Merlin Barry Dillabough
January 1, 1941 – January 1, 2019
With heavy hearts, we announce the passing of Merlin Dillabough Sr on his 78th birthday, on January 1, 2019, at the St. Boniface Hospital. He passed away peacefully after a long period of deteriorating health, surrounded by his loved ones.
Merl leaves behind his grieving, beloved Katherine Melnyk of 50 years and their son James Melnyk (Leona); his children, Mary Ann (Tom) Kapac, Merlin (Sabina), Wesley (Gloria), Debbie (Mitchell) van Crasbeek and Michael; their mother Rita; his 8 grandchildren, Nathan, Delaney, Hannah, Riley, Oliver, Amelia, Owen, and Lauren, all of Winnipeg; sister Penny Pruden and brothers David (Brenda) Dillabough of Selkirk, and George (Gerry) Weston, of Winnipeg; as well as many nieces and nephews, in-laws and friends.
Merl was born in Jellico, ON (District of Thunder Bay) a small mining town. In his early years, Transcona, Manitoba would become his home. When 3 years of age, Merl lost his father. (He never forgot him and proudly displayed the map of Dillabough Lake, MB. which commemorated his dad’s service during WWII) Later, his mother remarried, and his family settled in Selkirk. There he grew up and went to high school. Merl would say, with a smile, that he was a “walking encyclopedia.” He was a friendly man and always enjoyed a good conversation, gardening and watching the birds. He had also enjoyed fishing with his sons, camping and a good round of golf. In his younger years he played pool competitively. Having excelled at math, his first job was in the accounting office at the Manitoba Rolling Mills. A man with many interests, he would go on to work a variety of careers throughout his lifetime, including the Canadian Armed Forces, mining in the Yukon, riverboat crewman… to name a few, ending his career with Canada Packers. With the onset of many health issues, he spent many days at home with the comfort of his cats and care of Katherine, thinking of his family, whom he was so proud of.
Merl was predeceased by his dad Lawson Dillabough Sr., who was killed in action, Dec 17, 1944 in North Ravenna, Italy, and his loving mother Mary Dillabough Weston (2003); his stepfather Lorne Weston (1998); grandfather Duncan Dillabough and grandmother Mary Elizabeth “Granny Dunc”(nee Cromarty) (1990); grandfather James Palmer (1963) and grandmother Annabella Margaret “Bella” (nee Fidler),(1976); brother Lawson Jr “Al”(2014) and infant sister Linda.
A celebration of Merl’s life will be held on Thursday, January 31st, from 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. with a light luncheon, at the Royal Canadian Legion Branch #43, 134 Marion St., Winnipeg.
E.J. COUTU & CO. FUNERAL DIRECTORS
680 Archibald Street