Storyteller Gil

My Dad’s cousin, Gil Dumelie, passed away last weekend. I was at his funeral today, along with about 600 (or more) other family and friends. Gil was a memorable guy, larger than life, and from the size of his family and crowd he drew to his farewell, others thought so too. He’s someone I always expected would be there in the background of my life, and his sudden passing was unsettling even though it was as peaceful as death can be.

Gil’s brother, Larry, was a Grey Cup champion in ’66, and that’s part of why I have stories of the Grey Cup being in my Grandparents’ basement in ’66 (or soon after). There’s even a photo floating around somewhere out there of their pet dog posing in the then short Cup. Ron Lancaster was asked to go knock on the door of my Great Grandmother, who was pleasantly shocked to find the quarterback on her doorstep, and Lancaster amused at the glee in a little old lady that he was there in small-town Sask, and at her door. Gil’s funeral procession was set to an uplifting, trumpet rendition of Green Is The Colour.

Last time I was at his place for a Dumelie family gathering I heard the story of how as a teacher he was taking kids to some place in the city like the Legislature, with a tall stairwell. Suddenly there were drops of rain. Wait, that can’t be rain, someone’s spitting! Looking up, he caught a glimpse of a Klein (I think it was) nephew above him and some others. Every good story needs a rascal, and Gil had a lot of stories and the right amount of good-hearted rascals to help make them with him and his very well extended, lovely family.


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