and assignments. Somehow, she also managed to keep her home going, despite her failing marriage. She was so excited by the learning—her kids remember her reading amazing facts to them out loud: “hey guys, do you realize that we have 60,000 miles of blood vessels in our bodies? That would take you more than twice around the whole world! Isn’t that something?!” In 1968 she graduated at the top of her class, winning awards for her high marks and clinical care. Her family was very proud of her as she walked across that stage. From graduation until 1981, Mary was a Labour & Delivery room nurse at St. Michael’s Hospital in Lethbridge, and she was exceptional. She remembered every single delivery, particularly the tough ones when the physician just didn’t make it. There are many people out there happily living their lives that were gently, safely and expertly ushered into this world by Mary O’Connor, RN. In fact, she told people right up to the end of her life that she was STILL an RN—being a registered nurse wasn’t just what she did for a living—it’s who she was. So imagine her pride when her daughter Shannon, granddaughter Jennifer, and great-granddaughter Jesse all chose registered nursing careers as well! In 1978, Mary met the man who would make her happy until the day she died: Colin Coutts. He was also a health care provider, and many years younger than Mary. She tried to convince him that he should pursue someone his own age, but Colin had already fallen in love with Mary, and she with him. After ten years of being together, she finally said “yes” to a marriage proposal, and she and Colin wed on September 1, 1990. Mary and Colin loved traveling, and spent many happy times in Hawaii, and visiting family in Vancouver over the years. Colin introduced her to the game of darts and she quickly became a talented player—nicknamed “The Bailer” for often bailing their team out of trouble in dart tournaments! Colin’s career in the Canadian Military meant they moved around during their married life, and they lived happily in Calgary, Winnipeg, Ottawa, Edmonton, and finally Lethbridge, where they lived until she passed away. The edges of Mary’s memory started to unravel in 2006, and she received a diagnosis of dementia a year later. Within 2 years, Mary just couldn’t live at home anymore—despite Colin’s valiant efforts. Many reading this will understand what an agonizing decision it is to put someone you love in the care of others. The last 9 years of Mary’s life were spent in care, with 7 of those years at Edith Cavell. The staff there were wonderful to her and Mary’s family just cannot thank them enough for their loving care. Mary had good days, where a light would go on in those bright blue eyes and she would share a good laugh with family, or with her caregivers. And as those who love someone with this disease can attest, there were also some very bad days, where all that could be hoped for was for her to feel love, and a bit of peace. Thank you to all those who cared for Mom over the years. We, her family, are so grateful for her life, for the love she shared with us, and for the peace that is finally hers. A Private Service for family and close friends will follow at a later date. Flowers are gratefully declined, but should you wish to honour Mary’s memory, please consider making a donation to either the Alzheimer Society of Alberta/NWT, 308, 14925 – 111 Avenue NW, Edmonton Alberta T5M 2P6, or the Alberta Registered Nurses Educational Trust 11120 178 Street, Edmonton, AB T5S 1P2.

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



ARIEL JOY OLD SHOES-HEALY-MANY BEARS, beloved daughter of Johanna Healy, and Joseph Many Bears, passed away at home Saturday January 12, 2019, at the age of 22 years.

A Family Service will be held at CORNERSTONE FUNERAL HOME, 2800 Mayor Magrath Drive South, Lethbridge, AB, on Monday, January 21, 2019 at 6:00 P.M.

A Wake will be held at WHITE CALF HALL, Stand Off, AB, on Monday, January 21, 2019, starting at 7:30 P.M. and continuing all night.

The Funeral Service will be held at WHITE CALF HALL, on Tuesday, January 22, 2019 at 11:00 A.M. with Bishop Cameron Francis officiating.

Ariel will be laid to rest in the Many Bears Family Plot.

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

Donaldson “Donnie” Paksi

1993 – 2019

Mr. Donaldson “Donnie” Paksi, of Lethbridge passed away on Saturday, January 12, 2019 at the age of 25 years. Family and friends are invited to pay their respects at 10:00AM on Friday, January 25, 2019 at MARTIN BROTHERS RIVERVIEW CHAPEL, 610 – 4 STREET SOUTH, Lethbridge, AB. A Celebration of Life will be held at 11:00AM on Friday, January 25, 2019 at MARTIN BROTHERS RIVERVIEW CHAPEL, 610 – 4 STREET SOUTH, Lethbridge, AB.

