South Beach Tribute – Doug Hicks

Douglas Arnold  Hicks

March 18, 1925 – June 12, 2019

It is with sadness, yet thanksgiving that we announce after a long and eventful life, Douglas passed peacefully on June 12, 2019.

Doug was born in Shellbrook, Saskatchewan on March 18, 1925. On November 9, 1948 in Codette, SK. Dad married the love of his life Margaret Cockriell. As a young couple they travelled to Winnipeg for their honeymoon and decided Winnipeg was going to be their new home.

Doug joined the Winnipeg Police Department in January, 1949 and never looked back. He enjoyed each and every day of his 38 year career. Upon his retirement in March, 1985 he held the position of Inspector of Traffic.

Doug was a member of the Winnipeg Police Revolver Club as a Combat Shooter. The Club travelled on many competitive shoots throughout Canada and the States. He was very proud of ALL his trophies.

‘Ravendale’, 16 Benedict Ave

In 1958 Doug and Marg built the family cottage ‘Ravendale’ in South Beach, Gimli and continued enjoying going each and every weekend, during the beach season, to their “piece of heaven”. They made many lifelong friends in South Beach.

Doug and Marg also enjoyed many wonderful winter holidays in Florida. For the past couple of years the Hicks have been residents of Devonshire House II.

The family would like to thank the staff at Seven Oaks Hospital for the care and comfort provided in his final days.

Hicks Family in 2011 (Marg, Corinne, Heather, Lorraine, Doug)

Those left to remember his quiet love of family is his devoted wife of 70 years Margaret, his daughters Corinne Larsen, Lorraine (Craig) Walton, Heather (John) Titley, Grandsons Leif (Jennefer) Larsen, Aaron Larsen, Reid (Jill) Walton, Neil (Nicole) Walton, Brad (Pam) Titley, Scott (Brooke) Titley and seven Great-grand children.  Doug was predeceased by his brother Vernon Hicks (SK) and his sister Audrey Warkentin (BC).

In accordance with Doug’s wishes, cremation has taken place and a private family gathering will be held.

Should friends so desire, donations may be made in Doug’s memory to the Transcona Memorial United Church – Building Fund 209 Yale Avenue West, Winnipeg, Manitoba R2C 1T9.

South Beach Tribute – Bert de Roo

Bert de Roo passed away on February 22, 2018 at the age of 64. Bert was introduced to South Beach in the summer of 1976 because he fell in love with Evelyn Ward (6 Hansson Ave). He would joke that one of the main reasons he married her was because of her cottage.

Very soon he was warmly accepted into the Ward family fold because he loved working beside his father-in-law Bill on projects at the cottage. Felling trees, renovating, putting on additions, crawling under the cabin, all things Bill was very happy to have help with and Bert was eager and willing to get his hands dirty. Over the last 42 years he only missed one summer in South Beach.


He took this photo of the Gimli Glider the summer of 1983.

He spent many many hours on the Loni Beach Tennis Courts trying to better his game. He eventually encouraged his wife, Ev, to learn to play.

Bert learned to sail at the Gimli Yacht Club in 1990. Sailing as a team member in the Wednesday night keelboat races became a beautiful pastime for many years. He became proficient at flying a spinnaker.

He served as Vice President of the South Beach Property Owners Association for a number of years. Among the things Bert will be remembered for are rebuilding the footbridge into South Beach at the municipal ditch which became known affectionately as “Pont de Roo”. And rousing his neighbours down to the beach on a clear night to view the International Space Station passing overhead.

In his later years he went back to his love of welding and started making recumbent bikes from reclaimed bicycles. He glad repaired bikes from people all over Gimli in exchange for a few beer.

Photo credit

new bike rack

Professionally Bert was an award-winning software developer. His little ‘cabin in the woods’ office became his experiment in semi-retirement. His clients would hear birds chirping away in the background as he spoke to them on the phone all over the world.

Mourning him are his beloved wife, Evelyn, children Katie (Tom), London, Ontario and Lukas (Chloe), Buderim, Australia.

Photo credit

The “little guys” he loved most, his grandsons, Ben and Teddy, will miss their Opa terribly.

To read his obituary …..
His funeral and interment took place in Petrolia, Ontario in March.

You are invited to join the family in a celebration of Bert’s life at an informal reception on Sunday, June 24, 2018 at the Gimli Yacht Club, 1-4PM.


