Community mourns Horace Goudie
Labrador icon remembered as “a kind and gentle man”
A man touted as a magical storyteller and a Labrador icon has died.
Horace Goudie passed away at the long-term care facility in Happy Valley-Goose Bay on Jan. 2. He was 94 years old.
Goudie was born in North West River and grew up in Mud Lake.
Horace was 17 years older than his brother, Joe Goudie.
“Dad (Jim Goudie) died in 1963 and, in many ways, Horace became the head of the family. He was almost like a father to us. And he was certainly a mentor,” Joe said during a phone interview.
Horace developed a love of the wilderness at a very young age, Joe said.
He began trapping at age nine and went on to trap with his father for a couple of years before branching out on his own at age 17.
Horace trapped for almost seven decades, Joe said.
“He was a man of the country and he was perfectly comfortable in it - whether he was going for a caribou or a partridge or a rabbit... I was with him on his last trip and brother Bill trapped with him for awhile, too.”
Horace spent years working as outdoor manager of the Hudson’s Bay Company. He drove a fuel truck for the American Air Force and spent several years working as a security guard in Toronto.
Horace also carved a living by managing several sports fishing camps and, at one point, owned his own camp, Joe said.
“Horace tried his hand at a lot... but he always went back to the country.”
Joe said Horace was not only his brother but also his buddy.
A strict disciplinarian, Joe said if Horace set out to tell you a story, it was important to him that you listened and learned.
“And he’d let you know in a hurry if you didn’t learn it. I got told off few times,” Joe chuckled.
His brother’s lessons about the land were important ones, he said.
“He was teaching us, in some cases, about ice conditions and stormy conditions – which could have meant life or death... so he drove the message home hard and you darn well knew the best way to handle things.”
Fluent in innu-aimun at a young age, Horace lived his life exactly the way he wanted to live it, Joe said.
His brother was an extremely patient man who loved his family dearly, Joe said.
“His first wife Anita passed away. Then he met Vena and they had 22 years together.”
Horace is predeceased by his parents James and Elizabeth Goudie, first wife, Anita, his brothers Robert and Chris; and sisters Marie and May.
(His mother, Elizabeth, is the author of the well-known book “Woman of Labrador.”)
Horace leaves with precious memories his wife Vena; stepchildren, Inga (Graham), Joh ( Marianne), Edmund ( Shoening), Brian, Jennie (Steve); grandchildren, Andrea, Susan, Joanne (Les), Lincoln, Cooper and Tanya; brothers Joe (Debbie), Bill, Jim (Rosemary); sisters, Grace and Marjorie (Jim) as well as many other family and friends.
Horace’s stepdaughter Jennie Nilsson who now lives in Victoria, B .C. had already left home in Happy Valley-Goose Bay when her mother met her stepfather.
“When I visited, he welcomed me like a daughter. Before they got married, he had a bedroom in his house set up for me with things he thought a young girl would like – pretty wallpaper, lacy dresser runners,” she said via- email from the family’s home in Happy Valley-Goose Bay.
Horace was a kind man and a gentleman, she said.
“It gave me so much peace to know Mom was with someone that treated her so well and made sure she was taken care of. Even when his health deteriorated, he always asked Mom how he could help her do things. (Horace lived with Parkinson’s disease and suffered from pneumonia before his death).
Nilsson recalls a story that’s published in her stepfather’s book - an autobiography “Trails to Remember” released in1991.
The story was about the first time her stepfather went hunting caribou with his father, Nilsson said.
The caribou didn’t die on the first shot but lived a few minutes until Horace and his father could end its suffering, she said.
“The thought of those few minutes that the animal suffered haunted my stepfather; so much so that it was years until he would try again. That, to me, epitomizes his character. He was kind, gentle, and hated to know that any living thing suffered – he would always do whatever he could to make sure it didn’t happen.”
Nilsson sums up in a few words how she’s always felt about her stepfather.
“I loved him,” she said.
Horace Goudie, 94, passed away on Jan. 2. Goudie was a well- known storyteller, author and trapper.