Courcelles, Real Hilaire

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Real Courcelles
1949 – 2023

Real Hilaire Courcelles was born Dec. 19, 1949 in St. Boniface Man. to Aurore (Massicotte) and Ernest Courcelles. He was the youngest of seven children.

Because of the location of the farm, he lived with other members of the family to go to school. He took high school and graduated from the Gravelbourg College in Saskatchewan.

Reffing basketball and playing hockey on an outdoor rink which they cleaned by hand were among the sports he enjoyed.

Real loved cars and even wore out a green 1966 Chrysler New Yorker. He found the governor a time or two, outrunning the RCMP while blaring the Beatles. This was a story he loved to share with a glint in his eye.

Alberta appealed to him. He married Maxine whom he met at a friend’s wedding and had two sons, Dan and Joel. His sons held a dear place in his heart and he was proud of them both.

He had a few different jobs/careers over his life. He started by joining his brothers Omer and Emilien at Balcaen Plumbing and Heating where he did tin smithing on some big buildings in Winnipeg.

Showcasing blenders took him across Canada but it wasn’t fun always living out of a suitcase.

Photographing weddings was very time-consuming and did not pay well, so he gave that idea up.

After getting his power engineering ticket, he worked in the oil and gas industry. He ended up working up north in gas plants where he had to fly in and out, even playing pilot more than once.

Real dreamt of owning his very own big classic Cadillac. He purchased a blue 1992 Brougham which he drove to Winnipeg so he could take his sister Aline for a ride in it.

Working on vehicles was a passion. He was extremely thrilled when the grandsons were able to get a special ‘little red’ truck back on the road.

Real met Judy with the intention of sharing some popcorn, however, that intention grew into sharing a life together. In the spring of 2002 he moved to Erskine where he became the patriarch of the family to Dean, Tyson, Coralee and Contessa. Many laughs, tears, and growing pains with the youngest (a redhead) still at home.

He could make things with wood and revamped an old holiday trailer into a concession trailer, rerouting the plumbing and figuring out how to provide the power needed using generators so that it was completely self-sufficient.  Uncle Tim’s Treats was created which became an adventure for the family. Real enjoyed chatting up all the customers.

After retiring from the oil patch, the ‘Silver Fox’ joined the Coop family working at the liquor store in Stettler. This became a very social time for him. He loved giving every customer he could a hard time. Some would make a special stop when they saw his vehicle there just to ‘chew the fat’.

The spring of 2023 was very difficult for him when he started to feel unwell since he had always been very healthy. After many tests they found cancer in his left lung and lower abdomen.

The road of life became very rough and rocky. Three chemo treatments were all his body could handle. After two months in hospitals, he took the steps to heaven on Dec. 9, just 10 days before his 74th birthday.

Real will be forever missed by his fiancee Judy (partner for 22 years), fur babies Foxi, Tina and Misti; his sons Dan (Jen); Joel (Saskia) grandsons Emery and Ronan; step-kids Dean, grandson Cole, grand-daughters Christine and Ashley; Tyson (Kellie) grand-daughter Cheyanne; Coralee (Dale) Ventnor, grandson Joseph (Emma), grand-daughter Junae (Brendon) Arnfinson; Contessa (Devon) Coldwell, fur babies Clifford, Shadow, Precious and Drac; sister-in-law Dariel (Roy) Sroka; his sister Alice Carriere; sisters-in-law Jeannette and Thelma as well as many more relatives and friends that loved him dearly.

He was predeceased by his four-legged shadow named Mitzi Mae; parents Aurore and Ernest; brothers Omer, Emilien and Louis; sisters Aline Audette and Olive; sister-in-law Marguerite; brother-in-law Denis Carriere; father-in-law Bill Walgenbach; sister-in-law Della; brother-in-law Rolly, other relatives and friends.

A celebration of life will be held on Sun. Dec. 17 with the burial in the Botha Woodland Cemetery at 11 a.m. and a come and go in the Erskine IOOF hall at 1 p.m. with a short service at 1 p.m. including an open mic for anyone wishing to share their special story of Real. Lunch to follow.

Please dress casually and wear something blue if you have something as it was his favourite colour.

In lieu of flowers, please donate to ones choice of charity or to  to help those needing pet care and who cannot afford it.

Contact Judy at 403.740.2492 if you need directions.

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