Remembering people the Northwest Territories lost in 2022
This page is dedicated to remembering residents of the Northwest Territories who passed away in 2022, through the eyes of those who knew them well.
We have collected obituaries we published this year and excerpts of eulogies delivered by the territory’s MLAs at the Legislative Assembly over the course of the past 12 months.
The staff of Cabin Radio extend our thoughts and condolences to all families in the territory who lost a loved one this year.
Names and details on this page are shown as they were provided to Cabin Radio by those who spoke in tribute to people who had passed, or as they appeared in Hansard, the daily written record of speeches in the legislature.
Excerpted from Cabin Radio’s obituary published on January 10, 2022.
Yellowknife 18-year-old Milo Martin is remembered for his ability to make connections with people and his impact on others’ lives. Milo, who was born and raised in Yellowknife, moved to Victoria, British Columbia in October to live with his girlfriend, Katie Sharp. His mother, Shawn McCann, said he had suffered sudden cardiac arrest.
Ptarmicon, the NWT’s gaming and cosplay convention, called Milo – a former youth board member – “an incredible guy who helped Ptarmicon in many ways.” On a Facebook page for radio control enthusiasts, he was remembered as “an incredibly talented young man who had his hands in everything.”
“He was the best at connecting with people,” said McCann. “Different ages, different backgrounds. He knew people from all walks of life. He loved them, and they loved him back.”
Milo’s father, Jordan Martin, described the decision Milo made to leave Yellowknife for a life with his girlfriend in Victoria. “He was the kind of person that just went all-in with everything, even in his relationship,” Martin said. “He was kind-of a wreck before he left, but he just knew that he had to leave home to go be with the person that he loved.
“As parents, we were skeptical of that, but when we saw him at Christmas-time – it was the first time we had seen him since he left – he looked so happy. You could see it in his body language and the smile on his face. It was so good to see him happy and in love.” (Read our obituary in full.)
Excerpted from Cabin Radio’s obituary published on January 26, 2022.
Harry Sudom, known for his dedication to coaching and his lasting impact on Fort Smith, passed away at the age of 95. He coached a wide variety of sports in the community including hockey, softball, track and field, curling and volleyball.
Don MacDonald, who met Harry in the mid-70s, said he proved to be one of the most popular people in town at the time “because of the amount of hours he devoted to coaching.”
Harry was loved as a coach “because of his devotion to the young people, his leadership, his skills in coaching, and the amount that he actually gave of himself to young people,” according to MacDonald.
“He had many excellent, really good teams, but his most notable was Andy’s Angels girls’ fastball team.”
One of the players on that team was Brenda Dragon. “Harry changed my life,” she said, “in the way he taught me to set goals and just [by] being a very solid, constant guide.” (Read our obituary in full.)
Sherri Lynn Thomson
Remembered by Nahendeh MLA Shane Thompson on February 22, 2022.
Demonstrating her strength of will, independence, and sass right to the end of her well-lived 48 years, Sherri Lynn Thomson passed away Monday, December 6th.
Sherri had her sights set on teaching and pursued her dream immediately after high school, attending the University of Saskatchewan and completing her education degree in 1996. Starting her career close to home, demonstrating the streak of independence, she worked a total of 19 years in the Northwest Territories with the Dehcho Divisional Educational Council teaching in Fort Providence, Fort Simpson as a teacher, principal, and later on as literacy consultant. In those two decades living in Canada’s North, Sherri truly embraced the lifestyle and people, as did they. This is where I got to meet her and appreciate her commitment to the North.
Her initial diagnosis of ovarian cancer came in 2014. A second diagnosis in 2017 led her to retire from her career and move back back home in 2018. Not one to sit still, Sherri fulfilled another dream. After some wrangling with her dad, she bought land immediately east of her childhood home and proceeded to oversee the construction of a beautiful home, perfectly placed to capture the prairie sunrise and sunset. She will be sadly missed. (Read the full eulogy via Hansard.)
Remembered by Deh Cho MLA Ron Bonnetrouge on February 23, 2022.
Evelyn was born and raised in Fort McPherson to her parents, Mike and Effie Krutko.
