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WESLEY, Peter Lazarus

May 31, 1952 – August 2, 2012

Peter Lazarus Wesley passed away peacefully at Canmore General Hospital on Thursday, August 2, 2012 at the age of 60 years. Born in Morley, Alberta on May 31, 1952, Peter was a lifetime resident on the Stoney Nakoda Nation. In the Nakoda language, Peter’s name was “Eagle Messenger”.

Peter attended Morley Residential School, Exshaw School, and Ernest Manning High School in Calgary. In 1978 Peter became the youngest elected local government official in the history of the Stoney Nakoda Nation, and served three two-year terms as Bearspaw Band Councillor. He earned a Bachelor of Education degree from the University of Calgary in 1997 and had partially completed a Master of Arts (History) degree. At the time of his passing, Peter was Director of the Rocky Mountain Nakoda Centre for Language and Cultural Preservation.

Peter was fluent in his spoken Nakoda language and in English, and was widely recognized as an exceptional Interpreter, Translator, Spokesperson, and Chairman. He was a noted historian of the Stoney Nakoda, whose traditional homelands include the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains from the Brazeau River in the north to Chief Mountain in the south. Peter was also respected as a cultural communicator of his Aboriginal heritage. A gifted storyteller, his expertise as “Keeper of the Language and Legends” was well-established. Peter’s legacy lives on through his immeasurable contribution to the official website for accurate preservation of the authentic Nakoda language at www.RockyMountainNakoda.com.

Throughout his life, Peter embraced and honoured cultural values and traditions, blending them with his Christian beliefs. At various times he was a singer and dancer in pow-wows. He was knowledgeable in horsemanship and hunting. Peter’s participation in sports included rodeo, golf, and hockey. He was also a self-taught musician. In recent years, Peter became very proficient in the ancient art of leather and rawhide braiding. He took great pride in adapting a variety of intricate braids and knots to custom-craft decorative and functional rodeo tack and equipment.

Peter travelled extensively throughout North America, and also visited England and Australia. His favourite vacation spot was Waikiki in Hawaii and he enjoyed seven holidays there, the last in March 2012.

Peter will long be known for his dry wit and serious expression while telling a story or joke, only to have a smile slowly cross his face or break into laughter afterward!

He is lovingly remembered by his wife of 26 years, Donna Hogeland; children Juanita Wesley (Christophe Rollinmud), Mandy Wesley, Wade Wesley (Melvina Goodstoney), and Vonnie Wesley; their mother Mona Holloway; grandchildren Cheyenne Wesley, Shadow Crawler, Maceo Crawler, Dretin Goodstoney, Rihanna Goodstoney, Braven Goodstoney, Twisha Wildman, and Akeesha Kaquitts; great-grandchildren Anthony Wesley, Angelo Wesley, and Andreas Wesley.

Peter is also survived by his sisters Una Wesley, Virginia Wesley, Pauline Wesley (George Piche), Reatha Mark, and Victoria Lefthand; brothers Lenny Wesley (Corrina Wesley), Laurel Wesley (Tracey House), Claude Lefthand (Belinda Simeon), and Russell Twoyoungmen (Wendy Ear); mother-in-law Irene Hogeland of Brandon, Manitoba; sisters-in-law Brenda Froese (George Froese) of Rivers, Manitoba and Carole Hogeland (Mike Bourgoin) of Frankford, Ontario; as well as by numerous nephews, nieces, cousins, extended family members, and friends both near and far.

Peter was predeceased by his parents Lazarus and Lily Wesley, father-in-law Mel Hogeland, sister Evangeline Rider, and brothers-in-law Roderick Mark and Don Rider.

Wake services will be held at the residence of Una Wesley on the Stoney Nakoda Nation on Wednesday, August 8 and Thursday, August 9. The Celebration of Life service for Peter will be held at the Gymnasium in Morley, Alberta on Friday, August 10 at 1:30 p.m.

Donations to the “Peter Lazarus Wesley Memorial Scholarship” may be made by phoning 403-220-5854, or by mailing a cheque payable to the University of Calgary (refer to “Peter Lazarus Wesley Memorial Scholarship”) to: University of Calgary Development Office, 2500 University Drive NW, Calgary, AB T2N 1N4.

Messages of condolence may be placed at: www.mcinnisandholloway.com.

In living memory of Peter Lazarus Wesley, a tree will be planted at Fish Creek Provincial Park by McInnis & Holloway Funeral Homes, 369 Railway Street, Cochrane, Alberta. Telephone: (403) 932-4740.

