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VERN MCNAIR Obituary pic


Born: May 13, 1928

Date of Passing: Mar 11, 2020

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May 13, 1928 - March 11, 2020

Family and friends of Vernon (Vern) McNair are saddened by his passing on March 11, 2020, at Grace Hospital, Winnipeg, at the age of 91.
Vern was born to Ernest McNair and Emily McNair (Coyne) on May 13, 1928, at Shoal Lake, Manitoba and was predeceased by his parents; and brother and sister, Murray McNair and Shirley McCann.
Vern married Marjory (Marj) Fleming on June 1, 1951. He will be lovingly remembered by his wife of 68 years. Three children were born to this union, Lillas (Rick), Douglas (Shanna) and Roy (Harj). Vern also leaves behind nephews and nieces, Sharon Clark (Kim), Robert McNair (Chaney), Brian McNair (Sonya), Ian McNair (Tracey), Bonnie Turk (Rick), Susan Paltiel (Jason), Sheila Lipinski (Rob), Brenda Fehr (Rick) and Joanne Fleming. Grandchildren, Scott (Kariane), Marie (Everett), Michael (Jill) and their father William Brown, and grandchildren, Emily, Alison and Alex, and Tanya, Janeen and Tyra are also left to mourn. There are five great-grandchildren, Lola, Lynmarie, William, Cedar and Given. Brother-in-law Harold Brown; and sister-in-law Joyce Fleming also mourn Vern's passing. Vern was predeceased by nephews Ken McCann (Bev) and Kelly Brown (Joanna).
Vern received his elementary schooling in a one room school house called Wolfe Creek. High school took place at Shoal Lake Collegiate before registering in the Faculty of Agriculture at the University of Manitoba. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture in 1951 and then took his first off farm employment as an Agricultural Representative, living in Carberry. He later joined CBC in Winnipeg as a farm broadcaster in both radio and television. This proved to be good training grounds as, at the time, television was in its infancy. Vern then joined the Manitoba Department of Agriculture and later took education leave to attend Indiana University earning a Masters Degree in Education (Communications). He returned to his role at the Department as Director of Agricultural Communications. This position proved most interesting involving modern communications and enjoyable fellow workers and was held for 30 years. Vern retired in 1989. The family lived on Crowson Bay in Fort Garry since 1955 where Vern took an active part in the community.
While Vern enjoyed his work immensely, he and Marj developed early a keenness for travel. Early traveling involved RVing which took them to every state in the United States and to all of Canada. Much of the early travel was with the children who, as they grew up, caught the travel bug. Later tripping involved tours and cruises which took Marj and Vern to many exotic places of the world. An even later activity involved 18 winters at a favourite RV park in Texas.
Along with a keen interest in travel, Vern had a lifetime interest in aviation, starting with building Battle of Britain aircraft models in 1940. While he never learned to fly, his interest took him to a record number of airshows and museums. His interest led him to considerable involvement in the early development of the Royal Western Canada Aviation Museum in Winnipeg.
Vern received many awards for his work in communications. This was highlighted in 2013 when he was honoured with membership in the Manitoba Agricultural Hall of Fame, a fitting honour to conclude a lifetime in agricultural communications.
The family thanks the caring staff at Grace Hospital.
There will be a gathering of friends and family at a later date followed by his burial in the family plot at the cemetery in Vern's hometown, Shoal Lake. Arrangements by Thomson in The Park Funeral Home.

As published in Winnipeg Free Press on Mar 14, 2020

Condolences & Memories (12 entries)

  • We were so sorry to hear of Vern's passing. Our family always thought of Vern as one of the finest persons you would ever have the pleasure of knowing. He will be missed. Fran and Lionel Moore - Posted by: Lionel Moore (Friend) on: Mar 30, 2020

  • I had the pleasure of working with Vern in the Department of Agriculture for about 30 years. As many have said he was a true gentleman, great to work with and always positive. While it was not as often as it should have been, we enjoyed his friendship and occasional visits after retirement. We extend our sincere condolences to Marj and family. Morris and Joyce Deveson - Posted by: Morris Deveson (Friend ) on: Mar 27, 2020

  • Thinking of all of you at this time. Vern was a fabulous person and will be sadly missed by everyone that knew him. My father also sends his regards to the family. - Posted by: Jennifer Strath (Sons' friend and daughter of Vern's university friends.) on: Mar 17, 2020

