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Memorial service will be held at 2:30PM on Sunday December 3, 2017 at the Winkler M.B. Church. Viewing will be from 1PM-6:30PM on Saturday at Wiebe Funeral Home, Winkler. Interment prior to the service at 1:15PM at Westridge Memorial Gardens. Donations may be made in Wes' memory to the BTHC Foundation (designated to Palliative Care)


 Wesley Edward Elias

1962 - 2017

Wes was born on December 17, 1962 to Peter & Linda Elias and he was the oldest of 6 children.  As a young boy he spent many summers with his Grandpa Giesbrecht out on the family farm, he loved the country and he loved his Grandpa.  He also spent a lot of time with Uncle Peter and Aunt Vicky on their farm and he would often tell us how much he enjoyed working side by side with Peter.  Wes enjoyed life and it usually had something to do driving.  When he was younger he would go out on Sunday afternoons with Chad & Tony Berg in his green truck, as Chad would say, to tear up the countryside.  We probably don’t want to know what that means.  He enjoyed dirtbiking, hillclimbing at Mount Nebo and trail riding with friends through the Pembina Hills.

When Wes turned 18 he received his class 1’s and trucking quickly became a part of his identity. He enjoyed working together with his dad clearing snow or hauling gravel and for many years they worked well together hauling bentonite for Pembina Mountain Clays and when that ended he began driving for Monarch Industries and remained there for the next 26 years.  People often looked for that big black Monarch truck because they knew that whether he passed them on a narrow road or a four lane highway he would see them and give his special wave.  He rarely missed anyone and if he did he would flash his brake lights a couple of times so they would know he had seen them.  Sometimes people would come to him in church and ask why he hadn’t waved at them and he would quickly find out that they had purchased a different vehicle, so he would ask for the make, model and color and you could be sure he wouldn’t miss you again. When he lost his drivers in September he was devastated but began working at Janzen’s Paint and Decorating full time fixing vacuum cleaners and any odd jobs that needed to be done in the store and that brought the sense of purpose back into his life.  He truly enjoyed working with the people there. 

Wes loved Jesus and he knew without a doubt that Jesus loved him and to express his love back to God he was baptized on March 2, 1980. His deepest desire was to be able to know the Bible better and he couldn’t do that without being able to read it so Dinah bought him the Bible on cassette and he would listen to it over and over in the truck as he drove back and forth to Winnipeg.  When those cassettes wore out, Dinah bought him another Bible, this time on CD and he continued to listen day after day. If his CD player broke in the truck it was replaced the next day because it was so important to him that he was able to hear God’s Word.  That set is now all scratched and worn, but, it was well-loved and Wes had his wish.  He knew his Bible backwards and forwards without ever having read it. Wes was a caring and patient man who most always had good things to say and was very quick to put others needs before his own.  And if something didn’t go right or even if someone mistreated him he’d say, “That’s ok, it will be alright.” Even after his initial diagnosis in August of 2008 the first thing he said to Dinah was, “It’s ok, it will be alright.” and his assurance came from his deep faith that whether he lived or died, he would really be ok.  And then God gave him an amazing miracle and that was 9 healthy years, many years over and above what they had been told they would have.  But Wes and Dinah understood that they were living on borrowed time so they made sure to spend some great quality time with their family and alone as a couple.  Wes’ favorite spot to travel was to the mountains.  He couldn’t get enough of them.  Wes and Dinah always dreamed of going to see the Swiss Alps, sadly they were not able to make that a reality. 

