~~April 1, 1962 - November 21, 2017
It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of Willie Wilfred Gerald Darte of Grande Cache Alberta. Willie will be sorrowfully missed by his loving life partner, and full-time caregiver, Elsa Patricia Estwick. Together they fought - and sadly, Willie lost his battle to ALS in the early morning of November 21, 2017 at the Grande Cache Hospital.
Willie was kind, loving, and generous to a fault. He loved the time he spent with his daughters and their spouses; Melissa Johnson (Jonathan) and Keenadawn Darte (Christy). Willie had a fantastic sense of humor and was very accepting of differences. He always had a ready smile for everyone.
Willie and Elsa could often be found camping, fishing, and boating with Elsa's son and his wife; Walter Joe Estwick, and Charlene. Willie also loved his 4-legged friends. Willie left PEI to join his mother in Alberta at just 17 years old, where he became a 38-year resident of Grande Cache. Willie worked approximately 10 years at Atco electric, and another 20 years at Milner Power as a heavy equipment operator. He also served time on the Safety Committee at work. Willie loved doing renovations to his home, working in his yard, decorating for any holiday, and working on projects in his garage. He was an avid collector of anything motorized from his 1971 Duster - which he was in process of restoring - right down to his Hot Wheels, his models, and a large variety of remote control vehicles.
Willie was survived by his life partner, Elsa Patricia Estwick of Grande Cache, Alberta; his daughters Melissa Johnson of Lethbridge, Alberta, and Keenadawn Darte of Red Deer, Alberta; his brothers, Alexander Harvey Darte of Charlottetown, PEI, and Daniel Lane Darte of Kingston, Ontario.
He was Predeceased by his mother, Edith Miriam Whitlock of Hunter River, PEI (January 15, 1941 -January 19, 1994); and his father, Gerald Angus Darte of DeSable, PEI (May 9, 1938 - March 12, 2000).
We would like to thank so many people. To everyone who donated to the GoFundMe page; the $4,910 will be donated and divided evenly between the ALS society, and the Grand Cache Hospital. Thank you so very much for your generosity. To everyone who has called, sent cards, flowers, and visited - a very sincere thank you. To the family and friends who spent time visiting and helping with Willy's care; Walter Joe Estwick, Cecil Hoyt, Rick Wood, Shelly Morey, Claudette Aucoin, Dan Wilson, Lynn Lyall, Rod Sermon, Derek, Melissa, Jonathan, Keenadawn, and Christy, bless you all and thank you so very much. For all of those who kept in touch with Willie by cell phone and Facebook, thank you so much your time. It meant a lot to him. To Nikki, Dan Darte, Harvey Darte, Gertrude and Cassie, and the Farina family, Marla and Ashley, Auntie Maxine and Vera, Noah, Tommy and Mona Arbuckle; Chandra and Christy; Phyllis, June, Ray, and Juanita; and Mary Dawncaster of Sydney. There are so many people, and the list is endless. We apologize to everyone we didn't name.
A heartfelt thank you to all of the healthcare professionals, Dr. Viveiros, Dr. Gillette, Dr. Chapman, the nursing staff of Grande Cache Hospital, Dr. Johnson, and the staff of the K Clinic in Edmonton; the ALS Society, Mark and Russell; the home care and physio staff, Matt, Jane, Holly, Maria, Ella, and Barb; the local ambulance and fire department staff and volunteers; ICU nursing staff of the Misericordia Hospital in Edmonton; and Jamie and staff of Fournier Drug Store in Grande Cache
Care entrusted to Bear Creek Funeral Home 780-830-7742 www.bearcreekfuneral.com