GEORGE ATWELL
GEORGE ATWELL

Obituary of GEORGE ATWELL

GEORGE IVAN HENRY ATWELL
January 21, 1925 - August 17, 2017

On August 17, 2017, our father, George Ivan Henry Atwell, passed away peacefully at 92 years of age in the company of family members. A blend of intellect, character, passion, humour, and, (particularly once his kids grew up), joyfulness, he cherished being a father, grandfather and great-grandfather. He will be missed by family in Canada, Trinidad and around the world.

Dad was born in Siperia, Trinidad where, at the age of 14, he left school to work in the oil fields to support his mother and eight siblings upon the illness and subsequent death of his father. Obtaining his high school diploma through correspondence courses, he came to Winnipeg in 1949 to attend the University of Manitoba. On his second day in Canada, he met Frances Helen Brown, then a recent pharmacy graduate, whose family owned the boarding house where he would live for the next few years.

Dad and Frances, our Mom, married in 1953. Dad became a teacher and they had the seven of us children. They moved to St. Norbert in 1959 where they lived and were active in the community until they became residents at Deer Lodge Center in 2015.

While in university, Dad joined the Canadian Naval Reserve, achieving the rank of Lieutenant Commander (Major).  The Navy remained a significant part of his entire life and the Canadian Armed Forces was a source of support through his final years at Deer Lodge Centre.

In the 60's, Dad started an apiary (honey farm) having learned beekeeping from his father as a child. Sons Gerry and James spent many summers working hard at Dad’s side and getting stung while the rest of us enjoyed fresh honey comb, warm out of the hive.  

In the late 60's and early 70's, while teaching English and French, Dad started writing and had two stage plays (one in English and one in French) produced in Winnipeg and Brandon by St. Norbert's Theatre St. Genese company.

George Atwell was an extraordinary man and we are truly fortunate to have had him as our father so long into our lives. A person of unshakeable integrity and character, along with our mother, he will remain our moral compass always.

Dad was predeceased by his loving wife of almost 62 years, our Mom, Frances, his sisters Lucille, Ella and Ruth and his brothers Arthur, Frank and Harold.  He is survived by his brother, John, his sister, Phyllis, his children Carol (Richard), Judy (Paul), Jocelyn (Ken), Gerry, Vincent (Angie), James (Suzanne) and Cathleen (Simon), his grandchildren Sean, Carla (Darrin), Brendan (Jarita), Nicola, Bennet , Kim and Julien, great-grandchildren Caleb and Jacob as well as family around the world.

We extend our heartfelt thanks to Louise Dubois for her years of dedication to Dad as his personal caregiver.  Thanks also to Deer Lodge Center, particularly the Tower 4 staff, for our father’s care over the past three years.

A visitation will be held from 10:00 to 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday, August 23, 2017 at Cropo Funeral Chapel, 1442 Main St., Winnipeg.  A celebration of George Atwell’s life will be held at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, August 23, 2017 at HMCS Chippawa, 1 Navy Way (entrance off Assiniboine Avenue at Smith St.), Winnipeg, Manitoba.

If so desired, in lieu of flowers, please make a donation in George Atwell’s name to the charity of your choice.