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Condolence Messages

  1. Trudy Hickling :

    My sincerest condolences on the loss of your beloved Peter. What a pleasure it was to havemet him, I found it a true honor.Rest in peace, “Eagle Messenger”

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  2. I only met Peter a month or so ago – and was thoroughly engaged by his wit and knowledge. I could have sat and talked for hours with him and Donna. I will miss getting to know Peter better and wish him a swift and peaceful journey into his next lifetime. My thoughts and prayers are with Donna – a very caring and loving person whose life will never be the same without her partner. Blessings on you both. Love, Jan

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  3. Dear Donna and family,

    I was so sorry to hear from Trudy on the weekend that you had lost your beloved Peter. You will miss him and his presence in your life, but he will live in your heart and your memory forever.

    Over the past ten years, I have had this message at my desk where I see it every day. I hope that it brings some peace as you move forward one day at a time.

    To live in hearts we leave behind is not to die…Thomas Campbell.

    With sincere and heartfelt sympathy,

    Sally

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  4. My condolences, Donna.

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  5. Rev. John W. Friesen :

    This is for Donna:
    I am deeply honored to have been asked to officiate at the services pertaining to the celebration of Peter Wesley’s life. I was blessed to have known him on so many different ways–at band and church functions,at the university, both as a graduate student and an under-graduate student, and in many informal occasions. In many ways he reminded me of his father, my dear friend for so many years. Peter will be deeply missed!

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  6. Sylvia Szott :

    As stated a few days back, I am so sorry for your loss. No words can compensate for the loss of your long time partner and greatest love.

    I will see you Friday.

    Your friend Sylvia

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  7. Mary Ellen Wells :

    Sincere condolences to you and your family. Memories of happy years together will comfort you.

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  8. Gwen & Brian Bromley :

    Loving thoughts and prayers are with you at this time. We are so sorry for your loss. Take comfort in your memories.
    Gwen,Brian and family

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  9. Judith Liberty Grimard :

    “Hopefully, Dearest Donna, you’ll be able to return to your beloved Hawaii; cling to & remenisce in the memories of your precious Peter……. “Should you drop a tear in the ocean; the day someone finds it, will be the day you stop missing him”……Put all your effort into healing; and when you’re stronger, think about a re-union ; just you and I. Needless to say, it’s long overdue; and we deserve it. Just know, I feel your pain. Ever so sincerely, Judith.

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  10. Lois and Carol Harding :

    Dear Donna, our hearts go out to you at this time. I did submit your husbands name to the Temple and he was prayed for but as we know it is always God’s will that we have to learn to accept. Please accept our deepest concern and sympathy and of course love, which we know is forever. May the Lord bless you with peace. Love Lois & Carol.

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  11. Dr. Mary-Ellen Tyler :

    Dear Donna, please accept my sincere condolences on Peter’s passing. I am sure the many messages of hope and love being sent to you and his children and family will demonstrate the esteem in which he was held by all who knew him and will hopefully provide you with some comfort at this difficult time. You have lifelong friends who are thinking of you and sending you their love and energy at this time. I am sure that your beliefs and faith will help you heal but please give yourself the time you need to honour your needs and Peter’s life. I will be thinking of you and sending you my very best wishes.
    sincerely,
    Mary-Ellen

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  12. Agnes Marshall,Mary McIntyre,Chris Redfern :

    Donna,

    Our sincere condolences to you and your family.

    The Daciuk Girls

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  13. Frances (Quinn) Bourque :

    I have been thinking of you Donna with some sense of what you have experienced after seeing what colleen and Rick went through. I know it is painful but I hope that time will help you heal.

    Please accept my condolences.

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  14. Gloria Heide :

    Donna . Please accept my sincere sympathy on the loss of your husband.

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  15. Josie & John Chumola :

    Donna, You are in our thoughts and prayers. May all the wonderful memories you have of Peter help to make you smile. He sounds like a wonderful man. Take care of yourself. Josie

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  16. Larrie & Lynda Kidd :

    We are truly sorry to hear of Peter’s passing. Our hearts go out to you. May God give you peace & strength at this difficult time. God Bless
    Larrie & Lynda Kidd

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  17. Ian & Sharon (Stott) Bobiak :

    Donna & family – we were saddened to learn of Peter’s passing – we never knew him, but became familiar with his fulfilled life through his obituary. Although you will miss him, we know you will treasure many memories! Our thoughts & prayers are with you all at this difficult time ~~~

    In Sympathy,
    Ian & Sharon (Stott) Bobiak, Cochrane, AB

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  18. Shelly Mashinter :

    Thinking of you and your family. Wishing you hope in the midst of sorrow, comfort in the midst of pain.
    With Heartfelt Sympathy
    Shelly Mashinter & Family

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  19. Joyce Bertrand Durston :

    I feel that we have met. Hope to see you at the 60’s girlfriends gathering
    at Brandon 2013.

