DONNA ARLENE LIGHTFOOT
Born - August 5, 1948
Mother - Verna Magee
Father – Arthur Lightfoot
Married - Ryan Eade
Children - Carman, Jillian
Died in Winnipeg, September 28, 1984
Donna was the oldest of the Lightfoot children. She enjoyed the family Sunday picnics and the times that the family spent at the beach with all the cousins.
She attended the University of Manitoba where she got her Teacher’s Certificate and taught physical education at Deer Lodge Junior High. Her students loved her and she enjoyed teaching very much.
When boyfriend, Ryan, went off to work in the north Donna went to Europe to travel, live with family friends in England and also spend some time in France where she taught English and lived with a family in exchange for board and room.
She always had a special relationship with Gladys Eade, Ryan’s mother, and they were very close. Even when Ryan was not in the picture she would go over and spend time with Gladys. Gladys remembers Donna coming over for dinner and bringing her homework from school with her. After dinner, as Gladys did the dishes, Donna would just stay and visit, correcting her school papers and chatting. Gladys says she was like a daughter to her.
When Ryan came back from Alert (Nunavut) they got back together again and she went to Fort Nelson, British Columbia, with him when he was posted there. He remembers how much they loved taking their Samoyed dogs to Strawberry Creek. The dogs were named Xandu, Tasha and (???) and they didn’t like the water very much so they would only go in about 8 inches of water and then that was enough for them. Donna loved her dogs. Another time when they walked across a beaver dam the dogs were reluctant to follow because they were afraid of the water but finally managed to do it.
Donna's daughter Carman was born in 1979 and daughter Jillian in 1983. During her pregnancy with Jillian she discovered she had cancer and sadly only lived about six months after Jillian was born.
Born - February 6, 1947
Mother - Gladys Eade
Father – missing information
Married - Donna Arlene Lightfoot, 1975
Children - Carman and Jillian
Ryan remembers being very entrepreneurial at an early age. He would set up his own store in the house and sell his older brother all kinds of items, mainly candy. He says he was quite successful because his brother had no willpower. He remembers walking to school, which was a fairly long walk, across an open field. Sometimes he would pretend that he was riding a horse. In the winter he remembers looking back and seeing that his were the only footprints in the snow. When spring arrived he would sail boats along the water in the ditch. He did well at school in the primary grades but high school was a bit tougher for him. He enjoyed elementary and junior high school and participated in field day but was not much for sports.
He remembers going to the lake and doing lots of fishing with his family. When he was about thirteen he joined The Young People's Rifle Club and really enjoyed it. The Rifle Club became a big part of his teenage years and he taught safe gun handling.
When he was 17 years old he met his future wife Donna (age 16) at the Red River Exhibition when he was looking after a shooting gallery for the Rifle Club. According to his mom, Donna and her dad (Art) had a booth nearby as Art was involved with the Fish and Game Department at that time. He and his buddy Roger both took a shine to Donna. They both had Honda motorcyles and both asked Donna to take her home, but when the show was over she went home with Ryan on his motorcycle. During this time he was busy cutting lawns and delivering newspapers. He says he delivered newspapers for years, longer than most of his friends. During this time he was busy cutting lawns and delivering newspapers. He says he delivered newspapers for years, longer than most of his friends.
When Ryan was 17 he started working at Air Canada doing maintenance and then decided to try for a job with Environment Canada. They sent him to training school in Ottawa and after completing his first course in surface weather he was chosen to take the second training which would give him the credentials to work the upper air weather.
Ryan and Donna became good friends and dated but after about 5 years they realized they were still very young and needed to have some other experiences so Ryan went to work up North and Donna went to travel in Europe for awhile.
In 1971 his first posting was to Alert (Nunavut), a northern settlement at the tip of Ellesmere Island which is the most northern point in Canada. He loved the camaraderie of working in the north as Alert was the only place in the Arctic where they had a military base and there were about 200 people at the base. It was a 6 month posting for them but he was there for 16 months. The soldiers were counting the days until they got back down south but he really enjoyed being there. One of the great things about having the military there was that the Environment Canada workers were able to use all the military amenities. Everything came in by plane and they were so far north there was no native population. There was no electricity, of course, so all the fuel also had to be brought in for heating and running the generators.
