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Born: Jan 17, 1931

Date of Passing: Nov 25, 2018

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JOHN (HARVEY) BALCAEN January 17, 1931 - November 25, 2018 It was a reasonably mild day for a Manitoba January when John Harvey Balcaen, the first child of Jack and Katherine Balcaen, was born in Selkirk, Manitoba. It was during the Depression and life was hard. Harvey had four siblings: Louise, Maurice, Gerald and Gail. He was a good older brother and always wanted to please his parents. The family moved to Lac du Bonnet in the mid 1930s where Harvey's father operated a bus and his mother ran the café. Times were lean and Harvey and his brother Maurice were sent to Catholic boarding school in St. Boniface. It was during that time that Harvey fell ill for almost one year before recovering. The family eventually moved to Winnipeg (Fort Garry) in 1940, where Harvey's father started a plumbing and heating business, Balcaen and Son, which he joined when he turned 16 in 1947. It was during his later teens, when working with his father on some plumbing for the Duncton's, that he would meet his future wife, Fern. Harvey would propose to Fern at the Rugby Inn, a hot dog stand in Forth Garry and in April 1953 they were married. A marriage that has stood the test of time and events until his passing. Harvey and Fern were blessed with the birth of their first child, Blair (Heather) in 1955, followed by Caren (Greg Kelly), Mark (Caroline) and Paul (Dina), who tragically passed away in an accident in February 2018. When the kids were young, the family would spend vacations camping in British Columbia, or fishing in Grand Rapids. When the kids became teenagers, Harvey and Fern started cottaging at Lee River. Harvey enjoyed fishing and socializing with the wonderful neighbours at the lake, and the boyfriends and girlfriends of his children. The lake was a welcome relief from the long hours of work as a plumber. A new chapter in Harvey and Fern's life started with the marriages of their children and their resulting progeny. They welcomed Ryan Kelly, the first of their grandchildren in 1979. Ryan (Annica) and his sister Jenna (Byron) were joined by their cousins, Christine (Dan), Lindsay (Zach), Michael (Nelisha), Evan (Larissa), Michelle (Blaine), Reagan (Liam), Austin (Meggan) and cousins, Katie and Tim (Amber) Coombs. The latest chapter in his life was his great-grandchildren, Nickolas and Bradley Heide, Kiaan Kelly and Sophie Coombs. The grandchildren and great-grandchildren brought a whole new dimension to family gatherings and social occasions. Christmases were an especially fun and wild time at the Balcaens'. He dealt with numerous health issues during his final years, lovingly cared for by Fern, his devoted wife of 65 years. He loved, was loved, and will be missed. Cremation has taken place and the family is planning a celebration of Harvey's life in the spring. We would like to thank the W.R.H.A.'s Palliative Care team and staff at the Riverview Health Centre for their kindness and compassionate care during Harvey's final weeks. Offers of condolence can be sent through Voyage Funeral Home. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to a charity of your choice.

As published in the Winnipeg Free Press on Dec 01, 2018

Condolences & Memories (1 entries)

  • I would like to say I have met Harvey several times in my life. I have had the honor of knowing his lovely giving daughter Karen, and devoted Wife. They are beautiful people. I have seen the love that exudes over all the family and grandchildren. My condolences. He will be missed as a husband, Father, Uncle, and Grandfather. - Posted by: Joann Archibald (Friend of Family) on: Dec 03, 2018

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Voyage Funeral Home

Voyage Funeral Home

220 Hespeler (Map)
Ph: 2046683151 | Visit Website

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