Friday, July 19th, 2019

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BIDLAKE: Lawrence John Bidlake passed away at his home on Friday, June 28, 2019 at the age of 78 years. Larry is survived by his wife Patricia, children Jennifer (Jeff) Schroeder of Calgary, AB, son Geoffrey (Sher) Bidlake of Cochrane, AB, sister Diane King of Penticton, BC and grandchildren Sierra, Neela, Nathan, Kayden, Cali and Avayah, and Bidlake cousins in England. He was predeceased by his parents Geoffrey and Mary (Speer) Bidlake. His family, his friends, and the Province of Manitoba have lost a strong, principled, loving, caring husband, father and grandfather, a friend of many as well as a fighter and advocate for wildlife and wildlife habitat. Larry was born in Mayo, Yukon in October 1940 and grew up in Whitehorse. Larry got his Bachelor’s degree in Wildlife Management from the University of Alaska in 1964. While at Fairbanks, he met his wife Pat (from Pennsylvania). He worked in the Yukon for about a year, on gold mining operations and diamond drilling. Pat and Larry were married in 1967 and moved to Winnipeg, MB, then to Brandon in 1971. Larry started working as a wildlife biologist for the SE Region of the Department of Natural Resources in the late 1960’s and then after 1971, spent the rest of his career in Brandon, retiring in 2000. Larry loved his job driving all over Southwestern Manitoba, looking over the varying countryside, talking with farmers and hunters and anyone else who was interested in wildlife. He also fought to set aside many tracts of land which were valuable wildlife habitat, and succeeded significantly. He was a passionate hunter grouse, geese, waterfowl, deer, moose and elk. He always had 1 or 2 Labrador Retrievers, who went everywhere he went and became a competent horseman, taking his horse to the Kananaskis with friends to ride in the mountains. He enjoyed fishing in The Pas region with his friends and he had an old caboose parked in the Turtle Mountains, which he and friend, Herb Goulden, used as a hunting cabin, and quiet family getaways. Larry was a charter member of the MB Chapter of the Wildlife Society and started the local chapter of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation. He was passionately involved (including a role as President) with the Central Mountains and Plains section of the Wildlife Society, volunteered with several Boards including the Delta Waterfowl program, Citizens Advisory Committee for City of Brandon, and the Brandon Riverbank and the Shilo Army base Environmental Committee. He was involved with the Canada Games in 1979, organizing and setting up the cross-country ski courses in the Brandon Hills WMA. Larry also mentored youth hunters. He was proud to help young people of all ages appreciate the environment and wildlife. Larry and Pat had many fascinating travels. In 1969, they spent a month in Kenya and Tanzania, camping in grasslands and craters with every kind of wildlife. They made several trips to England, from Land’s End to Inverness, visiting Larry’s relatives and Pat’s, and later spent 2 weeks in Northern Ireland. They had winter getaways to Barbados, St. Lucia, Cancun, and the Virgin Islands. The family took long trips in the summers; visiting Pat’s mother in Pennsylvania, Larry’s mother in Vancouver, his sister in Penticton, and his uncle and aunt in Washington. These trips included travels to parts of the Western US for Wildlife Society Annual meetings in Colorado, Wyoming and Utah. Pat, Larry and Geoff drove to Alaska and the Yukon in 1991 and Larry went to a university hockey reunion in Fairbanks. They visited their children in Alberta at least once a year. They wanted to go to many other places but time ran out. Services will be held at the Clarion Hotel, 3130 Victoria Avenue on Sunday, July 7th at 2:00 pm. Flowers are gratefully declined. If people wish, donations can be made in Larry’s name to the charity of their choice, the Brandon Family YMCA, 231 8th St., Brandon, MB, R7A 3X2, or the Manitoba Wildlife Federation, 406-1200 Sherwin Rd., Winnipeg, MB, R3H 0K4.
Messages of condolence may be placed at www.brockiedonovan.com
2019-07-06 issue of the Brandon Sun