by brothers, Brandon and Kyle Elhard
On behalf of the family, we would like to thank everyone for the tremendous outpouring of support over the last week.
We appreciate all the flowers, food, calls, texts, cards and visits.
Jesse Edward Elhard was born on Dec. 9, 1996, the middle son of Mitch Elhard and Val Gonda.
When Jesse was born, I was not too happy about his arrival. I hid most of my toys from him for a long time. And there was Kyle…
From an early age, Jesse was the quiet, gentle soul.
He never said much but the wheels were always turning.
He was known for his quick wit and sly little chuckle.
When hanging out with his friends one night, Jesse said he wanted to be called Frank the Tank and they all decided it was more like Frank “the Stick”.
I’ve had 30 lbs. on him for several years and Jesse never failed to mention he could still take me down.
When in elementary school, he was a favourite to all, having most teachers wrapped around his finger.
One teacher even named her donkey after him.
Jesse loved his John Deere farm toys. He lined them up perfectly and no one dared to move them.
Jesse also loved the outdoors.
He could be found at the farm watering trees, gardening, playing in the dirt, or chasing cows when we shouldn’t be.
He had an early love for dirt biking having a YZ 85 two-stroke, that he drove up and down the road all day.
Quite often, the dirt bikes and quads were unrecognizable as he found every mud hole in Alberta.
Winter sports were another favourite. He played hockey from an early age up to and including Bantam, where his team reached Provincial finals in Nanton, Alta.
Jesse also had a love of snowboarding. He was happiest high on the mountain top.
Jesse was a Paintearth 4-H Beef Club member for several years.
He always enjoyed working with the cattle but public speaking, not so much!
His shyness soon evaporated when he met a young lady named Shianne Kohlman with whom he spent many years and had many wonderful adventures.
She and her family were a big part of his life.
Jesse went to Gus Wetter school, graduating in 2014.
He started his mechanic career doing the school RAP program at Filipenko Brothers.
He soon became a regular with the coffee crew at Andy’s.
He took and accepted the ongoing razzing in his quiet, grinning way.
In 2018 he completed his Red Seal Journeyman Heavy Duty Mechanic, something he was extremely proud of.
He moved to Lethbridge and worked for Headwater Equipment.
Looking for a change, in 2019 a head hunter contacted Jesse about coming to work for Teck Coal – Line Creek Operations in Sparwood, B.C.
He made the move out there in 2020 and loved his job. He loved to talk about his work.
Jesse made friends wherever he went.
People gravitated to his gentle and easy-going nature.
However, one time, his not so gentle nature reared its head when he had to jump to his ‘little’ brother’s defence.
He pulled the guy off of me and proceeded to tune him in. He picked me up and got me the heck out of there.
Jesse was extremely proud of his truck. Especially those oversized rims and tires. Didn’t matter that you couldn’t turn very sharp – they looked cool.
Jesse was loved by the whole community.
He is survived by his parents: Val and Jim Gonda and Mitch Elhard; brothers Brandon Elhard, Kyle (Paige) Elhard and nephew Callum; grandparents Annette Golby and Joanne Gonda; Richard and Beth Elhard; numerous aunts, uncles, cousins and countless friends.
He is predeceased by Ed (Moose) Golby.
Funeral services were held at Castor on Sat., July 11, 2020 with long time family friend Vern Hein leading the service.
Several of Jesse’s childhood friends gave loving tributes.
Jesse was laid to rest at Castor Cemetery.
Condolences can be sent to the family at www.parkviewfuneralchapels.com.
Memorial donations may be sent to Canadian Mental Health, c/o Parkview Funeral Chapels, Box 186, Castor, AB T0C 0X0.
Parkview Funeral Chapels & Crematorium entrusted with the care and funeral arrangements. 403-882-3141.