Arnold Ivar Fonos, dear husband, father, brother, grandfather and friend, fell asleep in death on Monday, May 21, 2019 in Shellbrook Hospital, he was 78 years old.
Arnold was born a few miles north of Big River to Ivar and Mary Fonos, the 4th of 6 children. From there he would walk to school in town. His family moved around the area a little, but Big River was always home. From an early age he worked with his dad and his brothers and learned to cut and haul wood sometimes sitting on a stack of pillows to see over the steering wheel. He also learned how to trap and sell hides.
In 1958 he and several others from Big River made the long journey by train to New York City to attend the International Convention of Jehovah’s Witnesses. What memories he had, that small-town boy in a huge city! There he was baptized in the Atlantic Ocean with over 7000 others. That decision shaped his life for the next 62 years.
Arnold worked on road construction in different parts of Saskatchewan, then he got a job as Towerman on Bodmin Hill. He met and soon married the love of his life, Jean Kulick in 1964. Soon they started a family and bought the home quarter. Their five children grew up there and learned the value of hard work, and the rewards after. Dad always made sure we had fun, he bought us bikes and toboggans, and pushed snow to make hills for us to play on. He made a ball diamond in our yard and would often play ball with us, and always made time to take us swimming at the end of a hard day’s work. Keeping our faith strong was a big part of the family’s life. We attended meetings at the Big River Kingdom Hall. We enjoyed traveling to conventions as a family. Dad showed us that this was a priority. He served as an elder for many years.
He worked at various jobs over the years, besides farming he worked at logging, campground maintenance, then SERM as an Initial Attack fire fighter.
Dad had many hobbies, he loved taking pictures, and filled many albums over the years. He appreciated history and setting up museums. You can visit one he worked on at the old tree nursery site (now SERM) west of town. His family and ours were musical. Dad could sing many old country hits, like “Strawberry Roam” and “Old Red”, while mom played guitar. We have many fond memories of sing-alongs.
He was a generous, honest, helpful, and a true friend to many. He had a great sense of humour. He loved nature and visiting with friends. His wife and children were very important to him.
Above all he was a Witness for his God Jehovah. He loved to talk about the Bible and the hope it holds out to us. He was convinced that we will see him again, alive and well in the beautiful new world to come as the Bible promises.
Arnold is lovingly survived by his wife, Jean Fonos (nee: Kulick) of Big River, SK; his children, Darry (Kella) of Saskatoon, SK; Darwin (Tyla) of North Battleford, SK, and children Trapheana and Nekoda; Glenda (Tom) of Esterhazy, SK; Derek of Big River, SK, and children Anastasia, Ryley, MacKenzie, Tyria, and Landon; Heidi (Jeremy) of Regina, SK and son, Mika; his siblings, Karen Henderson of Prince Albert, SK; Paul (Ellen) Fonos of Big River, SK; Otto Fonos of Big River, SK; as well as numerous nieces, nephews and other relatives and friends. Arnold was predeceased by his parents, Ivar and Mary Fonos; his brother, John Fonos; his sister, and Naomi Letandre.
A Celebration of Life was held for Arnold on Friday, May 24, 2019 at 2:00 pm from the Big River Community Hall. Family and friends wishing to send online condolences are welcome to visit www.beaulacfuneralhome.com Arrangements have been entrusted to the care of Beau “Lac” Funeral Home, Tammy Smart, Director, Big River 306-469-2277.