Lionel completed his life’s journey on April 17.
He was born December 17, 1939 – the youngest of ten children born to Joseph and Minnie Stokes of High Prairie, Alberta. It was here Lionel first took an interest in curling, competing in the 1959 Alberta high school championships that developed into a lifelong passion for the sport. Lionel continued curling after moving north, winning the Yukon championship numerous times. At the 1975 Brier in Fredericton, NB Lionel and his mates finished the competition tied for second place – no playoffs in those days! Their record two years later at the 1977 Brier in Montreal, PQ was not quite as outstanding however Lionel was named All-Star Second. Lionel was also honoured to be a fifth for the Chuck Haines rink at the 1981 and 1991 Briers. In 1982 Lionel & his wife Debra represented the Territories at the Seagram Mixed curling championships in Timmons, Ont. Lifelong friendships were forged along the way as Lionel’s calm and gentle demeanour endeared him to everyone he met.
Lionel brought a sense of loyalty, strong values, sound ethics and integrity to his long career in business. Lionel and the Edgewater were synonymous. He started pouring draft in the pub in 1969 and by 1982 was sole owner of the hotel. Most days he could be seen either at the front desk, in the lounge or the Cellar Dining Room. Lionel was respected and cherished by all those who worked for him during his 40 years at the “Edge.” Suffice it to say that after Lionel sold the business in 2009, the “Edge” was never the same.
Loving and wise, he quietly led his family, teaching them and many others by example. Lionel is survived by his wife Debra, sons Brent (Kathy and Joseph), Brad (Heidi, Kyla and Luke) and daughter Sue (Chris, Brendan and Brody). Also mourning his loss are his brothers Donald (Kathleen) of Rancho Santa Fe, California, Jim (Anna) of High Prairie AB, Wally (Betty) of Grande Prairie AB, Jack of Kinuso AB, and sisters Dora Szusko of Edmonton AB, and June (Nori) Nishio of Nanaimo, BC as well as extended family in the UK and Australia.
Our deepest thanks to Dr. Owen Avrill, Dr. Allison O’Hearn, Dr. Danusia Kanachowski, the entire medical ward and home care team involved for the attentive and compassionate care shown Lionel and his family.
All the special people in Lionel’s life are too numerous to mention – and you know who you are – know that he leaves you with a smile and a glass of wine that is more than half full – so enjoy the memories and have “just the one.”
In accordance with Lionel’s wishes there will be a private family burial. In lieu of flowers Lionel’s family invite you to consider a donation in his memory to a charity of your choice.
Anyone wishing to offer a condolence or share a memory are invited to do so at www.heritagenorth.ca on the obituary page. Also cards can be mailed to Heritage North Funeral Home 412 Cook Street, Whitehorse, Y.T. Y1A 2R1 and they will be forwarded to the family.