August 28, 1944 – December 24, 2019
Our much-loved husband, father and grandfather (Peter, Dad, Grandpa, Papa) died early December 24, 2019 at home, with his wife Sheila at his side as he had wished. Peter was born in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan and spent his early life there. Peter was predeceased by his parents W. Edward (1980) and E. Irene Early (1996). He is survived by his wife of 54 years, Sheila Dawn ( nee Diehl), his daughters Lisa Marie Early ( Patrick Luce ) of Calgary, Alberta, Lindy Dawn McDowall (Scott McDowall) of Langley, BC, four adored and loved grandchildren Matthew, Daniel and Emma McDowall and Keira Early, as well as his brother Leonard Early of Toronto, Ontario. Peter attended Wilson Elementary School and City Park Collegiate Institute in Saskatoon. He had an adventuresome time in high school often visiting the office of his father (Vice Principal) or his uncle (Principal) of the school. Needless to say there may have been repercussions when he got home from school too! There are many family stories about his adventures as a youth and teenager. In 1964 he met Sheila and it was truly love at first sight! Sheila remembers telling her mother that she had met the man she was going to marry after their first date. They were married 15 months later in September 1965. Lisa was born in 1970 and Lindy in 1974 completing their family. Peter started his work career with British American Oil in Saskatoon driving a tanker truck. BA became Gulf Oil and eventually Petro Canada. Peter moved into management and had Gulf Centers in Shaunavon and Regina, Saskatchewan. At one point in Regina, he decided to go with his love of cars and sell them. However, the oil business called him back and he returned to what was now Petro Canada. In 1988, the family decision was made to move to British Columbia where they settled in Surrey with Peter working in Richmond and later Surrey until he retired in 2000 due to his long-standing cardiac status. Peter became Sheila’s traveling companion to Emergency and Forensic Nursing conferences all over Canada and the USA making life-long friends along the way. Kihei, Maui was the go to winter vacation place so many times count was lost. All the Hawaiian Islands were eventually visited but Kamaole Nalu 106 was always returned to. Atlantic Canada and Newfoundland were wonderful trips, however, Peter loved Emma Lake, Saskatchewan best. He inherited the Early cabin built in 1936 on Sunset Bay and it was his true happy place. Each summer his family spent the summer months at “the Lake” (an advantage of having teacher parents!). Fishing, boating, swimming and simply being free to roam inspired his undying love for the cabin and families of Sunset Bay. To this day, there is the “Lake family” that is now four generations for the Early cabin. Peter was a die-hard Detroit Red Wings and Gordie Howe fan. He loved his Wings and had met Gordie a few times in Saskatoon where Mr. Hockey is an icon. His collection of Red Wing merchandise is huge. The Saskatchewan Rough Riders is the only football team he ever supported. A day with both a Wings game and a Riders game was the best, throw in a burger and life was grand. Pete's personality was such that he made and kept lifelong friends from childhood, teen years and adulthood. His sense of humor made you laugh even when you did not want to laugh, he had a special smile and look in his eye that could not be duplicated. Peter endured cardiac ill health for several years with a cardiac arrest in 2007, several ablations and other medical issues until his body simply needed to rest. He was courageous and brave as he was determined to be part of his daughters’ and grandchildren’s lives. The family would like to thank Royal Columbian Hospital Congestive Heart Failure Clinic and Cardiac Units 2S and 2N staff for their care of Peter over the years as well as his physicians Dr. J. Bonet, Dr. S. Tung, Dr. J. LeMaitre. We send a special thanks to Brian and Dorothy Beckett, longtime friends who often stayed with Peter when Sheila had to be away for work. Brian and Peter were lifelong friends who met at age 10. An inurnment will take place in the summer at Hillcrest Memorial Gardens and Funeral Home in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Donations in Peter’s memory may be sent to Royal Columbian Hospital Foundation on https://rchfoundation.com/featured-campaigns/
- Royal Columbian Hospital Foundation
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August 27, 2021
Saturday, August 28.2021 would have been your 77th birthday. I will be with the McDowall family tomorrow and we will share memories of birthdays past. Miss you always, Love Sheila. PS. Dave says hi!
February 8, 2020
It is with sadness that we heard of your lost. We wish you and your daughters the very best in this difficult period in your lives. And, of course our sincere and deepest condolences!
Delcia and Adelbert xxx
January 10, 2020
My thoughts and prayers are with you, Sheila and family, in the passing of your dear Peter. Your loss is great. May you find comfort in the love of friends who were blessed to have known Peter. In the years I have known Peter, it was always a pleasure to be in his company. Peter was a good man, known as a loving and faithful husband, witnessed as a true friend, was a most hospitable host, and someone who had a marvellous sense of wit and humour. Peter will be greatly missed. I feel honoured to have known Peter.
