From eulogies given by his son, Doug, and daughter, Bobbi, and two grand-
Life is not about the beginning or the end, it is the in between that counts.
Dad was born in 1926 to Alex and Laura Weir of Aberdeen, Saskatchewan. A family of 4 boys and a girl, Dad is predeceased by his parents, sister Madge and Brother Maurice; Dads older brother Walter and Hazel live in Regina and his younger brother Malcolm and Ingrid live in Saskatoon. The four boys started training early in life helping others, all of the boys have recollections of planting and hilling and digging massive amounts of potato’s in the 1930’s to take wagon loads to town to give to those that didn’t have.
Dad went to school in Aberdeen; he was good at school and sports but I don’t think it would be a stretch to say that Glenn was a bit of a handful. Gramma Weir finally burnt his hand with a hot poker from the fire because there was just no other way he would learn not to play with fire. Dad knew he had a “bit” of a stubborn streak, he once lamented that he didn’t ever remember saying sorry to his mom when he was a child, if he was sent to bed without supper until he apologized – he just didn’t have supper that night. Gramma once said “if all I do is keep that boy out of jail, I will feel that I have done my job”. It was off to the Ontario Veterinary College in 1945, where I think he may have been the youngest in his year as most of the class had just returned from the war. Dad played university hockey, weighing 120 pounds; I think he was a skater not a tough guy. Most of the stories I remember are of big guys protecting him. You will notice on the slide show that occasionally someone caught up with him and roughed him up.
He and Uncle Frank Creech were in the same vet class. Dad told me a story of a summer entomology project where they were supposed to gather insects throughout the summer and identify them by genus and species. Dad spent a lot of time that summer, gathering insects, making a display case and labelling. Uncle Frank on the other hand caught his bugs around the vet school a couple days before classes started and put them in jars with labels. They both ended up with the same result, a Veterinary Degree in 1949. Dad and Frank became brother in laws on July 8th 1950 when mom and dad were married. One of Dad’s requests was to mention that he considered Uncle Frank to be a very influential person in his life. He always talked of Frank’s natural born amazing intelligence. Being a prisoner of war gave Uncle Frank a different perspective as to what was really important in life, and Dad respected that. Auntie Gertie and Uncle Frank were a very important part of our lives.
Following graduation from Veterinary College Dad went back home to Aberdeen to start his veterinary career. During this first year he contracted “undulant fever” from a cow that had Brucellosis. This disease is serious and it threatened to end his career. Dad went to work at the provincial pathology lab in Edmonton for 2 years. Dad used to say that in hindsight undulant fever was one of the best things that ever happened to him. It gave him the opportunity to work with an amazing group of veterinarians who became lifelong friends and if he had not gone to Edmonton, he likely would never have ended up in Lloydminster. Dad came to Lloyd in February of 1952 to start back into rural veterinary practice; apparently the initial plan was to stay for 1 year. In the early days it was all about farm animals, everyone had cows, chickens, pigs and a milk cow – this combination gave him the opportunity to meet pretty much everyone in the area. The amazing thing about Dad was that the farm animal focus didn’t stop him from having compassion for pets, especially if some young boy or girl would show up at our door with and injured bird or something. The youngster would always leave feeling better knowing the best would be done to care for the animal. Now I can remember a personal story where the young boy wasn’t so happy – it was me. I wanted to keep a young abandoned pup that arrived at the clinic. Following examination, Dad revealed that the pup had deformed ears and that we probably shouldn’t keep the poor little thing – it was many years later that I found out all newborn puppies have ears that look deformed.
