Breen Laird Eldon Ouellette
It is with deep sadness that the family of Breen Ouellette Sr. announces his sudden and unexpected passing on December 29, 2020, in Prince Albert, SK. He was 79 years old.
Breen was born in Sherridon, MB on August 8, 1941, and lived in The Pas, MB for most of his childhood. Breen was active in hockey, baseball, boxing, and Air Cadets, but he was most proud of his family’s reputation as competitive dog sled racers. His father, Laird, was the winner of the World Champion Dog Race at the Northern Manitoba Trappers’ Festival in 1950 and 1959. His mother, Marie, known in the papers as the “Galloping Granny”, was the first woman to complete that same race in the 1950s. Breen told many stories about growing up in The Pas, caring for the family’s large pack of race dogs, and his father’s work as a railroad fireman and train engineer.
At 18 years old, Breen left home to work at the mine in Thompson, MB, where an apprenticeship started him down the career path of a Red Seal industrial electrician. Breen pursued other work and business opportunities at various times during his life, including door-to-door vacuum sales in Saskatchewan and operating a bowling alley with his brother Réal in Dauphin, MB. From the early 1980s until his retirement in 2004, Breen worked at the Prince Albert Pulp and Paper Mill. He was a staunch union supporter and counted many friends among the members of the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union, Local 1120.
Breen was an enthusiastic hunter of big game and fowl. He also loved fishing with friends and family, just as long as they stayed on the lake until everyone caught their daily limit. He was a competitive and skilled Master Bowler, and he enjoyed weightlifting, water skiing, renovating houses, and breathing new life into discarded items and broken machines. Breen was nicknamed “Magic”, a nod to his uncanny ability to fix and repurpose anything. He shared this aptitude with his father.
In retirement, Breen spent much of his time with friends and family. He was often visiting over coffee, helping people with home repairs, or at the ANAVETS Unit 222. He was also a devout Roman Catholic and attended church every Sunday. The pandemic restrictions were not easy for Breen, so he made the best of it by phoning members of his large extended family every day. His hearing loss sometimes made those calls frustrating for both sides of the conversation, and he sometimes forgot that many of us still had jobs during the day, but he kept calling and we kept answering.
He will be ever remembered and loved by his four children: Breen Jr. (Cammy) Ouellette; Dan (Jodee and children Hannah, Lucas, and Madison) Ouellette; Marie (Justen and children Adora and Cassiopeia) Rokstad; and Stephen Ouellette. He is survived by his sister Jackie (Terry) Meek; his brother Réal (Patricia) Ouellette; his numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins; and his former spouse and mother of their children, Kathy Donahue. He was predeceased by his parents Laird and Marie Ouellette; siblings Loretta Ouellette, Robin Ouellette, and Joyce Hiatt; brother-in-law George Hiatt; niece Gail Cameron; and nephews Grant Davey and Laird Ouellette.
Breen is fondly remembered as a proud and loving father, loyal to his family and friends, and generously giving of his time to his children, nieces, and nephews. He was dedicated to passing on his knowledge and skills for the benefit of future generations of the family. His stubbornness and insistence that he knew better than the rest of us, while sometimes irritating, was rooted in his desire to help us avoid the mistakes made during his own life. And if we’re being honest, he was correct more often than not!
Ever remembered, ever loved.
Breen’s funeral mass will be held in mid-February. Physical attendance is not possible due to considerations related to the pandemic. To accommodate Breen’s many relatives and friends, the funeral will also be live streamed. Requests for access to the live stream must be sent via email to firstname.lastname@example.org and received no later than February 10, 2021.
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, Marianne Turcotte, Funeral Director, Prince Albert, SK 306-763-3322.
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