Sent with love and sympathy,
Jean & Lioll Fisher
January 10, 2020
Sheila, thank you for sharing the wonderful picture of Pete. It is how we will always remember him. That twinkle in his eye, his quiet but subtle sense of humour. When Pete gave you a hug it was a warm 'how are you and good to see you'. That I will always remember when I think of him. We feel so fortunate to have known him.
January 9, 2020
Sheila, in the 60+ years we have ‘known’ each other from a distance we have shared all of life’s ups and downs…the big events and the little every day happenings that make up our lives. I still remember hearing about Pete way back in the 1960’s, and receiving the news that you were to be married. It was so long ago but I still have the beautiful wedding photograph that you sent me. Our lives followed relatively similar paths but you were the first of us to get married. You were so young but I always knew that yours was a real love match and it remained so until the very end.
I eventually got to meet Pete when I visited you in Vancouver (twice) and I have memories of a lovely, kind man who cared so passionately about his family. Ainsley, 14 years old at the time, was with me on the first visit and she was really taken with him. I know that you have some wonderful memories of Pete and hopefully it won’t be too long before we can get together and reminisce.
Deepest condolences to all of your family from all of mine.
Norm and Carol Driedger
January 7, 2020
Dear Sheila, Lisa, Lindy, and families,
Our thoughts and prayers go out to all of you as you grieve Peter's passing. He was such a wonderful man with a pleasant personality and ready smile, and will be sorely missed by all who had the privilege of knowing him. Peter was a fixture at the lake for decades, and when we go there in summer it'll really hit home when he's not present. Thank goodness for memories which live on, and those we'll always treasure. Despite his health struggles he seemed happy and wasn't one to complain. The beach potlucks, birthday celebrations, and firepit visits just won't be the same. As one of the Emma Lake families we'll be saddened that he's no longer with us. He'll live on through his family who will be there to carry the torch. Sincerely, Norm and Carol Driedger.
January 7, 2020
Dear Sheila, Lisa and Lindy . Jim and I want you to know that we are deeply saddened by Peter’s passing and we send our sincere condolences. We loved Peter and looked so forward to seeing all of you every summer for visits on the deck, beach and bonfire pit. How lucky we all were to be a part of Pete’s Emma Lake family. So many fabulous memories gathered from time spent at the lake. Favourite ones include the friendly sand shovelling between Jim and Peter to creat a beach, the blasting bonfire started by Pete and some gasoline that lasted for hours and hours. Pete’s grin , his great sense of humour and non judging , positive attitude. We will sure miss him. Love to all of you. Mom also sends her love and sympathy. Judy and Jim and family and Doreen
Raymond C. Hawkes (53275814)
January 6, 2020
Well Pete, a.k.a Paul Carmen (11262452), it was a pleasure and an honor to serve with you chasing the foolish goal of achieving the two-four level of imbibing achievement. With helmets on, our never ending pursuit of the good times at the lake was a stage in our lives I will remember forever. So many stories, so little time.
Signing off one last time, Raymond C. Hawkes, 53275814.
David and Patsy Allex
January 6, 2020
Pete has been my friend for over 63 years. We grew up together in Saskatoon as boyhood friends and that friendship continues forever. However , some may say we never did really grow up but we did have many, many good times. I don't recall ever when he didn't have a smile for you and always ready to have some fun.
Little reminders will continue to bring back memories of those days behind us. The Lake, our army helmets (worn only for protection), Charlie, Larry, Shelly, Richard, Pil, Old Niag, '57 Chevy's,the bad taste of siphoning gasoline from your girlfriend's father's car to get home at night, Norton, the Rat Pack...I could go on.
So Pete, say hi to the guys for me. We will all miss you very much.
Til we meet again, your friend, Dave
January 3, 2020
I had the priviledge of visiting Peter and Sheila and spending time with them during my stay in the "forensic suite" .
Sheila, Peter's love for you was so evident and you for him. I was glad I got to see him and you too at your YMCA award. He was so proud of you.
Love and hugs
January 3, 2020
Truly, the nicest man I've ever met. Part of a fabulous couple and a wonderful family. My deepest condolences. Rest in peace, dear Peter.
January 3, 2020
Dear Sheila, Lindsay and Lindy,
Our deepest condolences to all of you. The obituary is beautifully written, what a wonderful life Pete had. Your description of his life warmed our hearts. May your great memories ease your broken hearts.
Our Love and blessings to all of you.
Uncle Willie and cousins
January 3, 2020
Thanks to everyone for their kind words and messages about Peter. I am at home if anyone wishes to call or visit. Sheila