Early veterinary practice was long hours and hard work but dad loved it. Providing service was his passion, sick or tired, day or night he would be there. In the 50’s, 60’s and even 70’s it was common for Dad to hire foreign graduates (mostly South African) that would come and work for him for 1 or 2 years for a Canadian experience, and a Canadian experience they would get. Minus 40 Fahrenheit, driving Volkswagens with lousy heaters and working their tail off – wow what great times they had. Work hard, play hard and practical jokes – what could be better. One of the South African vets was cornered by Gene Till made up as a crazy “rabbit lady” on his second day of work at the clinic. Gene came rushing in the door looking like a gypsy screaming to save her dying rabbit – everyone knew she was coming and left the poor newbie to fend for himself. The rabbit had obviously been dead for days but Gene put the new guy through the ropes crying that he can’t be dead, you must save him. After an Oscar winning performance by Gene eventually the rest of the crew came out of hiding and gave the new vet a warm welcome. Mom and Dad were the victims of practical jokes as well. In the 60’s Nelson Lumber used to have the fall “Round Up Sale” and each year they would raffle off a cow and calf and usually they would have it on display at the lumber yard. Well one year the South African vets decided to steal the cow and calf and put it our back yard – then they proceeded to call the police. The police of course played along to add to the hoax. They seemed to find time for fun no matter how busy they were, and that philosophy has stayed with Dad throughout his life.
Along the same philosophy was his positive attitude. You have all heard him respond to “how are you today? With a SUPER DELUXE”. His most recent favorite response was “living the dream”. When Dad asked “how are you” and the response was “not bad” – Dad would continue asking “how are you?” “How are you?” until your response hopefully changed to “pretty good” – then Dad would say – There I just made you change from not bad to pretty good – and all at no charge.
Dad’s life wasn’t a bowl of cherries every day, but he was a master at making the general public think life was always super, but there was more to it than that. Mom and Dad had a very difficult time having Bobbi, Scott and the grandkids so far away. Dad being “the helper or the fixer of all problems” really agonized at not being there to help with everyday problems. He was very good at talking on the phone, but there are some things that just need to be done face to face. With Dads near “addiction” for children, it was very stressful to have his grandkids so far away – he was so appreciative that they made the huge effort to come and spend as much time as possible here every summer. Mom and Dad went to Australia for Christmas as often as they could. The reverse of course is true as well; it was very difficult for them to be so far away from Mom and Dad, especially when there were troubles.
I used to think that Dad was compassionate almost to a fault; he would fret and worry about other people’s problems for days wondering how he could help. Sometimes it used to frustrate us, but it was that never ending compassion for other people that gave him his absolute 24/7 love for life. That’s not to say that he was always happy and never depressed; but in the end he always came back to the belief of “how fortunate he was”. Life was never about the kind of car he drove or the house he had; it was always only about the people. Dad has affected more people on a personal level than anyone I know. Even the trips to far off lands were just another way to meet and enjoy more people. Dad especially loved the flying trips that they did in their plane, Mom maybe not quite as much. They made flights to Las Vegas, Florida and of course all around the prairies. Dad’s flying nickname was “One Cloud No Go” – so you knew that it was pretty unlikely Dad was going to fly you into bad weather. I looked out this morning on clear skies and knew he would be flying.
There are people that truly affected Dads life as well. Jack Allen was one of those people that had an incredible influence in Dad’s life; he was unquestionably Dads best lifelong friend. Dad lost mom and Jack within a period of 6 weeks, it was just about more than he could handle. I know that Dad and Jack had many serious “life discussions”. However my recollection of Dad and Jack is that at age 70, they were still like a couple of school boys giggling like they had just put a snake in the teacher’s desk. Jack and Dad used to fly around the country with Dad in a 1946 Aeronca airplane on skis. One time Dad recalled that Jack was running along beside the plane pushing it in the snow trying to get it going fast enough to take off and Jack yelled at Dad “Doc you better wind up the elastic band a bit tighter or we aren’t going to make it over the fence”. Dad and Jack were also well known for the odd squawk of a clarinet while playing in the civic band – I don’t think the squawk was so bad it was the 5 minutes of giggling that caused the disruption. I want to tell you one of my favourite stories of Jack and Dad (and it is probably my favorite because I was there). It starts with Dads purchase of fake vomit and Jack arriving to our house in a new suit. Jack was showing off his new suit and Dad saw opportunity. Immediately Dad started playing up how he wasn’t feeling well and his stomach was upset, he was pacing around the room retching. Every time he got near Jack he kind of wiggled back in the chair. Well eventually after a masterful act, Dad retched and dropped the vomit on the lap of Jack’s new suit. Those of you that knew Jack know that swearing wasn’t his thing, but he might have let one slip that day. Needless to say when Jack stood up, the vomit slipped off of the new Jacket on to the floor and the tears of laughter started to roll.