    It really hurts to lose a loved one.
    Our thoughts and prayers are there with you.
    Joyce

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  20. Barry and Darlene (Farough) Diller :

    Our thoughts are with you as you mourn the loss of your beloved Peter. Although we never had the pleasure of knowing him, we can tell from his obituary that he was a great man whose loss will be felt by his family, community and the world.

    Syncerest Sympathy,
    Barry and Darlene (Farough) Diller

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  21. Holly MacKay :

    Dearest Donna, Please accept condolences to you and your family on the passing of your wonderful husband, Peter. I was so very sorry to read of this – you have shown such tremendous grace and I am so appreciative that you have been able to share this with your friends, who are there for your for life. My heart is aching on your behalf, and I am absolutely sure that he knew how very, very loved he was. I stand in awe. Much love from Holly (Ottawa) & Jenna (Gatineau)

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  22. Shirley Lumbard :

    Dear Donna, Although we have yet to meet at a l960 Brandon Girlfriends reunion, I wish to express my sincere condolences in the loss of your husband, Peter. Shirley Lumbard (Ring)

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  23. Brian and Ruth Minaker :

    Peace

    BMin

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  24. Lois (Boyd) Colquhoun :

    Donna – my thoughts are with you in your time of grief. Having been there, I have a sense of what you are experiencing. Keep his memory close and remember the good times. With sincere sympathy, Lois (Boyd)(Hackenschmidt)Colquhoun, Brandon, Mb.

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  25. Vivian Cipryk :

    Such a loss to your whole family and network. What a great legacy he left for the People and Mother Earth by passing on the Language and Traditions during his Life Journey. Bless you all- a Brandon 60s girl, Viv

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  26. Donna, I am so very sorry to hear of Peter’s passing. My great loss for never having met him. You are in my thoughts at this most difficult time. Blessings to you my friend. Joyce

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  27. Shannon and Dave Cisyk :

    Our love, thoughts and prayers are with you at this time of mourning for the loss of your beloved husband, Peter. May God give you peace, strength, and comfort. Treasure your memories and know that others care as you journey through this time of saddness. Take care of yourself and remember that God holds you in the palm of His hand.

    With our deepest sympathy,
    Shannon and Dave

    Shannon

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  28. Dear Donna
    I was so sorry to read of Peter’s passing. Your memories will help you through this, take one day at a time and the pain will ease.
    Sincerely,
    Val Elder

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  29. Sharon Edwards Trigg :

    I’m so sorry for your loss Donna and family. Although I never met Peter I know he was truly loved and admired by the beautiful words written about him. I’m thinking of you Donna and my heatfelt sympathy and prayers are with you.
    Girlfriend
    Sharon xoxoxox

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  30. Dave and Linda (Lepard) Bilkoski :

    With Deepest Sympathy in the Loss of you
    Dear Husband Eagle Messenger.
    Our hearts go out to you today and we
    know that God will give you extra strenghth at this time.
    You can remember the Happy times you spent together with Family and Friends
    and know that Eagle made a big impact in this world.

    Blessings
    Dave and Linda (Lepard) Bilkoski

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  31. Dianne Webber Little :

    I am so sorry for your loss and you will find strength to carry on. Try to keep a smile and remember all your good times.

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  32. Don and Beckil Kille :

    Donna,Becki and I were very sad to learn of Peter’s passing .Our heartfelt condolences to you and the entire family.The support of friends and family will help you through this very difficult time.Don and Becki Kille,Brandon

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  33. Beverley sheldon :

    Donna,My condolences to you and your family-it sounds like 26 years of happy memories-hopfully these memories will give you somesense of peace during your time of grieving-thinking of you–Bev

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  34. Barbara (Thompson) Ostercamp :

    I am so sorry to hear of your loss. Peter sounded like such a wonderful person. You will miss him I know. Remember all the wonderful times you had with together.

    2 Corinthians 1:3 He is the source of every mercy and the God who comforts us.
    My thoughts and prayers are with you.

    Brandon girlfriend
    Barbara

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  35. Judy and Dallas Maynard :

    Our deepest sympathies to all in your loss of Peter. Our thoughts and prayers go out to you Donna and family at this difficult time.

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  36. Lily Thibodeau Germain & Claude :

    My dear friend Donna!
    I am so very sorry and sad to read your message about Peter’s passing. We wish you a lot of courage! We will be with you in our heart this week.
    Peter was an admirable man!
    Very sincerely,
    Your french friend from Québec,
    Lily xx

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  37. Arleen (Fardoe) Duignan :

    Donna, my deepest condolences on the loss of your husband.