Evelyn attended Lethbridge College school of applied arts and science, taking renewable resource management, of which she graduated in 1979. She worked for the GNWT Department of Renewable Resources as a renewable resource officer up in Inuvik, where she met her future husband, Al Larocque. Upon the opening of the Mackenzie Bison Sanctuary near Fort Providence, the department opened a wildlife office in the community, and Evelyn was hired as a renewable resource officer to run the office. Evelyn, along with her husband Al and two really young children, Alaina and Mike, moved to Fort Providence in 1984. They were welcomed and embraced by the whole community.
Evelyn was a wildlife officer in a male-dominated profession at the time. ENR has confirmed that she was a trailblazer for women in this field. The hunters and trappers watched her every move to see if she would falter. Evelyn did her job with keen interest and was not afraid to tackle the coldest temperatures in order to do her job. She was spending nights and days out on the land, including at Horn Plateau, on caribou hunts, and ventured out into the bison sanctuary. Evelyn gained the respect of the hunters and trappers for what she could do, and she bought many furs from them on behalf of the department. Evelyn retired from the department in 2011 after serving 32 years in ENR. (Read the full eulogy via Hansard.)
Rita and Bill Rowe
Remembered by Nahendeh MLA Shane Thompson on February 23 and 24, 2022.
Born in 1935, Rita was the youngest daughter of 14 siblings. Her mother passed away when she was 12 years old. After her mother passed away, she moved in with her sister, Eva Morbick in Edmonton. Rita went looking for work at the age of 16, which found her on a plane heading to Yellowknife to start her adventure. Her first job was working as a waitress at the Busy Bee Cafe, where she became lifetime friends with Patricia Rowe. With Christmastime arriving and Rita having no plans, Patricia invited her to come to the Rowes’ house. This is where she met Bill and they started another life adventure.
Bill and Rita were married on January 20, 1953 in Peace River. Bill and Rita worked in the oil fields in Saskatchewan, residing with the Higginson family in Berwyn, and then headed north. They ran a garage and a restaurant in Enterprise until it burned down. Then they moved to Hay River, where Bill started DJ Motors and Rita worked really hard raising their six children.
William Rowe, born in 1931, was a brother to 11 siblings, father to six children, and many grandchildren and great grandchildren. He would always say his best accomplishment was his family. Bill left home at the age of 17 to find his way in the world. He was fond of mechanics and had become successful as a general contractor and founder of Rowe’s Construction and JM Ranch.
Bill and Rita had many, many adventures for 67 years together. With the passing of Rita, Bill remained strong for the family. However, he always missed his little red fox. Bill and Rita spent 30 years in the North and over 40 years in Berwyn, Alberta, where their home was, and the place that captured their heart. (Read full eulogies for Rita and for Bill via Hansard.)
Remembered by Nahendeh MLA Shane Thompson on February 25, 2022.
Germaine was born in 1923 at Fisherman’s Lake. Germaine lived in a true Dene traditional way with her family. She met William Betthale in 1949, fell in love and married him. They had ten children and lived a traditional life on their trapline in the MacCamish Lake area. She was known as amelie, translated as “one mom,” to her many grandchildren.
In her last years of her life, she moved to Fort Simpson to live in the long-term care facility, where she got to meet her old acquaintances and make some new ones. Although she was separated from her family and lifestyle, she remained strong, getting along and supporting her friends at the home. She always gave support to others with her laughter, encouragement, and kindness. The family would like to thank the staff at the long-term care home for the support they offered their mother.
In her younger years she was skilled in the use of the traditional medicine and was a capable midwife who frequently helped women in childbirth. She loved telling stories. People always looked forward to her stories as they were always worth waiting for. As well, she loved singing and dancing to Dene drums. (Read the full eulogy via Hansard.)
Remembered by Inuvik Twin Lakes MLA Lesa Semmler on February 28, 2022.
Colin was born in Aklavik on December 25, 1935. When he was 14 years old, he and Shorty Stanley Gordon worked for the RCMP schooner St Roche and hauled freshwater ice for drinking by dog teams. In the spring of 2016 Colin went to Vancouver, BC, and was able to visit St Roche. He was able to tour the boat and share many stories with the staff and told them exactly what the boat did way back in the day. Colin was very proud of this event. It provided the opportunity for him to share stories, which he was very good at doing.
