It is with great sorrow that the family of Clayton “Beef” Vernon Windigo Jr., 24, of Red Gut Bay First Nation, announces his sudden passing on Sunday, June 27, 2010.
Beef was born Sept. 8, 1985 in Fort Frances, Ont. and had lived all his life in Rainy River District.
The greatest joy in Beef’s life were his children. He was the best dad and would do anything to make his two young boys happy. He was a very active father; always keeping his children as active as he liked to be.
Beef enjoyed taking them for walks and teaching them how to play the sports he loved, such as baseball and hockey. They also enjoyed reading books together, all of the time.
Family was most important to Beef. He was close to many people in our family and always made sure his boys got to know everyone.
Beef loved sports and was an avid competitor. In the winter, his passion was playing hockey, and during the summer months, he would be seen on the baseball field playing fastball or slo-pitch.
As soon as he was old enough to play hockey, at the tender age of four, Beef could not be kept off the ice. When he reached the age to be able to play on the travelling team, Beef was recruited to play competitively across Ontario and the U.S.
When he was just 14 years old, he was asked to play Bantam ‘AAA’ hockey in Timmins, Ont. A year later, Beef came home and played Bantam ‘AA’ for one year.
Following that, he joined the local Borderland Thunder Junior ‘A’ hockey team. He played for the Thunder for four years before going to Mississauga, Ont. to play Junior ‘A’ for the Streetsville Derbys.
Most recently, Beef played for the newly-formed men’s Senior ‘A Fort Frances Thunderhawks team.
Beef also loved to hunt and fish.
After Beef’s first child was born, he started to follow in his dad’s footsteps and found a love for carpentry and building. He helped build the Ge-Da-Gi-Binez Youth Centre in Fort Frances and also had a hand in helping with the new Robert Moore School.
He also enjoyed working alongside our dad doing various projects around Red Gut.
During Beef’s life, he made many friends and always was willing to help out any of them, for whatever they may have needed. He was well-liked by everyone and will be dearly missed by all.
Beef will be remembered for his bright smile, contagious laughter, and the way he crinkled his nose when he was having a really good laugh.
Beef will be sadly and forever missed by his two sons, Riley and Brady, and their mother, Joey Hunter; and his parents, Clayton and Jackie Windigo.
Also left to cherish his memory is his brother, Tim Windigo; sister, Sarah Kelly; brother in-law, Sheldon Kelly; paternal grandfather, Jim Windego Sr.; nephew, Sheldon Kelly Jr.; niece, Samantha Kelly; and girlfriend; Kristina Bombay; as well as numerous aunts, uncles, and cousins.
He was predeceased by his paternal grandmother, Nina Windego; maternal grandmother, Mabel Bruyere; maternal grandfather, Vernon (Smallie) Bruyere; and aunt, Charlene (Char) Windego.
A traditional service was held Saturday, July 3, 2010 at 10 a.m. at the Red Gut Bay First Nation gymnasium. Gilbert Smith officiated, followed by interment in the Red Gut Bay First Nation Cemetery.
A funeral wake was held Friday, July 2, 2010 at the Red Gut Bay First Nation gymnasium.
The pallbearers were Ian Lockman, Brent Perreault, Ronald (Magoo) Bruyere, Sean Councillor, Jade Windego, and Will Windigo.
The honourary pallbearers were Charles Windego, Dennis Windego, Garry Windego, Jim Windego Jr., Brad Windego, and Dennis (Meats) Morrison Jr.
Our Warrior Beef
A Warrior has passed from this earth
It’s been much too short since his birth
It’s said that only the good die young
You were way too good and way too young

You are remembered as a son, brother and dad
When we remember your life it’s hard to be sad
There was no better father, brother or son
No matter what you did our hearts you won

You are remembered as family and friend
We love you and miss you is the message we send
You always made us laugh, you always made us smile
To know you was to love you even for a short while

With great power comes great responsibility
You yielded yours with the utmost nobility
If feats of strength or agility were the test
No one compared, you were simply the best

You brought us hope, joy, and cheers
With you by our side we had no fears
No matter the court, wood, ice or sand
We were all, your biggest fan

We remember how you lived not how you passed
For our darling Beef you’ve left us too fast
Go now and make heaven a better place
You’ve forever touched us all with your grace

We will honor your memory; we will honor your life
You are our hero, you are our champion
We love you and miss you,
Your family
If family or friends so desire, in memoriam donations may be made to KidSport in Fort Frances c/o Green Funeral Home, P.O. Box 427, Fort Frances, Ont., P9A 3M8.
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