Archive for Bladworth

Prpick family barn “razing and blazing”

The remains of the Prpick family's barn are destroyed by fire on July 29 after being demolished.

The remains of the Prpick family’s barn are destroyed by fire on July 29 after being demolished.

By Sean Prpick
Special to The Leader

BLADWORTH — It shouldn’t have been, but it still was a shock when my cousin Heidi Prpick Schneider copied me on a mass family Facebook message at the end of July.

Heidi apologized for the short notice, but explained that an important piece of our past was going up in flames. And if we wanted to see the last of the Prpick family barn, now more than a century old and dilapidated, we should come out the following day.

Heidi told us we could expect a big barn burning — or “Barn Razing,” as I quickly dubbed it — since it was to be destroyed by fire on July 29.

Other family members did me one better, however, and called the “Barn Blazing.”

Everybody who was CC’d on this message had their own memories of the old barn.

In my own case, the barn was there literally for as long as I remember. When I was born in 1958, my parents Joe and Sharon Prpick brought me to the farm a few miles north of Bladworth, which is operated now by my aunt Janet and her sons Barkley and Jason.

I recall being very small and chasing barn cats around on the main floor, climbing up the ladder to the hayloft which looked so vast and spooky, my dad harnessing up our Clydesdales in the stalls on cold winter days, and more.

We left the farm when I was about five and moved to a new one a few miles away.

Not long after that, my uncle Jim Prpick married my aunt Janet and took over the old homestead and raised four kids, including the two boys and their younger sisters Heidi and Brandi.

The barn remained a central part of their lives.

For the full story, please see the Aug. 15 edition of The Davidson Leader or call 306-567-2047 to subscribe today.

Tactile history tour: Students get up-close look at Wilkins sculptures

Don Wilkins poses for a photo with a group of students at the surveyor statue in Chamberlain.

Don Wilkins poses for a photo with a group of students at the surveyor statue in Chamberlain.

By Joel van der Veen

DAVIDSON — History and design are important, sure, but how many sculptures were built with climbing in mind?

Students from Davidson School had a hands-on encounter with the statues built by local craftsman Don Wilkins last week, taking a tour from Chamberlain to Bladworth to see the displays along Highway 11.

At each stop they got off their bus to view the sculptures. Many students took the opportunity to get as close as possible — scaling the buffalo hunter’s gun, dangling from the ox’s horn or climbing into the Red River carts.

Wilkins, who joined them for the tour on June 17, was clearly delighted with the experience.

The sculptures were built big to make them visible to highway drivers, and to allow people to immerse themselves in history.

“I don’t mind people touching my work,” he said at one point, telling the students later, “I’m flattered by this whole event.”

Students from grades 4 and 7 took part in the bus tour, organized by staff members Correne Pedersen, Arlene Low and Garrett Bailey, with Darwin Taylor driving the bus.

They made five stops, viewing the surveyor at Chamberlain, the ox and cart at Aylesbury, the buffalo hunter at Craik, the buffalo at Girvin and the Louis Riel statue at Bladworth.

For the full story and photos, please see the June 27 edition of The Davidson Leader, or call 306-567-2047 to subscribe today.

Obituary: Bessey, Amy

Amy Bessey

Amy Bessey

Amy Bessey

The family of Amy Bessey (nee Stakiw) is saddened to announce her passing on Tuesday, May 17, 2016.

Amy was born January 6, 1920 in Saltcoats, Sask. She was raised in Foam Lake, Sask. where her father was a section foreman for the CPR. She is lovingly remembered by her three daughters: Valerie (Ken Krpan), Lorna (Orest Marusiak) and Darlene (Ken Pontikes); grandchildren: Brian Krpan (Karen), Marcia Kimmerly (Jim), Mark Krpan (Charlene), Michael Krpan (Diana) and Zoe Pontikes; great-grandchildren: Rachel (Jack), Johnny (Bobbi), Luke, Jarred, Raylene, Ryan (Carlyne), Tyson, Quinn, Kendale and Sarah; great-great-grandchild, Makenna Amy; and sister-in-law Evelyn Mills, as well as a very large extended Bessey/Stakiw family.

