PRINCE ALBERT, Sask. – Former colleagues, students and friends of a Saskatchewan man who died in a canoeing accident on a remote northern lake are remembering his contribution to athletics, education and the community.
David Dice, 66, was on a canoe trip with his wife, Enid, 62, on Kinosaskaw Lake near Pinehouse, Sask., last week.
The retired chemistry teacher and his wife took canoeing trips every summer and blogged about his travels and outdoor adventures on his personal website.
This year, the couple’s canoe overturned.
Eight days after one of their son’s reported them missing, a float plane operator noticed an overturned canoe and spotted a body.
Enid was located by a search and rescue team soon after. She had a fire going and waved down the pilots of a rescue plane.
David retired seven years ago after teaching for 30 years at Carlton Comprehensive High School. The school’s current principal, Dawn Kilmer, remembered his passion for everything he did.
Kilmer knew David for about 26 years.
“It’s hard to describe what his impact was, but I learned so much from him and grew so much as a person from … who he was,” Kilmer said.
As a teacher, she said David always had high expectations for people.
“He knew they could learn. And he knew he could help guide them to that learning and understanding. He was way ahead of his time, and he … was an excellent, excellent teacher.”
David was also a mentor to colleagues such as Ron Poetker, vice-principal at W.P. Sandin School in Shellbrook. He said David was also passionate about track and field.
Poetker said David helped make the Harry Jerome Track at Prime Minister’s Park a reality.
“He was the primary focus behind getting that track built and he was very passionate about that and to do a good job, so we could host meets and do it well.”
David was an avid photographer, who both produced and distributed stock photographs.
He described David as a good canoeist, who did many canoe trips and trips up north. That includes a paddling trip across the province a couple of years ago, Poetker added.
Bob Coffin, too, knew David as an educator while he worked at Carlton as a vice-principal. He said David loved the north and canoeing, as well as track and field.
“His face would light up when you … started talking to him about the trips and that. He loved the north, he loved the wilderness, and the peace and quiet that goes with canoeing,” Coffin said.
© The Canadian Press, 2014