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Born: Aug 24, 1936

Date of Passing: Feb 13, 2020

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In the arms of his sons, Harold Aitkenhead breathed his last breath, on February 13, 2020.
Sons, Thor and Sean; daughters Yoshiko and Sandy; sisters, Joyce and Carol; brothers, James and Ross; numerous nieces, nephews, grandnephews, grandnieces; great-granddaughter Emily, as well as many friends carry the weight of his loss. He was predeceased by the love of his life, Hildur Aitkenhead (nee Palsson), never recovering from her loss in December 2000; beloved sister Constance; and brother William as well.

To know him was to love him.

Harold was born in Whitemouth to James and Elizabeth Aitkenhead (neé Webb, Minky) on August 24, 1936. Raised in Whitemouth, Manitoba, he lived, loved, worked and fought in Vancouver, Gimli, CFS Gypsumville, Portage la Prairie, Winnipeg and many parts of Canada in his younger days. He was a proud working man that fought for the rights of everyone, in his union and beyond. He was a teacher that was self-educated, a forest spirit, a mentor to many, fisherman, hunter, cook, bon vivant and a damn good electrician.

He was a poet:

The Maple - The Trees Are Alive
Southwest wind blowing hard
The trees are rocking to and fro
The old maples squeak
And hold their own
A sudden gust
Then fall like stone
To mother earth
Where they came from
A mix of H 2O and sun
To stand and shade
For one hundred years
Then fall up-rooted
But shed no tears
They are then cut up
Split and piled to dry
Then they are burned to ashes and dust
To climb once more into the sky
Where sun and rain
will make them grow again
To drop their leaves before the snow
To lend their shade to everyone
On days when they are soaked with sun
To grow and grow
For one more day
Until its time to pass away

You could rely on him in any situation.

We want to thank our family and friends for their invaluable love and care throughout our struggles.
A funeral service will be held between 6:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. this Sunday, February 23, 2020, at St Paul's Anglican Church, 830 North Drive in Fort Garry, Winnipeg. A memorial celebration will be held at the family house beside his beloved Whitemouth River on Sunday, August 23, 2020. All are welcome.
The family would appreciate support for close friends that just lost their 18-year-old daughter and they need a helping hand. In lieu of flowers, please email transfer your donations to Cheryl and Eldon at

Cremation & Funeral Planning
204-295-5408 -

Publish Date: Feb 22, 2020


As published in Winnipeg Free Press on Feb 20, 2020, Feb 22, 2020

Condolences & Memories (23 entries)

  • My sincere condolences to Thor and Sean. Harry-san was a man having a big body and a big heart filled with kindness and thoughtfulness. He did let his son Thor see a different culture on another part of the globe, and so I could know him. Although I met him only three times, he taught me a very important phrase: “I will live because I'm needed by others I love”, he said in front of his beloved wife’s photo-stand. When you think you are needed by others, you aware of important fact that everything connects and being needed each other. At the same time, you'll get energy and want to contribute to others. I realized this is very key idea that eliminates discrimination and hostile actions and disparity globally. May his words be with us always. - Posted by: Michio Horiuchi (Friend) on: Oct 27, 2021

  • My deepest condolences to Thor and Sean and family. I just learned of your Dad’s passing, am sorry for your loss. - Posted by: Paul de Groot (Childhood Friend) on: Jun 10, 2020

  • So sorry to hear of your father’s passing, Thor and Sean. I recall seeing him long ago on a news clip as a vocal advocate for worker rights. Great role model. May you find comfort in his legacy and may our paths cross again. - Posted by: Miles MacFarlane (Friend) on: Mar 20, 2020

  • With deepest sympathy Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal. Fond memories of growing up together in Whitemouth. Jack Aitkenhead, Judy Scott & family - Posted by: Judy Scott (Cousin Jack's Daughter) on: Feb 29, 2020

  • Fond memories of my Grandchildren sitting on Santa's knee at the Oakwood Restaurant. Harry will be remembered fondly. - Posted by: Gail Hill (Rathbone) (friend) on: Feb 29, 2020

  • Sean and Thor so sorry for your your loss. I’m sure all who passed through Gyp remember with fondness Harry. Our Bob ( Robert Prouse ) passed away last October and we share your grief . Eleanor Wright ,sons Ian and Patrick - Posted by: Eleanor Wright (Friend from CFS Gypsumville) on: Feb 27, 2020

