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George Verner Norlund of Rainy River, Ont, passed away peacefully in his 95th year, on Saturday, July 30, 2011, at the Rainy River Health Care Centre.

He was born on Aug. 15, 1916 on the family homestead near Gameland, Ont., to the late Swan and Agnes Norlund.

As a young man Verner worked on the Alaska Highway, and was a mentor to many of the young men, including Austin Hedland.

In early 2000, he was contacted by his old friend, Austin from B.C. & the men were happy to share countless stories of working together.

On Jan. 11, 1945 Verner was united in marriage to Dorothy Leola Armstrong.

He was hired on the CN Railroad as a fireman in 1944 and was transferred to Toronto. Vern was promoted to locomotive engineer in 1949.

In Toronto Verner was an ordained elder in the Presbyterian Church where his family attended church.

On July 5, 1958, Verner relocated his family to Rainy River where he and Dorothy owned and operated Norlund’s Service for the following 18 years.

Verner was a past member of the Moose Club, and past president of the Oak Harbour Golf and Country Club, Baudette, MN.

He served on the Session of the Knox United Church, Rainy River, and was a choir member.

Vern was a past member of the Royal Canadian Legion, served on the Rainy River Utility Commission and belonged to the Hospital Auxiliary

Vern was a Past Master of Ionic Lodge #461, attaining the distinction of receiving his 50 year membership pin in 2011; Past Principal and Past Grand Superintendent of Algoma District in the Royal Arch Masons Atwood Chapter #149 in Rainy River; a member of Ledger Preceptory No. 70, Fort Frances; a member of the Khartoum Temple Order of the Mystic Shrine, Winnipeg, MB; and a past member of the Lake of the Woods Chapter, Order of the Eastern Star.

He was an avid hunter, fisherman, and inventor. Vern also built a cottage at Clearwater Lake for his family’s enjoyment.

He took pleasure in his BBQ methods, boating and teaching kids to water ski. He excelled at golf, attaining every golfer’s dream of a hole-in-one.

Verner was predeceased by his brothers, Carl and Elmer (late Teresa) Norlund; and his sister, Mary (late Ralph) Fugate. He is survived by his sisters, Elsa (late Harold) Hanson of Rainy River and Emma (Albert) Hanson of Sprague, MB.

Verner is survived by his wife, Dorothy; five daughters, Carol (Dennis) Fraser and children; Denise (Edward) and Scott (Nancy); Bonnie (Warren) Toles; Mindy (Clayton) and Donna (James); Debra (Gord) LeMaistre: Michael (Kim), Stephen (Elaine), and Ashley (Chris); Susan (Mark) Douglas: Dustin (Kate), Colby (Jennifer) and Sheldon; and Shelley Norlund; and six great-grandchildren: Adam, Jordan, Avery, Alexandra, Lucas and Jacob.

A visitation will be held at the Knox United Church, Rainy River, on Thursday, Aug. 4 at 7 p.m. with a Masonic Service at 7:30 p.m. The organist is a friend of the family, Jacquie Dufresne.

A memorial service will be held at the Rainy River Evangelical Covenant Church, Friday, Aug. 5 at 2 p.m. with Lay Pastor Carolyn Kreger officiating.

The soloist is Pastor Mark Mast accompanied by organist, Grace Peters, with Pastor Kors Pater reading the Gospel.

Honorary pallbearers will be Verner’s grandchildren.

A reception will follow in the ECC fellowship hall.

Interment will take place at McInnes Creek Chapel Cemetery. Donations if so desired may be made to Riverside Health Care Centre, the Gideon’s, or the charity of your choice, c/o Northridge Funeral Home, Box 89, Emo, Ontario, P0W 1E0.

Online condolences may be offered at

May the winds of love blow softly,

And whisper so you can hear;

We will always love you!

And wish that you were still here.

For all that life has given us,

And all that’s left to do,

We’ll know no greater treasure,

Than the days we had with you.

Read Joshua 22:5 & James 5:8

We love you and will miss you Dad,

Until we meet again, your loving family.