Neil Bardal Funeral Centre | Phone: 204-949-2200 3030 Notre Dame Avenue | Winnipeg, MB R3H 1B9 | info@nbardal.mb.ca
MacKenzie Funeral Chapel | Phone: 204-467-2525 433 Main Street | Stonewall, MB R0C 2Z0 info@mackenziefh.com
Neil Bardal Funeral Centre | Phone: 204-642-7124 | 82 5th Street, PO. Box 1889 | Gimli, MB R0C 1B0 | info@nbardal.mb.ca

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Dennis Ringstrom

Dennis Ringstrom

Monday, January 9th, 1933 Monday, March 30th, 2020

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Obituary

Obituary for Dennis Hugh Ringstrom

Born in Weyburn, Sask., Jan. 9, 1933, to John and Emma (Wiberg) Ringstrom, Dennis was a lawyer, fisherman, pilot, teacher and life-long learner. A love for reading and education was instilled in him by both his parents, who came from Scandinavian immigrant families from Brough, Sask.

Emma in particular made sure her children could read before they began school in Punnichy, where the family lived from 1935-1944. Dennis enjoyed telling stories of growing up in the Touchwood Hills, where the community was spared the worst of the Dust Bowl conditions that made life miserable for many. With nearby sloughs and natural springs supporting the area’s native flora and fauna, he described an Edenic community of close friendships and time spent hunting, fishing and berry-picking, as well as school concerts and ice hockey.

From Punnichy, the family moved to Dauphin, MB., where Dennis completed high school. He earned a B.A. at Brandon College, after which he traveled to Europe for an extended period, and taught school in England. His travels were funded by writing travel memoirs from the road, which he posted back to Canada to be published in the Winnipeg Free Press.

While teaching in London, UK, he met his future wife, Mary Lewis, a nurse. They relocated to Winnipeg, where Dennis pursued a law degree at the University of Manitoba. Dennis was a lawyer with Fillmore & Riley from 1962, where he started as an articling student and practiced for over 40 years.

He possessed a well-respected legal mind and was always forthright, honest and practical. A courtroom fighter who did not suffer fools readily, his quick reactions sometimes resulted in books slammed and his opponent's written argument physically torn to shreds.

His specialty was insurance; he was a leading authority on fire loss litigation throughout western Canada. He had loyal clients in several large insurance companies, including international clients Lloyds of London and British Aviation Insurance. He appeared in a number of cases before the Supreme Court of Canada, where he would travel with his court robes tucked away in his Dauphin People’s Store suit bag.

His favourite clients were individuals in need of legal representation. Not certain when or even if he would be paid, Dennis would take on clients he believed had been wrongfully treated. In one such case, he represented a number of farmers whose lands were flooded by the actions of the Government of Manitoba in diverting the Whitemud River in west-central Manitoba.

He liked routine. He rose early every morning, arriving before anyone else at the office, but only after a steam, breakfast, and reading the newspapers at the Carlton Club. He closed his office door after lunch and had a nap. He claimed that practicing law was a means to an end that allowed him to buy better fishing rods, but he knew he was fortunate to find a career that he excelled at and enjoyed.

He co-owned Gunisao Lake Lodge, a commercial fly-in fishing camp in northern Manitoba, where he commuted in his airplane on the weekends, combining his passion for flying with that of fishing. He could pull fish out of the lake when no one else was getting a bite, and could identify the model of an airplane by just the sound of the engine. A highlight of his life was flying from New York to Paris with his brother-in-law, Tom Goodhand, in Tom’s single-engine plane.

He never forgot who he was or where he was from. When flying across Saskatchewan, he was known to stop in at his aunt’s home in Weyburn to take her for a spin. He often worked on cases in Saskatchewan and kept in touch with his extended family, catching up over bridge games.

He also enjoyed hunting, saunas, Big Band jazz, single-malt scotch, the crosswords, Jeopardy, riding his bike around Assiniboine Park, lunch at Salisbury House or DeLuca’s, his bridge club cronies, pie with ice cream, his fishing boat, long-distance drives across the prairies in early spring, and puttering around his cottage at Lake of the Woods and his farmland near Beausejour.

He was predeceased by his daughter, Elin Ringstrom, parents John and Emma, siblings Loreen Goodhand and Morley Ringstrom, and in-laws Anne and Douglas Clark, David Lewis, John Lewis, and Florence and Kingsley Lewis.

Dennis passed away Mar. 30, 2020, following several months of declining health. He had recently been living at Brightwater Senior Living, where he enjoyed the company of his cousin and neighbour, Eric Ringstrom.

Dennis leaves behind his wife, Mary, son Carl, daughter Anna (Jim Siemens), grandchildren Peter, Teilo, Mette and Lucca Siemens, siblings Ollie Sinclair and Doug Ringstrom, brother-in-law Tom Goodhand, sister-in-law Diana Ringstrom, numerous nieces and nephews, cousins, long-time friends, his Lake of the Woods neighbours, and the lunch-time regulars at the Scandinavian Cultural Centre.

An intelligent man with an inquiring mind, Dennis was a witty and natural storyteller. He will be missed.

Flowers gratefully declined; please consider supporting Wildlife Haven Rehabilitation, 1028 Arnould Rd, Île des Chênes, MB.

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PW

Pat Willison

Sully and I are very sorry to hear about Dennis. He was a great man and a helpful neighbor for over 30 years. He loved the lake so much. He liked to be near nature, enjoying fishing and bird watching. we miss him.
Comment | Posted at 01:00pm via Condolence
KH

Karen Heinrich

I remember Dennis, as the cousin who came to Prince Albert as the Insurance Lawyer. We had 3 businesses burnt in our area by the same group of people.
But my biggest memory was being the D&D driver when he came out north to visit the family. While he sipped his Scotch I drove the Paddockwood road stopping at each families house on the road. Their were a lot of stops! The rest of the memories are from family reunions. RIP Dennis, until we meet again. Karen Heinrich (Wiberg) Ernest and Jean's youngest.
Comment | Posted at 06:47pm via Condolence
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