TYLER DONALD ATKINSON
With profound sadness the family announces the passing of Tyler Donald Atkinson on November 7, 2022. Lovingly remembered by his mom Christina, stepdad Mike, sister Alyssa (Ward), brothers Michael, Evan and Devin, father Ashley, grandparents Carl and Judy and numerous aunts, uncles, cousins and friends. Tyler was predeceased by his grandmothers Margaret and Delores, grandfather Donald and his very good friend Simon.
Tyler was a kind hearted man who loved his family and friends dearly. He always had a big smile that could light up a room and his genuine humour always had people laughing. Stories were often shared during dinner time where family would discuss what transpired that day or reminisce about great times. There was always plenty of laughter as we would witness the “silent laugh” that Tyler would express by smiling from ear to ear as his face turned red and tears would roll down his cheeks but he wouldn’t make a sound. Most of the time it was Tyler’s humour and stories that had the family erupting in laughter, especially when he pulled out words from the “Dictionary of Tyler”, such words as Tormato, Keppech and our favourite Dinaigler. Tyler knew exactly what these words meant and it became a guessing game to figure out what the meanings were. During his pre-school and elementary school years Tyler spent much time playing video games with his sister, brothers and neighbourhood friends. He also enjoyed creating things out of Lego or Kinex and our living room was always full of large creations built by Tyler and his siblings. On fair weather days Tyler could be seen bombing around Southdale on his scooter or wheelchair with his brothers hitching a ride. The Tyler taxi to and from school or heading to the shops in Southdale square was a daily thing and Tyler enjoyed being the driver which was the beginning of a passion of Tyler’s to get outside and explore the many trails and sidewalks in Winnipeg and rural Manitoba on his wheelchair.
Tyler had a keen eye for fashion and had an extensive wardrobe. He was always “stylin” and had the entire outfit well-appointed right down to the socks and shoes and oh my did he have a collection of shoes. Tyler collected many T shirts especially shirts with music or band names such as Bob Marley, The Eagles and Journey to name a few. Tyler loved music and always had the tunes going. He would sing songs loud and proud, always chose the best songs for the moment and loved when others joined him singing, dancing or exercising to the music. Tyler enjoyed many types of music such as reggae, pop and classic rock favourites from the seventies and the eighties. He loved attending concerts and watching live bands at many different venues. Anyone who knew Tyler well knows that his favourite tune of all time was “Don’t Stop Believin’” by Journey. When there was karaoke he was the first to get the party started. Lets just say Tyler was not shy of the microphone.
Tyler loved the outdoors, nature and catching some rays on beautiful sunny days. He loved the cabin life and spent many days and nights exploring the trails, communities and boardwalk at Grand Beach or just sitting on the deck in the sunshine. Sitting by the campfire or watching the fireworks with the beach gang were cherished moments. The wheelchair gang (aka Trach Squad) were often hanging around together in and around the parks in the Riverview area tilting back a cold one on a warm summer’s day. Tyler ventured out on his wheelchair as often as the weather would permit and nobody mapped the city like he did. His true love of the outdoors was seen by the hundreds of kilometers he travelled, pictures he took and having mapped what seems like half of the sidewalks in Winnipeg. Tyler would write about his many travels in his journal and through poetry. Tyler could be seen roaming the hallways of 2E with his pal Ricki (aka Double Trouble) visiting with staff, family and friends, together creating memories and sharing wonderful stories.
Another one of Tyler’s interests was weather and meteorology. If there was a weather event our phones would light up with the latest weather reports from our special weather guy. Tyler was a fierce advocate for accessibility. He was a board member for the Winnipeg Trails Association where he was discovered by tweeting about his perspectives on wheelchair travel and advocating for more attention to sidewalks. He developed a social media page called Winnipeg Sidewalks Needs Attention. The City of Winnipeg knew Tyler on a first name basis. Tyler attended many Manitoba Possible Leisure Club events where he participated in movie nights, supper club, games nights, and many seasonal festivities where he made many longtime friends. Tyler’s relationship with Manitoba Possible led to some of his close friends participating in the Easter Seals Dropzone where one repels from the top of a towering high rise building to raise funds for a more inclusive and barrier free society.
Tyler also had a real love for sports. He enjoyed attending Bomber games, Goldeyes games, as well as Jets and Moose games with family and friends. Tyler wore his home team colours proudly and loved it when he had his face painted or had Bomber or Jets tattoos on his cheeks, arms or wherever they could be placed. Tyler participated in Manitoba Possible wheelchair hockey for many years where his team won first place in 2017. That huge trophy was proudly displayed in Tyler’s room all year. He also attended Riverview’s wheelchair soccer and enjoyed the games outdoors during his favourite time of the year…summer. Tyler was adored by everyone he met. His courage, positive attitude and great humour was an inspiration to us all. We are all better people for having had him in our lives.
Our family would like to thank our special friend Cheri and her family for all of the love, support and the abundance of truly wonderful memories that were made over the many years. We would also like to thank the teachers, EA’s, bus drivers, respite care workers, home care staff and Tyler’s extended family, the wonderful staff at Riverview for their love, care and support. You were all so very special in Tyler’s life. Tyler’s wishes were to be cremated and asked that everyone tilt a cold one in his memory while singing your favourite song loud and proud in the beautiful warm sunshine. Tyler’s motto is “Sunshine is the best medicine”. Whenever we feel the warm sunshine on our faces we will feel Tyler in our hearts.
Memories, Stories and Condolences
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