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Date of Passing: Dec 20, 2021

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With great sadness we announce the peaceful passing of our father and Afi, Brian Kendall Darragh on December 20, 2021, at the Riverview Health Centre - palliative care unit.
Dad had just celebrated his 93rd birthday a few weeks prior. He was devastated by the loss of our Mom Carol (Karolina Anderson) when she passed away in June 2021 at the age of 92 years. They had been together almost 70 years. Dad thought it was so incredible how they had met on a blind date and been together all those years!
After a brief illness Dad went to the "Vic" Urgent Care and as we suspected he would require palliative care. We were very fortunate to receive a bed on Palliative Care - Three East at Riverview Health Centre. He received comfort and privacy from a fabulous team in his final days. Prior to that, he had been able to stay at his assisted living residence with the support of his excellent care givers Dorina, Grace, Rose and Amelia who treated him like he was their own father. Dad also received tremendous support from the staff at Riverwood Square led by Linda Sherrin. We are grateful for an incredible team of many people there - Brian, Trish, Misty, Jazmine, Carrie, Carol, Lindsay, Janice, Heather and Gerrome all helped both Mom and Dad but especially helped Dad adjust to being alone and be as independent as possible. We are also very appreciative for the years of care provided by our friend and colleague Dr. Brian Sharkey; Dad couldn't have received the type of care that was needed without him. We are also thankful for the staff at the "Vic" Urgent Care and Dr. Gordon Hitchcock for their care and expertise.
Dad was an only child whose parents had just immigrated from Ireland the year before he was born. Though initially in Winnipeg, they moved to the small farming community of Keyes, Manitoba. Many hardships in those depression years required the three of them to work hard together to overcome much adversity. No electricity, running water or a phone for many of those early years, created definite challenges especially in the cold winters on the wide-open prairie. They built a new home the next year by salvaging the lumber from the existing house. Living in a tent for 6 months during the take down and rebuild - all while running a farm was quite challenging. They had to sweep the fresh snow off the beds in the tent a few times but finally got back into the house on November 4th that year.
The work ethic of his parents and the early lessons learned from hard work were engrained in Dad from a young age. He kept that as a foundation throughout his life. The same message was passed down to both of us as daughters and is something we also apply in each of our lives to this day.
Mom and Dad met in their mid-twenties. With Mom in the midst of an upcoming move to Winnipeg, he thought he too should leave the farm and move to the city. He didn't want an office job as he came off the wide expanse of the farm. Mom thought Dad would enjoy driving streetcars where he could be out and about meeting people each day. Dad had a particular affinity for streetcars that he had developed initially while living in Winnipeg as a young boy. He was happy to be trained for that job and he drove the streetcars for their remaining 17 months of operation. Dad felt so strongly that the streetcars contributed so much to the growth of the city. The various routes allowed new districts to be established and new businesses to support these new populations. The city was thriving.
It was Dad's hope that the restoration project currently underway - Restoring Streetcar # 356, would have been completed in his lifetime and that it would have been either running or at least on display. Dad, to the best of his knowledge, was the last remaining streetcar driver when he passed away.
He worked diligently to promote streetcar history to others and wrote a book a few years ago entitled - The Streetcars of Winnipeg - Our Forgotten Heritage through Friesen Press. After the book launch, he thoroughly enjoyed doing numerous presentations for various community groups and at Doors Open Winnipeg. Dad would be happy that his references will be archived at Heritage Winnipeg so they can be used by others.
Although Irish by heritage, Dad became an honorary Icelander by marrying into a large proud Icelandic family. He was quickly initiated into the Icelandic customs, food and holidays. He learned some Icelandic and worked for years with Mom at the Scandinavian Pavilion at Folklorama and then at Islendingadagurinn each August long weekend. Dad also worked for years in the communication of events and in Membership for Icelandic Fron. Mom and Dad were made Honorary Members of The Icelandic National League - Fron in 2013 and were to have received an award in Seattle that year but couldn't travel then. They were happy to be included to meet the President of Iceland and his wife on their last trip to Winnipeg.
Dad especially enjoyed travel and as a family we travelled across Canada and throughout Europe. Later, Mom and Dad travelled to Iceland, across Canada, and to Florida. Dad was keenly interested in photography and loved recording all the experiences and the scenery on each of the trips. When they couldn't travel on their own any longer, they travelled to Arizona, Ireland, Florida, and Vancouver/Tofino with Char and her family. When home, they loved to spend time by the lake with the family - mornings on the deck overlooking the water having coffee and reading the paper was a favourite. They both loved spending time with their grandchildren watching sports, their performances as well as travelling together. Dad loved spending time talking on the phone with them when they were separated by distance but especially when they would come and spend time with them.
Dad also enjoyed spending time with especially close friends. His friend Bill Helgason would take him various places which he really enjoyed. They had many similar interests, the same sense of humour and both great story tellers!
Dad was a long-term member of First Lutheran Church and was very active there until just a few years ago. We are appreciative to Pastor Michael Kurtz for his tremendous support of Dad over the years and especially in his final days - a great comfort to us all.
He leaves his daughter Ingrid (Rick), Braden (Cindi), Eric (Samantha, Jaxon and Ryder) and Char (Morley, Ariel and Matt). Dad also leaves his special nephew Tim (Kathy), his sister-in-law Ida, his family in Ireland, England, South Africa and New Zealand and his close friends, Bill and Lorraine Helgason.

Dad - we miss you incredibly but are very grateful to have been able to be together for so many special family times through the years which have given us many memories that we cherish.

A "Celebration of Life" will be held on Saturday, August 6, 2022 at 2:00 p.m. at Neil Bardal Funeral Home, 3030 Notre Dame Ave. Everyone attending must wear a mask for the duration of time they are in the building.
Should you desire to support something very dear to Dad's heart, the restoration project of Streetcar # 356 currently underway is something he really wanted to see through to completion. Donations to support that can be made to Heritage Winnipeg, 509-63 Albert St., Winnipeg, MB R3B 1G4. Dad also cared deeply about First Lutheran Church - donations to support it can be made to the church at 580 Victor St., Winnipeg, MB R3G 1R2.

Love you Dad

As published in Winnipeg Free Press on Jul 30, 2022

Condolences & Memories (1 entries)

  • We still miss your mom and dad strolling through the hallways and attending all the happy hours to hear Brian sing. We also miss the family who cared so deeply for their parents. We carry so many memories of them……a Christmas pillow Carol made that I gave my mum and my granddaughter’s favourite rattle that hung from her car seat. Such a special couple and dearly missed. Hugs to you all 🥰 - Posted by: Trish (Friend) on: Jul 31, 2022

Neil Bardal Inc. (Winnipeg)

Neil Bardal Inc. (Winnipeg)

3030 Notre Dame Ave (Map)
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