David Michael Joseph Hassen, born on August 21, 1938 in Dana, Saskatchewan, died peacefully on February 12, 2021, at Fort Saskatchewan Community Hospital. He is survived by his wife of 44 years, Cheron Hassen, and his five children, Deborah (Richard), Cheryl (Stephanie), Perry, Fraser (Gloria), Kim, his seven grandchildren, Nicole, Wyatt, Kale, Brett and Scott, Joshua and Marcus, and nine great-grandchildren, James, Evangeline, Abigail, Bethany, Oliver, Isla, Chase, Sadie, and Hannah. He is survived by his first wife, Emily Soutyre, his sister Pearl (John), sister-in-law Gloria. Sister-in-laws Vivian, Jackie (Jerry); brother in-laws Gordon (Heather), Wayne (Alvina), and Gerald, his nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his mother Phyllis, his father Sam, his sister Lilac, his sister Violet, his brothers Donald and Douglas.
As we share our sadness of Dad’s passing with family and friends, we also want to share our memories of laughter and companionship. Of having our skates tied up and buying a Crispy Crunch. Of endless hours playing catch in the park. Of Dad’s love of cars, first cars, and especially Fraser’s sports cars. Of curling together as a family and his passion and wisdom when watching Perry or his grandchildren curl. Of endless conversations analyzing the Oilers and what we would do if we were running the show, talking for hours way past midnight. Of playing cards until those same wee hours. Of gathering discarded race cards at the track, and of Dad studying a racing digest only to arrive at the track, change his mind and then utter his amused refrain, “I should never have left that horse out.” Of Dad, when he dyed his hair black — no need to say anything more about that. Of a Dad who was a quiet, kind and fair man but his kids will confirm that his quiet “conversations” with them, for disciplinary reasons, were to be avoided at all costs.
Dad was a superb athlete. He loved playing sports, especially softball and curling, and watching sports of all kinds. He continued to curl well into his seventies, and as difficult as it was for him when he had to hang up his ball glove and curling broom, he maintained his positive outlook on life.
Although athletics was a big part of his identity, Dad was also excellent with numbers. He spent his early first married years with Emily taking courses in accounting, studying hard and getting his degree. He then spent his career in senior administrative positions, particularly with school boards. When living in Fort Vermilion, Dad had the distinction of swimming out of his car window after thinking that the ice bridge would still hold up, sinking his brand new Ford wagon.
Dad married Cheron in June 1976. They lived in Fort Saskatchewan and then, for years, in Fort McMurray, loving their adventures there, if not the flooded homes. When he retired, they returned to Fort Saskatchewan to be close to family and friends. Dad also continued his lifelong passion with cars, this time restoring a classic 1966 Chevrolet long box stepside truck. He loved family gatherings and road trips to see his children. Throughout his life, he was devoted to his parents and siblings, especially Douglas.
Dad was part warrior, part Miracle Man. He endured countless operations for a recurring pituitary adenoma, and one quintuple bypass surgery. He never complained, no matter the pain he was in or how difficult the recovery process. Through thick and thin, Cheron was by his side.
One of the things that strikes us most, is that Dad never spoke ill about anyone — a remarkable trait, a legacy, a role model for us all. With heavy hearts, we say goodbye, knowing that Dad will be terribly missed as a husband, a father, grandfather and great-grandfather, and a true friend. Always and forever Papa Bear.