Carman George Colvin

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With sadness, we announce the passing of Carman George Colvin, aged 105 years, dearly beloved husband of the late Vera Colvin on March 3, 2024 at the Carman Memorial Hospital, Carman, MB.

The second of three sons of George and Ethel Colvin, Carman was born in Carman on November 30, 1918.  His family lived on the Colvin farm north-east of Graysville until 1923 when they moved to a farm site just west of Carman.  Carm attended Carman School, following which he worked in various farm related jobs, eventually joining the Manitoba Telephone System as a lineman.  He married Vera Nelson, originally of the Brigdenley district on February 3, 1942.   Carm worked for MTS until he enlisted in the army in July, 1942.  He served with the Royal Signal Corps of Canada, taking his training in Portage la Prairie, Winnipeg, and Kingston, prior to being sent overseas in January 1943.  Carm served in England, and throughout northern Europe with the Canadian Army.  He was in Germany when the war ended in 1945 and returned to Canada in January 1946.

Upon his return to Carman, Carm started work for Fred Eby at the newly built Carman Cleaners. In 1956, he and Vera purchased and operated the business until 1970.  Carm also operated a fleet of school vans and buses from 1960 until 1971.  In 1970, he joined the Carman Co-op, working in the service station and later managing the dry goods department, retiring in 1983.

Carm experienced many changes throughout his life, but one constant was his music.  He taught himself to play tenor banjo, by ear, in the early 1930’s.  He played with many different bands and groups over the next ninety years.  The hundreds of musicians he played with over the decades became life-long friends.  His bands played at school house dances, barn dances, weddings and countless community events throughout southern Manitoba.  He never stopped playing music.  In the last year, he played regularly at the weekly jam nights at Riverview Legion Place, the Carman Legion and at the new Boyne Lodge.  Although Carm was known as a banjo player, he played multiple instruments, some of which he learned to play in his later years.   Carm was also very active in local Fiddle festivals, both as an accompanist and as a judge.  In 2010, he was inducted into the Manitoba Fiddle Association Wall of Fame.

Carm was an active member of Carman Branch #18 of the Royal Canadian Legion from 1946 to 2024.  He served on countless committees, and served twice as President, as well as Bingo Chairman for 25 years.  He was awarded a Life Membership in 1993, the Meritorious Service Award in 2008, and the Palm Leaf Award in 2013.  He also was awarded the French Legion of Honour medal in 2020.

Carm was on the Legion planning committee that built the Riverview Legion Place, where he and Vera resided beginning in 1993.   Carm served as Chair of the Riverview Board for 25 years.

Carm and Vera were married for over 77 years, until her passing in August, 2019.  They were a vibrant couple, both extremely hard working with an active social life and countless friends. 

Carm is survived by his daughter Elaine Ganske, her children Pam and Tim Dowell, (James and Jon); Carm and Deeann Ganske, (Cole and Jorja); Jodie and Ted Gross, (Sadie and Molly);   his daughter Lynda and Doug Michie, their children Shelly and Trevor Juby, (Connor and Kaden), Brent and Danielle Michie, (Olivia and McKinley), Carly and Clarke Deacon, (Bray);  his son Fred and Phyllis Colvin, their children Caddie and Patrick Crampton (Wrenly, Josie, Auden),  Brooke and Justyn Pisa (Rhodes and Vaughn), Andrew and Mélissa Tovar Colvin (Esmé and Florin), Grant and Rebecca Colvin (Lula and Hooper).  He is also survived by a sister-in-law Thelma McDougall, along with many nieces, nephews and cousins.

Besides his wife, Carm was predeceased by his parents, younger brother Fred, in WWII, and older brother Tom (Verna) in 1972, and son-in-law Raymond Ganske in 2013, and numerous brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law. 

Carm led an incredibly long and productive life.  He made friends across many generations.  Above all, he loved his family.  He and Vera were exceptional parents, and made a lasting impression on their children, grandchildren and great grandchildren, and countless others.  As we miss our mother, we will also dearly miss him. 

The family would like to thank the many home care workers who supported Carm so kindly at his apartment over the past two years, as well as all the medical staff at Carman and Boundary Trails Hospitals during his recent stays for their wonderful care.

Funeral service will be held on Friday, March 15th, 2:00 p.m. at the Carman United Church with the Reverend Harold Kenyon officiating.  A private interment will take place in the Greenwood Cemetery, Carman.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Carman Area Foundation or the Carman Health Auxiliary or a charity of one’s choice.

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Doyles Funeral Home
Hwy. 3&13 10-4th Avenue SE, Carman, MB
Phone:  204.745.2045 | Fax: 204.745.2499