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January 18, 2022

Never forgotten
Updated On: Jan 07, 2021

 David Adrien Joseph Richard 
(1948 - 2003)
Dave was a patient, kind, soft-spoken, gentle man with a huge heart full of love and compassion.  He was a loving husband, father and son.   Dave was an exceptional man both at work and at home and was highly respected by all those he met and worked with.
Dave first served as a Volunteer in the Fort McMurray Fire Department and became a full time Firefighter in January 1977.  He joined the Executive of the Firefighters Association Local 2494 in 1980 and served for 19 years, 10 of which he was President.  During that time, he also served on the Executive of the Alberta Firefighters Association as President for 4 years.  In 1984 he spent a year working in the Fire Prevention Branch but went back to the fire floor...his first love.  He was promoted to Lieutenant March 1986, to Captain in May 2001, and to Platoon Captain October 2003.  Dave started the Seniors Lifeline Program in Fort McMurray in 1986 and organized fund raising functions until his passing.  He was awarded the "Fire Services Exemplary Medal" from the Canadian Federal Government in October of 2000 and the Alberta “Emergency Service Medal in October 2003.

Rick Wilkinson 
(1944 - 2004)

Rick started his career with the then town of Fort McMurray on November 1, 1975. During his 29 years with the fire department he spent time in our training branch teaching our newest the tricks of the trade. But he returned to his first love being an active fire fighter in the operations branch. During his off time he could always be found hanging out at the local clubs playing the drums with any band that would let him. Believe it or not in his early years before he came to Fort McMurray we would often play with the great Canadian rock band The Guess Who as their back-up drummer. As one of our most experienced fire officers, he was always there to coach and mentor our new officer core. Before Rick’s death he achieved the rank of Platoon Captain. Rick you will always be in our hearts. Sleep well my brother.


Lee-Anne McKenzie 
(1969 - 2007)
Lee-Anne was a mother, a daughter, a sister and friend.  Taken too early in life, Lee-Anne will be missed by her platoon and all who knew her or who’s life she was able to touch. As a Firefighter/Paramedic with the Fort McMurray Fire Department, Lee-Anne was able to help many that needed her skills.  The hearts of the brothers and sisters of IAFF Local 2494 Fort McMurray Fire Fighters Association go out to Lee-Anne’s family.

Mark Cornell
(1981 - 2005)
Mark was taken in the prime of his life.  After completing his dream of being a fulltime firefighter, Mark was living every boys dream.  As a member of the Fort McMurray Fire Department, Mark brought more than just his skills as an EMT-A and Fire Fighter,  but also brought his skills to the ice when he played hockey with members of the fire department at noon hockey.  Mark will be greatly missed by those members of his Platoon and all those that had the chance to get to know him.  The hearts of the brothers and sisters of IAFF Local 2494 Fort McMurray Fire Fighters Association go out to Mark’s family. 