She was predeceased by her husband Fred Bessey. Amy trained as a nurse at the St. Paul’s School of Nursing in Saskatoon (1943) and Vancouver (1944). Amy married Fred Bessey in 1945 and they operated the Commercial Hotel in Bladworth for 20 years. She returned to nursing at the Davidson Union Hospital during this time. In 1965 they moved to Montgomery Place in Saskatoon and she returned to St. Paul’s Hospital. She spent the next 20 years working in the Nursery with newborn babies and their mothers, retiring in 1985. Amy was an avid sports fan. She loved fishing and camping and her family have many fond memories of these times with her and Fred. For many years they never missed the Bladworth Sports Day. She enjoyed dancing, gardening, baking, playing cards, bingo and the slots at the casino. The lived in Mesa, Arizona during the winter for 18 years spending the rest of the year at Brantwood Estates in Saskatoon. For nearly the last decade she resided at Cedar Gardens.

A celebration of her life was held on May 25, 2016 at McClure United Church.

Memorial donations can be made to Bladworth Cemetery Fund or St. Paul’s Hospital School of Nursing Alumni Scholarship Fund.

Obituary: Scarfe, Hazel

Hazel Scarfe

Hazel Scarfe

SCARFE, Hazel Marie (née Prpick)
January 8, 1928 — April 4, 2016

Hazel passed away peacefully in her sleep at St. Ann’s Care Home in Saskatoon, where she received gentle care over the last year following a stroke. She is lovingly remembered by her children John Scarfe, Mary (Greg) McLellan, and Anna Sanders; daughter-in-law Brenda Scarfe; her grandchildren Carson (Tristin Enden) McLellan, Kate and Ben Houston, Erin and Kali Sanders, Montana Manion, and Jamie Scarfe; her brothers Bud (Bea) Prpick and Ray (Pauline) Perpick; her sisters/brother-in-law Sharon Prpick, Jim (Donna) Scarfe and Janet Prpick; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Hazel was predeceased by her husband of 51 years Albert; her son Joe; her daughters-in-law Christine Scarfe and Laurie Brower; her brothers Joe and Jim Prpick; her brother-in-law Jack (Shirley) Scarfe; and a niece and nephew, Lauree and Bob Scarfe.

Hazel was a kind, vibrant and loyal friend and family member who would generously offer her time and talents to others. She was born in Bladworth, Sask., and raised on a nearby farm by her parents Anna and Emil Prpick. The farm is where she developed her strong work ethic. She also had her hands full as big sister to four brothers. After Hazel graduated from Sacred Heart Academy in Regina she became a school teacher and taught for nine years at many country schools including Briggs School District, Davidson, Steelman, Courval, Disley, and Regina Rural. She also worked with Social Services and managed Dale’s House in Regina. In addition to her professional accomplishments, she was an amazing seamstress and worked for Singer Sewing Machines. Hazel married in 1959 and enjoyed six years in the far north of Saskatchewan in Uranium City, where she had four children before moving the family south to La Ronge. She operated a business, Hazel’s Launderette, and was an active and involved member of the community, including as an ardent supporter of the arts, the NDP, and one year ran for the job of Mayor (to the dismay of her husband!). She was actively involved in the Catholic Church in La Ronge for almost 30 years before retiring to Saskatoon where she was a member of St Paul’s Cathedral for 20 years.

The Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, May 7 at St. Paul’s Co-Cathedral (720 Spadina Cres East, Saskatoon). In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to St Ann’s Senior Citizens Village Corp., 2910 Louise St, Saskatoon SK, S7J 3L8. Arrangements in care of David Schurr — Mourning Glory Funeral Services, Saskatoon, 306-978-5200,

