Dave was born in Kelowna BC, the eldest son of Hank and Velma. He was predeceased by brothers Ralph Hennings and Gavin Shaw.
Dave is survived by his wife Frances, son Ryan and spouse Heather Mills, daughter Stacy and husband Thomas Flavin, and two grandsons Derek and Adam; sister Cindy and husband Bruce Stuckless; and cherished in-laws, nieces and nephews; and many dear friends.
Having spent his early years in the east Kootenays, and after the death of his father in 1950, Dave and his mother relocated to Calgary AB. Work brought Dave to Whitehorse in 1963 and he chose to stay and make the Yukon his home.
Nothing was more important to Dave than his family. He and Fran were married in 1968 and celebrated their 54rd wedding anniversary in June. Together they built a house in Riverdale for their family, and spent 45 years welcoming friends and relatives into their happy home.
Dave loved camping, boating and fishing in the Yukon and Alaska. For many years, Thanksgiving was spent salmon fishing in Haines with the turkey and trimmings prepared by Fran in the motorhome.
Public service and giving back to the community were important to Dave. As a young man, he served in the Naval Reserve as a member of HMCS TECUMSEH in Calgary. In the late 1960s and ‘70s he was a member and later, president of the Jaycees. In the 1980’s, he contributed his time to the Kiwanis Club. Dave became a member of the Yukon Order of Pioneers in 2012. One of his proudest affiliations was as an Ordinary Member of the Royal Canadian Legion, and in the last number of years, he volunteered his time with the Whitehorse branch. Dave loved to watch Ryan and then later, his grandsons play hockey. He gave much of his volunteer time to Whitehorse Minor Hockey in the 1990s.
Dave took his role as head of the family to heart, but he never took himself too seriously. When our family was together he would never miss the opportunity to tell us how much it meant to him and Fran to be together with their children and grandsons, making sure Heather and Tom knew they were a part of the family. That was Dad – he always ensured everyone was included in the arc of his kindness and generosity. He knew how it felt to be left out, from the hardships he had experienced early in his childhood and instead of a source of bitterness, he resolved to do better when it was his turn. And he did, over and over, throughout his rich life.
We have so many happy memories of Dave. His spirit of kindness, and love of life, was overflowing. What he loved best was to share it with others, and see those who mattered most to him, family and friends, be happy too. He never walked alone because at every moment, he had Fran, Ryan and Heather, Stacy and Tom, and his grandsons Derek and Adam, in his huge heart.
Dave’s presence in the lives of everyone who knew him, and especially his family, made hard times easier, and happy times sweeter. Just knowing that someone like him was with us, to face the world together, was a ray of light in the darkness. He’s left us a legacy of love of life, family and friends, and community service, to help us go forward. All our lives are better because Dave was a part of them. A wonderful husband, father, grandfather and Yukoner, we will follow his example of optimism and kindness to honour the fine man he was.
We are grateful to Dr Alex Kmet for his exceptional and compassionate care of Dave throughout his illness. Through Homecare, Dave was connected with Nurse Teri who provided kind support and guidance each week.We also thank the nursing staff on the Surgical and Medical wards as well as Dr Danusia and Dr Michael for their care of Dave in his final days. Interment will take place at Whitehorse Cemetery and a Celebration of Life will be announced on a later date.
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