Thursday, September 6, 2007

Pegged out... Cribbage lovers beyond 121.

One last miracle was not to be

Kelly Egan
The Ottawa Citizen

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Alcide Yelle was always a restless sort.

Not long ago, he was lying in a hospital bed at the Civic campus of The Ottawa Hospital, gravely ill with Parkinson's disease, diabetes and a variety of complications from a leg amputation.

Still, he was bored.

He called his friend, Marcel Gervais, also an amputee. With a third man, Keith Baker, the trio had formed a small manufacturing company inside the walls of Saint-Vincent Hospital.

Talk about miracles. Three men in wheelchairs were designing, making and marketing oversized board games, like cribbage, for the visually impaired.

Mr. Yelle was production manager, "the slave driver," but ill health had temporarily landed him in the Civic.

"Can you send me a bunch of pegs?" asked Mr. Yelle, 72, describing one of the pieces of the board games. "I can count them out and put them in bags."

If there is an overriding character trait about Mr. Yelle, who was buried in a snowy churchyard yesterday, it is this sense of being driven.

He was a fisherman and hunter, a beekeeper, woodworker and winemaker. He used to tap his own maple trees on his 11-acre property, emptying buckets by hand and doing the evaporating all night, sleeping on a cot in a crude shack.

He didn't dabble in hobbies; he threw himself into them, including building his own house near Carlsbad Springs and teaching his children to ski, swim and camp.

"It was like he had ants in his pants," said his younger brother, George, with a laugh. "He couldn't sit down. He always had to have a project."

Mr. Yelle was born in Cornwall on Dec. 18, 1934, the third of six children. His father, Leo, was a shipper at one of the city's large mills.

One Dominion Day, Alcide and George were watching a parade pass through a nearby village. The Mounties went by on their horses and red serge.

"Now that's what I want to be," George remembers Alcide declaring.

The family moved to a farm near St. Albert in 1945 and the children helped with chores, including milking 40 cows by hand. But Alcide had his eyes set.

In 1955, he graduated from the RCMP's training academy in Regina, a member of J Troop. He married his wife, Aline, in the early 1960s and the couple had three daughters, Julie, Marie and Chantal, all tall like their father, who was six-foot-four.

His work would take him to Montreal, then Ottawa. From 1981-1983, he was posted to a senior position in Fredericton.

He was entrusted with many assignments that involved providing security for heads of state and VIPs, including King Hussein, the Queen, Prince Charles, and prime minister Pierre Trudeau.

The work took him all over the world, his family said.

Included in the mementos shown to mourners yesterday was a photo of Mr. Yelle with a visiting Henry Kissinger on Parliament Hill, signed by the 1970s-era U.S. secretary of state: To Sid Yelle, With every good wish.

At one time, Mr. Yelle was director of official languages policy at RCMP headquarters in Ottawa. When he retired in 1989, he was a chief superintendent, one of the highest ranks in the force.

In the mid-1980s, Mr. Yelle began building a large, grey stone house on a rural property outside Carlsbad Springs. He finished the job, but a downturn in his health would not permit him to peacefully live out his retirement there.

On a fishing trip, he complained to George about a mild shake in his hand. Not long after, he was diagnosed with Parkinson's.

As was his nature, he threw himself into work with Parkinson Society Canada, first locally, then nationally. The organization credits him with energizing a movement to unite the society's provincial arms and with creating a payroll deduction fundraising plan.

Eventually, his health declined to the point that he moved into Saint-Vincent Hospital. Again, he refused to sit still. He was soon president of the residents' council, acting as a patient advocate and a liaison with the hospital.

"Dad surprised everyone with his resilience. He was not one to dwell," his daughter, Chantal, told the crowded pews at St. Laurent Church, not far from his former home.

It was there that he began playing cribbage with Mr. Gervais, 64, who is almost entirely blind and suffering from kidney failure.

Mr. Baker, a computer whiz who used to keep score for the pair, had an idea: how about a bigger board for the visually impaired? One thing led to another and mock-ups were being built.

BYG Games was born, trading on their initials. It has so far produced dozens of boards with new prospects every day.

Mr. Gervais was able to attend the service yesterday. He remembered meeting Mr. Yelle about six years ago when they discovered a mutual affection for John Wayne movies.

"I remember him as the most honest man on this Earth," said Mr. Gervais. "When he gave you his word, it was gold."

Contact Kelly Egan at 613-726-5896 or by e-mail, kegan@thecitizen.canwest.com

© The Ottawa Citizen 2007


From the Concord Monitor:

"Bussiere, 70, went hunting Sunday morning. He was wearing a Gore-tex, camouflage jacket and pants, and a red, wool hat. He carried a .30-06 hunting rifle, radio, cell phone and matches, but no extra clothes or flashlight, said his son, Michael Bussiere of Allenstown. Michael Bussiere said that his father was competent building a fire in the woods; he liked to build one in the morning, cook a sandwich, and then go hunting until noon. That was the plan Sunday, Michael Bussiere said, but his father did not make it to their meeting point at midday.

