Dennis Cockwill

1 January, 193527 May, 2022
Obituary of Dennis Cockwill
It is with great sadness that the family of Dennis Cockwill announce his passing on May 27, 2022 at the Youville Home in St. Albert, at the age of 87 years. Born in Tisdale, Saskatchewan on January 1st 1935, he attended various schools in and around Regina, Saskatchewan. After completing Grade 10, at the age of only 15 years, he left home to work highway construction. From there, he worked in the oilfield, which along with playing hockey, took him from Alberta to Yellowknife; then back to Saskatchewan where he started working with the C.N. Railroad. It was during this time he met and married Gail, and together they started their family. An opportunity to open a Dairy Bar in Edmonton came up which took the family to St. Albert, where he owned and operated Mac’s Dairy Bar at Westmount Mall for 5 years before selling it and starting work for Canada Post, a career that took him to retirement after 27 years as a letter carrier, including being a union rep! Dennis enjoyed sports on and off the field, whether it was baseball, hockey, golfing, etc. When the kids were young, he became involved in youth sports. Many hours were spent assisting with the St. Albert Minor Baseball Association where he coached boy’s fastball, and later became involved with the umpire association. He was especially proud of being part of the creation of the St. Albert Ball Diamonds at Legion Park. The first concession stand for the Legion Park was built in his backyard as wall components, then trucked and assembled onsite where it served for a few years until a more permanent structure was built. His love of sports continued through the years, and he could name players, positions and their stats over many years. Dennis loved the outdoors, sitting in the sun and gardening. He enjoyed watching, feeding and taking pictures of the birds, then sharing those pictures with everyone he could. He loved playing golf with friends and family, and looked forward to hunting trips with the guys, whether the hunt was successful or not. He always enjoyed a good game of Yahtzee, cribbage, cards or Scrabble, crossword and jigsaw puzzles. He was a math whiz and a walking dictionary, and his scores and wins reflected that! He was also known to most kids as the “Candy Man”, always having a treat for the little and big ones alike. Many of the little ones will remember playing “Which Hand”, trying to guess which hand the candy was in. In the end, it didn’t matter because they always won! The family enjoyed many camping trips out in the boonies where the only other people around were the inmates who cut wood for the campgrounds and maintained the forestry roads. While sleeping mostly in a hunter’s tent, there was the odd bear encounter, rocks heated over the fire to keep little feet warm, and cloth diapers hanging on the line to dry in the rain that seemed to never stop! These were by no means extravagant times, but many stories and laughs have been shared over the years about these family vacations. Dennis was “old school”. He could be a wee bit stubborn and sometimes it was easier to shake your head and agree, rather than challenge his opinions. Some people learned that lesson fast, while others, let’s just say they were suckers for punishment! As stubborn as he could be, he would always be there if someone needed a helping hand, and always wanted to help the “little guy”. Dennis is survived by his loving wife, Gail; children, Janice (Edwin), Brenda (John), Russell (Jane), Lorna, Darrell, Sandra (Warren), Glenn (Doug), and Doug (Michelle); his thirteen grandchildren, Jennifer (Todd), Brian, Tyler (Laura), Brad (Whitney), Bonnie, Jason (Chantel), Kimberly (Zak), Natalie, Laura, Amber, Jared, Graeme, and Colton; 15 great grandchildren; and his “big” sister Connie Cleverly along with numerous nieces and nephews. Dennis was predeceased by his parents, Chester and Rita; sister, Darylene (Rider); brother, Rodger; and most recently his son, Garnet on May 1, 2022. The family would like to thank the staff at the Youville Home in St. Albert for their care of Dennis over the years. As per his wishes, no formal service will be held. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations in Dennis’ memory can be made directly to the St. Albert Minor Baseball Association (PO Box 218, St. Albert, AB, T8N 1N3), or a charity of their choice.

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