South Beach Tribute – Ron Keizer

RON KEIZER February 18, 1953 – May 17, 2017

Screen Shot 2017-07-18 at 4.11.35 PMKeizer wedding

South Beach is very saddened at the sudden passing of Ron Keizer on Wednesday, May 17, 2017 in Winnipeg. He leaves Dorothy, his wife of 27 years, to mourn his loss and to lovingly cherish his memory.

Ron was a pillar of life in South Beach since purchasing their little piece of heaven at 41 Ethel Street about 13 years ago. His loving support of Dorothy shone through in so many ways especially as she served as the Treasurer of SBPOA for over a decade. They fashioned a life that gave them the freedom to enjoy their cottage for more that just weekends. Ron supported her desire to leave a corporate career to become a self-employed travel agent and so the cottage dining table became her office.


They both were integral to the co-ordination and success of our annual community picnic for many, many years. Ron was always willing to lend a hand, haul tents and BBQs and do the thankless ‘grunt’ work with a laugh and a smile.IMG_8519You were always welcome to pull up a chair around their campfire. Ron was lauded as ‘the wood whore’ and kept a meticulously maintained woodpile (and wine cabinet).

Their former cottage neighbour Wendy Dunlop, said “South Beach will never be the same without Ron who was always so upbeat and a wonderful neighbour.” Dave McNabb gave a fitting tribute to Ron at the May 2017 SBPOA meeting.

winning tickets?

winning tickets?

The Keizers travelled the world together hand in hand, spent Saturday mornings on the garage sale circuit, undertook countless projects at their cottage, and loved their shared adventures in South Beach. Dorothy recounts how they would walk the beach at night and solve the ‘problems of the world’. Dorothy has sold their cottage and stepped down as Treasurer.

Ron leaves behind his daughters Allison Demann (Klaas) and Nikki Keizer; and grandchildren Ethan (the light of his life), Dominic, Gabriel and Evolet. A Celebration of Life was held for Ron on Friday, June 23 at 7:00 p.m. at the Holiday Inn South in Winnipeg. A large contingent of South Beachers were present to toast his memory.

Dorothy has lost her soul mate, the love of her life, and a partner who shared life with her to the fullest. South Beach has lost a vibrant couple. They both will be greatly missed.

South Beach Tribute – Maxine Ward

Maxine Ward

Maxine H. Ward


One of the longest summer South Beach residents, Maxine H. Carter Ward, died on April 26, 2016 in Winnipeg. She spent almost every summer of her life in South Beach.

Born to Percy and Winifred Carter (nee Harris), Maxine grew up in the north end of Winnipeg with her sister, Sylva. They attended Tabernacle Baptist Church, all of them singing in the choir. Maxine had a beautiful soprano voice and did vocal and piano duets with her sister, performed lead roles in Gilbert and Sullivan operettas, competed in music festivals and sang with The Triphonic Singers girls choir.

At Baptist youth camp, Maxine’s attractive smile and beautiful voice caught the attention of a young chemist who had recently arrived from Toronto, Bill Ward. They were married in 1949 and soon after followed Doug, Don and Evelyn.

She was the consummate stay-at- home mom. If she wasn’t at the kitchen counter preparing meals and baking, then she was at her sewing machine making clothes for herself and her kids. One of the ways she expressed her love was by baking, especially her apples pies & the famous Ward ‘Googly Buns’. Her interests included decorating, millinery and knitting; she created many afghans, beautiful sweaters for her grandkids, and until very recently, scarves for Siloam Mission. She had a childhood pen pal in England with whom she faithfully corresponded for 50 years. As a teen she enjoyed tennis and later she was a ‘good sport’ at golf, though her sons would call her a duffer. She enjoyed walking for exercise. In midlife she discovered reading and spent many hours devouring devotional material, becoming a student of the Bible.

One beautiful thread that ran through the fabric of her entire life was the dearly-loved family cottage in South Beach, Gimli.

19610042 cottageMaxine started coming to Gimli as a child because her uncle, Percy D. Harris was one of the first summer residents, having already built Whippoorwill Cottage at 34 South Colonization Road (ref. Gimli Saga). In 1938 her father, Percy Carter, built his cottage close by on Benedict Ave, three lots west of the lake.

Red Cross stand

Maxine and Sylva’s lemonade stand in South Beach in support of the Red Cross, 1940.

Women and children would pack up after the final school bell in June and move to the lake until Labour Day. The fathers would join them on the weekend, bringing what few provisions were not available in the well-equipped town of Gimli. Maxine remembers her mother baking pies on Fridays in the wood stove, to be ready for Percy’s arrival from the city. Water was carried by pail from the numerous artesian wells dotted throughout South Beach.