Ryan's job was to observe the ground weather and also they would send up balloons with electronic equipment enclosed in the balloon that would send radar readings back to the ground so they could process and calculate the readings for the upper atmosphere weather. They would get readings on the wind speed and direction and calculate each level of the atmosphere then transmit the findings south for forecasting. He was there 16 months and says he wasn’t bored for a minute. Occasionally they would go to Greenland by Hercules Aircraft to get supplies. They could stay for a couple of days and then come back with the supply aircraft.
When he came home from there he was home for a month on vacation and then was posted to Rocky Mountain House where he did upper air atmosphere weather forecasting again. It was a severe weather area and they would forecast hail and sometimes seed the clouds to try to prevent severe weather damage. In 1973 he went to Isaacson on Ellef L’Agnes Island (note this could be Angus) for the winter and eventually came back to Winnipeg in the spring of 1974.
His mom, Gladys, had run into Donna at the Safeway store one afternoon and mentioned having seen Donna to Ryan after dinner. She had Donna’s phone number and it wasn’t long before he was on the phone to Donna and going over to see her at her apartment.
He picked up his friendship with Donna and remembers going to her brother Les’ wedding. He and Donna went to Fort Smith, Alberta on the border with the Northwest Territories and were married in January of 1975. After the wedding they went back to Fort Smith for a month and then moved to Fort Nelson. It was in Fort Nelson that he discovered he was diabetic and for awhile didn’t know what was happening to him. The nurse next door said it sounded like diabetes when he described how he was feeling. He became insulin dependent in 1976 and so they put in for a transfer because the split shifts he was working were hard on his health. They moved to Edmonton where they bought a house in 1978 and their daughter Carman was born in 1979. When Donna was pregnant with their second child she was diagnosed with cancer and when their baby Jillian was only six months old she passed away.
Ryan became both mother and father to his two girls and with a lot of help from his mother carried on. He remembers taking Carman out with him before she started school when he was working with the Alberta Government. He would make trips to Fort McMurray and it was fun to take her along. She would be so interested in what he was doing and he says those were great times for the two of them. He did that more so with Carman than with Jillian but did take her a few times with him. What Jillian remembers was that he used to come to school at noon hour and take her out for lunch.
Ryan remembers the days he would have to fly up to Peace River then get a truck and go do his work. He would take his dog with him, who was a good traveler and good company. He enjoyed those times very much. At one time he and Donna had three Samoyed dogs and now he has a black lab named Lilly that he got in 1996 who is his best friend.
He enjoyed camping trips with his girls and they all loved their summer jaunts to Winnipeg to see the rest of the family. He fondly recalls his work up north and in the Peace River and Vermillion areas in particular. He feels lucky to have spent so much time in nature. He remembers thinking to himself how much he loved it, even in the cold weather, and thinking “…and I actually get paid to do this”.
His career was with the Alberta Government as a technical adviser for the Environment. When he was transferred to Lethbridge he was monitoring the water quality. His daughter Jill(ian) says she remembers when she was in Grade 12 that one day as she was putting on her makeup her dad, Ryan, who had just turned 55 said to her, I don’t feel like going to work anymore.....and he didn’t!! He retired that day! She says he was always rushing it seemed when he was working and taking care of the girls, and now he takes time to do all the little things he always had to rush through before, and enjoys puttering in his own time frame..
He lives in Lethbridge with his partner Sandy and their Labrador Retriever, Lilly, who is 8 years old. He enjoys his nocturnal walk with Lilly in the wee small hours of the morning.
Ryan met Sandy in 1998 and they enjoy their life together very much. They love to travel and have recently (2006) bought a new truck and a 32 foot trailer. They went to Kelowna to the factory where it was being built to make sure all the custom features were to their liking. They love to go camping and have enjoyed trips down East to see some of Sandy’s family. They hope to eventually sell their house and travel. They recently (written in 2006) visited friends in Nanaimo and would really like to spend more time on Vancouver Island.
