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NODWELL, Herden Keith “Nod”

February 27, 1925 – Asquith, Saskatchewan
October 4, 2014 – Calgary, Alberta

After a harsh battle with the demons of dementia, Nod is now at rest. His determination and problem solving bent was with him until the end as he struggled with this disease.

Nod had a good run. He joined the Air Force as a Navigator during WWII and served overseas, returning home before seeing any action as the war ended before his first mission was scheduled. He came home to Alberta and joined his brothers and began bidding on and building whatever projects they could find. Eventually Nodwell Bros Ltd was formed and Nod’s concentration focused on building bridges and overpasses all over Alberta and parts of Saskatchewan, starting with a bridge in Lundbreck Falls in 1949 and ending in Grand Prairie in 1972. In all, he and his brother Jack built over 30 bridges during this time. His favourite bridge was the overpass on Highway 1 heading west into Canmore. “It has such clean lines” he was often heard to say. He retired from bridge building when he was 45 and moved to Nanoose Bay, BC with Ila and began designing and building their new home. Nod took up golf later on and scored his first of three hole-in-ones on his 60th birthday. He was also a curler and a founding member of the Calgary Winter Club.

Nod loved to travel and was always planning the next trip, even as his health declined. He particularly enjoyed cruising and visiting Sharon’s family in Australia. His care of Ila during her struggle with MS went above and beyond, enabling her to travel as well and enjoy life due to his efforts to make it so.

He was predeceased by his daughter, Terry; his wife Ila; his parents, Howard and Bertha; and his brothers, Bruce, Jack and Roy. Nod will be missed by Sharon and Mike, and their children Chris, Jenny and Laura. His great grandchildren, Ethan, Ryan, Parker and his name sake, Matthew Nod, will remember him through the stories that will be told as they grow up. Nod is also survived by his brother-in-law, Leo Dooling (Judith); his sister-in-law, Pauline Nodwell; and all his nieces and nephews.

With his family by his side, Nod will be laid to rest with Ila and Terry at Queen’s Park Cemetery. Sharon and her family would like to invite Family and Friends to a “Black Russian” toast to Nod at her residence on Friday, October 10, 2014 at 7:00 p.m. Condolences may be forwarded through We would like to thank the staff of the Colonel Belcher Veterans Care Center and his caregiver, Lorraine, for their care of Nod during his stay there. Flowers are gratefully declined.

 Rest easy Dad.

In living memory of Nod Nodwell, a tree will be planted at Fish Creek Provincial Park by McINNIS & HOLLOWAY FUNERAL HOMES, Crowfoot, 82 CROWFOOT CIRCLE N.W. Telephone: 403-241-0044.

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Condolence Messages

  1. Shirley Patterson C/O Gayle Eder :

    My mother Shirley May Patterson (nee ) Leigh graduated with Ila in nursing school and they met up again many years later as both nurses had retired to Vancouver Island. I am Shirley’s daughter Gayle living in Calgary but writing this on behalf of my mother and father; Shirley and Malcolm Patterson. (Mom is not capable of writing this note so I am writing what she would want to say to Nod’s family) I have heard about Ila for years and the stories naturally soon followed about Nod. Good stories about life and family and generations of friends. I had the pleasure of meeting Ila several times and Nod as well when Mom and I would go for lunch at their beautiful home in Nanoose Bay. I think that’s where Nod knew he was outnumbered with 3 cackling girls in the house, so he would retreat out back somewhere it was quiet. I wanted to share with Nod & Ila’s family how very special your mom and dad were to my folks. They admired and respected both of them so much and always immensely enjoyed their time together, even if Ila was the better bridge player.
    All friends are to be cherished but those old long ago dear friends somehow all have such a special bond!
    Please know that your family is in our thoughts and prayers at this time ~


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  2. As a long time very good friend of mine, Nod will truly be missed by me. I’d like to offer my sincere condolences to all his family. Many years ago as a graduate engineer Nod taught me how to build bridges and all I can ever remember that he learned from me was how to make a Black Russian.



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  3. Chris & Brian Chandler :

    We send our heartfelt sympathy to Sharon, Mike, Chris, Jenny, Laura
    And families.
    We had the pleasure of meeting Nod and Ila when they visited Australia.
    Sharon, Mike and family were our wonderful next door neighbours at that time. In 1996 when we came to Canada, Nod and Ila met us on Vancouver Island where they took us to their home and golf club and
    gave us a great tour around the area.
    We really enjoyed their company on each occasion.
    On our recent visit to Calgary, we were saddened to hear of Nod’s illness, but know that he is now at peace.
    When The Lord calls our loved ones home, he leaves a gift of memories in exchange. Hold these memories and let them guide you during this time of sadness.
    Chris and Brian and family.

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  4. Hank Riggelson :

    My condolences on the loss of your father, father-in-law, grandpa and great grandpa. I know he leaves a hole in all your lives that will take some time to heal. Treasure the memories you have of him and trust that he is now in a better place.

    Hank Riggelson

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  5. Bruce McTrowe :

    My condolences to the Nodwell family on your loss. Reading about the “clean lines” on his favourite bridge on the west Canmore entrance, rekindled fond memories of Herden. I was 18 in 1967 and just starting my construction career hauling concrete from Banff to all the overpasses and structures from Banff East Gate to Morley built by Nodwell Bros. Herden was always willing to share his vast knowledge with a young guy who was full of questions. I had a lot of respect & admiration for him. Every day I either drive over or under one the bridges he built. These structures are a reminder to me of his integrity and personality that made a strong impression on a young man all those years ago.
    Bruce McTrowe, Banff/Canmore

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  6. Allison Montgomery :

    Sincere condolences to the Huculak family for your loss. Nod was such a wonderful man and I have so many great memories of him. Thoughts and prayers are with you all.
    The Montgomery’s

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  7. Bruce Nodwell :

    Sorry to hear of the passing of “Uncle Herdon”. My condolence to you and your family.I have many fond memories of times with the Nodwell Brothers and it is sad to hear of the death of the last of them.

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  8. I spent many days playing golf with Nod,always enjoyed his sense of humor, he was just a super guy.

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  9. Maureen Donlevy :

    All the Donlevy Family are sad to hear of the passing of Nod. Such a fine gentleman and a wonderful friend to our family. We all treasure our memories and hold you Sharon and family in love and grace at this time.

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  10. Thinking of you and your family Sharon! He was such a special man who lived and loved well……love and hugs from Trujillo, Peru.

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