Strickland
Thomas

Date de décès:
mercredi 14 mars 2018

source
The Winnipeg Free Press, MB
2018-03-17

Thomas (Toe) Strickland Peacefully on March 14, 2018, with family by his side and Take Me back to Scotland playing softly in the background, Toe moved on to reunite and share his humour and strength with his family and friends who have been waiting patiently to see him again. Toe was born in Stoneyburn, Scotland on January 5, 1933. He was the eldest of nine and left school at an early age to help provide for his family working in the coalmines. It wasn't long before the strength and determination to help his family had him being one of the first young lads to earn a full mans wage in the mines. When he was six, during the Second World War, when times were tough, and food was rationed, the local grocers were in awe of his strength and devotion to his family and would fill sacks of turnips and tell him if he could get the sack home it was his to keep for his family. The men would watch him struggle with the sack all the way home... but get it there he would. This unwavering commitment to those whom he loved would be seen daily for the rest of his days. As a young lad, Toe had a dog Prince that was his best wee pal... his love of dogs would continue on. He loved tennis, football and boxing and his kids would be wowed to see his fancy footwork later in life. Toe worked in the mines until young adulthood... and then started to drive a caravan taking people from Stoneyburn and neighbouring villages to the big cities to see shows and for special events. He also managed a bar. It is then... in his 20s that he met his wife Marie. He pulled on her long ponytail and asked her what race she was running in referring to her ponytail as a horses mane. He had always been a jokester... and this got Marie's attention. Toe was Protestant and Marie was Catholic and the mixture of these religions in those days was frowned upon, so as their courtship began and Toe brought Marie home to meet his family, he told them she was the girlfriend of one of his mates, F. Bryce. It didn't take long for the truth to be known and despite their challenges and religions, Toe and Marie were married. They had four kids in Scotland. David and Gary were born in Stoneyburn and Debbie and Russell were born in Fauldhouse. Toe was very close to his mother Jean Russell and stayed close to her with his family. The family enjoyed countless memories here, including David talking Gary into jumping off a roof with nothing but an umbrella and Debbie being taken by gypsies while Toe was at work and Marie was busy inside tending to Russell and while her older brothers played on beside her. When Toe walked up the walk home from work and asked David and Gary where Debbie was... they simply replied the gypsies took her. Toe chased them down to a neighbouring village and took back his daughter. These were stories of exactly how life would be raising his children. Toe loved his work driving and meeting people so decided to apply for a job driving on the double decker buslines. His first day on his own after training he drove his bus under a bridge and took the top off which led to him being fired immediately. But quick thinking, he went down the street with his new license and got hired immediately with the competitors before word of his bridge fiasco got out. In 1967, Toe saw an advertisement for bus drivers in Canada -where the economy was doing much better than it was in Scotland. He applied and came to Canada on his own to set up life for his wife and kids. After his training, the government gave him a grant of $1000 to bring his family over. Nine months after the family arrived, his youngest daughter Donna was born and although she was the only one born on Canadian soil, he would affectionately refer to her for the rest of his days as The Foreigner. Toe bought his first house on Lake Ridge Road and the first of many Strickland station wagons and life and memories began here. Toe's sister Elizabeth would immigrate to Canada soon after and would become a saving grace and outlet for Toe throughout his life as a single dad. Toe and Marie separated... but remained constant friends for the rest of their days. Life as a single dad was not easy. Toe worked split shifts and all sorts of overtime to provide everything the family needed. He had one focus and it was his children. When most were sleeping Toe was up filling his tea flask and driving the work bus to make sure he was home in time to make his kids breakfast and see them off to school. He was a man of great strength and very few words, his actions spoke for him always. He never missed a day of work and if he ever did get sick, no one knew, and he just plunged through it. One of his most trying times in life was in 1976 when Winnipeg Transit went on strike and he was left with five kids and no pay. He wouldn't accept help from anyone. He took jobs as Security in the coldest of winter and would walk and hitchhike to his posts in the cold winter nights. He did this everyday while the strike lasted and his kids were none the wiser to his struggle at this time. His life revolved around providing for his kids and the only time he had a minute to himself was to play his weekly domino games with Elizabeth and Ted. On the odd day off he would pile everyone in the station wagon for outings or take day trips to the beaches as he loved the water, but mostly his life then became only about working and surviving. His love of dogs allowed the kids to bring home two dogs Sheba and Mitsy. Toe would care for them in a way that was second to none. As much as he loved his kids, he loved his dogs and they would be just as important to him as his children for years to come. As his children grew he was thankful for them to care for as caring for others was the only thing he knew how to do. In 1988, Toe lost his son Russell and it was the only time his kids would see him break and the first time in all his years at transit he would miss a day of work. He struggled deeply with the loss of his son and has been waiting to be reunited with him for the last 30 years. It was in 1988, after his kids were grown, that Toe also met his dance partner to share the second part of his life with. Cecille. He met his match here as she was a strong French woman that could take his wonderful, bold sense of humour and give it right back to him. It was only now that Toe could begin to enjoy the fruits of his labour and have time to himself. He and Cecille went dancing every weekend and took countless trips together... including going home to Scotland for holidays year after year. It was also now that Toe could soften and enjoy his grandchildren -Keri, Kris, Kory, Tommy, Dante and Keenan. Enjoy them he did. It was next to impossible to see him without one of his grandchildren at his side. He quickly became iconic to them and time spent with Gramps would be some of the most enjoyable and important times of their lives. Toe also had five great-grandchildren, Kyra, Kyannah, Kyleigh, Kyngston and Amelia... and although distance kept them from getting to know their great-gramps on a personal level... they will be brought up with shared stories of their amazing Great-Grampa. It was also the time he would spend with his last best fur friend, Bowser sharing morning tea and toast every morning and ice cream every night. Toe had a special group of friends he had coffee with everyday for many, many years who will always be near and dear to his heart. The last two years of Toe's life were spent between Canada and Scotland which allowed him the chance to share special time with all of his children - which is all that he ever really wanted and needed to fulfill his life. Whether it was time spent fixing something and going for lunch with David, coffee and outings with Donna and Tommy and Dante, long distance phone calls and visits from Gary and Debbie, it was these times that mattered most to Toe and he couldn't be in a happier place than to be in those moments with his kids and grandchildren. As the family sees him off to go reunite with Russell, Jean, Marie, Kyra, Cecille, Ted, Henry, Jimmy, Bert, and so many of his family and friends who have been waiting patiently for his unwavering honesty and incredible sense of humour, we want to say thank you to everyone for their love and support during this time. A special thank you to all the staff at Stensrud Lodge in Saskatoon, and an extra special thank you to Toe's special canine caregivers Subie, Ruby, Annabelle and Kisbey. Rest in Peace Dad. We love you and we thank you for everything you have taught and given to us. You are our hero turned angel and have earned your wings. Condolences may be left at www.saskatoonfuneralhome.com Saskatoon Funeral Home (306-244-5577) As published in the Winnipeg Free Press on Mar 17, 2018

Autres avis de décès de : The Winnipeg Free Press, MB

Autres avis de décès de : Winnipeg