James T. Banting
(1955 - 2011)
BANTING, James Thomas May 20, 1955 - February 23, 2011 Battalion Chief James Thomas Banting, (called "Cap" by most) was born May 20, 1955 in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, died peacefully in his home on February 23, 2011 in Fort McMurray, Alberta. Jim lived on a farm and attended school (Grades One through Twelve) in Dinsmore, Saskatchewan and then relocated to Saskatoon, to obtain his pilot's license. Captain Banting came to Fort McMurray in September 1976 as a twenty-one-year-old youth, looking to make his fortune. Having just gotten his commercial pilot's license, he initially came looking for a job as a pilot. During that visit, while Jim sat on the sidewalk of Franklin Avenue eating a sandwich, Tom Weber stopped to speak with him. Tom initially stopped to talk to Jim about Cap's 1975 Honda Goldwing motorcycle - Jim still has and used that 1975 Goldwing, much to the mirthful musings of many at the firehall! Deputy Chief Weber mentioned to Jim "we are hiring firefighters". Such is the way of providence. The challenge of what began Jim's chosen firefighting profession, and the wilderness, assured Cap was not going anywhere. Jim Banting now belonged to the north. Many benefited from his guidance, experience and - "with respect" - his stubbornness. Cap started out as a firefighter and earned his progression through the ranks...Lieutenant, Captain, Platoon Captain, to our Battalion Chief. Saying he was "our" Battalion Chief was said in the form of a brag, for Cap was truly a leader, one whom people were proud to have as their officer. He was an officer and a gentleman who held the trust of many. In a department with many young, inexperienced but nevertheless talented men and women coming through, there was additional weight on the more mature and experienced firefighters. Jim relished in this, he was good at it, and he provided endless guidance and knowledge to new members, building within each of them a pride in their second family, The Fire Department. For the last thirty years, since 1981, Cap's collaborator on the home team has been Arlyn. His friend, partner and grand love. Jim contributed to the Fort McMurray Fire Department family by encouraging, supporting and instigating various off duty "activities". As an officer, he enjoyed being part of the team wholly, and contributed to the unity of the group, the camaraderie, the collegiality. When Jim socialized with his team, he was just "one of the boy". Woodworking: Cap made and ran a great wood working shop; he proudly did the ceiling in his home, all the trim, baseboards and office. To say he was "focused" in his woodwork would be an understatement. Travel: Cap and his love Arlyn traveled every year, Europe, China, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Thailand . . . everywhere be it on sea or land. His natural curiosity continued and took them worldwide, with "the team" returning from every trip with a treasure of one type or the other. Whenever they left a country, they left newly made friends behind. Camping and Fishing: many lakes and rivers found Cap and Arlyn camped next to them; and shortly thereafter the fish stock declined as Cap was a bit of a keen fisherman. To Jim getting a fish, cleaning it and cooking it right on the spot, was the best meal in the world, he was content. Jim's idea of camping was not a hotel, even when he was able to obtain a motor home he still would take his tent with him and occasionally would be found in his tent, next to his very comfortable motor home... He was a man of the north who was at home in the wilderness and was able to take care of himself and others who traveled with him, in the wilds. James Thomas Banting is survived by, and will be forever missed by, his wife, Arlyn Greig; father, Walter; mother, Wilma; sister, Cathy (Jack) Newby; niece, Ginger (Trent); great-nephew, Tysen and great-niece, Caitlyn Appel.
Christopher Relph | Obituaries | Elhatton's Funeral Home Ltd.
RELPH, Christopher Jordan - 1989 - 2018
It is with great sadness that the family of Chris Relph announces his passing at the age of 29 after a brief and courageous battle with cancer. Born and raised in Bathurst, NB, Chris made his home in Fort McMurray for the past 10 years where he has been employed as a firefighter/EMT for the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo Fire Department Local 2494. Chris was a hard-working man who was dedicated to his job, young family and his love of hockey. He will forever be remembered as an amazing husband, father, son and friend to anyone who had the pleasure of meeting him. He is survived by his loving wife and best friend Sherianne (Shantz); his 2-year old daughter Rylie Anne; his parents Donald & Nancy (LeBlanc) of Bathurst, NB; his grandmother Royetta LeBlanc also of Bathurst; his father and mother-in-law Geoff and Shelley Shantz, brother-in-law Trevor Shantz, and sister-in-law Erynn Shantz all of Fort McMurray. He also leaves behind many aunts, uncles, cousins and friends. The family would like to thank the nursing staff of the Northern Lights Regional Heath Center, the Fort McMurray Fire Department, and a special thank you to Dr. John O'Connor for all of their support during this very difficult journey.
Kelly Kelly | Obituary | Fort McMurray Today
Kelly Ken Kelly, age 58, died unexpectedly at the Northern Lights Regional Health Center on Monday January 28, 2019. He was born in Flin Flon, Manitoba to Del and Phyllis Kelly (Simpson). He was the eldest of 6 children. Kelly moved to Fort McMurray in 1977 and began working for the city of Fort McMurray shortly after graduating from the Fort McMurray Composite High School in 1978. He joined the Fort McMurray Fire Department in 1981 and remained with them until he passed away. He married Teresa Bishop on September 6, 1986. He is preceded in death by his father, Del Kelly and his wife Teresa. He is survived by his son, Keven Lyle Kelly, daughter Meghan Alison (Lyndon) Stoll, mother Phyllis Kelly, brothers Shane, Scott and Miles Kelly and sisters Shannon (Edgar) Sharon and Shonna (William) Barnes and four grandchildren. 

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