Herb Shier passed away peacefully at 94 years old at RUH. The last weeks of his life he was surrounded with music he loved and his family. He loved the phone calls from family and friends that brightened his days as they shared memories and shenanigans of fun times together. He was predeceased 4 years ago by Gudrun, his wife of 60 years, and son Dean. He is survived by his daughters Donna (Tim) Korol, Pat (Denis Chalifour), Peggy and Joanne, grandchildren Julie (Neil) MacKenzie, Steven (Kerri) Korol, Christine Korol, Kevin (Kristyn) Korol, Alex, Nicole (Ricky Kawa), and Jocelyne Chalifour, Jordan and Tyson Shier and 7 great grand children.
Herb was born at a farm just south of Colonsay, attended school in Colonsay and farmed in the community for 70 years - with his brother Max for 50 years and another 20 years after Max retired. Herb told stories of taking the train to hockey games, playing baseball, and attending nearly 100 dances in a year. Herb seemed to know someone in every town. And he loved being the fun uncle known as ‘Good Old Uncle Herb’.
His children have great memories of him playing ball in the back yard, building toboggan runs and dog houses, burning sloughs, him bringing them bunnies, baby skunks, and bats to admire and Herb being a sports cheerleader. He is remembered as a fantastic dancer, who often sprinkled the dance wax while dancing, a jokester and an instigator – whether it was painting cows or carving in fresh sidewalks.
He married Gudrun Franson in 1957 and built a home where they raised their five children. Together they shared a love of nature, family, and dancing – sometimes hitting both a square dance and social on the same night. They loved to travel, especially with extended family and to see relatives in Western Canada or the USA. Herb and Gudrun’s circle of friends included friends from Colonsay and couples they met through 50 years of square dancing, The Scandinavian Club and as ‘groupies’ to the Frank Ball Orchestra.
Throughout his life, Herb was a fixture in Colonsay with his volunteering and how proud he was of his hometown – whether it was painting lines in the rink when he was a teenager, being MC at many community events, secretary treasurer on the Hall Committee, on the Co-op Board and Chairman of Federated meetings, United Church Board, manager for the Colonsay Monarch’s senior hockey team, and working hundreds of Rec Board Bingos. He was particularly dedicated to the Rec Board from being on the committee that built the swimming pool, the golf course and helping to build the new rink. Twice he donated the use of land for the community to use for its Rec Board fundraising. In 2018 he received the Governor General ‘s Sovereign Medal for Volunteers.
Herb loved to be at the farm and would always find things to do, plus he watched baseball and curling, and read farming magazines. He continued to watch the local hockey teams. Playing cards and pool with the Colonsay Seniors were fun times. In 2016 he and Gudrun moved to Saskatoon following her terminal cancer diagnosis. He enjoyed the social activities and friendships at Preston Park 2 and loved his outings to the farm and to see the crops. The last year’s Covid restrictions were particularly hard for Herb who was a social guy.
Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to Saskatoon Funeral Home, 306-244-5577. Due to the Covid restrictions in place, the service will be held on Saturday, May 1 at 1:30 p.m. with the service broadcast live and for later viewing at www.saskatoonfuneralhome.com . Interment will be at the Colonsay Cemetery that afternoon. In lieu of flowers donations to two of Herb’s favorite organizations would be appreciated: Operation Smile Canada (www.operationsmile.ca) or the Colonsay Rec Board (Box244, Colonsay SOK OZO).
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