In May of 2017, Wes was diagnosed with yet another brain tumor, this time there were very limited options for treatment and this new tumor appeared to be more aggressive than the first. And still his biggest concern was never for himself, he just wanted to make sure that Dinah and their children & grandchildren would be ok if they had to live without him. Wes and Dinah enjoyed life this summer to the fullest.  They knew how to enjoy life together and they were best friends.  Their love for each other was evident to anyone around them.  Even their appointments at the brain tumor clinic were laced with private jokes and lots of laughter while they waited for the doctor.  In late summer Wes’s health began to fail and then in October the tumor began to bleed and Wes was rushed to Health Sciences Center for surgery, however it was there that they were told by the neurosurgeon that surgery would not be an option because to do so would mean even more damage to his physical functions than there already were.  The doctor then shared that there were actually two tumors not just one as they had originally diagnosed and this news devastated them both.  They tried to face this horrific diagnosis with a positive attitude and the knowledge that God would carry them through no matter what but it was not easy, especially as Wes’ seizures began to increase and his ability to speak disappeared. Wes was a very quiet man; however, when the tumor took away his ability to speak it frustrated him to no end not to be able to express what he was feeling.  So, his eyes spoke for his heart and his hand would hold yours tightly to let you know you were loved.  He always found a way to get the message across that he cared. Nic, Mark, Tina & Dinah would often spend time in the room quietly reminiscing about Wes. Dinah shared with the boys how 34 years ago she had been praying for a husband, someone who would listen and that dad had also been praying at the exact same time, but his prayer had been for someone that he could talk too.  They always joked that she had gotten the better end of the bargain. The boys talked about Wes’ love for golf, but it was never the score card that mattered.  When Dinah would ask him how his game had gone he’d say, I’m pretty sure I lost, but, I found 6 golf balls!  That was a win for him.  And when Wes, Dinah and the boys would golf together Wes would hit the ball and then promptly disappear.  Dinah would ask, “Where’s dad?”  and the boys would reply, “Oh he’s off in the bush again looking for more golf balls!”  He spent more time rumbling through the bush than he did on the green and he would rarely find the one he lost, but, he always found a host of other ones that previous golfers had lost. Wes was a creature of habit, once he found a restaurant he enjoyed that’s where he wanted to go all the time and one of Wes’ favorite places to eat was Olive Garden and the family knew his routine.  He would pick up the menu for two seconds and put it down politely waiting for the server to come take his order and he would say, “I think I’ll try the chicken parmesan” and the server would encourage him by saying “That’s a very good choice!” and we would laugh after the server left because that was the only thing he ever ordered. 

His children appreciated his generosity and he was generous to a fault. He would never really spend money on himself; if Dinah would suggest that he should buy something for himself that she knew he really wanted he’d quickly say, “We don’t have money for that!”  Yet, if he knew that Dinah or anyone else in their family needed or wanted something the money would somehow become available. He was an encourager, whatever Dinah did at home or in her job here at the church he would constantly praise and support her.  He was her set designer and builder throughout the years and they spent many hours together in this church setting the stage to create moments of worship for this church family.  They could often be found late at night working right here on this stage, laughing and talking.  They just loved being together. And he loved this church.  He began ushering when he was 16 and continued volunteering in that capacity right up until the week prior to being admitted into hospital.  His quiet demeanor and warm, gentle nature made people feel welcome the moment he would greet them at the doors. 

Wes and Dinah were deacons for many years, again a role that he was comfortable in because he could care for people.  When he suggested to Dinah that they start doing visitation in people’s homes every week as part of their ministry Dinah questioned him why they wouldn’t just have people come to their house for coffee.  He said because if we only invite them to come to our house they mostly get to know about us, but if we go to their house we get to see their environment, their pictures, meet their children and we get to know more about who they are and how we can better care for them. 

There are so many things that we as a family will miss about Wes, so many things we already do. His grandchildren have asked for him constantly this past week and though we would explain that Papa has gone to Heaven or that he’s gone to live with Jesus, they continue to ask for him.  Finally Blaique asked her mom for Jesus’ address because she wanted to go see Papa. 

Wes is survived by his wife Dinah who loved him more than she could ever express, his children Nicolas, Mark and his daughter-in-law Tina who all knew that he would do anything for them, his grandchildren Blaique, Dominic, Kinsley & Brooklyn who were the light of his life.  Hailey and Mackenzie Rempel our special blessings.  He is also lovingly survived by his parents, Peter & Linda and his siblings, Lorna & Jack, Sandra & Pat, Richard & Carolyn, Val & Brad, Connie & Des and their families.  His mother-in-law & father-in-law Wes & Anne Wiebe, Wanda & Jerry, Cheryl & Ed and many nieces and nephews and great nieces and nephews. 

The family is extremely grateful for the care that they received with Dr. Kakumanu at HSC and our nurse Kim who has been our encourager for the entire 9 years at the Brain Tumor Clinic.  We are appreciative of the kind and dignified care that was offered to Wes in palliative care at BTHC by Dr. Chudley and Dr. Woelk.  Every nurse and aide who walked through his doors always took care of him and Dinah with the utmost compassion and concern for their well-being both physically, emotionally and even spiritually.  They offered the gift of light into what would otherwise have been a dark world and often went over and above to make sure that Wes was taken care of.  Thank you for that. Over this past month Palliative Care became a place of refuge for Wes, Dinah and the family and they humbly ask that you consider giving a donation to the Palliative care in Boundary Trails Health Center in Wes’ name. 

Wes was not perfect, but he was perfect for us and he will be missed more than we can tell you. So, you see, Wes’ life was never a cancer story, but a love story.  Love for his God, his family and all of you, his friends.  Thank you so much for being a part of his life and all your expressions of kindness during his life and in his death.  We appreciate it more than you will ever know.

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