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1926 - 2019

Passing away peacefully on April 10, 2019, after a long and productive life, Orval is survived by his daughter Lisa, son Jason (Ahlea), sister Mavis Jones, and large extended family. He was predeceased by wife Katherine (Kay), parents, Joseph and Florence, and siblings, Gladys, Doris, Mervin (Buff), Boyd (Toby), Bernice and Audrey.
Born in Mowbray, Manitoba, Orval spent his formative years in Snowflake, then served in the Canadian Army for over two years during the Second World War. He later received a military citation for his voluntary participation in highly confidential experiments during that time.
In 1951, Orval began training as a Psychiatric Nurse at the Selkirk Mental Health Centre (SMHC). He was employed there until he retired at 60 years of age. During his years of employment at SMHC, he also studied at the College of Commerce of the University of Saskatchewan, where he graduated as a certified Administrator of Hospital and Health Care Services.
Orval was a strong believer in presenting people with opportunities to thrive. In 1971, he volunteered to scout for the Selkirk Steelers Junior "A" Hockey Club of the Manitoba Junior League, acquiring young, mostly rural, talented players. He and Coach Bud Lindal developed the Steelers team which would become the Canadian Junior "A" Hockey champions two years later. Orval continued as Scout for the Steelers as well as holding other positions in the Club for several more years, during which time the team won championships in Manitoba and Saskatchewan. It was said that the Steelers put Selkirk "on the map". Orval was very proud of the accomplishments of all the players, both on and off the ice.
Orval also was a passionate proponent of community. In this spirit, he founded the Wall of Champions showcase in the rotunda of the Selkirk Recreation Complex to commemorate and recognize the championship accomplishments of Selkirk athletes from early in the 20th century onward into the future.
As a Warden at Christ Church Anglican in Selkirk, Orval served on several committees through the years and was integral in the building of the new church. He was also always aware of the challenges of the elderly and made himself available when he could to assist those members of the community.
After retirement, Orval and Kay travelled to Mexico and Southeast Asia on many occasions. Orval was very fond of Asia, and often said that Vietnam was the most beautiful country of all.
Orval was a proud and motivated citizen and advocate of Selkirk and his legacy is evident there.
A Celebration of Life will be held on Saturday, May 11 at 1:00 p.m., at Christ Church, 227 McLean Ave., Selkirk, MB.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Pawed Pals Animal Rescue, CancerCare Manitoba, or a charity of your choice.
In later life, Orval made it a priority to often use the two words his grandfather taught him were the most important: "Thank You".

Make a donation to CancerCare Manitoba Foundation

As published in the Winnipeg Free Press on Apr 20, 2019

Condolences & Memories (6 entries)

  • We wish to express our deepest sympathy to Jason and Lisa. As we will miss your father and the telephone conversations we shared. - Posted by: Shaun & DJ Semenowich (New acquaintance) on: May 04, 2019

  • My sincerest condolences to the families of Jason and Lisa, Orval was a good friend who donated his efforts to enrich the lives of others. - Posted by: Michael Chubey (Friend) on: Apr 28, 2019

  • My condolences to Jason & Lisa on the lose of their Father and my Uncle - Orval. When it is one’s time then going in one's sleep is the best way to go for sure!! Uncle Orval lived a long life – traveled a lot – accomplished a lot of things – and to top it all off he ended up with a wonderful family! How much better can life be?! Uncle Orval will be remembered by our side of the Gower Family for sure! He helped our Mom and us when our Dad (Toby) passed, and he flew out to represent the Gower Family at our Brother's wedding in Vancouver. This gesture was appreciated by our Mom and us. Uncle Orval was a good man and he will be missed. Valerie, Lynn & Lorna - Posted by: Valerie S. Gower (Niece ) on: Apr 24, 2019

  • I'm truly very sorry for the loss of Orval, he was one of my favorites for sure! Thinking of you Lisa & Jason during this very sad and difficult time. - Posted by: Linda (Caregiver) on: Apr 24, 2019

  • Sending my sincerest condolences to the families of Jason and Lisa at this sad time. My heart goes out to you and please know that my thoughts and prayers are with all of you during this difficult time. - Posted by: Leah Erickson (Family friend) on: Apr 21, 2019

  • Truly a Gentleman and a great Friend! Our thoughts are with his family at this difficult time. - Posted by: Dianne L Fiwchuk (member of Christ Church) on: Apr 20, 2019

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Voyage Funeral Home

Voyage Funeral Home

220 Hespeler (Map)
Ph: 2046683151 | Visit Website

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