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Born: Oct 17, 1928

Date of Passing: Jan 09, 2023

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October 17, 1928 - January 9, 2023

Joseph Keeper of Norway House Cree Nation, passed peacefully on January 9, 2023, at age 94 with his family at his side.
Predeceased by his beloved wife, Rev. Canon Dr. Phyllis Keeper (nee Beardy), Joe leaves behind their four children and spouses, 13 grandchildren, eight great-grandchildren, brother Kenneth, sister-in-law Ida, and many family members and friends.
A man of deep commitment, Joe worked most of his life towards justice for the Cree on the hydro impacts, he was an IRS Survivor, a Korean War Veteran, and in his final years an adviser.
Wake will be held Monday, January 16, 2023 from 4:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. and Funeral Service on Tuesday, January 17, 2023 at 11:00 a.m. at Neil Bardal Funeral Centre, 3030 Notre Dame Ave.

Condolences may be left at


As published in Winnipeg Free Press on Jan 14, 2023

Condolences & Memories (10 entries)

  • I first met Joe in the early 1980's when he came every workday to North End Community Ministry to drop off his wife Phyllis, my co-worker, and pick her up after work. I had great respect for his dedicated work on behalf of northern communities devastated by flooding caused by MB Hydro. I met three of his children, and one, Tina, we hired as a summer student. My condolence to all of you. - Posted by: Doug Martindale (friend) on: Feb 12, 2023

  • On behalf of the entire Regimental Family, please accept my sincere condolences at the passing of Gunner Joe Keeper. All members of the Royal Regiment of Canadian Artillery are united in honouring his service in time of war, and his devotion to his community. His large family and many friends can take some comfort in knowing that he touched many lives and created countless positive memories. Stand easy Gunner. Ubique. - Posted by: BGen (ret) David Patterson, Colonel Commandant RCA (Fellow Gunner) on: Jan 27, 2023

  • I first learned of Joe when l married my Canadian husband Bill Maher in 1965. He told about his Korean War tent mate who he shared many escapades with. At that time and later when we met with him they only reminisced about the good memories. Tall dark haired Joe and my blonde 5 7 baby faced husband Bill made quite a pair. When they went Awall during training in Washington State Joe got blamed for it but Bill was the instigator. Over the years we got together as couples and even dropped in on their 50th wedding celebration. Joe always kept Bill up to date. On their comrades. After Bill s death 5 years ago we would have a couple of phone calls year. Our last one was near his. Birthday in Oct. I was so proud to be a friend of such a loving outstanding man. - Posted by: Barbara Maher (Friend) on: Jan 21, 2023

  • Condolences on behalf of my family and I. - Posted by: Frances Y Arthurson (Family Friend) on: Jan 17, 2023

  • He was a true warrior who served his people in so many capacities. He was never afraid to join the fight and to participate in building up the people around him. A true leader always ready to serve. A group of Indigenous soldiers recently gathered at the Royal Winnipeg Rifles to sing and conduct a small ceremony in his honour. We salute those veterans and warriors who served and who have gone before. We shall remember them. - Posted by: Robert Falcon Ouellette (friend & fellow veteran) on: Jan 17, 2023

  • Please accept our condolences on your father’s passing. He was such wonderful man, full of life and vigour, always ready for good conversation. Your treasured memories will help get you through the coming days, weeks, months and years. Thank you for sharing your father and grandfather with all of us. Rest in peace Mr. Keeper. We love you! - Posted by: Cynthia Bird (Family Friend) on: Jan 16, 2023

  • Sorry to learn of Joe's passing...I last saw him around 2003 at Polo Park in Wpg where we had arranged a meeting....Joe (we knew him as kids as Irvin) was a lifelong friend of my dad's (Charlie Organ)....the two had met at the Portage La Prairie Residential school where dad was the custodian...Joe had moved there from Norway House in order to complete his schooling and go on to University I believe...Joe called dad his "mentor" and his new bride Rita who also worked at the school would then move to Norway House to work there at the school until it burnt to the ground in older sister Sandra was born there in Apr of that year....they lost everything they had and relocated to Langruth, MB where they lived the rest of their lives....I recall once when Irvin came to our home for a visit dressed up in buckskin...he was a very handsome young man ...that would have been in the 50's or early 60's... - Posted by: Wayne Organ (family friend) on: Jan 15, 2023

  • Farewell Joe. You are truly one of the finest men it has ever been my honour to know. You helped me at a difficult time and you were a source of great wisdom and compassion over many years. You had an unerring knowledge of what is right and a quiet, gentle and firm commitment to doing it. Travel well good friend. - Posted by: Paul Shanahan (Friend ) on: Jan 14, 2023

  • Tina and family so sorry for your loss. - Posted by: Karen Zapisocki (Friend of Tina) on: Jan 14, 2023

  • To the many family and friends of Joe Keeper we offer our deepest condolences. Phyllis and Joe vacationed at our motel here in Wpg Beach several times, some years back now, during which time we got to know them a little. My wife and I think very highly of Phyllis and Joe, as does everyone they've touched, and have nothing but the utmost respect for them both. The World is a lesser place without them to be sure. Godspeed Joe. - Posted by: Neil and Alanna Bradley (Acquaintances.) on: Jan 14, 2023

Neil Bardal Inc. (Winnipeg)

Neil Bardal Inc. (Winnipeg)

3030 Notre Dame Ave (Map)
Ph: 2049492200 | Visit Website

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