I am sure of no surprise to anyone, the top of the list for influential people was the love of his life, mom. Her huge smile, the ability to change plans at the drop of a hat, her love of travel and her absolutely amazing will to live kept Dad on track. Mom was the constant, Dad’s rock to cling too on both a business and personal level. Speaking of keeping Dad on track, we all know that was a challenge. Did you ever watch him in a restaurant; he couldn’t sit in his chair more than a minute before he was up visiting someone else. I was talking to a veterinarian that had worked for Dad in the 70’s and we were reminiscing about how Dad was a real go getter, never sitting still and he said jokingly “well you know your Dad really should have been on Ritalin years ago!”
Thirteen South African veterinarians and 27 Volkswagens resulted in a lot of memories. Les Ellis was Dad’s number one man through a lot of those years. Dad said he never had anyone work as hard day in a day out and willing to drop everything to help out whenever Mom or Dad had a crisis. Les and Joan are very special people.
Don Purser and Pat Skinner have made an incredible difference to Dad’s life since mom passed away. Pat and Dad spent many hours together, sharing coffee or a meal or just watching TV. Dad so appreciated your honesty and compassion, you have shared a lot of laughter and I am sure tears as well. Don Purser can be credited for Dad’s recent title of “Gigolo”. Don convinced Dad to go with him as a social host on the cruise ships. The two of them travelled the high seas for 5 years and cruised all over the world. Dad loved to return home and brag of the numerous proposals for marriage as a result of his good looks and amazing dance steps.
Dad and I were so fortunate to travel to South Africa this past December, we went to a wedding and travelled around spending a lot of time reliving the old days with veterinarians who worked with Dad; and boy did we relive those memories, it was wonderful. After South Africa Dad went to have Christmas with Bobbi in Australia. Then Dad arranged a trip for all of us to Maui – his kids, grandkids, and great grandkids we all had a wonderful holiday and we are so appreciative of that. Dad’s last trip was a few weeks ago when he and Pat went to Tucson to visit one of his best friends from vet school. Dad truly had a great year.
Back to my comment earlier about Dads near addiction to little kids – I should explain that age didn’t matter, Dad found youth in general to be a breath of fresh air. He loved to see his 6 grandkids together like our Hawaii trips – they were carefree, laughing, teasing, full of fun and jokes. He always said they were like a group of cub bears wrestling and jostling – He will miss that! He was so incredibly proud of his grandkids; they are all educated, polite, well-
Debbie and I were so fortunate to be a part of Mom and Dad’s everyday routine life; we were able to enjoy just everyday ordinary things, not just special events. Having Dad nearby to discuss life and veterinary medicine was just something I expected to have. I will miss that. When gramma and grandpa Weir lived in Saskatoon I would often stop in on my way home from Vet School and grandpa would often pour me a wee dram much to gramma’ s dismay she would say “ Alec the boys got to study” – I would usually go home and fall asleep rather than study. Well Dad and I had that same “drop-
The Candy Man … Lloydminster’s sugar diabetes score should drop a few points over the next year. I thought I should contact Wal-
Unknown to most, but Dad had a solid relationship with God. I’m certain that relationship was always present, but it became more apparent in the later years. Once when mom was very sick in Australia, the Doctor said to Dad “Mr. Weir if you have the ability to call on a higher power you had better do it now, because man alone is not going to save Kathleen”. Mom was asking for a cup of tea 3 days later and lived for a lot of years after that day. Dad will be truly missed not only by his family, but by his Lloydminster community, his veterinary community and his community of worldwide friends. Once again life is not about the beginning or the end, it is the in between that counts … And Boy Did He Ever Make It Count ….. Don’t cry because it is over, Smile because it happened!
