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Born: May 24, 1928

Date of Passing: Sep 20, 2004

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ROSS DOUGLAS CAIRNS May 24, 1928 - September 20, 2004 "True happiness does not come from possessions or fame: it comes from the quality of your relationships with the people you love and respect". It is with deep sorrow that the family announces the passing of our husband, father, and grandfather Ross. He died peacefully and with dignity on September 20, 2004 at the age of 76 at the Grandview & District Hospital after a courageous 5-year battle with cancer. Ross will be fondly remembered and sorely missed by his loving wife of 49 years Inez (Yuill) Cairns of Grandview; his children, Kim (Roger) of Brandon, Blaire (Marie-Anne) of Grandview, and Brenda of Gilbert Plains; grandchildren, Jeff, Jillian, Michael, Pierce, and Lance. He is also survived by brothers, Lloyd (Bertha) and Elmer (Dorothy) of Winnipeg, and Jack (Fran) of Toronto; sisters, Ethel (Pointe-Claire, PQ) and Bessie (Surrey, BC) sisters-in-law, Noreen and Louise (Winnipeg), Winnie (White Rock, BC), and Jean (Brentwood Bay, BC) brothers-in-law, Don (Pat) Yuill (Westbank, BC), and Jack (Iris) Yuill (Gilbert Plains, MB) as well as numerous nieces, nephews, extended family and friends. He was predeceased by his parents, George and Mildred; infant sister Eileen; brothers, Ray, Cecil, and Ernie; brothers-in law, Ross Yuill, Jack McLellan, and Ray Aberdeen. Ross was born in Wadena, SK, and the second youngest of 10 children. When he was a child, he moved with his parents to Winnipeg, and there he attended Laura Secord Elementary School and Gordon Bell High School where he became quite an accomplished soccer player. He then went on to attend United College and the University of Manitoba, where he graduated in 1954 with his Degree in Pharmacy. He was united in marriage to Inez Yuill on July 2, 1955 in Gilbert Plains. Upon graduating from the University of Manitoba, Ross worked in the Boyd Dispensary in Winnipeg for 2 years. With his wife and baby daughter, they moved to Minnedosa in 1957. Here, Ross began a life-long affiliation with the Kinsmen Clubs of Canada by joining the Minnedosa Kinsmen. He was contact man for the chartering of the Kinsmen Club of Gilbert Plains. He taught Sunday School, led a Tyro group, was President of the Red Cross and helped to start the first Red Cross Water Safety Program in Minnedosa. He was Chairman of the Parks Board when the lake area was cleared to begin what is now the Minnedosa Lake Resort. Upon leaving Minnedosa, Ross was presented with Honorary Citizenship of the Town of Minnedosa. In 1959, Ross and his family moved to Virden, where Ross worked for J. Higginbotham & Sons Pharmacy. He became deeply involved in Kinsmen works, and under his presidency, the Kinsmen with hammer, saw and sweat constructed a school for mentally handicapped children (one of the first of its kind in Canada). For this project, the Kinsmen club of Virden was awarded the Hal Rogers Service Shield for the best service project in Canada. The same year, Ross won the Kin Quill award for the best editorial in the national Kin magazine. Ross also played hockey, coached baseball and soccer, and taught Sunday School in Virden. In 1965, Ross and Inez purchased their first pharmacy in Cartwright, MB. Ross was instrumental in the formation of the Kinsmen Club of Cartwright, and as Charter president he guided the Club as they transformed a bush area by the river into a beautiful Kinsmen Park with swimming area, bathhouses, and large picnic grounds. For this endeavor they won the Kinsmen District 2 Shield for the best project in the District 2 area (which extends from Thunder Bay to the Saskatchewan border). Ross was on the Turtle Mountain School Board as a trustee, taught Sunday School and became the Mayor of Cartwright. He was the Centennial Chairman for both the 1967 and 1970 Centennials and a new park was developed at this time. During these years, Ross was coach or manager of many different minor teams and was Sports Editor for the Minor Hockey League for the local newspaper, the Southern Manitoba Review. He served as Secretary-Treasurer of the Cartwright Community Centre. In 1976, Ross was honoured at the 10th Anniversary of the Kinsmen Club of Cartwright as he was presented with a Life Membership in the Kinsmen Clubs of Canada. During his career in Kinsmen, Ross held all local club offices. In 1972, Ross and Inez moved to Grandview after purchasing the Pharmacy from Ed March. In 1981, they also purchased the Pharmacy in Gilbert Plains. Ross immediately became involved in community service in Grandview. He served on the board of the Grandview Personal Care Home, as Secretary/Treasurer of the Swimming Pool and was contact member in the Chartering of the Kinsmen Club of Grandview. He was involved with the Chamber of Commerce, Minor Hockey, Minor Ball, museum, church, school affairs, and the K-40 club in Gilbert Plains. Up until this spring, he was actively involved in skating, curling, and golfing, and could usually be seen briskly walking around town or cross country skiing down the river. He and Inez loved to travel and especially loved Mexico and the local friends that they made there. Many people will remember Ross as the "Bread Man" and there are probably not too many people in town who have not tasted his wares. Ross enjoyed playing cards, and contrary to what some members of his family might say, he is still the undisputed canasta champion. He also loved to garden and experiment with new ways to grow potatoes! Ross was a true philanthropist, gladly supporting any number of causes, no matter how big or how small, either monetarily or by the sweat of his brow, as he demonstrated during the Gilbert Plains golf course expansion and renovations. He lived by the creed "Light is the task when all share the toil". As a pharmacist, Ross never did retire. He was always actively involved in his chosen profession. Over his career, he served on the Manitoba Pharmaceutical Association board as a member of the Manitoba Drug Standards and Therapeutics Committee, was a Life Member of the Canadian Pharmacists Association, and a Life Member of the University of Manitoba Alumni Association and over the years has been a staunch supporter of all Pharmacy endeavors. In 1978, Ross was selected by his peers to be the recipient of the Robins Bowl of Hygeia as Pharmacist of the Year. This is a prestigious award within the pharmacy profession and is awarded to a pharmacist on the basis of community involvement and volunteerism. In April of 2004, Ross was awarded his 50-year pin, celebrating half a century as a licensed pharmacist in Manitoba. His love of his profession certainly rubbed off on his children, as all three became pharmacists. He dispensed his knowledge and advice professionally but often with a touch of humour that made him the extraordinary character that he was. He was very proud of his children and grandchildren, always encouraging and supporting their endeavours. He made time out of his often busy schedule to attend as many of their special events as possible. A Celebration of Rosss Life was held on Thursday, September 23, 2004 at 2:00 p.m. from Grandview United Church, with Rev. David Barrows and Mrs. Peggy Barrows officiating with a private interment to follow. Our family would like to thank all the friends and family who supported them through this very difficult time. We are very, very grateful to Dr. J. Elliott and Dr. R. Fourie who were very open with us and included and guided us in the decision making process. We are also very grateful to the nursing staff that gave Ross such excellent and compassionate care while in the Hospital and made him and us as comfortable as possible. Thanks also to all other hospital staff and to Sheila Kringle our community health nurse for their fine care. As an expression of sympathy, in lieu of flowers, donations may be made to The Grandview and District New Community Hall, C/O The Kinsmen Club of Grandview, Box 622, Grandview, MB ROL OYO. Letters of Condolence to the family may be forwarded to Nairn-Chyz Funeral Home Entrusted With Arrangements Roblin, MB (204) 937-2111

As published in Winnipeg Free Press on Sep 24, 2004

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