With the work ethic he had, he was always asked to do different tasks around town while Inuvik was being built. He worked a jackhammer all day testing the ground to begin building East Three, built eight houses at Happy Valley before it became a campground, built the warehouses across from Home Hardware, built the yellow railings around town, and was the foreman to build the Mad Trapper. If you took Colin out for a drive around town, he would tell you stories about everything and was very proud to share how Inuvik became.
Colin and Rita Rogers were married on April 19, 1960. Together they had eight children. Rita and Colin took in many others who were attending school at Grollier Hall and Stringer Hall. After their children moved out and had families of their own, Rita and Colin took in teenagers through social services and tried to get them to finish school and learn to live on the land as well. (Read the full eulogy via Hansard.)
Excerpted from Cabin Radio’s obituary published on March 1, 2022.
Paulatuk mourned and celebrated the legacy of Inuvialuit rights defender Peter Green, who passed away at the age of 77. Green spent a lifetime in leadership roles and working for his community. He is best known for his achievements while president of Cope – the Committee of Original People’s Entitlement, an Inuvialuit rights group – from 1982 to 1984. He also served as a negotiator who helped to shape the Inuvialuit Final Agreement, one of Canada’s first comprehensive land claim agreements.
Green was born in Paulatuk in 1945. At the age of six, he was abducted by Canadian government officials and taken to residential school in Aklavik. He remained there until the school closed eight years later, in 1959. The Anglican Church, which ran the school, recorded the deaths of 17 students during Green’s time there. “Things were taken from me, such as my language and my self-esteem … and I experienced sexual abuse,” Green told the CBC in 2009.
In the 1960s, the issues of Inuvialuit land rights and ownership were reaching a boiling point. Rampant oil and gas exploration and development without consultation were affecting the traditional Inuvialuit way of life and, in 1970, Cope was formed to address that. For 14 years, Green and the committee fought for recognition of their rights, enduring what they described as racism, bad-faith negotiating and stalling by the federal government.
In 1984, while Green was president of Cope, the landmark IFA agreement was signed in front of a cheering crowd of 400. (Read our obituary in full.)
Gino Paul Kotchea
Remembered by Nahendeh MLA Shane Thompson on March 29, 2022.
Gino was born in 1978 and spent many summers on the Liard River with his grandparents, shooting his first moose at the age of 12. Gino learned many skills from his Uncle Pete, whom he called his brother, and his grandfather.
In 1990, Gino attended school in Fort Smith. One weekend on a family picnic, he saw his first garter snake. He pulled his socks up over his pant leg, and that’s where they stayed for most of the day. Later that day they went on a nine-kilometre hike and he carried his sister on his back most of the way. He was very protective of her.
Gino loved to give back to the community and his way was coaching the girls and boys’ soccer team, and he took them on a number of regional tournaments. He wanted to be a police officer. He started working at the local police detachment during his last years of school as a special constable. Gino’s grandfather Harry did not approve of this. He told Gino there is more negativity than positivity and a young Dene man should not experience this. As a result, Gino did not pursue that career.
Gino and Donna had their first child, Eva Raine, on November 26, 2012, and Medin Storme on February 1st, 2016. He adopted Donna’s son, Melvin. Family was his most important part of his life and he loved them dearly. (Read the full eulogy via Hansard.)
Excerpted from Cabin Radio’s obituary published on April 19, 2022.
Peter Magill, an ambassador of boundless energy for Hay River, passed away at the age of 58 after a short illness. Most recently a town councillor, Peter’s infinite creative capacity became legend first through a stint at Buffalo Airways, then as Hay River’s tourism and economic development coordinator.
He passed away having been diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumour only in February. Dian Papineau-Magill, his wife, said Peter had chosen to receive medical assistance in dying. “He chose when he was going to go,” Dian told Cabin Radio. “He used the medical assistance in dying process. It’s really important that people feel comfortable with that, because the process was painless and quite lovely. There was no way I wanted to see him incapacitated and feeling helpless.”
