Blair Woods May 7, 1956 – November 8, 2020
It is with great sadness we announce the passing of Blair Woods of Elgin, MB. Blair passed away peacefully at the Souris Health Centre on November 8, 2020 at the age of 64.
Blair leaves to mourn his wife of 42 years Ardelle; son Brooks (Shealynn), daughter Hilary (Ben) Heide; grandchildren Wyatt, Dylan, Johnathan, William, Michael and Adelyn. Brother Morley Woods and sister Karen Yetter and Ed; sister-in-law Marilyn Woods, stepmother Faye Woods, Aunt Ginny (Jerry) Hardy, Uncle Ron (Bonnie) Woods, Aunt Doreen Cobbe, brothers-in-law Bill (Bobbi) Edgerton and Bob Edgerton and his favorite mother-in-law Marge Edgerton; several cousins and nieces and nephews and their families.
He was predeceased by his mother, Dorothy (1983), his father Jack (1993), and father-in-law Laurie Edgerton (2013).
Stenson Blair Woods was born May 7, 1956, the eldest of Jack and Dorothy (nee Roper) Woods. Blair was born in Carman, Manitoba and the family lived in the Homewood area until moving to Elgin in 1960. He attended Elgin and Hartney schools. Through his teens, Blair participated in tractor pulls where he enjoyed every aspect of the competition. Although he did not share his family’s love of flying, he attended many flying farmer conventions where he made friends that he still had. He was a member of the Elgin Seed Club where his love of farming was nurtured. He was employed by Arnold Brothers Transport and continued his love of truck driving and has operated his own trucks hauling grain and fertilizer throughout Manitoba, western Canada and parts of the United States with the help of faithful employees. He was proud to help introduce and be the provincial connection for Spitz Sunflowers. He was a charter member of the Elgin Lions Club and was on several boards and committees in the Elgin area.
In 1974, he purchased Art and Norma Reid’s farm south of Elgin. His family lived on the farm until 1985 when they moved to the family farm at NW 8-5-21, the century farm where Blair’s grandmother Mae Woods (nee Sadler) was raised.
Blair was proud of his family. For Brooks, this meant sharing his knowledge of semi driving and teaching the value of what it takes to be a respected farmer. For Hilary, he was always supportive and always had her back. Blair loved of all his grandchildren. He always knew what they were doing, proud of their accomplishments and tried to be a part of their lives, even if it was from a distance.
Blair’s involvement in whatever he chose to do was always at 100%. He started snowmobiling in 1967 and fully enjoyed this sport. From collecting a wide variety of snowmobiles, taking many adventures with his buddies throughout Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Ontario and several American states, to being one of the founding members of the Southwest Snowtrackers, serving on regional boards, being president of the provincial Snoman board and also second vice president of the Canadian Council of Snowmobiles Organization. Fundraising was always a privilege for Blair as he was able to combine his love of sledding with helping others who were not as fortunate as he was.
Blair was connected with many young people from all across Britain, Scandinavia, New Zealand and Australia from his involvement with the International Host Family Association. As a host father, he helped nurture their involvement in farming. He considered all trainees as friends and some became part of his extended family.
Blair’s passion for municipal involvement started in 1986. He was councillor for the Rural Municipality of Whitewater from 1986-2002 and became Reeve from 2006-2014. With the amalgamation of municipalities, he was pleased to accept the challenge and was voted in as Reeve for Municipality of Grassland from 2015 until his passing. With council involvement came several challenges, multiple conversations, an abundance of meetings and uncountable colleagues and friends made along the way. If he couldn’t be challenged, he wouldn’t be happy. He was presented with the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2013 by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities. They chose Blair for his exemplary efforts in making his community a great place to live. He was proud of the fact that he was always fair and honourable with his decisions and votes, even if they came at a personal expense. He always spoke with pride when it came to council, past and present.
Nothing made him happier than having an opportunity to share his knowledge and experiences, and as busy as he was, he always made sure to keep his family a priority. He loved to spoil his wife, was fiercely proud of his kids and all his grandchildren. He was a man of integrity and always put others ahead of himself. Everyone was treated with respect and fairness and his laugh will be remembered fondly. Time spent with family and friends provided everyone who is left to mourn with countless memories. His life ended sooner than anyone wanted it to, but it was well lived and he shared that he had no regrets. He will be missed by all who had the privilege to really know him.
“A meaningful life is not about being rich, being popular, being highly educated or being perfect.
It’s about being real, being humble and being kind.”
A private graveside service was held at the Elgin Cemetery on November 17, 2020 with Rev. Harvey Hurren officiating. Kowalchuk’s Funeral Home was in charge of the arrangements. A celebration of life will be held in the summer of 2021.