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Howard Couch

Howard H. Couch, born January 23, 1933 at the Gull Lake Hospital, died suddenly at the Gull Lake Special Care Centre on May 13, 2018 at the age of 85 years. He lived his whole life on the land his grandparents, Henry and Charlotte (Paulson) Couch had homesteaded. He was the second child born to Herbert and Flora (McIntyre) Couch. In 2015 Howard fell and broke his collarbone. In 2016, around Christmas time Howard fell in his house. In order to call for help, he had to inch his way all the way across the floor on his back from one end of the house to the other, to use the phone to call his friend, Floyd, for help. Howard had a lot of determination. He would have Shaun park the tractor in the ditch so that Howard could climb into the tractor to go baling. He continued to work in 2016, baling over 2000 bales, using a bale wagon to pick them up. February 18, 2017, Howard had to go check to see if the power was still on at the pole during a power outage, as SaskPower asked him to check. It was cold and dark and he fell by the pole, having to pull himself along the ground for 100' to get back to the house so he could call for help. At the house he missed the doorstep by 3' and then lay on his back from 6:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m., calling for help, until Jerry found him. He then went by ambulance to Swift Current where he was diagnosed with hypothermia. After this, he moved to the Care Home in Gull Lake for a short time, falling in the hallway on the same day he moved in, bumping his cheek and hip. He kept saying he had pain, and finally was x-rayed and then sent to Medicine Hat by ambulance, where they diagnosed him with a hairline fracture in his hip. He came back to Gull Lake and on March 20th moved to Autumn House. He often drove to the farm in his new truck. Howard never sat around doing nothing, if he wasn't working or fixing something he was studying a manual or reading a history book. He taught himself to weld, making gates and corrals, cattle sheds, feed troughs, texas gates, loading shutes, machine shop - there wasn't much he couldn't do; he fixed all his own machinery, and the neighbor's and anyone else's machinery that asked. He didn't understand the computer tho. The coming of the computer system stumped him. He made sheep shears and tiny pokes to fit around the neck of sheep to keep them from crawling through the fences after he had sheared them. He built his own home in the fall of 1954 without electricity, having the doors and windows in by Christmas. In the late 70s he put together a camera in the barn where the young 2 year old heifers could have calves. He could watch on the TV set up in the bedroom. This procedure saved his life many times. He worked with his dad often putting birthbeds back in cows and sheep. Between Howard and his dad they raised the calves to yearlings that topped the market. The buyers that came to see the yearlings said, "seen one seen them all". Howard liked to drive around the country side looking at buildings, such as the Eaton's catalogue house in this area. In the last years of his life he travelled to Australia and New Zealand. He also went to the Gateway in Alaska, taking turns driving with his friends. When Howard was old enough to go to school, Mom taught him to ride the horse called Pat. First the horse took him to Trent School in the district, then to Verlo where he took school by correspondence - Grade 10. One course was on taxidermy - the art of preparing and mounting the skins of animals, birds or reptiles, communicating by writing letters sent by mail on the train every Wednesday from Verlo. His most treasured piece was a poisonous snake caught at the North Saskatchewan River. We had that snake on display for many years along with birds too. That was in the late 40s or early 50s. In his younger days he did hunt upland birds, using his dog, Patsy for a retriever. He trained her himself. He bought rabbits from others for 25 cents, skinned them, resold them for 50 cents. He shipped them to Sydney Robertson in Winnipeg. With this money he bought his first 1/2 section of land. He always germinated all the grain for spring planting; it wasn't unusual to see a pie plate with a wet wool sock sitting on the dining room table where the sun could shine on it. When he had time he would plant a large crop of tomatoes. He had tomatoes every day every day for breakfast, one way or another. He planted trees to protect the yard and had a small tractor/cultivator to work around them. He liked to cook steak, make pancakes or bake a pie (of course it had to be Saskatoon). He picked his own Saskatoons, of course on the north side of the hill. We peeled many apples for applesauce. By Halloween a 50 lb sack would be done. Howard could also knit and mend. Howard liked sports, played hockey, golf, baseball. He was the first baseman for the Verlo team. They went to the finals. He also curled at Nelson BC for about 30 years at the midsummer bonspiel. He also rode a motorcycle. He also liked to fish in northern Saskatchewan, often bringing home fresh fish packed in ice. Howard also went to lots of auction sales. He wanted to build a feedlot, but ran out of time. His favourite store was the Wholesale. He is survived by his sisters and their families: Keitha Friesen and children, Duane, Darren (Vanessa and the boys), and Coralie Brodie and her daughters, Felechia (Ron Blackwell) and her son, Indigo Brodie; and Feona (Matt Sorenson) and their children, Acacia, Caine and McCoy; and son, Jay Brodie and his sons, Zane and Jarvis; his nephews, Kent Couch and his children, Kyra, Luke and Kenny, Shaun Couch (Bev Lich) and children, Megan, Riley and Taylor; and 2 cousins, Arlene Reynolds in Saskatoon and Charlotte (Gene) Cormier in Campbell River, BC and also McIntyre cousins. He was predeceased by his niece, Joan Couch (1965), nephew, Travis Brodie (1980); parents, Herb (1986) and Flo (1993) Couch, brother, Kenneth (2013), sister-in-law, Gloria Grimshaw Couch(2011), brother-in-law, Ed Friesen (2014), and his grandparents, Henry (1940) and Charlotte (1950). His Celebration of Life was held on June 1, 2018 at the Elk's Hall in Gull Lake, SK with Carola Anderson officiating. Donations may be made in Howard's memory to the S.P.C.A. He will be greatly missed by his family, friends and the community. Warren's Funeral Home was entrusted with the arrangements. For further information, call 306-773-8831 or visit our website at and express your sympathy to family members in our book of condolences.

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