Born in North Bay, Ontario, on July 3, 1963, Peter worked in sales before Dian’s career as a teacher took the couple to the Northwest Territories. When she found work in Hay River in the fall of 2009, Peter followed. His résumé landed, with a thud, on Mikey McBryan’s desk at Buffalo Airways. “He sent this 36-page résumé. It was just huge,” McBryan said. “I talked to him and I heard it right away, you could just tell: he was very good, very passionate, very everything.”
Peter’s contribution to Hay River was universally acclaimed following news of his passing. In a statement, Mayor of Hay River Kandis Jameson said: “Peter always had community betterment at the forefront of his interests. His passion and dedication in this respect will not be forgotten.” (Read our obituary in full.)
Excerpted from Cabin Radio’s obituary published on May 3, 2022.
Morris Neyelle, a pillar of Délı̨nę’s community, is remembered as an artist, activist, musician and historian who cared tremendously about his people. He served as a band councillor and sub-chief for the Délı̨nę First Nation, took part in land claim negotiations and worked for the housing corporation. He passed away of cancer aged 71.
“Morris told it straight and his words were always worth listening to,” said Kevin Flood, a federal negotiator who became a close friend of the family. Paulina Roche, Morris’ sister, said: “I don’t think I can see anybody else in his role in the community. Just why, you know? Why him? He was this perfect person that lived in this world and now God has taken him.”
Friends and family described Morris as a spiritual leader, husband, grandfather, brother, and friend to many who remained active well into his final days. At his service, longtime friend Danny Gaudet spoke of Morris’ talent as a musician, playing drums and guitar with exceptional skill, and his passion for photography. “I don’t think Morris ever left his house without his camera. He was always capturing moments. He loved taking pictures of people,” Gaudet said. (Read our obituary in full.)
Excerpted from Cabin Radio’s obituary published on May 17, 2022.
The Northwest Territories and its Tłı̨chǫ region remember Dan Marion as an avid gardener and family man with “a big heart” who dedicated his life to others. Dan, a former NWT commissioner, passed away at his home in Frank Channel on May 12 at the age of 76. Family members said he leaves the legacy of a man committed to bettering his community.
“He really loved connecting with people, not just in the Tłı̨chǫ region, but all over the Northwest Territories,” Giselle Marion said of her father. “What we remember about my dad is that it’s important to give back to your community and to care, to love and to work hard for your family and for your community.”
Born in Dufrost, Manitoba, Dan had a long and illustrious career in the North, where he spent many years in public service. After working for the Hudson’s Bay Company in northern Ontario and the NWT for 24 years, he joined the Rae-Edzo Development Company, served as chief executive and president of the Dogrib Power Corporation, and was a member of the Fort Norman (now Tulita) town council.
He became a councillor for Rae-Edzo (now Behchokǫ̀) and served three consecutive terms as the community’s mayor, beginning in 1992. He became deputy commissioner of the NWT in July 1995, then commissioner from March 1999 until 2000. “His family background really showed a very strong sense of family roots and connection, and I think he felt that in the Tłı̨chǫ region,” Giselle said. (Read our obituary in full.)
Excerpted from Cabin Radio’s obituary published on April 30, 2022.
Adrian Lizotte, a devoted father who dedicated most of his adult life to protection of the Northwest Territories’ environment, passed away at the age of 42. “Adrian loved his family, friends, and loved living the traditional lifestyle,” the Lizotte family said in a written tribute.
“His kids were his pride and joy – passing down his traditional knowledge, coaching hockey and making them happy. Outdoors is where he thrived. His free time would be spent hunting, fishing, trapping, quadding, snowmobiling, camping, hanging at the cabin and spending time with everyone.”
Adrian, born in Fort McMurray in 1979, moved to the Northwest Territories in the late 1990s. He met his wife, Amy, in Yellowknife after they were introduced by a friend. In the NWT, Adrian became known for the love he brought to his work. Initially working in corrections, in 2008 he retrained with the territory’s Department of Environment and Natural Resources and was hired as a renewable resource officer. By 2018 he had become the North Slave’s regional manager.
