Thomas Samuel Heape- February 24, 1940- September 27, 2020
Tom passed away peacefully at his home with family by his side after a lengthy illness.
He is lovingly remembered by his wife and best friend of 56 years Carol, his two children Kim (Cy), and Kelly (Anisa), and his two grandchildren Emily & Rylan Heape.
He was predeacesed by his parents Olive and Sam Heape and siblings Mabel Baker, Dave Heape, and Wayne Heape. He is survived by his sister Kathy Church (Al), and sisters in law Evelyn Heape and Linda Heape as well as many cousins, nieces and nephews.
Tom was born in Birch River during the post depression era, his family returned to their homestead area in the Deleau/Hartney district in the mid 40's where Tom lived and worked until leaving home to begin a life in construction.
In the late 50's Tom began a long and distinguished career with Ducks Unlimited Canada. Tom was a very skillful and innovative construction builder, leading many projects for DUC from the early 60's into the 2000's.
Tom worked on projects for DUC across Western Canada and as far north as Churchill. When DUC set up a permanent office in The Pas in the early 60's this became his home base shortly after he met Carol (Kostyk).
Tom and Carol were married in 1964 and settled in The Pas. Tom used much of his time away from work to build and improve the homes he and Carol undertook as well as those of Carol's and his parents. In the later years Tom and Carol developed their current homestead on Watchi Bay.
Often Tom's work with DUC took him away from home for lengthy periods of time- a significant sacrifice staying on site away from his family.
Tom always had time for a friend who may drop in, and always included the kids.Tom enjoyed leisure time outdoors whether it be boating, a hunt or day of fishing. A favourite past time was smoking fish.
Tom was known for his love of nature and wildlife. He was an avid naturalist and bird watcher.
Those that knew Tom well can reminisce about him holding court or having a "short"debate whether at the office, in the boat, at friends or family. He also loved to have "discussions" while sharing a beer, rum, or rye. Tom's approach to life was to be in good spirits and optimistic about the day at hand.
Tom was willing to take on any challenge, his approach was through persistence and patience, and was respected by all those he worked with and for. He didn't dwell on the negative instead injecting his witty sense of humour to situations.
Tom was kind hearted and very generous with his time for anyone in need.
When DUC's most senior staff and his respected colleagues made a dedication to Tom's life's work in 2007 the words that held true were his constant ability to adapt, find solutions, hard work, and dedication.
Tom retired in 1995 then continued with DUC for several more years as a Construction Consultant. In retirement Tom and Carol became welcoming hosts at "Watchi Bay B&B".
Tom's legacy can be seen in the work he carried out, the way he carried himself, and the long standing relationships he built with friends, family, and co-workers all who he considered friends.
He always believed he was shaped by those around him and at his dedication said "I got to work with so many great people...in the end that is what mattered most."
The passing of men like Tom is the end of an era.
The family would like to extend thanks to:
•Dr. Marie Noel for her care for Tom these past many years
•The Pas Community Cancer Care Program team
•The Norman RHA Palliative Care team
•The St. Anthony's Hospital Auxiliary Health staff
• The St.Anthony's Hospital Lab and x-ray staff
•Cancer Care Manitoba, Winnipeg team
A celebration of Tom's life will take place in 2021.
In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to:
Manitoba Ducks Unlimited Canada, Box 1160, Stonewall, Manitoba, R0C 2Z0 or to a charity of choice would be appreciated by Tom’s family.
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