Duncan Wallace Netzel
We are very sad to announce the passing of our father and grandfather, Duncan Wallace Netzel.
Duncan had a wonderful, fun-filled life, and his sense of humour will always be in our hearts.
Duncan was born in Saskatoon on November 8, 1939, to Hugh and Peggy Netzel. They lived in the Saskatoon area while his father worked for the RCMP. His dad then joined the Royal Canadian Air Force, and they moved around a lot. They lived in Trenton, Ontario, Moose Jaw, Sask., and Calgary, Alberta.
The family moved up to the Yukon in 1949, which became Dad’s heart and soul. He loved everything about the area. In the Yukon, the family lived in several areas including Moccasin flats and Takhini in Whitehorse. Dad went to Whitehorse Elementary and then Christ of King High School. It was here where his passion for the Air Cadets began. He was enrolled for a few years before he joined the Air Force. When he was 15, he decided to join the Air Force and moved to Ontario. He spent his entire Air Force career in Ontario and did not return to the Yukon until about 1961.
During this time, his family was in Dawson City, and dad went up there in 1961 to begin a new career. He met his first wife, Rose. Together they managed the Bonanza Bar and Hotel and ran it until 1963. In 1963 they moved to Calgary got married. In 1964 their first daughter Janette Mary was born. Dad decided he wanted to be a police officer, so they moved to Whitecourt; they lived there until 1966.
The adventures continued when they bought a small farm in Yarrow. Dad went to work for Corrections and worked at many Institutions, and then he went on to teach at the staff college. It was at this time he would get involved again with the Air Cadets and was a founding member of the Chilliwack Squadron. In 1970, Rose and Duncan had their second daughter, Shannon Rose. They really enjoyed their life in Yarrow. They had a great group of friends that they had many fun times with. They were a social bunch. They had great BBQs, went Hooligan fishing, Friday night trips to Sumas, Sunday drives to visit family in the area, and special trips to White Rock to see his grandmother. We would feast on fish and chips, and the day always ended with him burning to a crisp on the beach. Lots of fun and laughter. Rose and Duncan decided to become berry farmers. They had 3 acres of Raspberries and 10 acres of Strawberries. This came with some challenges, a lot of work, and some good stories. Dad was not the best at maintenance, so these were interesting times. They persevered and had great success!
In 1977, Dad perused his dreams of becoming a Police officer and joined the Matsqui Police. He really enjoyed the comradery and made lifelong friends.
In about 1982, Dad met Nikki, and he moved to Abbotsford with Nikki and her 2 kids, Shaw and Tracey. He was very involved in the Air Cadets and the Air Show in Abbotsford. He loved the planes and the enthusiasm the kids had.
With Dad, he was always challenging himself. There was always a new adventure around the corner. He was very excited to be a part of the security detail on the EXPO 86 grounds. But the Yukon was still calling him, and that is where his heart truly wanted to be. So Dad, Nikki, and Tracy moved up to Faro, where he and Nikki worked for the mine.
In 1990 they moved back to Whitehorse, and he went to work for the Yukon Government Parole Board. He would also get his notary stamp and work as the on-call Coroner in the area. While living there, he loved to go fishing. In the summer you could almost fish 24 hours a day! He and Nikki bought a beautiful 32-foot boat named Natasha, and they spent many days out in Skagway, touring around and prawn fishing. He was not so good at crabbing. As always, Dad made many friends both in Whitehorse and with fellow boaters in Skagway. Always lots of fun, laughs, and pranks. Nikki and Dad also discovered their love for Yorkies. They had a few of them and even opened a clothing accessory store called Mitzies Closet in honour of their first Yorkie.
Dad was involved in the Air Cadets in Whitehorse. He volunteered at the Transportation Museum and belonged to the Yukon Historical Society. He was very proud of the Yukon and his heritage there. He loved having his BC friends and family up, touring them around and sharing the history of the Yukon. He retired in 2007 and continued to volunteer and spend time on his boat just enjoying life.
Unfortunately, not long after his retirement, he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and went into a home in Whitehorse. The Staff at Copper Ridge loved him, his great one-liners, and his mischievous ways. He even managed to organize a “prison” break!
Dad was very proud of his girls. Shannon and Peter and Grandson Lucas; Janette and Brad and Grandsons Kyle and Brayden and Granddaughter Denika
He leaves behind his 3 sisters Kathleen and Bill Lyons, Margret and Bruce Elliot, Susan Bradford, and all their families.
If you would like to donate to the 551 Whitehorse Lions Royal Canadian Air Cadets or the Whitehorse Transportation Museum on his behalf, see the links below. That would make him smile!
Transportation Museum: https://goytm.ca/donate/
551 Whitehorse Air Cadets: email@example.com