Ryan has a great, very dry, sense of humour and it is one of the things his girls love about him. He also gets along great with all their friends and has always been very supportive of them. He gave his girls a great appreciation for the outdoors through all the numerous day trips and camping trips they took and it was a very special time for all of them.
Born - April 11, 1979
Mother - Donna Lightfoot
Father – Ryan Eade
Carman moved to Vancouver in 2002 and worked for awhile at Science World. She also has worked in Taiwan and France teaching English. Having started school in the French Emersion program and continuing it all the way through school, she is fluent and both French and English. The ability to travel and teach English has been a lot of fun for her and led her to have some wonderful experiences and good friends in different countries of the world.
She remembers that when she started in French Emersion her dad told her that if she didn’t like it she could always change and that it was OK if she didn’t want to do it. She says she remembers telling herself all the time that “If I don’t like this I don’t have to do it”. Finally she told her Dad that she did like it and asked him how much longer the school year would be, only to find out the year was almost over. She never regrets staying in the Emersion Program and the language skills that she obtained.
She lived in Sherwood Park, Alberta, near Edmonton until she went into high school, which was when they moved to Lethbridge. She got her degree at University in Education and teaches both English and Biology. More recently (written in 2006) she has become interested in being a Naturopathic Doctor and will be attending the New Westminster Boucher Institute of Naturopathic Medicine for their four-year program to become a Naturopathic Doctor.
Born - October 29, 1983
Mother - Donna Lightfoot
Father – Ryan Eade
Jill(ian) grew up in Sherwood Park, Alberta just outside Edmonton and remembers that the best thing about Kindergarten was the creative stuff. She started school in French Emersion but by the fourth grade had decided it wasn’t for her and switched back to English. School really got good when she moved to Lethbridge in the 7th grade and she really enjoyed her high school years.
She started swimming seriously when she was in the 8th grade and loved swimming, and diving and became really good at it. In high school she started running and has continued to make running part of her life. She has done a couple of half-marathons and her goal is to do a full marathon.
Her dad, Ryan, has always been very supportive of her and she remembers that when he worked for the Alberta Government as an Environmental Technologist. He monitored water quality. She remembers that in her biology class they hatched some rainbow trout eggs and raised them until they could be released. Because of Ryan’s position with the Environmental Protection Department he was there with the class when the fish were released.
Jill also recalls that Ryan would come to school sometimes at lunch time and get her and the two of them would go for lunch together. She says he is always there for her whenever she is facing any difficult choices and ready to listen. He will give his opinion but makes it clear that the choices are hers and that he supports whatever decisions she makes. When she was living in Lethbridge and planning to move to Vancouver to go to massage school he was supportive, even though he would miss her not living nearby any longer.
Jillian is very creative and has been making beaded jewelry for several years. She also loves mosaics and just finished making a table out of mosaics with the help of her dad, Ryan. Water color painting is also something she enjoys.
She just recently (written in 2006) graduated from the West Coast School of Massage Therapy where she completed a three year course to be a massage therapist. She is currently working with other Health Care Professionals and after September 2006 will receive her certification. She can also go back for one more year and get her Bachelor of Science degree.
She lives in New Westminster, on the outskirts of Vancouver, and although she misses her dad who still lives in Lethbridge, she feels like there are more opportunities for her in Vancouver.
She has very fond memories of going to visit her grandmother (Ryan's mom) in Winnipeg twice a year when she was growing up. Even the two day trip in the car with her dad and sister were fun because they had the excitement of their visit to look forward to.
When her sister Carman was teaching English in Taiwan she went for a visit. It was her first time outside of Canada and she loved it. It made her want to do more traveling and one of her goals is that after working for awhile she and her boyfriend Derrick want to go and live in Australia for a year or so and travel around. He also is a massage therapist and with their profession it will be easy to use their skills anywhere.
She is really excited about being in the Health Care Profession, especially the more natural way of healing people. She feels that public awareness is turning around little by little and the alternative practitioners raise the awareness of their fields of expertise.