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Gerald (Jed) Heino

 

Our family is heartbroken to announce the sudden and unexpected passing of our dear Brother, Uncle, Great Uncle and Friend, Gerald (Jed) Heino at the Thunder Bay Regional Hospital on September 25th, 2022.

Gerald was born in Kenora on November 28th, 1942.  He was eagerly looking forward to celebrating his 80th birthday this year.

Gerald was predeceased by his parents, Ed Heino, Solange Leivo and step-father, George Leivo; brothers Paul and Ron; sister Marie Hancock; and brothers in-law Jeff Hancock, Bob Selway, Donny Brown, Jack Cooper; sisters-in law Joan Heino, Marlene Brown and nephew Bobby Cooper.

Gerald was also pre-deceased by his wife of 48 years, Lynda, in 2016.  Lynda was Gerald’s soulmate and partner in all things, and he deeply grieved her passing. 

Left to mourn the passing of Gerald are sisters Pat Selway, Diane Pereux (Ed); brothers Edward (Tilly), and Clifford (Susan); and sisters-in-law Barbara Heino and Joan Heino.  Several nieces and nephews will also be missing their “Uncle Keedo” as well as special friend Cheryl who was Gerald’s comfort and support to the end.

As part of the large Heino clan, Gerald grew up on the “farm” in LacLu.  Through the demands of working on a farm, Gerald and his siblings learned  the importance of having a strong work ethic and depending on one another to get all the necessary chores done.  There were, of course, many boyhood exploits and adventures that took place, and often these fun adventures involved Gerald’s brother Paul, and lifelong best friend Vic Lund. 

Gerald started work at the local paper mill in June 1963 at the age of 26.  He found himself hired at the same time as Eddie Pereux, who, unbeknownst to either of them, would become not only Gerald’s future brother-in-law, but a life-long best friend and neighbor, first in the Rideout area, and then later on the shores of Black Sturgeon Lake.  Gerald devoted 36 years of service working on the paper machines and enjoyed his role of Supervisor of the Swiper Crew before retiring in September 1999.

Retirement meant Gerald had time to do what he loved most, enjoying his home on Black Sturgeon and flying his airplane on many trips “north” with family and friends, which were described by many as the “trip of a lifetime”.  Sometimes these trips involved fishing or hunting, with varied degrees of success, but the company was always entertaining and the scenery through the window of the Cessna 180 was spectacular.

Staying connected to his roots in Laclu was important to Gerald.  The property at Belle Lake in Laclu was the gathering place for many family events and a place where special occasions were celebrated.  In true Heino fashion….crammed together in a small trailer, with a table full of food and snacks, coffee and other beverages close at hand, stories and memories were often shared amongst the different generations who were gathered there on any given Sunday.  In recent years, there would also be regular sightings of Gerald, often accompanied by his sister Pat, in his white GMC, with a coffee or DQ in hand, driving the “Laclu” loop and stopping in at camp for some visiting.  Gerald enjoyed many good conversations and work projects, alongside his good friend George Metail, who shared Gerald and sister Pat’s love of the camp on Belle Lake.

Gerald was at his happiest when he was flying his airplane and taking along friends and family members on an adventure.  He was an excellent pilot and there were many flying adventures and trips with Lynda, hunting trips with the boys (Ed, Cecil Haney, Doug Perrault, Stu Barber, brother Paul and brother in-law Jackie Cooper).  Many of these hunting trips have been caught on camera, which will continue to bring smiles to our faces as the stories get told and retold for many years to come.

In the Spring of 1995 Gerald and Lynda realized a life-long dream with the purchase of their “special place” on Donald Lake.  Gerald and Lynda loved nothing more than hosting family, friends and their American neighbors at this spectacular place, nestled deep in the Woodland Caribou Provincial Park.  Many special moments and memories were made at Donald Lake, sometimes involving great fishing, but always including warmth, love and laughter against the backdrop of pristine wilderness for all those fortunate to have visited this special place.

Gerald and Lynda also enjoyed a lifelong friendship with the Canfield family.  A shared love of Black Sturgeon, the great outdoors and of course flying forged strong friendships with many Canfield friends who, over the years became like extended family to Gerald and Lynda.  We know what a comfort and support Gerald’s neighbors, friends and family were following the passing of Lynda.  We are so grateful for this.

Gerald and good friend Brent Langer finally made good on a 10 year plan and co-piloted a trip up to the shores of Hudson Bay in 2017.  Brent has remained a close and trusted friend, sharing Gerald’s passion for flying, and offering his airplane mechanical expertise, when the Cessna 180 needed maintenance.  Brent accompanied Gerald for many visits to Donald Lake and Deer Lake, often providing fish for dinner once the work detail was finished.  Brent also introduced Gerald to some new experiences, and has picture proof of Gerald on the golf course and bowling alley to prove it.

Gerald and Lynda also enjoyed a few years as tourist operators with the purchase of Deer Lake Lodge in 2007.  Gerald’s good friend, Roger was a critical part of this business venture and, like most people who have met Gerald over the years, became a trusted and close friend.

The family would like to thank the ICU patient care staff at the Lake of the Woods District Hospital for their excellent care of Gerald during his brief hospital stay.  We also deeply appreciate the compassionate care provided by Dr. Brown and ICU staff at the Thunder Bay Regional Hospital.  You made an unimaginable situation easier to bear, with the certainty that Gerald received the best possible care. 

Cheryl – we thank you and your sister Sandi for remaining at Gerald’s bedside and helping us say the goodbyes we didn’t want to ever say, but needed to.

We are going to miss you Gerald.  Your smile, your laughter, your keen intellect and knowledge about well….everything and anything.  And that beautiful singing voice, which always made us feel like we had our very own Elvis in the room, humming along a tune, taking us back to perhaps a simpler time.  Our only comfort at this very sad time, is the certainty that you are once again with Lynda and answered her when she called you home.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Gerald’s memory to the Lake of the Woods District Hospital Foundation. 

A memorial service for Gerald will be held on October 22nd, 2022 at 11:00 am at the Alcock Funeral Home in Keewatin.  A luncheon and celebration of life for Gerald and Lynda will follow at the Minis Hall at 12:30 pm.

“When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return”. (Leonardo DaVinci)