Born In: Elrose, Saskatchewan, Canada
Born: April 11th, 1943
Passed in: Kyle, Saskatchewan, Canada
Passed on: January 24th, 2012
Tunnes Philip Josdal was born April 11, 1943, to Hans and Kathleen (Jagow) Josdal in the Elrose Hospital, and passed away suddenly at home in Kyle on January 24, 2012. He was predeceased by his parents, Hans (1979) and Kathleen (2001), and two infant grandchildren, Adam and Sarah Norleen. Tunnes will be dearly missed by daughter Carline Norleen and family – husband Darin, children Josh and Emily; and son Travis and family – wife Karin, children Stevie Ruecker (Dan), Tor, Bryn, Erik and Asher; as well as great-grandchildren, Lincoln and Georgia Rae Ruecker. Also left to cherish the memories are brothers Tyrone (Kathryn Knox) and Kordell (Brenda Fredrickson), and their children, Tylan (Veronica) & family and Trina (Joel Puetz), Matthew and Dylan.
Tunnes grew up on the family farm SW of Elrose, and from an early age enjoyed operating anything with wheels. It started with the tricycle that needed to be ridden on only two wheels, and progressed to anything with a motor. His innate spirit of adventure led him to become a top notch aerobatic pilot and instructor.
Tunnes lived to fly. Over the course of a long and successful flying career, he logged over 20,000 flying hours, equivalent to over two full years, in the air. His charter passengers included some very famous people such as Neil Armstrong, Buffy St. Marie, and Bing Crosby. He also taught literally hundreds of people to fly at satellite schools all over the province; he was a patient instructor skilled at building his students’ abilities and confidence. He did years of surveys for the Dept. of Natural Resources, and ultimately became Chief Pilot for Prairie Flying in Regina.
Tunnes’s flying interest inspired his two brothers to follow in his footsteps. He and Kordell joined forces in Hawkair Aviation, a flying school and crop spraying company, and later all three brothers formed Josdal Camps, fly-in fishing camps in Northern Saskatchewan.
After a critical accident took away Tunnes’s ability to fly, he translated his precise operating skills to farm equipment when he worked for the Downton brothers of Wilcox for several years. That was followed by employment with the RM of Lacadena. He took great pride in perfecting the grade on “his”roads.
Tunnes’s love of animals meant that every dog in the country knew the sound of his voice. He was never without dog treats and often also had a bag of carrots to share with the horses.
Few people have met the number of interesting people or had the number of fascinating experiences that Tunnes did. Gatherings of family or friends would find him regaling us with tales of adventures that we could only dream of.
Tunnes: an adventurous and independent soul, a storyteller extraordinaire. With love, we’ll be watching the skies, and maybe, just maybe, catch a glimpse of a shiny wing, at last in flight again.