Gib McEachern October 27, 2022
It is with heavy hearts we announce the passing of Gilbert (Gib) Donald McEachern. After a lengthy illness Gib passed away peacefully in a Vancouver Hospital.
Gib was born to Donald and Greta McEachern in Flin Flon, Manitoba on May 29, 1940. Like many Flin Flon kids of his time Gib grew up with a love of the lakes and the bush that defined his recreational passions and his career choices all his life.
Gib is survived by his life partner Sandra Watts and Roger Watts and Dr. Robyn Watts; his daughters Pam Archer and Kyley McEachern; and Grandchildren James Omran, Brian Omran, Maxwell Donald McWhinney, Christopher McEachern, and Lauren Ivale McEachern; and by his brother Gordon (Linda) and nieces and nephews.
Born and raised in Flin Flon, Gib will be best remembered as a champion paddler. He, along with racing partner and lifelong friend Norm Crerar, won or came second in every canoe race they entered in the 1960s both as amateurs and then as professionals. The races were in both Canada and the USA. Gib and Norm anchored the Manitoba canoe in the 1967 Centennial Voyageur Canoe Pageant. Gib was the bow paddler for the winning Manitoba Team. Gib was a true athlete and man of the North and over the years tried his hand in sled dog mushing, snowshoe racing, flour packing contests, long distance cycling, and international cross country ski competitions, and of course, canoe racing. After a career as a Bush Pilot and Air Tanker Pilot in Manitoba and Saskatchewan Gib retired to Vernon, BC and eventually Vancouver. Gib had a wonderful sense of humour and was a great storyteller. He really enjoyed entertaining family and friends with tales of his many adventures, such tales getting better with the telling!
Gib will be greatly missed and fondly remembered by all who knew him. A celebration of Gib’s life will be held at a later date. If you would like to honour Gib’s life and his passing, please make donations in Gib’s memory to your local Kidney Foundation.
My sincerest condolences to Gib and Sandra’s families both immediate and extended. I was only a lad of 16 when I first saw Gib and his paddling partner Norm Crear start for the Manitoba team at the commencement of the Canada Centennial Canoe Pageant in Rocky Mountain House, Alberta in 1967. I thought that Gib McEachern was quite simply the most awesome specimen of an athlete that I had ever seen and I still do. It goes without saying of course that his accomplishments in the canoeing world were legendary. Rest In Eternal Peace Gib
Of the years I knew Gib, I broke two of his X country skis that he loaned me. He was quick to respond that a ski used and broken was better than one not used at all. Also he would remind people “ Have many friends, trust few, and paddle your own canoe!! You shall be missed…
The picture of an athlete; great in his era or any other. Always ready to share time and entertaining conversation. Happy to have been there to see the great race across Canada. Condolences to the family.
An inspirational legend. A polite gentleman to us.