In a tribute to Adrian, the department said the many roles he filled in his career included fighting wildfires, patrolling the winter road, responding to predator attacks and working to conserve caribou. His death, the department wrote online, had “brought great sadness to our department, community, territory and beyond.” (Read our obituary in full.)
Excerpted from Cabin Radio’s obituary published on July 28, 2022.
Born in the Acadian fishing village of Saint-Louis de Kent in 1976, Eugène could bait a trap practically before he could walk. An only child growing up and a self-described “gym rat” at school, he initially harboured dreams of a career in the coast guard but ultimately left the University of Moncton a qualified teacher.
At a friend’s insistence, 24-year-old Eugène drove his Chevy Blazer across the country – the farthest west he had travelled at that point was Ontario – to Mayo, Yukon, where he taught for two and a half years before landing a full-time job as a phys ed teacher at École St Joseph School in Yellowknife. (After his passing, children decorated the school in a chalk-based tribute to Eugène.)
A country music fan, Eugène had learned to play the guitar in university and performed ever since. In the summer of 2018, he was due to play Yellowknife’s farmers’ market and had secretly been practising a new song, all about wife Cynthia, for weeks. Half an hour before he was due to perform, he had an appointment to go over the results of some X-rays after a nagging cough. Despite never having smoked or taken drugs, he was told he had a stage four lung cancer named adenocarcinoma.
“The show must go on,” he recalled thinking, asked about the moment a year later. “I knew I had this song in my back pocket that I wanted to sing to my wife. She was sitting on the grass there at City Hall, listening. I pulled it off. I had the lyrics in front of me, thank goodness, because it was hard to focus.” (Read our obituary in full.)
Remembered by Nahendeh MLA Shane Thompson on October 13, 2022.
George was born in 1951. He left Luxembourg as a young man to see the world and leave his mark upon it. This was the same way he had an impact on the residents of Fort Liard’s lives. George’s parents had instilled in him values such as open-mindedness, kindness, care, and love toward his peers. Although some did not understand it and considered it a sign of weakness, George considered it his strength and a brand of his family, even when he tried to hide it behind his gruff character.
George first met his love of his life, Shirley, in 1989 at the Fort Liard Northern store. George married Shirley in 1995. They built two homes and have cared for and raised three strong, intelligent boys together.
George was an established welder by trade and worked for several years in the ENR warehouse managing their supplies. He was always very politically active in local matters, as those of us who remember him well can attest to. George touched many people’s lives and will be remembered well, especially by those in Fort Nelson and Fort Liard. (Read the full eulogy via Hansard.)
Excerpted from Cabin Radio’s obituary published on August 2, 2022.
Eddie Erasmus, who served as Tłı̨chǫ grand chief from 2011 to 2017 and as a negotiator for the Tłı̨chǫ Land Claims and Self-Government Agreement before that, passed away this summer.
Ediiwa, as he was known, had celebrated his 70th birthday on July 17. Born in Behchokǫ̀ in 1952, Eddie served in the 1980s and early 1990s as the Dogrib Treaty 11 Council’s executive director, then its grand chief, before helping to negotiate the agreements that would establish the Tłıchǫ Government. He became the Tłı̨chǫ grand chief in a by-election in 2011 and won a full four-year term in 2013. George Mackenzie succeeded Eddie in 2017, pushing him into second place in a four-way contest.
Broadcaster and Tłı̨chǫ interpreter Marie Rose Blackduck said Eddie had dedicated his entire life to better the Tłı̨chǫ Nation.
“You spent thousand of hours away from home, you missed numerous birthdays and anniversaries, your children made sacrifices too but they stood with you,” Blackduck wrote in a tribute to Eddie. “Your wife, Goolie, worked endlessly as the First Lady of the Tłı̨chǫ Nation. Your whole family worked very hard for us … not to mention all the people both of you fed over the years. Sometimes the work was thankless and never acknowledged, but I know we lost a man who deeply loved the Tłı̨chǫ Nation. Ediiwa, fly high with the angels. You left a big void in our life. You will be deeply missed.” (Read our obituary in full.)
Elaine Keenan Bengts
Excerpted from Cabin Radio’s obituary published on August 10, 2022.
