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Tubman Funeral Home

OBITUARY

Elmer Robert Kurbis

July 9, 1936January 31, 2021

Elmer left this life peacefully at home in the early morning hours of Jan. 31st, 2021. Elmer was born on the family farm north of Biggar in the Monarch District. Having purchased the Queen’s Hotel, the family moved from the farm to Qu’Appelle in 1944. Elmer and his siblings grew up at the Queens working and going to school. Elmer’s sister Emma worked along side him at the Queen’s for many years and spent many memorable times with her and her husband Red. Elmer participated in hockey and baseball with his lifetime friends Art, Jack, Walter and Al. His first paid work was with the PFRA as a surveyor and surveyed Diefenbaker Lake/Gardiner Dam area in the early 60’s. Elmer was needed at home to help his parents run the Hotel returning on weekends to help out. He eventually took over as manager of the Queen’s in 1963, then as owner in the mid-seventies. Elmer and Jean raised their family Rhonda, Rob and Susan in Qu’Appelle during this time. After selling the hotel he worked for Prairie Surveys and also trucked for Wood Country out of McLean.

Seize the day, the earlier the better was the way Elmer lived his life. He embraced life to the fullest in family, work and play. He believed in the “good” and brought it out in others through the integrity, joy and kindness he shared with family, friends and strangers. He was a devoted leader on many community projects including his most recent being the Legacy Project undertaken by the Qu’Appelle and District Lions Club with the building of the Qu’Appelle Public Library and Community Room.

In between his work at the Hotel, Elmer was an exceptional athlete and was an active player and later manager for the baseball teams the Black Sox and Braves and, in the winter, playing hockey for the Regals and Qu’Appelle Wings. Curling was another side sport, but to anyone who knew him, Elmer was happiest on a golf course with his grandchildren and friends. Elmer taught all of his grandchildren to golf. Along with those lessons they learned golf etiquette and sportsmanship. In the years since Elmer turned 80, a family golf tournament was held. A fun event enjoyed by everyone there. He also spent many days on golf courses throughout Saskatchewan with his long-time golf partner Chester Paddington. His greatest love however, was his wife of almost 60 years Jean, who nursed him in his final days in their family home. With her they shared 3 devoted children and their partners, four very special grandchildren, numerous friends and relatives in addition to a lifetime of community projects in Qu’Appelle. They both loved to travel to extended family in Britain, Switzerland and all across Canada. Their home was always open to friends and family, giving their time generously as prairie people do.

A kind, generous soul, full of love and laughter, a true gentleman, Elmer will be truly missed. Elmer was pre-deceased by his parents Marie and Karl, his brother Lorne and siblings Joe (Bella), Paul (Marg), Trudy (Chas), Charlie (Nettie), Ruth (Dave) and Jim (Shirley); brother in-laws Red Kuntz and Dave Mackie.

Elmer is survived by his wife Jean, children Rhonda, Rob (Jen), Susan (Craig). His four special grandchildren Jesse (Ashley), Justin (Marina), Brion and Michelle (Deagan).

Elmer is also survived by his sister Emma Kuntz and her family, his brother Mick (Olive), his sister in law Pat Mackie and her family, many nieces, nephews and cousins from the Weibel and Kurbis families and Jean’s Craik and Mackie families.

Grateful and heartfelt thanks to Dr. Veronica Marcoux and her management team, Dr. Mohr and Peggy McKee (RN) in Saskatoon, his long-time family doctor-Dr. Bruce Zimmermann and Janet at the Indian Head Medical Clinic, Dr. Jeffrey Booker for their ongoing expertise and caring support of Elmer and Jean. Elmer spent these last months at home where he enjoyed the sun in the mornings, and the birds in season and the prairie landscape outside the windows.

Should you wish to make a donation the Qu’Appelle First Responders and Fire Training Center: Cheques payable to Qu’Appelle Fire Dept., P.O. Box 413, Qu’Appelle, SK, S0G 4A0 etransfer: quappellefire@outlook.com or to the Lung Association, Saskatchewan , 2308 Arlington Ave., Saskatoon. S7J 3L3.

A gathering will be held in the summer.

Services

  • A gathering will be held in the summer.

Memories

Elmer Robert Kurbis

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George Sharpe

February 19, 2021

I have known Elmer for 31 years, now, since my days at Prairie Surveys, and he was one of the best co-workers I've ever had.

He was always interested in what I was working on, since that time in 1989- to 92, after which time, my career took me all over the world.

On behalf of Josie and myself all our condolences.

Cordell Paulhus

February 16, 2021

Elmer was a charming person I worked with him at prairie surveying working with him was a joy. He will be greatly missed sorry for his family’s loss.

Cordell Paulhus

Jack Whiting

February 11, 2021

Jean,
On behalf of my father Jack, I would like to extend our deepest sympathies to you , Rhonda, Rob, Susan and family. My father has shared many stories of growing up with Elmer and "The Boys" in Qu'Appelle and the trouble they would get into,
A lifetime of friendship, Jack and Dora were always thrilled to see Elmer on his regular visits to his family in Vancouver. That was the opportunity to catch up on all the local news as Elmer was the anchor and connection to Qu'Appelle, as he is for everyone!
Elmer embodied the best of us with his optimism and fairness and Jack considered himself fortunate to call him a friend.

Jack Whiting & Family

Wendy Williams

February 9, 2021

Dear Jean,
So very sorry to hear about Elmer. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

Agnes Titus

February 9, 2021

Jean and family
I am truly sorry for your loss.My sincere sympathies to you and your family.
Agnes Titus

Lance Reiss

February 8, 2021

Great memories of Elmer and Grant Devine at the Thrill of a Lifetime ceremony in Qu'Appelle

Lance Reiss

February 8, 2021

Jean and family. So sorry to hear of the loss of Elmer. Many fond memories of Elmer with baseball and hockey at the rink and especially the old Queens Hotel. So many of us "Qu'Appelle kids" grew up with memories of last call at the bar. Gone but not forgotten.

Coleen Blair

February 8, 2021

Elmer was a great friend to myself, my family and my husband Bob. He was a good man and will always be remembered fondly!

Jody LeGrand

February 8, 2021

I remember Elmer’s smile, his eyes sparkled! He loved everyone ♥️ I was so blessed to have had a childhood, knowing your family. My heart goes out to you all through this time. My most sincere condolences and much love your way. -Jody

Jeannie DesRochers

February 7, 2021

A true volunteer of the very best kind! My deepest sympathies Rob, Rhonda and Susan

FROM THE FAMILY