Eulogy by Bobbi Weir Tinson
What a ride, what a life.
We all receive traits from our parents and it looks like I got the talking gene from my dad. Those of you who know me well are probably looking at their watch thinking they'll be lucky to get out by dinner time. My dad always taught us to take the high road in life, to always try to be a better person and to live within your means. Dad believed there was always something to be thankful for. According to Buddha our life is a creation of our mind. My dad loved life and he had a saying that every morning if you saw your reflection in the mirror it was a great day.
Pat Skinner and I often would chat with Dad about the inherent nature of man. Dad believed that inside everyone was a good person and could not comprehend any different perspective. How could everyone not like each other? That is the way he approached life, always seeing the good in people. I believe my dad touched everyone he met in a positive way. Dad was a life force, in my life, and many others. As my dear friend Betty Allen eloquently put it, he belonged to everyone.
Dad loved to talk to everyone and I mean everyone. He was a very compassionate man. He loved veterinary medicine and his family. My dad loved his grandchildren and would do anything to entertain them. Mom used to say he'd stand on his head until it was flat if he could. Everyone was important to him and had a story to tell and he was there to listen.
In the days before mobile phones, internet etc. Dad would leave on a call in the morning and mom would answer calls in the office. Dad would check in with her and drive to the next farm, then the next, then the next, eating his way around the country side, especially sweets. And man could he eat. His clients loved to feed him and as dad would say “its the best I ever had”. My dad did things fast, and people that worked with him would tease him and say “where is the fire Glenn.” Well I guess the fire was within him, to be and do the best he could.
It wasn't always smooth sailing with my dad and I. As Dr Phil said we're both right fighters and we both wanted to have the last word. Dad was a gifted athlete, and he expected the same of me. He would make a rink in the backyard every winter and tie my skates so tight so that I'd cry. Then he'd say “push your knees out, you're skating like a girl”. Softball season would come along, now I threw like a girl! Thank heavens for Doug. He skated and threw a ball like a boy. I could relax. Dad was a regular boy scout, he was prepared for anything and everything. In the trunk of his car was always ski-
I was born between calving season and lets not forget the Lloyd bull sale. We lived ate and breathed veterinary medicine and I loved it. From 9 months of age my dad would take me on calls and candy and pop were the diet of the day. A barb wire fence was a great place to hang me in my old car seat while he attended to a cow. When I was about two, I started having nightmares about cows. Dad figured it must have had something to do with the time I was left alone in the VW asleep only to wake to a bunch of cows licking every window as if the car was a giant salt block. Good thing there was no child protection services those days.
My fondest memories of dad are going on calls with him, and it wasn't because I got to eat all the candy. When I was about 10, I went out to a calving with dad in the dead of winter, it was freezing. Dad was resuscitating the calf and then the cow started pushing her uterus out. Dad yelled “get your mitts off, put your hands on the rear end and push”. Thank god he didn't tell me I pushed like a girl, I'll tell you that was the warmest my hands had been all day! It was one of my proudest moments, because I was really helping him. Dad always tried to make Doug and I believe veterinary medicine was fun, whether it be cleaning the kennels or holding a tail, it was important, and a job well done is its own reward.
Growing up with dad was like being caught in a whirlwind and if wasn't a whirlwind he made it that way. Everything needed to be quick and efficient, no one needed more than 4 hours sleep in a night, come on you're a Weir! Patience was not his greatest virtue but BOY could he make things happen. Mom said she never knew what real work was until she met my dad. He was born with a strong Scottish work ethic and pretty much strong everything, as were his brothers Walt, Maurice and Malcolm. Dad and Walt always looked forward to joining Malcolm for harvest each year. What a lot of laughs they had. It's amazing he ever got anywhere as he always let people in front when he was in a line, Mom and Aunty Ingrid used to say that he and his brother Malcolm would always say excuse me and sorry in the line up and let others go first.
He and his great friend Jack Allen could laugh for hours. Elaine and mom never knew what made those two tick but they didn't care.