Elaine Keenan Bengts, whose fierce defence of those with no voice culminated in more than two decades scrutinizing government, passed away at the age of 63. No lawyer in the territory had quite the reputation of Elaine, who dedicated extraordinary hours to family law, one of the most difficult and overlooked branches of the profession.
Her refusal to be cowed in a courtroom and her compassion for clients proved an inspiration to a generation of female litigators. As the NWT’s first information and privacy commissioner from 1997 to 2020, she turned her steadfast, incisive gaze on government, successfully lobbying for the commissioner to be given the crucial power to order departments to make things right. Yet she still found time for her family and community, notably spearheading a campaign to have a gymnastics facility built.
“The quality of the community in which she lived and raised her family was important to her, and she invested selflessly in that,” said Katherine Peterson, now the Nunavut legislature’s integrity commissioner, who worked alongside Elaine in northern law for more than three decades. “When you’re a busy lawyer in private practice, you don’t have a lot of spare time. She took that time and invested it in Yellowknife.”
Lee Phypers, Elaine’s longtime assistant and friend, said: “She was a good friend, first, and then she was a really good boss. She respected my opinion, she would listen, and lots of times I was right – not that she wanted to admit it. She was just a really good human being.” (Read our obituary in full.)
Excerpted from Cabin Radio’s obituary published on August 21, 2022.
Kevin Heron, the deputy mayor of the town of Fort Smith, passed away at the age of 66.
Born into a large family on January 15, 1956 in Fort Smith, Kevin grew up with strong connections to family, community, friends, and his Métis culture. He carried those values with him into his work and life, his family said, and is remembered by those who knew him as a loving father, sibling, and husband, and a caring community member and friend.
Kevin worked for 33 years at Imperial Oil, where he made connections everywhere he travelled for work.
“A highlight of his career was the time he was able to spend with the people and communities along the Mackenzie River,” the Heron family wrote in a eulogy shared with Cabin Radio. “Kevin travelled the North and made friends in all the communities. He always stopped and said hello to everyone. He valued his friends and relationships.” (Read our obituary in full.)
Remembered by Nahendeh MLA Shane Thompson on October 14, 2022.
Louise was born in 1938 and adopted by her parents at the age of four. As an adventurous young lady, Louise ended up in Inuvik, where she took the job as a secretary at the Samuel Hearne School. She was very proud of this move because this is where she embraced the Baha’i Faith and met the love of her life, Lewis Beck.
As true northerners, they lived in several communities during their time in the NWT. After getting married, they moved to Fort Smith, where Louise took the alcohol and drug counselling program at Aurora College. She felt this was the program that would help her help others.
After completing the program, she moved to Wrigley to serve as a community counsellor. She and Lewis were very happy and proud to serve the residents during their time there. After several years in the community, they had the opportunity to move back to Fort Smith, where she worked with Uncle Gabe’s Friendship Centre.
Louise’s beautiful smile, her loving heart, and resilient spirit earned her many admiring friends in the North. She will be remembered by all who knew her and loved her. (Read the full eulogy via Hansard.)
Excerpted from Cabin Radio’s obituary published on July 27, 2022.
Alfred Moses, a former Inuvik MLA who served as an NWT cabinet member from 2015 to 2019, passed away at the age of 45. Premier Caroline Cochrane, who worked alongside Alfred in cabinet, called him a “dedicated public servant … who invested much of his life in making his home community of Inuvik and the NWT a better place for all.”
Speaker Frederick Blake Jr, the Mackenzie Delta MLA and a friend of the Moses family, said in a statement: “Alfred and I worked together for eight years here at the assembly, and I am grateful to have developed a friendship with him during that time. His passing is a great loss for the town of Inuvik, the Beaufort Delta region and the Northwest Territories as a whole. He will be missed by many.”
Alfred was born in Fort McPherson in 1977. His grandfather, John, had served as a special constable in Old Crow and Aklavik, famously playing a central role in the hunt for “mad trapper” Albert Johnson in 1932. Alfred served on Inuvik’s town council both before and after his time as an MLA and worked as a health professional, helping to pass a bylaw that restricted smoking in Inuvik while a town councillor in his early twenties.
