Following a short battle with pancreatic cancer, Wayne Jasper Acree, of Neepawa, Man., passed away on September 20, 2023, at the age of 80 years.
There was a time when my dad could build or fix just about anything he put his mind to. Among a garage or two, decks, sheds, and a small welded trailer, dad built an outdoor stage, a small fire hall for a volunteer fire department, and the house he and mom retired in. He was also quite resourceful and never went too far without his tools. While on a hunting trip he got stranded with a friend by a seized rear wheel bearing on a four wheel drive. Too far from town to walk, dad removed the seized wheel, disconnected the rear drive shaft, cut down a suitable tree and chained it to the frame of the truck. He and his friend drove to town with the one side of the truck propped up by a tree dragging behind.
Born in Rainy River, Ontario, he was the first of seven siblings. As a child dad liked to fish and build rafts that he could paddle and sail down the river. He once shared a story of his grandmother tanning rabbit hide, ahead of winter, for mittens. His siblings tell stories of fixing cars for them while they were stranded, and protecting them from bullies on the playground at school. While in Rainy River, he met and fell in love with my mother Anne. They married, and moved to Kenora to begin their life together. Being the adventurous sort, dad took mom to Victoria, British Columbia, where he worked as a marine mechanic and started his family. Dad ensured that mom and I had many memories of camping, canoeing, and exploring the many lakes and rivers of B.C. He was a dedicated hockey dad too. We eventually returned to Kenora, where we pursued travelling by motorcycle to as many places as we could.
Dad was predeceased by his wife Anne; and his brother Charles. Surviving siblings include Nancy, Perry (wife Eva), George (wife Pat), Kathy, Julie (husband Richard), and Paul; surviving in-laws include my mom’s twin sister Joy, her brother Ross (wife Sharon), sister-in-law Ruth; along with many nieces, nephews, and their families.
His granddaughter Sasha, daughter in law Jacqui and I, his only child, Ross, will miss him greatly.
Interment will be in Rainy River, following a short memorial for immediate family sometime in early July. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Palliative Care Program of your choice, or a Cancer program important to you.
Dad was never a man of too many words; always putting others before himself, and letting his actions speak for themselves. He dedicated as much time as he could to my mom and I, making sure that we had seen and done as much as he could provide. In later years he spent numerous hours working side by side with me to fix and build as he had once done. Special moments with his granddaughter included ‘chip day,’ lunch dates, and rides in the trailer that he towed behind the mower.
Now, he can rest.