  • Just heard about this today, Thor. Condolences, and take care... - Posted by: Brad Ward (Friend (from long ago...)) on: Feb 25, 2020

  • Dear family of Harry, please celebrate his life with stories, pictures, laughter & tears and cherish the memories forever. - Posted by: Mona Daniel, Yorkton, SK (friend) on: Feb 22, 2020

  • My heartfelt Condolences to Thor, Sean and family. I was lucky enough to meet Uncle Harold in the summer of 2011 at a Joyce and Richie’s 50th Wedding Anniversary celebration and we had a dance together. Uncle Harold was a wondrous storyteller...a scholar and a beautiful gentleman. I am glad I got to know him even a little bit. Rest In Peace dear Uncle Harold. - Posted by: Jazmyn Sharp (Friend ) on: Feb 21, 2020

  • Harry is one in a million that will be missed greatly. Always had a great story to tell. - Posted by: Adam Belaire (Friend) on: Feb 20, 2020

  • Sorry for you loss - Posted by: Dwight (Grade school friend ) on: Feb 20, 2020

  • I met Harry up in CFS Gypsumville. He was an impressive man in size and voice. The thing I remember most was his big laugh and an amazing sense of humour. I left Gyp and went on with my career and years later when in Air Command HQ atrium in walked a guy in a black leather coat and matching English Driving hat. A voice boomed out and it was Harry!!! It was like time stood still and he gave me a big bear hug. He told me he was a Union man now and was fighting for the guys. I remember thinking the guys got the right man fighting for them. I can't think of Gyp without thinking of him. I'm sure we will have a few laughs when we meet again. - Posted by: Andrew J Taylor (Friend ) on: Feb 20, 2020

  • He will be greatly missed. Strong lasting memories will fill the void in the everyday absence of principle, humor, animation, and intelligent discourse that always had a twist. Our condolences to all of the family. - Posted by: Randy Melnyk (Friend) on: Feb 20, 2020

  • Always friendly and always helping. - Posted by: Rick and Cathy Andrews (Friends) on: Feb 20, 2020

  • So sorry to hear of Harolds passing. The Aitkenhead family was the first country family I ever met, I was only 16 when I met Carol. What a great family. I was fascinated by all of them. I’d never been to a small town like Whitemouth. The house was so small I don’t know how they all survived. As a 16 year old I found Harold so big and kind. Everyone was so supportive of each other. A proud family. - Posted by: Barb Benderski(nee Donald) (Teenage friend) on: Feb 20, 2020

  • I remember the fun times in Gypsumville with all our families getting together for winter activities. Specially remember Harry he was such a fun loving bubbly person.He was a great guy! I am so so sorry to hear of his passing my condolences to the family! - Posted by: Janet Derosier/Nickle (Friend) on: Feb 20, 2020

  • Harold or Harry as his friends called him was an amazing man. I first met him in the 70s and then again in the 80s when I went to work for him. Please accept my heartfelt condolences on his passing. I hope to meet him yet once again in heaven where he must be now. - Posted by: Robert Hughes (Co-worker) on: Feb 20, 2020

  • Sorry about your loss, remembering old stories from Gypsumville. Harry RIP - Posted by: Dénis & Deborah Vermette (Friend) on: Feb 20, 2020

  • I remember Thor's dad while growing up in CFS Gypsumville. Always a smile on his face and a kind word. My sincere condolences to his family on his loss. - Posted by: Matthew Tucker (Childhood friend of his son Thor) on: Feb 20, 2020

  • So sorry to hear about your Dad, Thor and Sean. Hold on to your memories and each other as you walk this new path for you and your families. Shauna - Posted by: Shauna Finnimore Daku (School friend) on: Feb 20, 2020

  • Sorry to hear of your dad. Although it has been many years I still remember some of the wisdom he passed on. Deepest Sympathies. - Posted by: Rory McDonnell (Old Friend of Sons) on: Feb 20, 2020

  • Although I did not know Harold personally, my sister and I are friends of Harolds sister Carol. My heartfelt condolences to the whole family in the loss of Harold.He lived a very full and generous life. May he rest in peace. - Posted by: Edna Zurbuchen (nee Hlady) (Friend) on: Feb 20, 2020

  • We were so sad to hear of your father’s passing. Our sincere condolences to you. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all. Your dad was a great man and will be missed. Ben and Yvonne Kjartanson, Gimli, Mb - Posted by: Ben and Yvonne Kjartanson (Friend ) on: Feb 20, 2020

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