It is with broken hearts that we announce the passing of our sweet dad, amazing father-in-law, grandpa, grandpa GGO, George Walter Gunnlaugson on April 1, 2023. He was blessed to have stayed home till the end and died with his family by his side.
Dad was born on a very cold January 29, 1938 on a farm just outside of Brock, Saskatchewan. His parents, Barney and Viola travelled most of the day in very deep snow from the farm north of D’Arcy and had to stop at the Hurst farm to switch horses and for dinner.
His young years were spent on the Gunnlaugson Family farm, looking after orphaned lambs, kittens, duck and chickens. He tended to leave the geese alone as they were mean. The older he got the more chores he got. This might have been due to his older siblings leaving the nest. Grandpa Barney looked after the morning and noon chores, but it was Dad’s and his brother's job when they were home from school.
Dad loved his life on the farm and Grandma would often have to hunt him down for supper. He always considered farm life play, not work and much better than “stupid school”.
On July 1, 1957, Grandpa Barney and Grandma Viola, brought dad to town to start his new life. This is about the time Dad met the love of his life Dorothy Paquette at the Silver Glen Café and started technical school in Moose Jaw.
Mom and Dad were married on July 2, 1960. Dad barely made the ceremony as the roads were very muddy and the car kept getting stuck. He was also struggling with a case of Bell’s Palsy. As newlyweds, Mom and Dad resided in Outlook, Saskatchewan. Dad was working for M.E. Cook and Sons as a plumber/gas fitter in the sheet metal shop. Dad’s plumbing career took him to many communities around Saskatchewan, building hospitals and schools. As their small family grew, they resided in Outlook, Swift Current, Prince Albert and Saskatoon. In 1973 the decision was made to move to the Paquette farm so he could spend more time with his family. Mom and Dad farmed until 2002, when they retired, sold the farm and moved to their cabin at lake Diefenbaker.
Dad enjoyed his time on the farm, but retirement gave him time to do things that he dreamt of. They loved fishing, being on their boat, heading south in the winter and his wood shop. Dad spent many hours building. He might be turning a bowl, whittling a cane, creating a table, salt and paper shaker or one of the jewelry boxes he made all his girls. His biggest and proudest build was restoring his Grandma Thompson 1928 Chevy. His most cherished possessions though were his wife, daughters, sons-in-law, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Left behind with great memories and a story or two are his daughters; Brenda (Duane), Sandra (Craig), Pam (Brad) and Shawna (Ray). His grandchildren who he dearly loved; Desmond (Kim), Courtney (Deon), Tegan (Nikolai), Kailly (Graham), Miranda (Les), Ryley (Jayde) and Madisson. His great-grandchildren that put a sparkle in his eye; Luca, Beckham, Harlow, Milo and Emersyn. He also leaves behind Dorothy’s brothers, sisters and their spouses and well as many wonderful friends. He was predeceased by his wife Dorothy and their son Trevor Walter. Also gone before him, his parents Barney and Viola and his siblings.
We would like to send a very special thank you to the home care and palliative care nurses for their dedication to Dad's care. Also, to friends, family and neighbours for your friendship, phone calls and visits. We cannot put into words how much they meant to Dad. Lastly, Dr. Genesis, and the nurses at the Rosetown Hospital, thank you for everything you do to help your patients last moments to be filled with love, compassion and kindness.
A Celebration of Walter's Life will be held on Friday, May 5, 2023 at 2:00 p.m. at the Rosetown Elks Hall.
Donations in memory of Walter may be made to the Alex Ositis Foundation, P.O. Box 1251, Rosetown, SK, S0L 2V0.