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

Scott Reiter

1963 – 2019

Scott Reiter, husband of Ruth, father to Karly and Nathan, son of Louise Reiter, passed away early Wednesday morning, January 16, 2019. He battled a strong battle with cancer, and he did it with dignity and grace. Born into a close family on a farm north and west of Iron Springs on February 11, 1963, he learned the ethic of hard work, experienced the joy of large family gatherings and developed a much-admired ability to be gentle, just and strong in the face of a storm. He completed school in Iron Springs (Huntsville) and Picture Butte High, recognized for academic achievements and celebrated for his athletic prowess in basketball and baseball. Upon graduating with distinction from the University of Lethbridge Computer Science program, he worked with two companies providing technical support for businesses. Then he operated Reiter Computers for 18 years, taking pride in his professional ability to help customers succeed. As a founding member of the Lethbridge Community Band Association (the trumpet player) and a long-standing baritone saxophone player in the Lethbridge Big Band, he ensured that the music he loved was central to southern Alberta culture. A fierce love of baseball motivated him to be an ambassador of the sport as a coach, an umpire, a volunteer and a board member. His greatest devotion was to his wife, Ruth and his children, Karly and Nathan as well as his mother, Louise Reiter and his large, exuberant extended family. He was an inspiration to us all as a husband, a son, a brother, an employer, a community leader, an uncle, a neighbor and a friend. He leaves the best of memories for Ruth, Karly, Nathan and Louise; aunts Antonetta Baer and Elvira Linders; brothers Kevin (Cathy), Ward (Robin); his sister Erin (Terry Johnson); brothers-in-law Larry Low (Marcy) and Garry Low (Libby Karier); sisters-in-law LillAnne Jackson (Claudio Costi) and Maureen Black (Derold) as well as special friends Jane and George Blair. He is cherished by nieces, nephews and cousins and their partners and children. A Celebration of Life will be held at 3:00pm, on Sunday, January 20, 2019 at SOUTHMINISTER UNITED CHURCH, 1101 – 4 Avenue South, Lethbridge, Alberta, with Pastor Richard Brown officiating. Baseball friends are invited to wear your favorite baseball jersey to the service. For those who wish, memorial donations may be made to the Prairie Baseball Academy Society, 545 – 6 Ave. N. T1H 6N8. “So loved, you are. And missed already, Scott. Forever remembered … “

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

Henry Unruh
1933 – 2019

Henry Dave Unruh of Enchant, beloved husband of Sue Unruh, passed away peacefully at the Chinook Regional Hospital on Wednesday, January 16, 2019 at the age of 85 years.
Relatives and friends are invited to meet with the family at Southland Funeral Chapel, 5006 – 48 Avenue, Taber on Sunday, January 20, 2019 between 7:00 P.M. and 8:00 P.M.
A burial service for family and close friends will be held at the Enchant Cemetery prior to the Funeral Service.
The Funeral Service will be held at the Enchant Community Hall, 121 Center Street, Enchant on Monday, January 21, 2019 at 2:00 P.M. Condolences may be forwarded by visiting our website at http://www.southlandfuneral.com.
Besides his loving wife Sue, he is survived by his children Walter (Marilyn) Unruh of Hays, Judy Unruh of Enchant and David Unruh of Enchant; grandchildren Emily (Terry), Seth (Presley), Cal (Lia), Adam, Lisa (Kurtis), Matt (Kate-Lynn), Kyle and Ashley; great grandchildren Wyatt, Kord, Leah, Nash, Karter, Rayna and Emrie. He is also survived by his sister Jo Herfort of Calgary and many brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law as well as numerous nieces and nephews.
Henry was the most gentle and loving man. He enjoyed people and will be remembered for all the times he asked everyone and anyone into his home for coffee.
Henry was born on September 2, 1933 at the Oxly Ranch in Stavely. His family moved to Vauxhall, that same year. Henry was involved in 4-H during high school in the Vauxhall Seed, Hog, Grain and Cattle program, doing extremely well in grain and taking his prize winning hog to Olds. In high school his 4-H Club made the Vauxhall Hill 4-H sign of painted rocks on the Old Man River Hill. The sign is still there.
Henry attended Old’s College from 1953-1954 and graduated with honors with a two year Agricultural degree. He also attended SAIT in 1959 for a Welding Degree.
Henry and his brothers ranched the river bottom in Hays, and later Henry homesteaded land in South Hays. He married Sue Baerg on May 16, 1959, and they were married for fifty nine years. Henry was the 4-H leader and assistant leader of the Hays 4-H Club for many years. He moved from Hays to Enchant in 1987, and has enjoyed the Enchant community, the Enchant Evangelical Free Church and the Enchant Seniors. Henry attended Lethbridge Community College at fifty two years of age and graduated with a Meat Cutting and Merchandising Certificate.
If friends so desire, memorial tributes in Henry’s name may be made directly to the Mennonite Central Committee, Suite 210, 2946 – 32 Street NE, Calgary, Alberta T1Y 6J7 (www.mcccanada.ca) or to Streets Alive Street Mission, 323 – 4 Street South, Lethbridge, Alberta T1J 1Z9 (www.streetsalive.ca).
Arrangements in care of Southland Funeral Chapel, Taber. Telephone: (403) 223-8778.

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