Roy Paul Darke
September 8, 1931 – June 27, 2020
After many years facing the numerous challenges of dementia, Roy peacefully passed away on Saturday June 27, 2020 at Tuxedo Villa, with his children by his side.
Predeceased by his wife Anne, in 2015, Roy leaves his son Peter, and daughter Leanne (Gene), numerous nieces and nephews, sisters-in-law, and dear friends.
Roy was born in Regina, SK in 1931, the youngest of 3 siblings. At 17, he came to Manitoba to attend the U of M, graduating in 1954 with a Bachelor of Architecture. Throughout his life, he used his architecture skills to design houses for family and friends, culminating in the family cottage north of Gimli. In 1958, Roy joined the Metropolitan Planning Commission, a precursor to the City of Winnipeg’s Planning Department. He rose through the ranks at the City of Winnipeg, until his retirement in 1991, holding the post of Director of Environmental Planning. In 1964, Roy was awarded a Nuffield Foundation Travelling Fellowship for Canadian Public Officials in the Municipal category. This took him and Mom to England for 6 months, to live and play, travel and explore. The stories he told us of his adventures, and friendships made were always recalled fondly.
Dad and Mom were married in 1961. Dad never missed an occasion to give the most heartfelt lovely cards to Mom and that continued up to her passing in 2015. Their love was indeed eternal, and now they can slow dance, together again.
Dad designed and built the family cottage. Summers were spent with family, cultivating his lilies, relaxing, away from the hustle and bustle of the city. He harvested cranberries and saskatoons, which he turned into jellies and cordials. An avid fisherman, he loved fishing the ponds which were stocked with trout, always hoping to catch the elusive Walter. He got him, after many, many, many casts of the fly rod. Rum and cokes on the deck, with the family gathered. He loved it there.
For a long as we can remember, fall time meant hunting time. As soon as we were old enough, Dad would take us with him. Our first role was retriever. Goose hunting at Oak Hammock Marsh was where we learned about sustainability, respect for the environment, ecosystems, how to persevere, and that sometimes, it was just about the experience, not the result. To hear thousands of geese rise off a field is truly one of nature’s gifts. Our lessons did not end there. We learned about using all parts of our bounty. Feathers for pillows and comforters, and food for our table.
Dad’s greatest gifts to Peter and I was education and learning. Dad knew a lot of things about a lot of things. He professed to be the world biggest receptacle of useless knowledge and playing trivia games with him, he always emerged the victor. He taught us many, many things. How to hunt, how to fish, how to fix things, how to appreciate nature. He instilled in us the importance of education, formal and otherwise. He instilled in us the values of respect and integrity. We learned about sportsmanship, that losing was just as important as winning and that hard work and dedication can pay off. He taught us about art and creativity, appreciating it, in all its forms. Finding the beauty in a flower, to the colours in the sky, to the call of a goose on a cold fall morning.
His lessons were shared with not only his children, but with his nieces and nephews, who always played a role in his life. Uncle Roy always was available to run an idea past, give some advice, or hold a hand.
We would like to thank the Station 2 Nurses and Staff at Tuxedo Villa for their kindness and compassion, and for providing Dad with the best care we could have hoped for. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you. We would also like to thank the Staff at The Rosewood, (Dogwood), where Dad lived prior to his move to Tuxedo Villa.
We will miss you desperately, and you have taught us well. You are now free, to dance with Mom and the angels.
A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date, when Peter can be physically here, and restrictions are lifted.
A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date.