When dad took all 13 of us to Maui this January, I would see him on the balcony looking over us with pride, like the Lion King. One of my favorite stories is when on the family flight to Hawaii last year, Michelle looked over to see dad with a neck brace on, back brace on, and Forest Gump knee brace and said 'how are you grandpa', to which he replied '110%!!!'. Everything was mind over matter with dad, in fact we were never allowed to be anything less than 110%. I received an email from a very good friend, Greg Zinter where he reflected on the many conversations they’d had and how he would miss the world …..According to Glenn. I think we will all miss the world according to Glenn.
Eulogy by his Grandkids Lauren Weir and Alistair Tinson
We’ve always felt we were lucky to have Lloydminster’s candy man as a Grandpa, growing up it felt like it was Halloween everyday and as a kid it doesn’t get much better than that. We also feel lucky that despite the thousands of pounds of chocolate we have consumed over the years, we're not all obese.....yet. But if we do gain a few extra pounds it’s most likely the dryer shrinking our clothes.....well at least that’s what grandpa would blame it on.
Being Lloydminster’s candy man does come along with some pre-
# 1 – you must be fully stocked with candy at all times, don’t dare leave the house without your candy bag
# 2 – Explain to all consumers that chocolate contains zero calories, it is good for you and is best eaten BEFORE supper
# 3 – you must be able to eat 3 Dairy Queen peanut buster parfaits in one sitting
We were all talking the other night and we were trying to figure out what Grandpa’s favorite food might be......well of course we could not come up with anything because everything he ate no matter what it was, was the 'BEST he ever had' … Unless it contained any hint of spice….Grandpa even thought a plain chicken finger must have contained the world’s hottest chilli.
We will never forget all the safaris we went on with Grandpa as kids. Oh no, we are not talking about African safaris, we're talking good old Canadian elephant and crocodile spottings in Aberdeen, SK of course. He always seemed to find at least ten pink elephants between here and Aberdeen and had no problem about excessively honking to remove them from his path, all the while making us kids laugh hysterically.
We could never doubt Grandpa’s loyalty to us. He would try to save us no matter what, I actually got to test out this loyalty one day. When I was 5 I decided to lay face down in the pool and just relax for a few seconds, like most kids do….right? and the next thing I know I am being lifted up out of the pool by a man fully clothed head to toe……..(pause) including shoes. Grandpa, thinking I was drowning, had responded with cat like reflexes and dived in, no hesitations. Needless to say he was a bit shocked when I asked him what he was doing. It just shows that he was always on alert and looking out for us.
Now something that most of you may not know, is that you have all had the experience of getting ‘GLENNED.’ To explain further this is a term us kids coined on our last trip to Maui, seeing as everyday we seemed to catch Grandpa seeking out unsuspecting strangers, wanting to engage in a 'visit'. This usually lasted for quite a while and resulted in Grandpa discovering a common link or mutual acquaintance, and coming back to tell us all about it. This seems to happen no matter where Grandpa is whether it be in Lloyd, Maui, Australia or lets face it even the grocery store. Upon further investigation we've discovered that this may be genetic, as Bobbi and Doug also seem to possess the skill of visiting. So when you really think about it…. I would bet that 99% of you here have been ‘glenned.’
Most importantly we always knew that without a doubt Grandpa was proud of us. Whether we'd scored a goal, got good grades, graduated or simply cut a pineapple into tidbits, he would always be in absolute awe of everything we did. Grandpa’s most recent pride was his first Great granddaughter, Blakely. She referred to him as G’Pa.
Recently Grandpa came to watch my slow-
Grandpa was happiest when watching the 6 of us grandkids spending time together. It didn't matter what we were doing or whether or not he understood our jokes or accents...he would still laugh along with us. Even this past week, we have been able to share many laughs and we know Grandpa would be so happy to see all of us together laughing and smiling.
What Grandpa may not have realized is how in awe of him we all were. We would be lucky if we possessed any one of his traits. Although we could stand up here and talk forever about our Grandpa we will leave you with what us grand kids feel to be one of our favorite things among many Grandpa used to say.….”Kids, here’s $100, go buy yourself a chocolate bar.”