Charles (Chuck) Henry Van Kannel, age 86, of Stewart Valley Saskatchewan passed away at The Meadows Community Health Centre in Swift Current Saskatchewan on May 10, 2020. Charles is survived by his loving wife Shirley Van Kannel (nee Clifton), his three sons Gordon (Corinne), Blair (Jackie) and Richard and his two grandchildren Alyshia and Bret and numerous nephews and nieces. Charles is predeceased by his parents Charles Van Kannel Sr. and Emma (nee Wellsch) and sisters Francis (Howard) Seymour and Mary (Joe) Weber. Charles was born in 1933 in Swift Current and was raised on the family farm at Stewart Valley Saskatchewan. He attended St. Joan of Arc Academy Catholic school in Swift Current until grade 10 when he quit school to work the family farm after his father broke his hip. Charles met the love of his life Shirley and were married in 1962. Together they expanded the farm and were a cohesive team that raised their family through both good and difficult times and selflessly gave their children every opportunity they could to achieve life success. He taught them hard work and the importance of caretaking the land and the machinery that worked the land. Charles adored flying and obtained his private license in 1954. He owned various planes and he flew throughout North America. He was a member of the Flying Farmers of Saskatchewan. Charles absolutely lived and breathed farming and admired and learned a great deal from his uncle who was a pioneer. Chuck was a perfectionist and there was very little he could not machine, weld or fix. Charles had an intimate, almost spiritual, relationship with the land which he loved and respected. His mantra was take care of the land and it will take care of you. Being a consummate caretaker and student of the land, he passionately blended the latest farming methods of the day with his keen agricultural observations and was able to achieve fantastic grain yields year in and year out. He would be up with the Robins, walking the fields every morning to time his seeding operations with wild oat and millet germination (before the days of herbicides) which made his farm operation very efficient. He would gladly share and learn together with his neighbours and the community over a coffee and some of Shirley's pie at the farm or at coffee row. Charles had a reputation for being honest, likeable, hardworking, fiercely loyal, courteous with a wonderful and sometimes mischievous sense of humour with a love of laughter, curiosity, fellowship and genuine affection of people and social gatherings. He had a charming impact on all who met him. His honesty and frankness unarmed and endeared even the most skeptical. You could be yourself around Chuck. In the community, Charles was a consummate volunteer and could be seen flooding the curling and skating rink ice late at night and doing what it took to keep the curling rink and hockey rink running shoulder to shoulder with the rest of the hard working farming community as a member of the Rink Board and the Stewart Valley Seniors Club. Charles was an original Eclipse telephone company (which was later sold to SaskTel) board member (that constructed and maintained the local telephone service at Stewart Valley. Charles cherished, adored and supported his neighbours in every way possible (treating them like family) lending them equipment and a helping hand whenever he could. He was integral to neighbourhood snow plough clubs, shared machinery co-ops and birthday clubs. Charles enjoyed curling, playing cards, most any game at the Stewart Valley seniors club and dancing. His sense of fun and ability to not take himself too seriously was exemplified at the 1980 Celebrate Saskatchewan (75th Anniversary) held in Stewart Valley when he was dressed up by his sister Mary and was presented as the parade home coming queen in a convertible car. He was a big hit and reveled in the attention as he introduced himself as the homecoming queen to a dumbfounded, jaw dropping premier Allen Blakeney. He loved making people laugh and enjoyed the shock factor. Even at the end of his life, his incredible memory astounded us all. He was always clean shaven and immaculate even when heading to the field. Charles wanted his family to remember him for being a good farmer and for trying to teach his sons to do the right things. Charles gift and legacy to us is that little bit of something that inspired us, made us laugh or taught us who we truly are. Our family is thankful and grateful to all of our friends, family, neighbours and community who have supported Charles and our family in our journey. We are proud and thankful for you all. A special shout out to the staff at The Meadows for their incredible stamina and kudos for the hard working health care system in general in these particularly trying times. Truly amazing angels among us. Thank You. The family attended a private funeral service. Donations to the Dr. Noble Irwin Regional Healthcare Foundation Inc., 2051 Saskatchewan Drive, Swift Current, SK S9H 0X6 or to the Canadian Mental Health Association, 176 4th Avenue NW, Swift Current SK S9H 0T6 would be gratefully appreciated by the family in memory of Charles and in lieu of flowers. Warren's Funeral Home in care of arrangements. For further information please call 306-773-8831 or visit our website at www.warrensfuneralhome.com and express your sympathy to the family on out tribute wall.
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Dr. Noble Irwin Health Care Foundation
2051 Saskatchewan Drive, Swift Current SK S9H 0X6
Canadian Mental Health Association
176 4th Ave. N.W., Swift Current SK S9H 0T6