Funeral Service: Wednesday, August 6, 2014, 11:00 a.m., Elks Hall, 3690 30th Street NE, Salmon Arm
Luncheon: Elks Hall
Memorial Service: Monday, August 11, 2014, 2:00 p.m., Falun Community Center, Falun, AB
Interment: Waldheim Lutheran Cemetery, Wetaskiwin
Luncheon, Falun Community Center
Gil’s life:- Gilbert (also called Gil or Gilby) was born at Wetaskiwin, AB on January 28, 1942. Gil was raised on a farm and lived a very busy farm life. He was the oldest child of Reino and Helen Havanka. Other children born later
are a brother, Dale, and a sister, Karen. In Alberta, Gil attended school at Ernest Park and completed high school at Falun. He was very athletic
playing hockey on the Falun team, was a pitcher on the ball teams as well as playing horseshow with his Dad and uncles.
Gil helped on the farm until his late teens and then worked on oil rigs. In the early 60’s he worked as a power lineman for Ace Construction. In 1965 he married Lois Hill and moved to Edmonton. He changed jobs and began working for Edmonton Power. His daughter, Lanette, was born in 1969. In 1972 Gil went to Auctioneer School at Lacombe, AB and got his license as an auctioneer. He became a partner in the Wetaskiwin Auction Market. He bought land in the Falun area and moved his family to the farm in 1973. He sold his interest in the Auction Market but continued to auctioneer at
cattle sales. A daughter, Theresa, was born in 1975. Gil started trucking under the business name of Mulhurst Transport hauling oil drums and materials for Bonnie Glen Gas Plant. He bought a caterpillar and other equipment keeping very busy with the farming and raising cattle as well.
In 1982 Gil and Lois sold the farm and moved to Salmon Arm, B.C. Gil worked for Armstrong Farm Equipment for a few months and then bought a small farm where he raised cattle and hay. He loved to farm and took on custom work. He had different sizes of John Deere tractors and other farm equipment. He loved working for other people tilling their fields, putting up their hay, etc. In the winter he snowplowed for some trailer parks, churches or wherever he was needed.
His daughters married and he was blessed with four grandchildren – Daniah, Kalee, Gillian and Brady. He treasured his grandkids and took them for tractor rides to show them the baby calves and farm animals. In the winter he made tracks for them to tobbagan and bought a snowmobile for them to get up and down the hills. They called him “Pop” and loved to come to the farm every chance they had.
Over the years Gil and Lois travelled with friends and family to Fairmont Hotsprings and found time to do some camping. They managed some winter holidays to the warm resorts and also took a couple of cruises. Gil enjoyed playing cards and socializing. He had a great sense of humour. From an early age he loved music and was very talented playing the accordion from age 8. Later he played guitar and loved singing country music. He sang with friend Walter Breitkreuz in earlier years in AB, and his Finlander friend, Jim Niemi in Salmon Arm. Singing on camping trips and family events with his daughters was a real joy to him.
A big project that Gil became involved in was building the Canoe Creek Golf Couse. This project took about 2 years. He worked up the ground, leveling and seeding the course. His knowledge and work was really appreciated and Gil felt a lot of pride when the course was finally developed. He did enjoy gol ng with friends and family over the years and with his “golfing buddies” each week. They would often have a beer together and rehash the game.
Gil would also spend several weeks in the fall helping his brother, Dale, with the harvest in the Wetaskiwin area. There wasn’t a job that he couldn’t do and his family will miss his presence as they harvest the crops this year.
Gil developed health problems spending some time in hospital, but still continued to be a busy man never refusing to help out the neighbours or take on a project. He had a farm sale in September of 2013. Gil and Lois bought lots downtown and built a new home. Gil still had to have his tractor so bought a small 5560 John Deere tractor with a rototiller and grasscutter. Even with his health deteriorating Gil seldom refused a job if someone phoned. He was a very tough and determined man. After January of this year he was diagnosed with blocked heart valves and it was too risky to operate with other mounting
health problems. Gil was in and out of hospital many times. He passed away peacefully in Salmon Arm hospital on August 1st. Services were held at Elks Hall in Salmon Arm on August 6th and at Falun Hall in Alberta on August 11th.
Gil had many friends and will be missed by people in the community. There has been a huge outpouring of love shown which is much appreciated by Lois and the family. The reponse after his death truly shows the heartfelt appreciation and respect for Gil.