  • My grandpa Vern was the only grandpa I had, and my memories of him rest gently on my heart. I remember mornings watching him stir our oatmeal while whistling a joyful tune, Christmas time with him and grandma in Winnipeg, and many happy camping memories. But what I remember most, was his peaceful presence and how I always felt safe when I was near him. He was a kind, loving and patient man, and his legacy lives on in our family. I love you and miss you grandpa. Grandma, Uncle Doug, Uncle Roy & Mom, my heart breaks knowing your sadness, he truly was an incredible man. Rest In Peace grandpa. xo - Posted by: Marie Brown Berg (Granddaughter ) on: Mar 17, 2020

  • Vern was a true gentleman whose caring and gentle nature was always a source of calm in any storm. Him and Marj were the foundations upon which the wonderful McNair clan was built and to which I am honoured to call my friends. Our hearts go out to Marj and all the McNair family. May the warm memories of your time with Vern console you during this sad time.. - Posted by: Kris and Lisa olsen (Friends ) on: Mar 15, 2020

  • I was so sorry to see this obituary for your dad and husband. He and my dad (Lionel Moore) worked together at CBC for many years, and I remember him well. In fact, I pulled out old albums today for another reason, and I pointed your dad out as I shared a terrific picture of the two of them with my husband. I'd be happy to share that picture if any of you would like a copy. Your dad was always smiling - and always gave me a big hug any time he saw me. I remember your mom too - and you three kids, although from probably 50 years ago now. I'm pretty sure that all three of you had to learn to ride bareback, and had to go to bull shows, and watch This Business of Farming or Country Calendar/Country Canada on Sunday afternoons too. There were many times that your parents spent with my parents and even though I was young and had to go to bed, I could always hear a lot of laughter from the living room. I will always remember both of your parents, and this picture of your dad is exactly how I remember him. My heart breaks for all of you for the loss of your dad, and your husband, Mrs. McNair. May our dads rest in peace in the Manitoba Agricultural Hall of Fame. Love to all. Terry Penner - Posted by: Terry (Moore) Penner (Old memory) on: Mar 14, 2020

  • I worked for Vern in the 80s in the communications dept. He was a great guy, and he had some wonderful stories from a full life in all ways and he did love agriculture. He used to say don't complain about the price of food with a full mouth. As well I guess they will never make another Farmscene television show. It was an honour to work for him in the day and it allowed me to experience many facets of farming and learned to respect the importance of farming in this province. - Posted by: Ralph Christianson (employee) on: Mar 14, 2020

  • While wintering at Orange Grove RV Park in Edinburg, Texas, Marj and Vern became our friends . We feel so blessed to have known the McNairs. We miss our times spent together. (card games, dances and camping) Our heartfelt sympathy to Marj and family. - Posted by: Rich and Jane Studsrud (friends from North Dakota) on: Mar 14, 2020

  • My Dad was the best Dad ever. He lived his life peacefully. In dying he was peaceful in his final days. Now, I know my Beloved Dad is in eternal peace. He has given me many many gifts, and one of them is being peaceful through challenging and difficult times. Thank you for the peace that surpasses understanding. I love you Dad, and you are with me always in my heart. Love, Lillas - Posted by: Lillas Marie (daughter) on: Mar 14, 2020

  • I worked with Vern at Manitoba Agriculture for many years. “Work” isn’t a good word to describe being on the job with Vern. He was always up beat and positive. We never had a falling out and became fast friends, on the job and off. I am comforted by remembering the film projects he and Boyd Solnes and I worked on together, the fun times in the office in the Norway building, and how positively Vern looked at the world. I will miss him. Keith Smith - Posted by: Keith Smith (Good friend and colleague) on: Mar 14, 2020

  • I was lucky to be a part of this wonderful mans' life for 30 years. You will never find a more kind, gentle, loving soul. Always a smile & the biggest, best hug whenever he saw you. Condolences to Marj and all the family. The world has lost a rare, true gentlemen. - Posted by: Judy McNair (Daughter in law) on: Mar 14, 2020

  • My dad was a wonderful father and a very good person. I am very lucky. He will remain my guiding light. He was always there for me and he is still with me. I love you dad. Rest In Peace. - Posted by: Doug McNair (Son) on: Mar 14, 2020

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