Joseph (Joe) Gregory Walsh
14/05/1964 - 27/08/2020
Obituary for Joseph (Joe) Gregory Walsh
May 14, 1964 – August 27, 2020
It is with intense sadness, we must announce the unexpected passing of our most beloved Joseph Gregory Walsh on August 27, 2020 at the age of 56.
Joe leaves behind so many that loved him including (but certainly not limited to) the following immediate family; Wife, Audrey Walsh (nee Hulan), step daughters April and Tara MacMillan (spouse Kris Skodje) and our new love, dog Mindy; Mother and Father in-law, Lyla & Eric Hulan, brothers-in-law Vince and Vance Hulan, sisters-in law, Erin Lynch and Sheri Hulan, nephews Eric & Cole Hulan, and Jonathan Hulan, all of Grande Prairie.
So many great memories at the acreage and the cottage. Life was blessed.
Joe considered our great friend Falen Sanderson to be his 3rd daughter (& husband Corey Sanderson) along with whom he considered to be his 4th daughter Sydney Boomgaarden (fiance Abe Hiebert), from his many years working in the oil patch. Also, his extended family "The Simpsons" (all wonderful Aunt, Uncle and cousins of wife Audrey). We had many special memories of our annual family reunions in Turtle Lake, Saskatchewan. But make no mistake, there is no such thing as step or in-laws in Joe's family and we had the distinct honor and unbelievable luck to know and love him for 21 years.
Joe is also mourned by his most beloved brother Peter Walsh of Bolton Ontario whom they had the recent joy of reconnecting, but was sadly predeceased by his nephew "Petey" Walsh and was also predeceased by his adoptive parents. He leaves behind too many friends from his younger days to mention with whom he's stayed connected with and the Walsh family of Halifax area including his close cousins Robyn Walsh and Kelly Walsh Robinson (husband Lee Robinson) from Pocklington, England.
Wonderfully Joe had the greatest Joy of finding his biological family this past year and had the best year of his life which is saying a lot, since Joe was an incredibly happy person who brought joy and left a profound impact on all that knew him. He also tragically now leaves behind his "Four Roses". His mother Carol Rose (he was now a newfound self-proclaimed "Mama’s boy"), his three new sisters from "Mum", Sheri Rose Apa, Sheila Rose McLaughlin & Michelle Rose and their families of Ontario.
Also newfound half brother John Eivindson, sister in law Jennifer Eivindson, Nephews Erik, Daine and niece, Stephanie of Nanaimo BC. Joe had the chance to meet & bond with all before the Covid outbreak which has kept us apart since. While Joe did not get the chance to meet his newfound half sister Shawndee Brown of Florida, USA, they still managed to bond via many great heartfelt conversations. Also on his biological fathers side the many O'Briens of Newfoundland and Ontario regions, including his Uncle Clarence and Aunt Sharon O'Brien. Joe got his love of the Irish naturally then (especially Guinness), since he had those roots on both sides of his family. Thank you Ancestry DNA!
Last, but certainly NOT LEAST, Joe leaves behind his second family of "brothers" from his army days Andy Hulan, Ivan Finstad, Rod Dearing and newfound brother into his circle Jason "Jay" Fraser. There was almost nothing dearer to his heart than the week he spent on the annual hunting trip with his long term family of bros drinking, laughing and reminiscing (and sometimes shooting something).
Joe was born on May 14, 1964, and grew up in the Halifax area with his brother Peter when he then joined the army at the age of 17, "his calling" and first great love where he spent 14 years. Joe came to Grande Prairie 25 years ago to work in the oil patch. He met his next great love, wife and daughters four years later. He was the most awesome husband and father, and yes, his girls probably did turn his hair grey, but he loved every minute of it.
Joe loved family and friends the most. Fortunately, he had been retired for the last year and a half, and he had the time to spend connecting with all his new loved ones. He was very happy. His other loves included wood working, pets, especially our baby Casey whom we lost three years ago almost to the day, and he loved the beauty of nature and being in the woods. Though he didn’t spend his last moments with loved ones, it is fitting that he passed in one of his favorite places, the woods.
Joe Walsh was larger than life and the brightest light anyone could know. His loss is felt profoundly by so many, and he will be a void that is irreplaceable. Rest in peace with our Casey and Petey.