"... [he] had a great sense of humor, was a "total outdoorsman" and loved the Red Sox. He enjoyed cribbage, poker and bridge. For the past five years, he had spent winters in Naples, Fla."

Full article


"She was one heck of a scrabble and cribbage player; And I always appreciated how she was patient when she had to re-teach me cribbage for the 100th time... I am going to miss her tremendously, but I have such an overwhelming feeling to celebrate her life, that all that I can say is…..thank you Nana." - From John Skowronski's Blog

Ruth H. (Blurton) of Hanover...formerly of Cotuit, East Weymouth and Hingham, November 17th, age 94. Wife of the late Malcolm B. Burrell. Mother of Bruce W. Burrell and his wife Connie of Burlington, MA, Janet M. Warren and her husband Paul of South Weymouth, Helen E. Skowronski and her husband John Of Little Egg Harbor, NJ and Marinda P. Bennett and her husband Gerry of Hanover. Sister of Anna Desroches of Weymouth and Arthur Duxbury of Pittsfield. Also survived by 14 grandchildren, 29 great grandchildren, eight great great grandchildren and several nieces and nephews in the U.S. and British Columbia, Canada. A Memorial Service will be conducted on Saturday, November 24th at 11:00 A.M. at the South Shore Baptist Church, 578 Main Street (Rt. 228) Hingham. Visiting hours and flowers omitted by request. In lieu of flowers, donations in her memory may be made to the Forestdale Baptist Church, 110 Route 130, Forestdale, MA 02644. The interment is private. For additional information, please visit www.downingchapel.com

Original Post


Robert William Probert... avid hunter, fisherman and cribbage player

Former Fallon resident Robert William Probert, 67, died Nov. 3, 2007 at Elko County Hospital in Elko. He was born Feb. 15, 1940 to James H. and Erika Probert in Oakland, CA.

He lived in Fallon through 1957 where he worked in construction, for TCID and in farming. He also worked at a horse race track. He then moved to Wells where he lived for 50 years.

While in Wells, he worked in highway construction for over 20 years and was a retired teamster from Local #533. He also was the fire chief for 25 years, coroner for six years and volunteered for ambulance service, also for six years. He was an avid hunter, fisherman and cribbage player.

He was married to Ruth McQueen for over 28 years.

Robert was preceded in death by his mother and father, brother James. H Probert, and uncles Otto H. Miller and Herbert Miller.

Suvivors include daughters Pamela Neff and Audra Probert, both of Wells; son, Eric Probert of Reno; brother, Harold Robert and wife, Judy, and cousin, Peggy Coverston, all of Fallon; niece Carol Johnson and husband, Kevin and children Bailey and Ethan, all of Nampa, Idaho; and grandchildren, Danielle and James of Wells.

Services were held Thursday, Nov. 8, 11 a.m., at the Assembly of God Church in Wells. The family suggests donations in his memory to the Wells Fire Department.


Ruth May Hart

NORTHFIELD, Minn. — Ruth May Hart was born November 22, 1914, in Marquette, Mich., to Arthur and Nettie (Gesergen) Riopelle.

She was raised in Marquette, attended Baraga Parochial School and graduated from Baraga High School in 1932. After her education, she worked at the Marquette County Courthouse. She married Donald Louis Hart on June 3, 1941, at the church rectory in Marquette. After marriage they remained in Marquette and Donald worked for DSS&A Railroad. In 1959, they moved to Columbia Heights, Minn., and in 1961 they moved to Stevens Point, Wis. In 1965 they moved to Edina, Minn., where they lived for many years. Donald passed away on December 30, 1998, and Ruth moved to Northfield in February 2004.

Ruth was a longtime member of Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church in Edina. She enjoyed golf, crafts, knitting, sewing, playing cards, and playing bridge and cribbage.
Survivors include her sons, David and wife Mary of Calgary, Alberta, and Robert and wife Kathryn of Northfield; 6 grandchildren, Stephen Hart, Jessica (Brad) Taylor, Michael (Sara) Hart, Stacey (Mark) DeBoer, John (Jessica) Grekso and Elizabeth Grekso; 2 great-grandsons, Andrew and Thomas; her brother-in-law, William (Barbara) Hart; her sister-in-law, Elizabeth Karwoski; her nieces and nephew, Kathy, Claudia, Patricia, Lisa, Bruce and Margaret Ann; her cousin, Bob (Freda) Riopelle; and other relatives and friends.

She was preceded in death by her husband; her daughter, Marcia Grekso; and her brother, Paul Riopelle.

Ruth passed away Monday evening, October 1, 2007, at the Three Links Care Center in Northfield at the age of 92.


Eugene R. ‘Gallagher’ Larson

SUOMI LOCATION — Eugene R. “Gallagher” Larson, age 87, of 37 County Road MK, Suomi Location, Richmond Township, died at 1:40 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 30, 2007, at the Mather Nursing Center, where he had been a patient since November 2006.

Gallagher was born Feb. 4, 1920, in Gwinn to John F. and Sanna K. (Korpi) Larson and was a lifetime Suomi Location resident. He worked in the woods as a logger for most of his life. He also worked as a miner at the J&L Tracey Mine and for CCI for many years. He also owned and operated Larson Arco Service Station in Ishpeming for several years.