Max, Sylva & Coutures

Carter and Couture kids

The Carter/Ward, Strachan, Stephen/Pennycook, and Couture kids all played together in the water and sand. Their progeny have been fixtures of South Beach for the last 80 years.

Carters, Strachans & Coutures

South Beach gang ca. 1938

Maxine’s much older cousin was the teacher Florence Harris, who inherited Whippoorwill Cottage and never married and had no children. Along with her teaching ability, she had a generous heart and regularly invited all the children from the neighbourhood over to play. She had the most interesting and unique toys; a huge farm set out on the grass, Betsy McCall doll and clothes. She developed treasure hunts, crafts, games and served KoolAid in plastic cups carried in a wire rack. The invitation to come to Whippoorwill were the days when Miss Harris would fly a Union Jack flag on the front of her cottage. She was not a well woman, so days when she was not up to having kids around, no flag would be present. Even until the early 1960s the Union Jack would fly on the odd day.

Max & Sylva at Florence's

Craft time at Whippoorwill Cottage

During World War II, Maxine and her sister hung out with British airmen training at the Gimli Air Base, some of whom were billeted in South Beach.

After the war, on that same beach, Bill proposed to Maxine.Bill & Maxine

In some kind of prophetic vision, Percy bought a half acre lot at the corner of Hansson and South Colonization Rd in 1954 and moved his cottage from Benedict before the lake level rose. He died in South Beach in May 1967 while raking the lawn right in front of the Carter cottage (now Ward de Roo, 6 Hansson St.)  His body was found by Mrs. Evans, the owner of Evans Store just a few lots away (corner Anna and Hansson).

Percy W. Carter

Percy W. Carter

Maxine inherited the cottage and it was here that she and Bill lovingly hosted family and dear friends, enjoying many happy hours, long beach walks, deep theological reflection, laughter, games of Scrabble, Password and Dominoes around the Franklin stove. It was here that she got to spend the most time with her eight grandchildren. They will remember her as the most gentle, caring gramma any kid could ever wish for. She had that rare ability to genuinely listen to anything they wanted to tell her, and also to keep it just between them, a memory they each will cherish.

50th Anniversary Gimli

50th Anniversary of the cottage

Maxine’s life was deeply impacted by her Christian faith. Every Sunday found her in the choir loft at Broadway-First Baptist Church. In later years, she was music coordinator and elder at Willowlake Baptist Church. Even though she didn’t consider herself to be a public speaker, her willingness to share her faith in Christ opened doors to leadership and speaking engagements with Christian Women’s Club and many personal growth retreats with Faith At Work.

She was very active in volunteer service including Parr Street Mission, P.E.O. Sisterhood, Seniors Centre at First Presbyterian Church, Camp Shanti, Covenant Home, Inter-Varsity International Christmas, Baptist Women of Western Canada, letter-writing to missionaries and hosting them on furlough. As a double breast cancer survivor she shared her gift of mercy in volunteering for Reach for Recovery to help other women living with this disease.

Maxine was gentle, soft, kind, patient, generous, sincerely apologetic for any wrong, and keen to make amends. She was entirely without suspicion or malice. She never raised her voice in anger. She tried to accommodate any request and never said a word against another human being, practicing goodwill and tolerance. She loved people and wanted to bring joy and comfort into their lives. She welcomed folks around her table with delicious food and deep conversation. Her gifts of mercy and compassion were exercised while listening to young people and countless hours on the phone offering her support to friends. She always left the house beautifully coiffed and dressed, which helped her feel good, especially during her dark times and struggle with cancer. Her example encouraged you to be the best you could be.

Her marriage to Bill, for over 50 years, was a beautiful example of love, forgiveness and “being there” for each other. As helpmates they complimented each other’s gifts. She was the best wife, mother, mother-in-law, grandmother and friend anyone could ask for, and was always willing to help in anyway she could. Though she herself would not boast, she was a model of discipleship, unconditional love and acceptance, a listening ear and a tender embrace.

Maxine is survived by her children; Doug (Meredith) of Kanata, ON, Don (Sheri) of Winnipeg, MB, Evelyn (Bert) of Petrolia, ON. And the very best grandmother to; Lydia (Kevin), Jennifer, Laura (Peter John), Katie (Tom), Meghan (Paul), Cameron (Angela), Lukas and Matthew. And great-grands Carter, Jacob, Maya, Jadon, Brienna, Benjamin and Ezra.

