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Patrick “Pat” Joseph Donnelly

February 22, 1956 ~ May 18, 2018

Patrick “Pat” Joseph Donnelly

Patrick “Pat” Donnelly made his last sarcastic and most likely wildly inappropriate comments on May 18, 2018. Along with him goes the countless stories he loved to tell (we are still unsure which were true).

Pat was born to Mary and Patrick Donnelly in February 1956 on the big rock (Newfoundland). He is survived by his daughters Jessalynn (Mike Vawer) of Calgary, Alberta and Leslie Langen (Jonny) of Strathmore, Alberta. Pat is also survived by 3 loving but annoying sisters, Margaret Duby (Ed) of Ottawa, Ontario, Karen Annette (Diz) LeJeune (Ivan Busenius) of Red Deer Alberta and Lisette (Liz) Kaip (Bill) of Yellowknife, NT. Most importantly he is survived by 4 beautiful grandchildren; Alexander, Joshua, Zoey and Amber. Pat was predeceased by; his father, Patrick Donnelly, his mother, Mary Anastasia Grias (ne Newton / Donnelly), his step-father, Jean Grias, his sister, Mary Josephine “Jo or Jody or Jo Jo” Harris, and his sister Eileen “Deb” Margaret Ullathorne. Pat is also survived by many Nieces and Nephews; Trevor McKenzie, Shane McKenzie, Erin Ruppel, Lindsay Ullathorne, Phil Duby, Melody Duby, Justin Duby, Mark Conner, Patrick Conner, Brian Conner, Kirsten Kaip, Tara Kaip and Reggie Kaip as well as great nieces and nephews Ben, Charlotte, Sam, Audrey, Emily, Matthew, Aiden, Nathan, Lacie, Chayton, Asher and Lanaya.

Pat was hauled north to Hay River NWT in his younger days along with his many siblings so that Mom (Mary) could take a teaching job there. This is where, despite the lifelong issues with his eyes, Pat began to spread his wings and live life the way he wanted to (haphazardly). Pat finished high school and went off to Calgary to take journalism (so he could get even more people to listen to his stories).  He soon tired of the City life and headed back to Hay River. That is when he took a job fighting forest fires. He stayed with that job for many years of crazy and memorable Sunday dinners, trivial pursuit games and sibling wars at Mom’s, and then moved further westward (but still North) to the Yukon. It was while living in Dawson City, Yukon that he met Kathy and, much to everyone’s surprise, ended up a married man with 2 daughters! This new life didn’t work well with Pat’s nomadic, fly-by-the-seat-of-his-pants style and he was soon off on his own again and living in Mayo, Yukon where he lived for some 30 years in the style he preferred – alone with nobody to tell him what to do, and by the seat-of-his-pants. Except for the extreme patience and kindness of a few good friends (Dale and Darlene Hutton, Mary) Pat may very well have met his maker a long time ago!

For the past several years Pat worked for the Town of Mayo as the recycling coordinator and looking after the free store. Pat also loved to travel. Some years back he left on a solo trip to Australia with his documents, his backpack and his bicycle and what a trip it was! Of course, he withdrew all his pension money and blew it for this trip (somehow knowing that he wouldn’t need it later on in life). While he was on this trip Pat wrote another story disguised as a letter to us back home. We don’t know how he found the time to write in-between being robbed, getting lost, being bitten by a poisonous spider and getting hospitalized, but never-the-less this is one story that is documented and most likely true (at least some of it).

Pat died knowing (much to his dismay) that there were a few people in this world smarter than he was (but only a few). Jo Jo and Mary and “possibly” Deb. It’s a good bet that he’s already challenged Jo Jo and Deb to a rousing game of Trivial Pursuit!  His regrets were few but included not seeing more of his daughters, getting to make a final round trip to see all his family spread across the country, and to not get to eat a big f***ing hotdog (or 5) at a live Toronto Blue Jays game.

Pat did not lead an average life. He traveled where he wanted to travel and how he wanted to travel (mostly by bus), made inappropriate comments at every chance, learned only what he wanted to learn, shared what he wanted to share, and loved who he wanted to love.

At Pat’s request there will be no funeral or service. Cremation will take place and his ashes will be spread as requested by his good friend Dale.

Donations can be made to the Canadian National Institute for the Blind in Pat’s name.

Comments (1)
  • 4 August 2018

    So sorry to hear of Pat’s passing. We were recently in Hay River visiting with family and talking about people from the past and of course Pat’s name came up. We were unaware of his passing at that time and we all had recollections of Pat and his stories. Rest in peace Pat, you lived life the way you wanted and lived it well. Sorry we did not connect one more time.

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