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If they are lucky, most people get to meet their heroes once. Maybe twice. I'm the luckiest of all - I was raised by mine. My hero, Ken Craig, passed away peacefully on January 27, 2023, surrounded by those he loved after a multi-year battle with a rare blood cancer.
A farm boy, Ken was born in Lestock, Saskatchewan to Alvin and Helen Craig, and raised on a farm outside Kandahar, SK. Although he lived in Saskatchewan for just the first 19 years of his life, Ken never forgot where he came from and loved a golden field of grain and bled Rider green until his very last day.
But he needed a life of adventure. After helping build the Diefenbaker Dam, Ken joined the RCMP. Soon after arriving at his first posting in Surrey, BC, Ken found his favourite spot in the world – next to Lynn.
They had a love story for the ages.
Ken became Ken and Lynn on August 29, 1969. Over the next 51 years they adventured together throughout their postings in the Canadian north (the Yukon was the favourite and not just because I was born there), many places around Manitoba and around the world. Deeply patriotic Canadians, their favourite other place was Portugal.
When Lynn was stricken by ALS, Ken would not let anyone else care for her. His place was by her side - always. That is what he will be remembered for - being an effusive fountain of love and fiercely protective of those he loved.
He was what you would expect from a member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police - brave and strong - having nearly lost his life in the line of duty while in Fort Good Hope, NWT - and a towering presence but the thing that folks always remarked upon was that such a giant could be so kind and gentle. Being a girl dad was one of his favourite things.
Throughout his life, Ken made lifelong friends and turned them into family. He was that guy. You just liked him. Whether it was on the ice, playing hockey (ok, not everyone liked him there), coaching little girls in softball or driving a school bus in retirement, people gravitated towards him. While I was growing up, even though he had just me, he never ceased to have a crowd of my friends in tow.
It was because he was who he was. He wasn't too stubborn to change what he thought after a good argument, but the fibre of who he was never changed. He was quick to a hearty laugh, generous with hugs and followed his unfailing moral compass. He always helped those in need, whether they be a neighbour or some little bratty kid trying to tie her skates (again, me). He was simply a great man.
I have lost one of my best friends and my dad. Those who knew him and were fortunate to have him as part of their lives, have lost a best friend, adopted dad and grandpa, role model, neighbour, and mentor. But he is back in his favourite place - beside Lynn.
Ken Craig is survived by his daughter Stephanie, her partner Todd Grant, his chosen daughter Louise Helbig, his chosen grandchildren, Madison, Madison's partner Nick, Zac, and Jenna. His two regrets are not getting to watch Madison walk down the aisle or see Jenna in the Golden Buffalo Marching Band at the University of Colorado.
He was so fortunate to have the best neighbours in the Amiraults, Browns and Ciulla, and an incredible number of close friends both locally and around the world, who cannot be named for fear of missing somebody. We would all like to thank Dr. Brett Houston for being the very best of people and doctors; the amazing staff at CancerCare at HSC and CancerCare and the Outpatient Department at Selkirk Hospital; and the kind and gentle staff at Stonewall Homecare. I'm sure they will miss his unfailing smile and donut deliveries, too.
In lieu of flowers, please send donations to CancerCare Manitoba in Ken's name if you are in Canada. If you are in the United States, please help finish Ken and Lynn's pursuit of ending ALS by donatingto I Am ALS.

Make a donation to CancerCare Manitoba Foundation

As published in Winnipeg Free Press on Feb 04, 2023

Condolences & Memories (12 entries)

  • Steph. Andre and I remember you as a family behind our house. Trevor still his X-mas stocking your mom made for him. Still have the mitts she made for Scott. Remember you being the girl that played next door with the Friesen girls, Denean and Kris. Condolences to you and hugs. - Posted by: Lillian Arsenault (Paupanekis) (Friend and neighbour and co-worker) on: Feb 10, 2023

  • What an amazing tribute. Ken was a huge support for me while playing for the Stonewall Jets, and especially after hockey. When I was applying for school and jobs he was usually the first person so would ask for a reference letter. I believe it was his reference that put me over the top and helped get me hired with Correctional Services of Canada. He was a gentleman and simply just good person. Intimidating at first glance, and once you got to know him, a giant of kindness. He was amazing to my parents and I wish I would have gotten in touch with him like I wanted to these last 5-10 years, to actually let him know what his impact was on me. Thank you to your family for sharing him with us hockey boys that played for him when he was the GM of the Stonewall Jets. - Posted by: Murray Monkman (One of his hockey recruits) on: Feb 05, 2023

  • Steph, your dad was a special man and will be missed by us all. You are in our thoughts. With love, Aunt Nancie, Jen, Mike and Lillie - Posted by: Aunt Nancie, Jen, Mike and Lillie (Family ) on: Feb 05, 2023

  • Enjoyed our friendship with Ken and Lynn in Swan River. Our condolences to Stephanie. - Posted by: Karen/Fred Conrod (Friends and co-worker) on: Feb 05, 2023

  • Met Ken in Swan River in 1981 and replaced him later that year when he sold his house and transferred into a Sgt. position up north. Enjoyed his short lived company but certainly enjoyed our friendship. My condolences are extended to his family and friends. - Posted by: Kevin Duckett (Friend and co-worker in RCMP) on: Feb 04, 2023

  • Our thoughts are with you Stephanie during this most challenging time. Uncle Ken is now with Aunt Lynn where their eternal love will continue. Love you, Vik - Posted by: Viki Scott (Niece) on: Feb 04, 2023

  • Our sympathy to you in your great loss. We got to know Ken as a school bus driver and came to know him as a man with a deep commitment to family and a man with great integrity and a strong work ethic. After his retirement from school bus we would occasionally meet in Stonewall and he always made time for a quick and friendly hello. Another of the great ones will be sadly missed by many! Gavin Jones - Posted by: Gavin Jones (Friend) on: Feb 04, 2023

  • Sorry sorry for your loss Stephanie and family. I can only remember Uncle Ken a little as I was just young the last time I seen him. My deepest condolences. - Posted by: Marlene McCord (Family) on: Feb 04, 2023

  • What an amazing tribute to such an incredible man. What a life well lived. Godspeed, Ken. I’m so glad you are with your bride again. Steph, you are an incredible writer, your dad is so proud. I am keeping you in my thoughts and prayers. - Posted by: Claudine (Ken’s “American Daughter” ) on: Feb 04, 2023

  • When I think of Ken the phrase “true gentleman” will forever come to mind. Kind, patient and a man who always put the needs of others first, he was truly a distinguished individual who earned the respect of others by his positive outlook and genial disposition. Steph - on behalf of Ginny and I we send our thoughts, condolences and prayers. - Posted by: John and Ginny Tost (Friends and colleagues ) on: Feb 04, 2023

  • A beautiful tribute to a wonderful man. Words probably could never do justice to the man he was and the effect he has had and will continue to have on those lucky enough to know him, but these capture his essence. I am lucky to count myself among those fortunate to love and be loved by Ken and by Lynn. My only sadness is that I didn’t get more time to learn how to be a better man, better dad and of course a better partner to Stephanie. He has forever touched me and our family and we and the world are a better place because Ken Craig walked among us. Rest in Peace Ken and enjoy eternity with Lynn, your journey here is complete and your work is done. - Posted by: Todd Grant (Son in Law ) on: Feb 04, 2023

  • My sincere condolences to Family, Friends and Colleagues. - Posted by: Nuno Camara (Acquaintance ) on: Feb 04, 2023

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