After Floyd Roland stepped away from the role of Inuvik Boot Lake MLA at the 2011 NWT election, Alfred ran to replace him. He ultimately won the seat by just five votes, receiving 216 votes to Chris Larocque’s 211. He retained the seat in 2015 and became a member of cabinet for Bob McLeod’s second term as premier, serving primarily as education minister but also as the minister responsible for youth, alongside shorter stints as minister for housing and municipal and community affairs. (Read our obituary in full.)
Remembered by Premier Caroline Cochrane on October 18, 2022.
Tom dedicated his life to the North and was a well-respected member of every community he lived in. Tom started his career in the public service over 30 years ago as a personnel officer in Inuvik. As a proud Metis, Tom earned respect from Indigenous people and leadership across the North.
Tom was appointed deputy minister of municipal and community affairs in 2011 and in September 2016 became the president and chief executive officer of the NWT Housing Corporation, where he would end his storied career serving residents of all 33 communities.
I remember working with Tom when I was the housing minister and the incredible work we got done during that time. I will miss him. Tom was not only a dedicated public servant but a family man who cared deeply about those closest to him, especially his grandchildren, who he talked about often. He also loved hockey and invested his free time over the years in the hockey rink, coaching youth across the Northwest Territories. He was a goaltender who played until his knees just wouldn’t let him any more, this after almost 48 years between the pipes.
Tom has left a lasting legacy on the Northwest Territories and is an example of just what one can do with hard work and dedication. (Read the full eulogy via Hansard.)
Remembered by Nahendeh MLA Shane Thompson on October 19, 2022.
David passed away at the age of 71. He grew up in Jean Marie River and Fort Simpson. In his younger days, he enjoyed being on the land with his parents and siblings. Besides the traditional way of living, he loved to play sports, especially hockey.
His true love and passion was his wife Jean. She was his high school sweetheart. After every game, he would quickly get dressed and head out. One day we asked what the rush was, and he said that he had to get home so he could spend quality time with his better half. Later, his love and passion was expanded to include his grandchildren and great grandchildren.
David was well-known for his humour and generosity. If he was able to part with something, he would do it. Like the old saying, he would give the shirt off his back. This was David. (Read the full eulogy via Hansard.)
Remembered by Nahendeh MLA Shane Thompson on October 22, 2022.
Grace was born in 1980. Her life could be all kinds of chaos, but she never wore it on her face. She was a true fighter and an energy force to be reckoned with. Grace could and would steer focus toward the lighter side of things, always finding the humour. This is a trait she had at a young age, and she would teach others to apply it in their life.
Grace was strong, resilient, and yet beautiful in all her ways. She was a life that shone brightly just so the path of others could be illuminated. The children she has brought into all our lives are a great reflection of her.
Sometimes in life, you needed the itsy bitsy or the full nudge from a loved one who sees in you what you could not see for yourself. From someone who believed you can. Grace was the person that would always be there for you. We will miss her tenacity, compassion, and selflessness. (Read the full eulogy via Hansard.)
Remembered by Nahendeh MLA Shane Thompson on October 27, 2022.
Jacqueline was born in Fort Simpson in 1969 and raised in Jean Marie River. When she was younger, she was adventurous, mischievous, and lived freely with the other younger girls and boys.
She was always so proud of her children and grandchildren. Whenever she would call or was around her friends, she would make sure part of the conversation always turned to her family. Jacqueline was also known as an amazing cook, organizer and cleaner. She was able to find employment wherever she lived in the Northwest Territories, BC and Alberta.
Jackie had a contagious smile and laugh. When you were around her, you were always in for some good laughs. People felt she was always bubbly. Even if she did not know you, she would start a conversation with you because she just loved to chat. Sometimes it was very hard to get your own words in, but you were never offended. You always left with a happy heart and sore cheeks after speaking with her. (Read the full eulogy via Hansard.)
Also remembered in 2022
Betty Harnum, the NWT’s first languages commissioner, passed away in August and was remembered by the CBC, as was Deb Simmons, executive director of the Sahtú Renewable Resources Board, who passed away in October.