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.

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