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It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Howard Willems on November 8, 2012. Howard died peacefully at St. Paul's Hospital in Saskatoon at the age of 59. He was born in Saskatoon and split his school years between Saskatoon and Waldheim, SK. Howard joined the public service as a food inspector in 1981 where he inspected dairy and honey facilities. During his time with the federal government, Howard became very involved with the Public Service Alliance of Canada Agriculture Union where he continuously fought for the rights of others. Howard and his wife Brenda enjoyed camping, hiking, biking, kayaking, and travelling the world, capturing it all through photography. Howard was also a very active member in the community and dedicated his life to creating a better world. He was very involved in municipal, provincial and federal politics. He was a dedicated fundraiser for the United Way, Station 20 West and Nashi, as well as a member of the Board of Directors of Core Neighbourhood Youth Co-op and a founding member of the Buena Vista Cycling Club. After being diagnosed with Mesothelioma, a form of cancer caused from inhaling Asbestos fibres, Howard retired from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and co- founded the Saskatchewan Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization where he spent the rest of his life fighting to prevent others from suffering the same fate. Howard is survived by his wife of 19 years, Brenda, his parents Wilmer and Rosella, his two sons Jesse (Kelly) and Lee (Courtney), and his sisters Valerie (Surindar) and Audrey (Frank) and their families. A Memorial Service will be held Thursday, November 15, 2012 at 2:00 p.m. at Nutana Park Mennonite Church (1701 Ruth St. E.). Memorial donations may be made to the Saskatchewan Asbestos Awareness Diseases Organization (sadao.ca, 436 3rd. St. E., Saskatoon, S7H 1L7), Core Neighbourhood Youth Co-op (905 20th St. W., Saskatoon, S7M 0Y5), Station 20 West (230 Ave. R S., Saskatoon, S7M 2Z1), or Nashi (Box 362 RPO University, Saskatoon, S7N 4J8). Online condolences may be sent from www.hillcrestmemorial.ca. Arrangements entrusted to Charmaine Legrand.
Published in The Saskatoon StarPhoenix from Nov. 10 to Nov. 12, 2012