It is with broken hearts that we announce the sudden passing of our dear father and friend, Clare Haralson on March 11, 2020 at his home in Erickson.
Clarence (Clare) Oliver Haralson was born January 15, 1944 to Arthur and Anne Haralson (Hill) in Sherridon, MB. That same year, they moved back to Erickson to the Haralson homestead; the farm located north of Erickson. Dad attended school in Erickson and went on to further education at Brandon University, where he received his Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Education degrees. He taught school in Melita, MB for four years and later returned to Erickson to farm with his father.
During dad’s time in Erickson, he enjoyed a variety of sports. One of his favourites was curling, which he enjoyed immensely. It was through this sport that he met our mother Paulette, the love of his life as he affectionately referred to her. Paulette Kotyk (daughter of Paul and Katherine) and dad were married in October 1971. They moved to dad’s maternal grandparents (Hill) family farm south of Erickson to live and farm. Three children were born to them, Susan, Wendy and Ken.
As children, growing up on the farm and “helping” dad was always an adventure. We have fond memories of our lives there. When we were little, and playing outside, mom always made us run and hug a wall as soon as we heard the tractor coming to the yard, safety first. We fondly remember riding in the tractor, falling asleep in the corner of the cab, meals out in the field, harvest time and seeing dad’s dust covered face with two eyes blinking back at us. We loved packing down the wheat field to make paths and forts, hurdling over wheat swaths and making bale houses.
As a family, we enjoyed summer activities like swimming, canoeing, hiking and picnics at Riding Mountain National Park. No trip was complete without ice cream stops at McTavish’s or Sportman’s Park on the way home. Winter brought tobogganing, skating and cross-country skiing. It was on one of these ski outings that we took our family pets with us. With our two dogs along, it would be such fun. As it turned out, they had too much fun and ended up missing in the forest. We were heart broken and scared for our beloved pets. We searched and called to no avail. So, upon returning home, dad had the idea of going back with some dog food in a large pan and one of our old snow boots. He placed them on the trail where we last saw them thinking the dogs might come across this familiar smell and remain there. After school the next day, we all drove out and sure enough, there they were curled up by the boot! There were tears of joy from the three of us. Dad’s idea was brilliant.
Dad loved baseball. He played with the Clanwilliam Greys from 1972-77. Playing shortstop, #33 was always quick on his feet and at the ready. He loved the camaraderie of the team. We fondly recall those years of ball tournaments with family picnics and sleepy rides home. We especially loved going to Brandon for their games at Curran Park. The Greys were inducted into the Manitoba Softball Hall of Fame in 2013.
Dad slowly started to change around 1980. Unknown to us, an insidious mental illness was overtaking him. As I write this, it is my point of view that we can never tell what someone is thinking or feeling. Dad became less and less interested in farming. Our family life as we knew it was slowly slipping away. His mind took him travelling around in search of a bigger meaning to life and with this, dad found God. In his love and deep commitment to living his life for God, he made everyone he met aware of God’s love for them, and with that, his own genuine care for them. His peaceful demeanour made it easy to sit and talk with him. As dad stopped farming, he had endless amounts of time to read. His passion for reading meant he could recite almost any verse in the bible, as well as bring everyone up to speed on the many conspiracies happening in the world. I’m sure many of you are giggling as you read this recalling your interaction with our dad. He always meant well.
Dad was well known for hitchhiking his way around. A familiar site on the highway, he could be found making his way to and from Brandon or Dauphin or even just to Erickson. In his travels, he met so many kind people who were willing to give him a ride. He too was always willing to help anyone out, be it someone broken down on the side of the road or helping friends in need. His heart and hands were open to any situation. And so it was we discovered that his kindness had come full circle. The outpouring of people’s generosity is evident as we now come across supplies of food, warm clothing, and toiletries, along with other items people would take for granted in their everyday lives. I am hearing stories of my dad’s travels. What I have come to know is that each person dad had the privilege to meet meant so much to him and the kindness shown, always remembered. We would like to ask that if anyone has any remembrances, stories or pictures they would like to share with us, we would appreciate receiving them. Please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Clare is survived by his three children: Susan Haralson; Wendy Picklyk (Chris), grandchildren Hazel and William; and Ken Haralson (Christie), granddaughter Sierra; and their mother Paulette. He is also survived by his sister Shireen Haralson and loving nephew Trevor Haralson (Colleen) and a number of other relatives. He was predeceased by his parents Arthur and Anne Haralson.
A gathering of family and friends will take place in the summer of 2020. At this time, dad’s ashes will be laid to rest at Scandinavia Cemetery with his parents. In lieu of flowers or donations, we ask that you remember Clare by showing love and compassion to those around you, and above all live life on your own terms.
We love you Dad, always and forever. Thank you for your kindness, compassion, generosity, patience, and sense of humour. Thank you for your words of wisdom, warm smile, beautiful eyes, and gentle nature. Mostly, thank you for being a loving father, husband, son, brother, uncle and friend. You will be truly missed.
What shall it profit a man,if he shall gain the whole world and lose his own soul?
To send flowers to Clarence "Clare" Oliver Haralson's family, please visit our floral store.
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