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Thomas Vernon Cragg

CRAGG, Thomas Vernon - The eldest son of William and Pollie Cragg was born on June 6, 1928 in the Lady Grey Hospital, Nipawin, Saskatchewan. He grew up on the farm NE of Arborfield one mile north of the small county Pembina School which is where he attended with the Stevenson, Carver, Ubdegrove, Haines, Vineyard, L’Arrivee, Durham and Jantz families. Vernon was fond of saying that he finished Grade X by correspondence; shook hands with the teacher; crossed the road to Cragg land, climbed on the tractor and began a lifetime of farming. At first he farmed with his father, and later in partnership with his brother Austin. They raised cattle and at one time had up to 300 sheep until the coyotes became a menace. In 1949 Vernon became a dedicated and active member of the Masonic Lodge. He was Worshipful Master of his own lodge and twice he was District Grand Master. On October 18, 1950 Vernon married Mildred (Millie) Dinnell of Connell Creek. Together they raised 4 children: Cheryl, Bill, Sandra and Vicki in the Cragg farm yard close to his parents and Austin and Dorothy’s family of 3. What fun the cousins had! In the 70’s Vernon and Austin took flying lessons in Nipawin. Vernon received his pilot’s license on March 13, 1975. He and Austin then bought the instructor’s plane. Vernon very much enjoyed flying to the cabin at Namew and to La Ronge to fish. Vernon was one of the first 7 directors who began the planning and final building of the Arborfield Dehy Plant in 1970 and 71. He then was Dehy secretary for some time. Vernon was a “fix it” man. No bolt, scrap of iron or lumber was ever thrown away for it might come in handy someday, and many times it did. It’s doubtful if there was a machine or tool on the place that didn’t have some small invention of Vernon’s attached to it to make it work better. He was a good mechanic, electrician and carpenter; building a new shop in 2008 at the age of 80. The old shop and all of his wood working tools burned down. Vernon and Austin sold the machinery and retired from farming in the fall of 1991. Although retired, he was always so pleased when one of the neighbors would ask him to drive a tractor or combine for them for a day or so during harvest time. Millie and Vernon had been married for almost 46 years when Millie passed away on September 15, 1996. Vernon batched for the next 7 years, growing and freezing vegetables, canning moose meat and cooking for himself, lacking the sweet desserts he so loved. On Sunday, April 6, 2003 Rev. Karen Mitchell married Vernon and Irene Johansen, in a quiet ceremony after a regular united church service in Arborfield. Irene moved 6 ½ miles to Vernon’s farm, bringing her flowers and catering to Vernon’s liking for rows of gladiolas. After their marriage he learned to dance and that became their regular pastime at 5 nearby towns for the next 12 ½ years; until his declining health curtailed their travelling. More time was then spent at the café and senior citizens hall. Coffee time at Hackett’s every Tuesday morning was still a priority. Vernon had a fall on June 18, 2016 which put him in the Nipawin Hospital until his passing on August 28, 2016. Vernon is predeceased by his parents William and Pollie Cragg, parents-in-law William and Annie Dinnell; first wife Mildred; Melody Stoneman, Pearl Oldrieve and Morris and Kendal Johansen. Left to cherish Vernon’s memory is his loving wife Irene; daughter Cheryl (Olmer) Soucy and their children: Dean (Deborah) Soucy, Delaney, Deneve and Dovlyn; Tricia (Lee) Corbett and son Jackson; son Bill (Margie) Cragg; Sandra (Brian) Harmsworth and their children Kenzie and Colby; daughter Vicki (Don) McQueen and their children Brandon and Zachary; Ray (Bev) Dinnell and Darry; Austin (Dorothy) Cragg and their children Wendy (Jim) Frederiksen and sons, Stephen, Riley and Justin; Randy Cragg; Dorothy Thompson and sons Daryl and Greg; extended family: Colleen (Jim) Cragg and their children Jamie and Joleen (Chris) Martin;; Sharon (Larry) Frisky and their children Lee, Sharla (David) Haggett, Aubrey and Hudson: Marlon: Tyrel (Tracy) Frisky, Emma and Jack: Mark Frisky; as well as many more extended family and friends. Celebration of Life: 2:00 p.m. Saturday, September 3, 2016 Arborfield Community Hall, Arborfield, Saskatchewan. Officiating: Rev. Jamie Bushell Rev. Karen Mitchell. Organist: Helena Lefebvre. Tribute: Larry Frisky. Ushers: Steve Lindsay & Mart Lebras. Register Attendants: Edgie & Laura Milligan. Urn Bearer: Cheryl Soucy. Honour Guard: The Masonic Lodge. Honourary Bearers: Sam Haines, Frank Kapeller, Erle Wilson, Garth Vineyard, Margaret Hackett, George Haines, Kichee “Casey” Wang, & Ivan Hackett. Interment: Moose Range Cemetery, Arborfield, Saskatchewan. Donations may be made to: The Arthritis Society 393 University Avenue Suite 1700, Toronto, ON M5G 1E6 or to a charity of one’s choice as a token of remembrance BARRON'S FUNERAL CHAPEL AND CREMATORIUM were honoured to serve the family. 306-873-212413096740
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