HOWARD “HOWIE” WILSON

It is with great sadness that our family announce the passing of my dad, on March 23, 2022, at the age of 76, following a short illness in my hometown of Rocky Mountain House, Alberta, where my parents have been “hiding out” for the last two years. My dad will be missed by my mom, Karon, the “love of his life”; by me his daughter, Sheri Lynne Martin, “the apple of his eye”; and Robert Martin, “his favourite son-in-law.”

Dad was born in Fort Frances, Ontario, to Joe and Dorothy Wilson on July 13, 1945. Grandma and Grandpa taught him how to love others and how to work hard.

At the age of 16 Dad met his sweetheart when he saw Mom’s “cute wiggle” at the Fort Frances High School dance. They danced together for the next 60 years through life’s ups and downs.

Dad always had a sweet tooth, so it was natural for him to start his career at 17 at the Electric Bakery. When Dad heard that the Dryden papermill was hiring in 1965, he made his way there expecting only to fill out an application. Lo and behold, he was asked if he could start that very minute… and in the typical “Howie” attitude he started his adult career. Dad worked with the best group of guys at the paper mill for the next eight years. If one job wasn’t enough, my parents simultaneously started a carpet installing business, which soon grew into more than full time, thus ending his papermill career.

He left the carpet installing career after 14 years and my parents opened Howie’s Arcade & Karon’s Kitchen in downtown Dryden. Dad was a life changer and a difference maker in many teens’ lives. He always had an ear to listen, and made sure his patrons weren’t cutting class to deposit the quarters into the Pac-Man machine. Even at the expense of losing business, he would scold the teens to get back to class.

My dad was ahead of his time, he began “flipping houses” in 1972 and, after several “flips,” my parents purchased Hilldale Apartments. He was always gracious with his tenants, and he sent many “disgruntled spouses’ home” to try to “work it out” before he would rent them an apartment.

Hard work paid off for my father who retired at the age of 42. For the next 30 years he wintered in Arizona playing golf, wood carving with his buddies, memorizing poetry, taking up painting and, of course, taking my mom shopping. In the summers, he enjoyed picturesque evenings at his cabin on Indian Lake, while eating the fresh walleye that he, my mom, Auntie Peggy and Uncle Kenny had caught. They were the best of times.

My dad was not super adventurous but we did stretch him by taking several bus trips. Our first was to the East Coast of Canada, where he was astounded by the view and the delicious clam chowder. So much so that the next year we took a trip to the East Coast of the U.S.A. We really stretched him when we had him hike into the world-famous UNESCO Mayan Ruins in Tikal, Guatemala.

My dad loved serving others, whether it was when he was delivering groceries to seniors as a young boy, being a “listening ear” when a youth needed some wise advice, or being one of the founding members of the Dryden Food Bank.

Howard will be lovingly remembered and forever missed by his wife Karon; his daughter Sheri Lynne; and son-in-law Robert. Also, surviving is his sisters Mavis Rushak, Alvina Parmeter and Peggy Warren; sisters-in-law Pauline Wilson and Cheryl (Gary) Baldwin; as well as numerous nieces and nephews.

One of Dad’s biggest heartbreaks was the loss of his only son, Jason, at the age of nine, which affected him for the rest of his life. Dad was also predeceased by his parents Dorothy and Joe Wilson; brothers Ardon and Doug Wilson; sister Anne Pearson; brothers-in-law Gerald Pearson, Wally Parmeter, Kenny Warren and Bill Rushak; nephews Micheal and Bradley Rushak; niece Desiree Wilson; great-nephew Aaron Thrones; and cousin Tom Booth.

A Celebration of Life will be held on Saturday, May 14, at 1:00 p.m., at the Dryden Full Gospel Church in Dryden, Ontario, with his daughter Rev. Sheri Lynne Martin officiating.

For those wishing to make a memorial contribution in Dad’s “Howard Wilson’s” memory they may be given to the Dryden Food Bank, 62 Queen St., Dryden, Ont 1A4.

Condolences may be forwarded to: www.rockyfuneralhome.ca.

Rocky and Sylvan Lake Funeral Homes and Crematorium, your Golden Rule Funeral Homes, entrusted with the arrangements, 403-845-2626.

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