With great sadness, the family of Harry Dahlem announces his passing at Samaritan Place, Saskatoon, on Aug. 31 at the age of 87.
We are left to mourn a man of great courage and strength, with an iron will and a soft heart for his loved ones. He was a great advocate, a passionate farmer, a beautiful singer and a dearly loved husband, father and grandfather.
Harry was born in Koblenz, Germany at a time of great upheaval. After the war, he came to his chosen country of Canada on March 6, 1952.
A bricklayer by trade, he contributed to many lovely and important buildings in Saskatoon, including schools such as Aden Bowman Collegiate, where he laid the intricate design on the feature wall; and churches such as All Saints Anglican and First Mennonite Church, where he will be remembered.
He also had a glorious baritone voice, which could have led to a career in singing; but Harry was also in love with the law, and decided to become a lawyer, graduating from the University of Saskatchewan in 1961.
Harry chose to work for Francis, Gauley and Hughes, which for a time was Francis, Gauley, Dierker and Dahlem, and today partly lends its name to the firm McDougall Gauley. He was the primary lawyer for the Saskatchewan Teachers' Federation, travelling across the province defending teachers.
In 2009, he published a book entitled From Classroom to Courtroom: A Legal History of the Saskatchewan Teachers' Federation with Derwyn Crozier-Smith. Harry practised law until the age of 80.
He received the designation of Queen's Counsel (Q.C.) in 1979, and was named an honourary life member of the STF in 1989, the only non-teacher so honoured at that time. He was later presented with the Distinguished Service Award by the Canadian Bar Association, Saskatchewan branch.
Harry was also for many years the chair of the Law Foundation, and threw himself into fundraising for the Law Foundation Wing at the U of S College of Law.
Harry's other passion was farming. He came by that love naturally, having descended from farmers in his home country and having worked on farms both in Germany and in Canada.
He not only sang, but loved classical music. He and Rita often sought out musical pleasures when they travelled, and attended Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra performances; Harry also sat on the SSO board for several years, among other volunteer activities.
His was an involved, busy life and we will miss him - and his allegedly great sense of humour - so much.
Harry is survived by Rita, his wife of 49 years; his daughter Joanne (Ken Paulson); his daughter Kristin (Chris Belfour, Erin and Ashley); his son David (Shea Hamilton and their children Mattheus, Alexander, Caia and Liam); and his loyal, adored dog, Heini.
He is also survived by his sister, Ingrid (Jurgen); brother Henning (Anne); brother Horst (Madeleine); and many nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his first wife, Marguerite, his sisters Ursula and Elke, and his parents, Johanna (Kexel) and Fritz.
In lieu of flowers, charitable donations may be made in Harry's name to the Saskatoon SPCA (www.saskatoonspca.com
.) His family is grateful to the staff at Samaritan Place, where he spent his last months, Prairie Hospice, and the Palliative Care unit at St. Paul's Hospital. Thank you all for your love and care.
Arrangements are entrusted to Dalmeny Funeral Home, 306 254-2022, www.dalmenyfuneralhome.ca
A service celebrating his long and rich life will be held Wednesday, Sept. 7 at 2 p.m. at First Mennonite Church, 418 Queen Street, Saskatoon, SK.