There will be a private viewing for close family and friends and a "Celebration of Life" when the world is a safer place.
In lieu of flowers you may make a donation to any of the following;
Military and Veterans Charities through CanadaHelps.org
Bandaged Paws Animal Rescue Association bandagedpaws.org
Heart & Stroke Foundation Canada heartandstroke.ca
Care entrusted to Bear Creek Funeral Home 780 830 7742 www.bearcreekfuneral.com
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Frequently Asked Questions
What is a funeral?
A funeral is a ceremony for a deceased person prior to burial or cremation. A funeral gives the opportunity for family and friends of the deceased to gather and mourn the passing of their loved one, to share cherished memories and celebrate their life. A funeral is a vital first step to help the bereaved heal after the loss of someone special.
What type of service should I have?
If no pre-arrangements have been made, the type of service is entirely up to you. Services are usually held at a funeral home, community hall, or a place of worship. There is a wealth of different services, ranging from a traditional religious or military service to something a little more non-traditional. Our funeral directors are more than happy to work with you to figure out what would be the most appropriate.
Who are Funeral Directors and what do they do?
Funeral directors are in charge of all the logistics following a death. They complete all the necessary paperwork, make arrangements for the transportation of the body, and put into action the choices made by the family in regards to the funeral service and the final resting place of the body. Beyond the logistics, funeral directors are there to provide moral support and guidance for someone coping with death.
What if a death occurs away from my home town?
We are here to help, we can arrange to have your loved one transported home from anywhere in the world. We will assume responsibility and make the proper arrangements to have them returned to the community. We use the same organization that brings our military home when needed.
What is embalming and what purpose does it serve?
Embalming sanitizes and preserves the body; it also slows down the decomposition process and enhances the appearance of the body damaged by traumatic death or illness. Embalming gives time to the family of the deceased to arrange a service, and allows the family the option of having an open-casket viewing.
What do I do if I am not satisfied with the way a funeral was handled?
Funeral homes and funeral professionals in Alberta are licensed by the Alberta Funeral Services Regulatory Board. If you are unhappy with the way a funeral was handled or the actions of a funeral home in Alberta, you may speak with or proceed with a complaint process to seek resolution of the matter. More information is found at http://www.afsrb.ab.ca/ or by phone at (780) 452-6130
How much does a funeral cost?
The cost of the funeral varies depending on the wishes you have. The average cost of a funeral is between $5,000-$7,000, however, it varies greatly depending on the kind of service you desire. In general, cremation tends to cost less than burial. The costs include professional services including transportation, embalming and other preparations, the use of a facility for the ceremony, and the purchase of a casket or urn.
Can I personalize a funeral?
Of course you can, in fact, more and more people are opting for a more non-traditional personalized service. There is no right or wrong way to celebrate somebody’s life. There are many unique ways to celebrate life, let the funeral director know exactly what your desires are and they will honour your wishes.
Do we need to have an obituary notice and what is included in one?
It is highly recommended to have an obituary notice that’s either placed in a local newspaper or placed online. An obituary lets the public know that a death has occurred, and gives them information about the service. Obituaries generally include the deceased’s full name, age, city, and date of birth and the city they were living in when they died. It also includes the name of the deceased’s spouse, along with the names of anyone else significant in their lives, such as parents, children or grandchildren. Space may be limited in a newspaper obituary, but you may include a little blurb on the life and legacy of the deceased. An online obituary or memorial website offers you the chance to add a lot more about the deceased.
What happens if the death occurs in the middle of the night or on the weekend?
We are here to help, funeral directors are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year.
Do I need to have an embalming
No, embalming is often an unnecessary expense, even if a viewing is desired. There are times when we would recommend embalming, especially if there is an extended gap between death and burial or cremation.
Why are funerals so expensive?
Funerals are labor intensive and require a lot of work from a lot of people. The cost of a funeral goes beyond merchandise such as caskets, it includes the services of a funeral director in making the necessary arrangements, filling out forms, and dealing with all the other people involved in the death (doctors, lawyers, insurance companies). Funeral directors work an average of 40 hours per funeral. The cost of operating a funeral home is factored into the cost as well. Funeral homes are a 24 hour operation, with extensive facilities that need to be maintained and secured.