Obituary – Grant Edgar Gaschnitz

Grant Gaschnitz

With deep sadness we announce the passing of my dearest husband, father, grandfather, uncle and friend on April 9, 2019 in Edmonton.

Grant Edgar Gaschnitz, of High Prairie, passed away suddenly from a very aggressive form of lung cancer at the age of 75 years.

Grant was born on Jan. 3, 1944 in Edmonton and was the oldest son of Albert and Edith Gaschnitz. He, along with his younger brothers Glenn and Harold, and sister Gail, grew up in the Rose Valley district which was 30 miles west of Stony Plain. He walked to Rose Valley School and later walked one mile to catch the school bus to Keephills School.

Grant learnt what “hard work” was all about at age 14-15 years. The “horse” years had ended but much to his disappointment, he had to run the power binder for cutting grain instead of driving the tractor. At 16, Grant cut 4-foot poplar pulpwood for a fibre board plant in Wabamun, then worked for neighbouring farmers as a farm hand and custom farmed for the Paul Band Reserve.

Grant trained as an elevator agent for Searl Grain and later worked for Northern Alberta Railroads.

Later, he worked at Mair Feed Mill in Stony Plain as a mill worker and truck driver. Through this job, Grant met his wife to be, Audrey Graumann. They married May 20, 1972 and began their family with the addition of Lorna Marie born in November 1972. The bought Grant’s dad’s home quarter and moved a mobile home on the same yard site as his parents.

Grant continued to raise hogs, cattle and grain but stayed employed at Mair Feed. The family continued to grow – Rosemarie Edith born October 1974, Leanne Michelle born November 1977, and the family was complete when son Ronald Grant was born in August 1979.

In 1980, the farm at Rose Valley was bought out by Trans Alta Power, so Grant bought six quarters of land nine miles southwest of High Prairie in the Gilwood area. He continued to raise hogs, cattle, chickens, ducks and grain. High Prairie was now home.

He worked at Buchanan Lumber at a jack-of-all-trades and then as head rig sawyer. When Buchanan’s Yard #3 burnt down, he decided to go full-time farming, thereby allowing other workers to continue with their jobs instead of being laid off.

Grant and family became actively involved in the High Prairie community. They joined and attended the High Prairie United Church and Lesser Slave Pastoral Charge. He sat on the Hog Board, APPDC as District 9 delegate. Grant became a member and chairperson of the Peace Country Cattle Sales and also the High Prairie Grazing Association. In September 1998, he accepted the supervisor job for Prairie River Feeders and Hi Valley Beef Co-op. In December 2017, after 19 years, Grant retired from both associations.

Grant was board member and chairperson of Peace Country Beef and Forage Association and in February 2019 he received a Lifetime Membership Award. For many years, Grant was an Agriculture Service Board member and an appointee on the Agricultural Advisory Committee for Big Lakes County.

Grant and Audrey became members of the Pioneer Threshermans Association at Triangle and volunteered for various events and numerous jobs.

Along with all the groups he belonged to, Grant continued to be a dedicated farmer. He loved to talk to all the different people and had a very good memory of the work they did, where they lived and so on.

Grant loved farm auctions, music jamborees, and enjoyed a couple years camping and fishing with family and friends. IGA and A&W were his favourite visiting spots.

Grant was blessed with a quick sense of humour and a twinkle in his eye. He was a good decision maker and worked good with groups or on his own. His working relationship with his oldest daughter, Lorna, in running the farm was marvelous.

Grant is deeply missed by: Audrey, his wife of 46 years; his children, Lorna [Kevin] Pardell, Rosemarie [Shaun] Pratt; Leanne [Troy] Stucklschwaiger; and Ronald [Samantha] Gaschnitz. He was very close to his 13 grandchildren: Laura, Faith, Jacob, Colbi, Reece, Aden, C-aira, Sonja, Neka, Ethan, Emily, Abby and honourary grandson, Joe. Grant wore their names proudly onhis suspenders and T-shirt.

Also missing him terribly: his sister, Gail Sutherly; sister-in-laws Maureen Gaschnitz, Joyce Goerz, Alma Graumann; and brother-in-law Wilfred Goerz; along with numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.

Grant was predeceased by: his parents, Albert and Edith; his brothers, Glenn and Harold; ad well as numerous aunts and uncles. Another angel is now in heaven!

Celebration of Life was held at Triangle Hall May 4, 2019, at 1 p.m. under the direction of the Chapel of Memories Funeral Home.

Donations can be made to: Grant Gaschnitz Memorial Scholarship c/o Peace Country Beef and Forage Association, Box 3000, Fairview, AB T0H 1L0, or STARS Foundation, 570-14412 Aviation Park NE, Calgary, AB, T2E 9Z9.

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