Obituary: Loseth, Kathleen Elizabeth

Loseth, Kathleen

Loseth, Kathleen

Loseth, Kathleen Elizabeth
1930 — 2016

On Thursday, January 28, 2016, Kathleen Elizabeth Loseth (nee Russell) of Saskatoon, peacefully passed away with her children at her side, at St. Paul’s Hospital. Born on July 24, 1930, in the Bladworth area, she was raised on a farm with her parents, Alexander and Jean Russell and older brothers, Grant and Calvin. At the age of 16 months, Kathleen (Kitty) contracted polio which throughout her life never slowed her down. In fact, it gave her strength and tremendous will power to accomplish anything she put her mind to. She ventured out to the big city of Saskatoon to attend Robertson Secretarial School in the early 50’s followed by work at Fish and Wildlife, Medical Services, Western Development Museum and for years helped with Vic’s business. She met Victor Loseth in Saskatoon and was married on May 24, 1955, where they resided all their lives. Blessed with two children, Richard and Lori, Kathleen was a very active participant and supporter of their various activities and lives. This support extended to her children’s spouses Janet Park (Richard) and Richard Frank (Lori) and her nieces Marilyn and Cheryl and their families. She was widowed in 1987 yet maintained the family home for over 20 years on her own until she moved to the Primrose Chateau where she lived until her passing. She thoroughly embraced the role of “Nannie” to Richard and Lori’s children beginning in 1991 with the birth of her only grandson, Christopher, and then in 1995 with the birth of her twin granddaughters, Brooklyn and Alexandra. She carried on the role of supporter, cheerleader and mentor in their lives and did so until the day of her death. Many of Kathleen’s friends are people that she met from all aspects of her life. She proudly cherished those lifelong friendships. Kathleen loved to laugh, play cards, shop, garden, cook and was a great listener. She was strong willed, a quality that served her well with her many health challenges over the years. She always held her family members and others in her life accountable and made us all better for it. Anyone that encountered mom over the years will recall a strong spirit, her twinkling eyes and big smile. Because of her physical disabilities, she excelled at being resourceful and a problem solver. She was predeceased by her parents, Alex and Jean; father-in-law Halvor; husband Victor; brother Calvin and sister-in-law Eileen. She will be remembered as cheerful, remarkably strong and a loving daughter, sister, wife, mom, grandmother, and friend. If you were lucky enough to meet her, you will know what we mean. She will always be loved and never forgotten. A Funeral Service to celebrate all the good memories and her life will be held on Thursday, February 4, 2016, at 11 a.m. at Saskatoon Funeral Home. Interment will take place at Woodlawn Cemetery. Condolences may be sent to

Arrangements have been entrusted to Saskatoon Funeral Home (244-5577).

Danille’s family, friends bring grief to the stand

Danille Kerpan

Danille Kerpan

By Joel van der Veen

SASKATOON — One after the other, their statements told the story.

Her parents, partner, siblings, other relatives and friends — 15 in total — took the stand in a Saskatoon courtroom on Tuesday to share their memories of Danille Kerpan, and the void left in their lives by her sudden death.

Kerpan, 25, was killed instantly in a collision on Highway 11 on Oct. 10, 2014, when her vehicle was struck by a northbound truck in the wrong lane near Bladworth.

The man driving that truck — John Koch, 50 — was later found to have a blood alcohol level almost three times the legal limit.

Koch, who had entered a guilty plea on Jan. 7, was sentenced Tuesday to a four-year prison term, followed by a seven-year prohibition from driving.

In his victim impact statement, Danille’s father Allan — a former MP and MLA — said his past public speaking had not prepared him for the speech he had to make in court that day.

He said his words were not sufficient to illustrate the pain he has felt since he and his wife were awakened by a police officer, delivering the news of their daughter’s death.

Despite being complimented for his strength, Allan said, “The truth is I am not strong at all. I have to almost clinically remove myself from the situation in order to function.”

He spoke of the harsh reality of having to write a cheque for his daughter’s memorial service instead of her wedding, or of knowing he would never walk her down the aisle or hold her babies.

Melanie Kerpan spoke of the guilt she has felt in recalling the night her daughter died. Earlier that day, she had travelled to Saskatoon, had supper with her daughters and then went shopping for paint with Danille.

“If she hadn’t stayed with me in Saskatoon, she might still be here,” said Melanie, also describing the pain of having to tell her other children about the collision.

“Being a mom to Danille and her siblings is the best gift I’ve ever been given,” she said in her conclusion, “and even death can’t take that away.”

A statement read on behalf of Danille’s partner, Rylan Dezotell, described the future the two had planned together, and the devastating impact her death has had on him. He wrote about how they had purchased, renovated and furnished their home.

“Together we had picked out an engagement ring,” he wrote. “That was by far the happiest day of my life — and returning it was the worst . . . especially when they asked why I was returning it.”

Koch also read an apology letter to the family, in which he spoke of his enduring guilt: “Because of me, your daughter was taken from you. I wish it was me instead.”

While the Crown and defence agreed on a four-year prison sentence, the Crown argued for a 10-year driving prohibition. Judge Sanjeev Anand agreed on an extended prohibition, imposing a seven-year ban.

Allan Kerpan said the experience of the sentencing had brought back the level of grief he had experienced in the aftermath of Danille’s death. In the words of his son Josh, he said, he felt as though he had “regressed.”

He also said he was proud of Danille’s relatives and friends for agreeing to make their statements. The day was an exhausting experience for himself and his family, he said, but they were encouraged by the results.

Kerpan said he and Melanie are continuing discussions with Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) about potential projects, including a large-scale provincial memorial or smaller roadside memorials at accident sites.

He also said the extended driving prohibition — which was twice the average penalty — was a positive sign that attitudes are changing.

“It looks like they’re going to start to take it a little more seriously,” said Allan. “I think people are starting to say ‘enough’s enough’.”