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Isaiah Gillard

Isaiah Gillard

Born In: Mozart, Saskatchewan, Canada
Born: January 29th, 1919

Passed in: Duncan, British Columbia, Canada
Passed on: January 23rd, 2011

ISAIAH RAYMOND GILLARD JANUARY 29, 1919 - JANUARY 23, 2011 "Drop a pebble in the water: just a splash, and it is gone; But there's half-a-hundred ripples circling on and on and on..." With heavy hearts we announce Ike's passing on January 23, 2011 in Duncan B.C. He was the last surviving member of a close-knit family of 6 brothers and 1 sister (Harold, Robert, Alfred, John, William and Susan). Ike and his twin brother William (Bill) were born on January 29, 1919 in Mozart, Saskatchewan to Frederick and Selina Gillard. Trials and hardships were suffered by many in rural Saskatchewan and Ike's family was not spared. In the fall of 1918, the great flu epidemic struck and Ike's father, Frederick, was a victim three months before the birth of his twin boys. Ike & Bill never met their father and his dear mother was left with 6 young boys and a farm to take care of. The work was heavy and the burden of stooking, milking, and feeding livestock fell on the whole family for the next few years until Ike's mother remarried in 1925 to "Mr Hill." He helped lessen the burden but he ruled the household with stern discipline and structure. In January 1926, Ike's one and only sister was born and became the pride and joy of the family. Unfortunately, 3 years later she contracted spinal meningitis and died a few days later, creating a huge void and causing deep sadness in the family. In early 1934, Ike & his brother completed their formal education and entered the workforce for the first time. They each earned $1.50 - $2.00 per day, pitching bundles from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. The depression had arrived and affected everyone. Later in 1934, due to hard times - the family relocated from Mozart to the Yorkton area to a more productive farm. It was here in 1938 that a tragic but pivotal accident involving a feed cutter occurred, causing Ike to lose most of his left hand. This ended his days as a farm worker and any prospect of going off to war with his twin brother. It was during the healing process that it dawned on him that the shortest route back to independence was to go back to school. This led him to attending Teacher's College in Saskatoon and in 1942 he received his first teaching position in the Loon Lake area. His salary was $800.00 per year. In 1944, Ike obtained his second teaching position in the Crystal Springs area, where he taught until his retirement in 1975. In 1973, he married Bertha Halldorson (nee Dupont) and purchased a quarter-section farmstead east of Crystal Springs. The marriage brought Ike into a ready-made family situation. He was now the father figure of a young 9 year old son (Gregory) whom he soon adopted and he became the family's true foundation to the rest of Greg's older siblings: Leonore, Viola, Garry, Brad, Dorann & Dale who resided on Vancouver Island. In 1985, Ike & Bertha decided to move closer to the multiplying grandchildren and moved to a small acreage in the Cobble Hill area where they resumed their passion for gardening while enjoying the closeness of family. Sadly, in 1991 Ike lost the love of his life to cancer. Bertha was 71. Although, the void was felt by everyone, Ike remained in Cobble Hill where he continued to live on his own filling his days by joining a weekly curling club - where he participated until his mid-eighties. He kept himself strong and agile by chopping & piling the countless cords of wood that were brought to him by his step-sons. He loved his Blue Jays and Roughriders and he enjoyed welcoming anyone who came to visit - be it complete strangers trying to sell him something, or save his soul or the many charities that came calling. The coffee pot never seemed to have a bottom and the conversation often revolved around politics, religion or sports and he loved debating anyone about the events of the day. Ike's true legacy will be the respect he had for everyone and the integrity he exemplified to his family. His kindness was reflected in his smile. Ike passed away peacefully January 23, 2011 in Cowichan District Hospital. "...They keep spreading, spreading, spreading from the center as they go, And there is no way to stop them, once you've started them to flow. "Ike - you will be missed by all who knew you. Your legacy will live on. Predeceased by his wife Bertha, stepdaughter Viola, stepson Garry, stepdaughter Leonore and 4 grandchildren. Survived by his son Greg (Becca); stepson Dale (Shannon); stepson Bradley; stepdaughter Dorann (Allan); 15 grandchildren and 11 great grandchildren. A "Celebration of Life" will be held at the Kerry Park Recreation Center, (Mill Bay - Shawnigan Lake Road), Mill Bay, B.C. on February 19, 2011 from 1pm - 4pm. In lieu of flowers, your thoughtfulness & generosity can be directed to the Cowichan District Hospital Foundation: www.cdhfoundation.org Online condolences may be offered at www.sandsfuneral.com


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