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  38. Lori (Wesley) Raduly and Family :

    Mi-tu-win (Aunt-in-law) Donna,
    I want to Thank you, for being with Peter til the end. I’m thankful to hear that you were with him as he peacefully went to join my grandparents, his parents Lazarus and Lily. Thank you for all you have journeyed with him during his life. I pray that God blesses you with comfort. Thank you for starting the memorial scholarship in his name. I miss him terribly but – am also happy for him that he is with my grandparents. Until we meet with him again, we are here for you, just come over anytime, as Peter did. Isniyesh Donna. God Bless.
    Lori

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  39. Laurie MacDougall :

    Donna, My thoughts are with you during this sad time.
    Peter sounds like such a wonderful man, such a loss to humanity.
    My heart breaks for you and your family.

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  40. Marion Kwiatkowski :

    My dear Donna I am so sorry to hear about
    Peter passing away. I was hoping and praying that he would make it… Yes now we are sisters in the hardest thing not having our soulmates with us any more. No one will know the pain that you are suffering; but remember he is no longer in pain and is always with you. My prayers go with you and your family…..
    Marion K
    Ste. Anne MB.

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  41. Angela (Aker) Mason :

    My deepest sympathy to you Donna and your family. Your Peter sounds like a wonderful man from what I see in these messages and in his tribute. What a great honour bestowed on you for all these years! Find peace in such an honour during this difficult time. His legacy lives on!

    Sincerely,
    Angela (Aker) Mason

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  42. Betty Green (nee Shahariw) :

    Dear Donna and family. I am very sorry in the recent passing of Peter, husband, father and grandfather. May you find peace in knowing that he was such a devoted man in every avenue of his life that he touched. Best and sincerest wishes to you all during this difficult time. Betty Green

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  43. Dear Donna – Our family was saddened to hear of Peter’s illness and his passing. May you know the peace we wish you, and the love we send you and your family at this trying time.
    Marnie Main and Bob Sadler

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  44. Belva (Cumming) McKinnon :

    Sincere sympathy to you and your family at this very sad and difficult time.

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  45. Beverlee (Boris) Hillman :

    Donna, you are in my thoughts and prayers. I’m deeply saddened to hear of Peter’s passing … what an amazing man! May your many precious memories help sustain you at this very difficult time and may they help comfort you in the future. Take care!

    Sincere condolences,
    Bev & Ken Hillman (Wpg. MB)

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  46. Donna my sincerest condolences for your loss.

    Phil

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  47. Donna (Schaworski) Sherman :

    Dear Donna

    I know of no words to soothe your sorrow. You and your family have my sincere condolences.

    Donna

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  48. Lynne McMordie/ Rempel & Cal Rempel :

    Dear Donna and Family,

    We are so sorry for your loss.
    It is clear that Peter was an exceptional man who gave many gifts in his life. He fought a good fight and
    deserves to rest in peace. We never know why some people leave us so young.
    You will be comforted by all the wonderful memories and the pride you feel for Peter’s many accomplishments.
    Your Brandon Girlfriend
    Lynne

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  49. Traci Victoria Lee Kaschor :

    Dear Donna & Family,
    My heartfelt condolences to everyone on their loss.
    BrandonGirl Vickie

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  50. Cpl. Ben Scott - RCMP Major Crimes Unit :

    Dear Donna and Family,

    I was very taken aback at the news of Mr. Wesley’s passing. I’d like to offer my sincerest condolences. Although I did not have the pleasure of meeting Mr. Wesley in person, I will forever be grateful for the assistance he provided myself and our investigation in our pursuit to uncover the truth. I am saddened and wish nothing but support for his loved ones, our thoughts will be with you.

    Cpl. Ben Scott – RCMP Major Crimes Unit

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  51. My sincere and deepest condolences for you Donna and family at this time. My prayers and thoughts are for you! Just returned from a month in Germany with my husbands relatives (few who are left) and time with family is precious!
    Marie

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  52. Linda Sutherland & Carol Pochynok (Hominick sisters) :

    Our sincere condolences go out to you and your family at this time. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

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  53. My sincerest condolences to all the family and friends of Peter Wesley. I thoroughly appreciated his demeanor and obvious cultural strengths that he displayed in many meetings of department officials and Council over the years. His mere presence ensured a positive and proactive outcome. He will be sorely missed. He will continue to teach the Stoney Language and touch many future generations. Isniyes.

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  54. Julie Tannahill :

    Although I never had the chance to meet Peter, I have recently learned of his life’s work and congratulate him on it. My condolences.

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  55. Vonnie (punky) Wesley :

    Dad, this past August was two years since you left us. We miss you every single day. Just want you to know that, us your children are doing fine. Days are hard but we will be ok. Love you always….

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