Mr. Larson was a member of Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church, Suomi Location. He was also a member of the Richmond Township Community Club and Pathfinders Snowmobile Club. He was an avid horseshoe player and loved playing cards, especially cribbage. He was an outdoor enthusiast who enjoyed hunting, fishing, trapping and being in the woods.

Surviving are 3 daughters, Ann (John) Cass of Suomi Location, Sharon (Richard) Dunn of Gwinn and Melissa (Clyde) Anderson of Palmer; grandchildren, John, Donna and Todd Cass, Denise Roberts, Dr. Justin (Leslie) Schoen, Glen (Trish) Schoen, and Abbey and Corey Anderson; numerous great-grandchildren; a brother, Charles (Joyce) Larson of Ishpeming; a sister, Virginia Paulson of Negaunee; and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins. He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Selda (Ahtonen), on Aug. 10, 2000; a son, Don Larson, in November 1999; and brothers, John and Edwin Larson.

A memorial service will be held at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 11, 2007, at Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church in Suomi with the Rev. Corrine Johnson officiating. Interment will be in Northland Chapel Gardens. The family will greet relatives and friends at the church from 4 p.m. until the time of services at 6 p.m. and at a reception in the church following the service on Thursday.


John "JB" Murphy Byrne, 46, Green Bay, was called home unexpectedly on Friday, Oct. 5, 2007. John was born in Antigo, on Dec. 9, 1960, to Hugh and Mary "Terry" (Conley) Byrne. He married Kathleen A. Nohr on Aug. 7, 1987, at Old St. Joseph Church in De Pere.

John graduated from West De Pere High School in 1979. He received an associate degree in communication, marketing and transportation from Northeast Wisconsin Technical College. He served his country in the Naval Reserves for 11 years and was currently enlisted in the Air Force Reserve. He was a member of the De Pere Knights of Columbus. John was employed with Milprint for 23 years.

He loved to fish with his kids and play cribbage with his mother. John enjoyed playing softball and spending time at his cottage in Riverview. He cherished time with his wife and children. John was a fun-loving, calm, understanding and compassionate man.

John is survived by his wife, Kathy; three children, Jacob, Kelsey and Jared, at home; his mother, Terry Byrne, De Pere; mother-in-law, Jane Nohr, De Pere; father-in-law, Donald Nohr, Green Bay; three sisters, Mary (Paul) Mason, De Pere; Sheila Byrne, Las Vegas, Nev.; Kathy (Phil) Anderegg, Chandler, Ariz.; four brothers, Michael (Marilyn) Byrne, De Pere; Patrick (Pam) Byrne, De Pere; Gerry (Jodi) Byrne, De Pere; Kieran Byrne and special friend, Kelly Noel,

De Pere; sisters-in-law and brothers-in-law, Karen (Butch) Schwartz, Green Bay; Steve (Barb) Nohr, De Pere; and Bill (Darlene) Nohr, Peshtigo; three godchildren, Katie Zey, Alex Byrne, Healy Throndson. John is further survived by numerous nieces and nephews, aunts, uncles, cousins and many dear friends.

Preceding him in death were his father, Bud and two brothers, Dick and Tom.

Gathering time with family and friends will be held on Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2007, at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church, 1307 Lourdes Avenue, West De Pere, from 4 p.m. until the Mass of Christian Burial at 7 p.m. with Reverend James T. Baraniak, O. Praem officiating. A Memorial Fund has been established.


Graham, Thomas D. "Tommy"
Thomas D. Graham "Tommy", 57, New London, passed away on Saturday, Sept. 29, 2007, at New London Family Medical Center.

Tommy was born on Sept. 7, 1950, in Milwaukee, son of the late Thomas and Ellouise (Rasmussen) Graham.

On April 24, 1976, Tommy was united in marriage to Verna Anklam in New London.

He was a lifelong resident of New London. Tommy enjoyed all sports especially watching the Cubs, Packers and NASCAR racing. When he was able, he enjoyed spending time at the cottage on Underwood Lake.

He was a volunteer at the Senior Center. Tommy loved to play sheepshead and cribbage. He especially loved the years he spent as a member of the New London Jaycees. He formerly worked for the city of New London and had umpired and kept score at softball games.

Tommy is survived by his wife, Verna; a sister, Kris Suprise, New London; niece, Amy Suprise, New London; nephew, Brian Suprise, Neenah; and his dog, Sugar.

Besides his parents he is preceded in death by a brother in-law, Joe Suprise.

A memorial fund has been established.

Cline & Hanson
Funeral Home
209 W. Cook St.,
New London


Donald E. Backous, 72
March 2, 1935 - Aug. 31, 2007

Don enjoyed woodworking and volunteered his time to make toys, furniture, cribbage boards and card holders to benefit St. Joseph's Hospital.

See obit...


Stanley L. Olson, 87
July 28, 1920 - Sept. 2, 2007

International Falls Daily Journal - International Falls,MN,USA -- Stan also enjoyed playing cribbage, pitching horseshoes, fishing, gardening, harvesting firewood and coaching ladies softball teams. ...
See obit


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