You are invited to a Celebration of Life, June 15, 1:30PM at Willowlake Baptist Church, 45 Willowlake Cres, Winnipeg.

submitted by Evelyn Ward de Roo

South Beach Tribute – Allan Stephen

Allan George Stephen

Surrounded by family, Allan peacefully passed away on Sunday, November 15, 2015 at the age of 71 years. Allan will be greatly missed and lovingly remembered by his wife Sherilyn and their children Jeffrey (Susan) and daughter Kate, Craig (Sandra) and children Lauren and Clayton and Allison (Nicole), his brother Douglas (Maureen), mother-in-law Frances Kolisnyk, sister-in-law Marlene Cooper and numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and dear friends.

Allan was born in 1944 to Grace and George, he lived most of his life in Winnipeg and spent many happy hours as a young boy playing sports at the Orioles Community Club. He graduated from the University of Manitoba in 1966 with a degree in Civil Engineering and three years later from the University of Western Ontario with a master’s degree in Environmental Engineering. Allan had a fulfilling career with the City of Winnipeg, in the Water and Waste Department for 25 years and retired in 1999.

During these years Allan and Sheryl raised their family in the Southdale Community where Allan volunteered as a Coach and Manager to Jeff, Craig and Allison’s hockey, skiing and soccer teams. An avid lover of sports himself, Allan skied, played hockey, golfed and curled with the St. Vital Senior Men’s Club and together with Sheryl in a mixed league. Later, they decided to give square dancing a try and enjoyed several years dancing both in Texas and with Paws-n-Taws in Winnipeg.

Allan was an active member of the Windsor Park United Church for many years, serving on several committees. With retirement came the opportunity to travel and some wonderful memories were made visiting new places and spending several weeks every winter in La Feria, Texas. South Beach, Gimli has been the centre of summer fun and gamily gatherings all of his life. Second Beach is where he met Sherilyn 50 years ago, one summer afternoon, a special place they continued to enjoy even this past summer when his health was failing.

A loyal, loving and generous man with a smile for everyone, Allan was completely dedicated to his family. They always came first, we will miss you dearly. We will always remember the way you looked, the way you walked and smiled, all the things you did for us will be with us. You always did your best, your heart was true and tender, you lived your life for those you loved and those you loved will remember.

A special thanks to the palliative care team at the St. Boniface Hospital for their care and compassion and for helping us support Allan.

In keeping with Allan’s wishes, cremation has taken place and a memorial service celebrating his life will be held on Sunday, November 22, 2015 at 3:00 p.m. at Windsor Park United Church, 1062 Autumnwood Drive.12243142_10156394342470657_1855174990127203599_n

South Beach Tribute – Holly M. Frantz


FRANTZ, Holly Marie (nee Boudreau) – Peacefully, Holly Frantz passed away from cancer on November 7, 2015, at the Gimli Community Health Center, with her boys around her. She was predeceased by her father Jim Boudreau. Left to mourn her passing is her husband of 34 years, Larry; sons Karl and Eric; her mom Lillian Boudreau; brothers Guy (Sonja), Mark (Rose); sister Kallie Boudreau; mother and father in-law Marie and Vern Frantz; sisters-in-law Susan (Mark Woodruff) and Sharon (Gord) McMaster; brother-in-law Don (James) Frantz and many aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins and friends. Holly was born on July 16, 1955 in Fort Frances, Ontario. The family moved to Winnipeg in 1961 and she finished her schooling at Kildonan East Collegiate. Holly had a varied career and finished her working years with the CRA. She met her husband Larry in late 1978 and they were married in February of 1981. Their first son Karl was born in October 1983 and Eric completed their family in March of 1985. They spent the first years of their marriage in Winnipeg but soon moved to the country where Holly was able to pursue her love of gardening. While the boys were growing up the family had many great adventures, traveling to both coasts of Canada and spending summers at Rugby Lake. When Holly and Larry retired, they moved to Gimli to enjoy the summers where they both took up golfing and Holly even managed to beat Larry on several occasions. For Holly to avoid the cold Manitoba winters which she detested, they began exploring the world, visiting New Zealand, Fiji, Portugal, Spain, The Canary Islands, Egypt, Texas, Mardi Gras in New Orleans, Barbados, Sturgis Bike Week and Mexico. Holly was well known for her caring heart, positive attitude, hosting guests and endless optimism. She will always be loved and missed by all who knew her. The family would like to thank the staff at the Gimli Hospital for their care and compassion. A memorial service was held November 14, 2015, in the Gilbart Funeral Chapel, Selkirk. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Gimli Community Health Center – Northeast Palliative Care Unit.


Holly loved to research family history and wrote this blog article for our site.