Haukaas, Gordon

On Thursday, March 26, 2020, Gordon Ernest Haukaas, loving husband, father and grandfather, passed away at the age of 81 at his home on Clearwater Lake in The Pas, Manitoba, surrounded by his family. Gordon and his twin brother Robert were born on March 4, 1939 in Fort Frances, Ontario to Olaf and Margaret Haukaas.
Gordon had a strong work ethic from a very early age. He began at the age of 12, delivering groceries for a local store using his own bicycle. He moved up from delivery to working and learning how to cut meat with the store. He attended Butcher School in Toledo, Ohio. An opportunity arose for him to move to Thompson, MB when HBC opened a store, of which he soon became the meat manager. It was there that he met and married Anne in 1963. They had four children, Murray, Robert, Penny and Karen. His career progressed on to working with Canada Packers, in which he soon after became the Northern Sales Manager and moved to his new base in The Pas.
His love of cars drew Gord to Twin Motors as Sales Manager for a couple of years. Then opportunity of ownership, along with three partners, led them to open the Ford dealership, Northgate Motors, in The Pas in 1974. After a long recovery from a car accident, Gord returned to his role as a Sales Manager in The Pas, Toronto and Calgary. In 1987, Gord and Murray returned to The Pas to purchase Twin Motors, which he successfully ran until 2002. During his years as a dealer, he was the president of the MMDA and was awarded the Maclean’s Magazine Dealer of The Year Award in 2001. Even though he was technically retired, Gord always wanted to know how sales were going for the month and was always engaged in what was happening in the car industry, happy to give any advice when asked. Gord was instrumental in helping his son, Robert, build Good Thymes Restaurant & Bar and loved to call and find out how business was doing, even if it was in the middle of the lunch rush!
It was during this time that Gordon was to meet Pam, his angel, as he fondly referred to her, and they were married in The Pas on June 6th, 1998. They called themselves the “Brady Bunch” as they now had 6 grown children, 3 girls and 3 boys.
It was not only selling cars that Gord loved, it was also racing them. He took up stock car racing in The Pas and drove the #10 car. He had a great car and team, that saw him win many checkered flags. He was always willing to help other drivers, but once he was on the track he was out to win. When he couldn’t race any longer, watching Nascar became a passion. Everyone knew not to go and try and visit with Papa when the race was on TV! Being part of Luc’s pit crew in Saskatoon one weekend, wearing a race radio and having to push the #10 truck into the trailer after it blew the engine brought a huge smile to his face, along with some advice for the crew.
Gord was also very involved in The Pas Lions Club for many years, helping with many community projects and making many lifelong friendships.
In 1999, Gordon and Pam built their forever home on beautiful Clearwater Lake. They spent many days either in their jet boat or later, on their pontoon boat. Being limited to a wheelchair didn’t stop Gord from getting out on the boat whenever he could. Gord could often be see cruising up and down the cabins on his scooter, keeping tabs on what was going on in the neighbourhood. After retirement, and the winters felt long, they decided to spend those months in sunny Arizona. For 18 wonderful years, they drove and eventually flew to their second home in Green Valley, Arizona. They made many happy memories and friends there until the winter of 2018 when Gordon’s health would not allow him to travel any longer, so back to their family and home on the lake they came.
Gordon’s example of the way he lived his life, with humour, positivity, uncomplaining about his health, kindness and living with grace, is such a gift to his family and is something that all who were a part of his life will strive to achieve as we remember his ever smiling face.
Gordon was predeceased by his twin brother Bobbie, days before their 8th birthday; his father Olaf; his mother Margaret; his infant daughter Penny; and his brother-in-law Nick Eluik. He is survived by his loving wife Pam; his children, Murray (Karen), Robert (Chantelle), and Karen Simon; his grandchildren Brett, Luc (Ranelle) & Ty; Madison & Cole; Keirah & Max; his step-children Jen(Garnet) Berg, Cindy Butler, Chad (Hali) Butler; step-grandchildren, Brenden(Brady) & Aria; Raleigh & Daehan; his siblings, Christine (Peter) Myrehaug, Florence (Jack) Langtry, Melvin (Kathy) Haukaas and Sonja Eluik; and many nieces and nephews.
As per Gordon’s wishes, he was cremated and a family memorial will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the cancer care unit of The Pas Health Complex or a charity of your choice.