Obits | DrumhellerMail - Page #13
Last updateThu, 21 Jun 2018 12pm

Condolences to the family of Thomas Joseph Keller



In Loving Memory Of
Thomas Joseph

September 27, 1949 - March 15, 2018

It is with sadness and a heavy heart that we announce the passing of our father, Thomas Keller. Thom was born in Provost and raised in Castor, Alberta. He was the middle of eight children. He loved the outdoors and spent much of his childhood fishing and camping. Because of his love for the outdoors he became very involved in the Scout Canada program. Thom worked his way to eventually achieve the highest recognition a scout can receive in the British Commonwealth, the Queen Scout award in 1964. After completing High School Thom left to pursue a post-secondary education. He attended Holy Redeemer College in Edmonton for two years and then transferred to the University of Alberta where he successfully completed his Bachelor of Education degree in 1975. While teaching up north in Spirit River he met his wife Grace. They worked in several different locations for a few years finally settling down in the town of Drumheller. It was in Drumheller where Thom and Grace raised their two children Kirsten and Ryan. Thom was a very hardworking man. His career was very important to him. Not only was he a well-respected high school Biology teacher who exuded passion and creativity in the classroom; he was very involved in the school’s extra curricular activities. He ran the school Ski Club for many years helping to create wonderful memories for all the students that participated. He was also involved as the teacher representative for the student council. Many students still comment that he was the only teacher that made Science and Biology fun. He touched the hearts and minds of so many students and truly loved being a teacher. In addition to his demanding teaching career Thom also operated his own photography business. He kept himself very busy during many evenings and weekends taking family portraits and photographed hundreds of weddings over several decades. His passion and talent for taking exceptional photographs led him to be chosen as the main photographer for several Big Valley Jamborees where he photographed the who’s who in country music; an experience he was very proud of and often reminisced about. Thom also gave back to the local community by serving as a city councillor in Drumheller for 3 consecutive terms (12 years). He was instrumental in bringing to fruition numerous projects that helped to revitalize the city. Despite being so busy with his teaching career, time on council and his photography business he always made time for his family. Thom’s favourite activities were taking his family on winter ski vacations and spending the summers camping and boating out at Shuswap Lake. Thom was an extremely generous man and was always willing to help people. He was also a very wise man and you could reach out to him with any problem. He spent countless hours of his own time helping his students, his friends and his family whenever they needed support, advice, or help with anything. An incredible sense of humour, wisdom, strong work ethic, and passion for life are just some of the many positive traits that exemplified Thom Keller. Thom is survived by his daughter Kirsten (Gerald) Skocdopole, son Ryan (Shelly) Keller, four grandchildren (Thom’s passion and delight) Cassandra, Lauren, Preston and Emma, five siblings, Don (Dianne) Keller, Marlene (George- deceased) Vilcsak, Barbara (Ken-deceased) Keller, Orest (Carol-deceased) Zaharia, Pat (Larry) Wasylik, George (Kim) Keller, Armella (Charles) Gulley, nieces, nephews, beloved cousins, and godchildren, too many to list. Thom was pre-deceased by his wife Grace, his parents George and Marie Keller, brother Ken Keller and sister Carol Zaharia. Thom will be remembered as a well-respected teacher, a wonderful husband and an amazing father and mentor to his two children. He will be missed dearly by both family and friends and remain in our thoughts forever. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to Drumheller Society for Recovery (Grace House), Box 1785, Drumheller, Alberta, T0J 0Y0. Prayer Vigil will be held Friday, March 23, 2018 at 7:00 P.M. at St. Anthony’s Roman Catholic Church, Funeral Mass will be held Saturday, March 24, 2018 at 11:00 A.M. at St. Anthony’s Roman Catholic Church with Father Fernando Genogaling as celebrant. Courtney-Winter’s Funeral Homes are in care of the arrangements.

Condolences to the family of Willa Martha Isabelle Hirsch



Willa Martha Isabelle

July 17, 1936 - March 14, 2018

It is with great sadness to announce that Willa Martha Isabelle Hirsch passed away peacefully at home at the age of 81. Willa was born in Drumheller to Nels and Florence Westeen and was one of 8 siblings. She was predeceased by her husband (Eddy) and will be lovingly remembered by her sister Arda Robinson, children Robin (Karen) Hirsch, Kendel (James) Ryan, three grandchildren Jason (Diana), Brad (Teresa) Ryan, Jena Hirsch and two great-granddaughters Kaylin and Madison Ryan. Willa worked at the Drumheller hospital for many years in x-ray and purchasing. She lived in the valley most of her life except a few years in Calgary where she got married to Ed Hirsch. Being an avid reader, incredible painter and artist as well as a formidable card player kept her busy. She was well known in her community and was loved by many friends. There will be no service as per her request. Donations can be made to the Heart to Heart Society at the Drumheller Health Center 351- 9th Street N.W., Drumheller T0J 0Y1. Willa, you were the best Wife, Mom, Grandma, Sister and Friend. We will all miss you!

Condolences to the family of Terence Anthony Hodson



Terence Anthony

March 24, 1935 - January 15, 2018

Terence Anthony Hodson passed away peacefully on January 15, 2018 in the Hanna Long Term Care Centre, after a lengthy battle with cancer. Terry as most knew him, was born March 24, 1935 in Birmingham, England to Albert and Lizzie Hodson. At the age of 15, Terry came to Delia to live with his Aunt Julia DeMott. After finishing his schooling in Delia, he worked for Butcher and Packer Supply in Calgary. He eventually returned to Delia working at the Delia Co-op, for Larken & Issac’s, and Gibson’s Farm Store before moving over to Delia Farm Supplies. In 1972, his mother Liz moved to Canada and they spent good years together prior to her passing. Terry was a friendly face at the shop for years before retiring at the age of 65 years to enjoy travelling. Terry made many trips back to England, nearly every two years. He also travelled to Ireland, Austria, Switzerland, Scotland, and Canadian destinations including the Maritimes. One of his favorite trips was to Australia to visit his cousin John Anthony and family. An avid coin collector, Terry always took the time to order special coins from the Royal Canadian Mint for all of his relatives. These are a special treasure for them to remember; especially at Christmas time. Terry was a life long member of the Legion, the Elks, and Masonic Lodge. He was always ready to volunteer in his community and held the position of cashier at Delia Elks Bingo nights for many years. He also volunteered with the Delia Volunteer Fire Department and the Delia Curling Club. Terry is survived by his many cousins: John Anthony, Mary and Jim Pearson, Carmen Davis, Dianne Meyer, Fred and Jerry DeMott, Brenda Harper, Carol Cooper, Tom Marshall, Garett Willington, Teresa Gilson, Mary Ellen Herzog and their families. He is preceded in death by his parents (Albert in 1957 and Liz in 1988) and infant sister Marjorie (1933). The family would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to the staff at Hanna Extended Care Centre for the excellent care and attention Terry received during his stay. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Hanna Legion Branch #25, Box 1407, Hanna, AB, T0J 1P0, or the Hanna Ladies Auxiliary, Box 23, Hanna, AB, T0J 1P0. At Terry’s request, his ashes will be taken back to England to be buried with his family. A Memorial Service will be held on Saturday March 24, 2018, 2:00 P.M. (Terry’s Birthday) at the Hanna Legion. All are welcome. Hanna Funeral Services Ltd., entrusted with the care and funeral arrangements. Condolences may be sent or viewed at, 403-854-5956.