It is with great sadness we announce the passing of our beloved father, brother, grandfather and great-grandfather Henry Norman Ireland on November 12th 2021 at the Portage Hospital with his son Mark Ireland by his side. Henry was predeceased by his loving wife of 55 years Janet (Bim) Ireland, sons Michael and Miles, brothers Vernon, Gary, Bob and sisters Phoebe, Dorothy, Caroline and June. He is survived by his daughter Joanne and son Mark, grandchildren Mathew, Eric, Cody and Megan. He will also be fondly remembered by great-grandchildren Aislinn and Nixon as well as his sister Frances.
Henry, or “Hank” as he was better known by all, was the youngest son born to Willard and Agnes Ireland of Pleasant Valley, Manitoba on June 4th, 1935. Hank always had colourful stories of his childhood growing up in the valley, riding horseback and always looking for adventure. This sparked a lifelong love for the outdoors, including his favourite pastimes of hunting and fishing. Hank enrolled in the Royal Canadian Airforce just after turning 18 which in turn took him to Trenton, Ontario where he would become an aircraft mechanic and flight engineer. This chapter of his life would later provide hours of stories with some of the highlights including flying over the North Pole or getting to go to Greenland and England. This was also the start of his greatest adventure, meeting his beloved wife Bim and starting their family together. In 1965 a transfer to Southport meant a move back home to Manitoba where he eventually built the family a brand-new home in the Mellenville neighborhood of Portage La Prairie. Looking for a change from the Air Force he bought the service station on the Trans-Canada highway North of Oakville which he ran for several years with Bim running the restaurant side. Hank sold the service station in the 80’s and retired in Oakville, where he remained busy for the rest of his life. His “retirement” saw him driving school bus, spending time in his shop either fixing something for someone or building something for himself, being active with the Oakville Lions Club, hunting, cutting wood, making maple syrup or embarking on a week long canoe trip from Brandon to Portage at the age of 82, with his son, just to name a few. His favourite activity by far was going fishing with Bim as much as they could all summer.
Hank will be forever missed for his sense of humour, his wealth of knowledge, his kind heart, endless energy and of course his stories.
The family would like to extend a heartfelt Thank You, to all of the staff at the Portage Hospital for their care, support, and compassion.
In lieu of flowers donations can be made to the Royal Canadian Legion Branch #65, 275 Duke Ave, Portage la Prairie, MB, R1N 3A7.
Hank’s family will celebrate his life privately.
A tree will be planted in memory and cared for by McKenzies Portage Funeral Chapel. www.mckenziesportagefuneralchapel.com
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Henry "Hank" Norman Ireland, please visit our floral store.