Rickman Eveleigh
Rickman Eveleigh
Rickman Eveleigh

Obituary of Rickman Van Eveleigh

Rickman Van Eveleigh, 75, of Prince Albert, SK passed away peacefully with his family by his side on March 21, 2024.

Rick was born in Corner Brook, NL to Stanley Eveleigh and Pearl Eveleigh (neé Gale) on October 21, 1948. He and his five sisters were raised in the hamlet of Hampden-White Bay, NL and spent their childhood close to their beloved grandparents - Nan, Pop and Nanny - riding horses, collecting capelin, fishing and squidding. At the age of 17, Rick was trained to become a teacher. He loved Math and Science and all his future kids and grandkids would be subjected to random testing of their skills. He taught in Hampden, NL for two years before leaving the Rock with his friend, John, and headed West, driving across the country until they ran out of money. They ended up in Medicine Hat, AB where Rick went to the mayor and asked for a job. The mayor referred them both to the local glass factory in Redcliff, AB where they stayed, and Rick was adopted by another set of five sisters who he loved and considered family. In August of 1971, in Calgary, AB, he met Lily Kulick, a formidable Ukrainian/Russian redhead from Blaine Lake, SK. He wooed her from a distance and through handwritten letters and, after seeing each other only three times in three months, in a style we would come to know as true practicality and fairness, he proposed to Lily in November of 1971 with a ring still bearing its price tag: “just in case she said no, and I could return it.” She didn’t say no and happened to have a pair of scissors in her purse which she used to cut off the tag and make it official. Rick and Lily were married in Prince Albert, SK on a rainy afternoon on April 8, 1972, and in 1977, they settled into their forever home on MacArthur Drive.

Some people will remember Rick as the owner of Four Seasons Cleaning & Janitorial Services, cleaning the banks and businesses of downtown Prince Albert, delivering mats and snow blowing the streets of Central Avenue in the middle of the night. Some will remember his wit, his sarcasm, and his unique sense of humour. Most will remember his kindness, generosity, and his way of making you feel welcome. Everyone will remember his dark glasses. Rick was an honest man, sometimes to a fault. He taught his kids the importance of telling the truth, of trust, and practicing a good work ethic. He never said no to anyone who needed help, exhibiting a quality of compassion for humanity that has marked all our lives. Rick lived with visual impairment and his achievements were that much greater because of the challenges he faced:  establishing and running a successful business, raising three kids on one income, family road trips to all over the continental US and Canada, encouraging his kids to get higher education, and driving. Despite his colour blindness, impaired vision, and even death, he still holds a Drivers’ License.

Rick was an exacting man as well. He didn’t abide what he deemed incompetence and set high standards of behaviour for his kids and employees - especially when there was work to do - teasing them but always with respect. He loved eating out at local restaurants and was a favourite customer, befriending the owners and staff of Bonanza, Zorbas, Lions’ Den, Diggers, Princess Cafe and later on, the Northern Lights Casino and his special place, Vu’s Garden where the owners affectionately called him “King.”  Rick was avidly interested in WWI and WWII movies and current political events. His real, quiet talent, however, was carpentry. He kept an organized and precise garage full of tools and equipment to build his family beautiful, practical things: picnic tables, bench swings, deck chairs for sitting around the campfire, bookshelves, raised garden beds, bunkbeds. His last regret was not being able to build a shed for his daughter.

The family acknowledges everyone who has been touched by Rick’s presence and have been honoured to hear the stories of Rick’s humble but profound influence on their lives; hearing how he was considered “a beautiful soul”, “like a father, “Grandpa Rick”, a “true friend”, and “what all humans should be.” Friends, colleagues, and neighbours have shared that Rick was “such a great neighbour” who “always showed care and respect”, “was so hospitable and always made me feel welcome,” that he was “jolly and witty” and “full of determination and jokes and being so helpful.” As a shy and private man, he would’ve hated the attention. During family gatherings, he would sit quietly at his spot at the table, accept second helpings, laugh under his breath, and enjoy the sounds of his grandchildren talking. Then, he would stand up and announce, “I’m going to my chair” and he would retreat to his sanctuary of solitude to watch an old Western starring his namesake, Van Johnson. His work for the day, done.

Rick is survived by his wife of 52 years, Lily Eveleigh (neé Kulick) and his children and grandchildren: Shauna (Jay) Eveleigh Harris with Kobe, Tyse, and Averie of Prince Albert, SK; Christopher (Shanna) Eveleigh with Liam, Cohen, and Tessa of Sherwood Park, AB; and Travis (Jenn) Eveleigh with Jacob and Cole of Prince Albert, SK. He is also survived by his sisters and brothers-in-law: Barb (Roland Jr) LeGrow of St Johns, NL; Dulcie (Francis) Banks of Hampden, NL; Peg (Carl) Elms of Stephenville, NL, and Bonnie (Maurice) Rideout of Brantford, ON, along with their children, all his special nieces and nephews. Rick is predeceased by his parents, Stanley and Pearl Eveleigh (neé Gale) and by his sister, Anita Eveleigh.

The family wishes to extend their gratitude to the staff and medical care team of the Victoria Hospital and to Rose Garden Hospice in Prince Albert where memorial donations may be made. ℅ Rose Garden Hospice P.O. Box 2092 Prince Albert, SK S6V 1E0  or rosegardenhospice.ca.

The family will be holding a private memorial service to celebrate Rick’s life at a later date.  Family and friends wishing to send online condolences are welcome to visit www.beaulacfuneralhome.com.  Arrangements have been entrusted to the care of Beau “Lac” Funeral Home and Crematorium, Marianne Turcotte, Funeral Director, Prince Albert, SK 306-763-3322.  

But for now, Dad - wherever you are - we hope you have the best view.

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