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Rick Ashdown

Image by Nick Andréka


May 28, 1949 – April 6, 2024

With heavy hearts we announce that Richard “Rick” Ashdown, at the age of 74, passed away peacefully at the Stonewall hospital surrounded by family.  

Rick was survived by his beloved wife of 51 years Lorraine; children Nicole (Kelly), Michelle (Jeff) and Samantha (Ken); grandchildren Lindsay, Ashton and Dominic; siblings Kathy (Bill) and  Dave (Ferial).  He was predeceased by his parents Shirley, Farrell and stepfather Jack; sibling Barbara.

Rick was born in London, Ontario and raised in the Crescentwood area of Winnipeg, Manitoba.  He spent his summers at Twin Lakes Beach, MB getting into all sorts of trouble with friends he made in the area.  Rick was an exceptional older brother, very protective and very mischievous.    High on the list of older brother duties was screening his younger sister Kathy’s boyfriends by bombarding them with endless questions.  He made a point of letting everyone know which parties Kathy was not allowed to attend, by his standard.  Friends at the lake knew he meant business, he could be quite intimidating!  Rick became a male role model to his younger brother David, when his father passed away.  Rick took this role very seriously, providing guidance and support. By guidance, we mean giving him his first beer.

In 1971 Rick met the love of his life Lorraine, it was love at first sight.  Lorraine was a sweet farm girl whose head was first turned by his motorcycle, and second by his blonde hair with Elvis like features and bad boy charm.  Their relationship started with a blind date, and then on September 16th, 1972 they were married.  In September 1976 they welcomed their first daughter Nicole and then moved into their family home in Stonewall, MB shortly after.  In December 1977, they welcomed their 2nd daughter Michelle, and lastly their third daughter Samantha in August, 1980.  And of course we can’t forget his dog and favorite little guy Fang, the only other testosterone in the house.  Rick was a family man and often talked fondly of them.

Rick was incredibly hard-working. He started by working as a surveyor at Manitoba Hydro followed by time as a driller in Saskatchewan for Midwest Drilling. He then joined the Motorways family as a transport driver beginning in 1972 until 1990.  In 1990, he began his career with the Teamsters Union Local 979 as a business agent and was quickly promoted in 1994 to Principal Officer of the local and remained in the position until his retirement.  Rick was very proud to be a part of the teamster brotherhood and his involvement with the union was wide, including as a Trustee on both Prairie Teamsters Health and Welfare Pension Plans, as a board member for Teamsters Canada and the Western Canada Council of Teamsters.  He sat on the Teamsters Joint Council 90 and for the Manitoba Blue Cross Board of Directors.  During Rick’s last days he spoke frequently of how fulfilled he was with the amount of people he helped throughout his career. Many of his brothers described him as a strong, rational man in business and found it a privilege to have worked with him.  They enjoyed his stories, his wicked sense of humour and felt he left a memorable impact on Teamster members both at home and internationally.  He was a strong voice for the labour movement in Canada.

In Rick’s spare time he enjoyed hunting in the fall, and fishing in the spring and summer.  Starting in 1987 an annual fishing trip in late May would take place with friends, work colleagues and later family in one of his favorite places on earth, Long Legged Lake.  Grand Rapids, another place he frequented, was another favorite fishing spot.  In later years, his own love for fishing was surpassed by how much he loved watching his children and then grandchildren experience the joys of fishing.  Rick’s eyes would light up every time one of his grandsons would pull in a big catch, and especially when they pulled in a stick, because it provided a good opportunity to tease!

Rick also enjoyed playing cards, especially crib, with anyone willing to sit across from him as long as they didn’t complain about his smoking.  He was always up for a game, whether at home, on a fishing trip, in their condo in Phoenix or in their trailer at the lake, to name just a few.  He played crib with his best friend Phil right up until the day before he passed. Even though Phil won the last game, he enjoyed every last moment.

Rick’s legacy will live on in the hearts of all his family, friends, and colleagues.  He was a hell of a guy…once you got to know him.

As per Rick’s wishes, cremation has taken place and a celebration of life will be held Friday, April 12th @ 1:00pm at the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 52, Main Street, Stonewall, MB.

Rick’s family kindly requests that all of his friends and relatives take a few minutes to honour his memory by watching the photo-biography above. Please, also consider sharing your own photos, memories, and stories by making use of the comment section on this page.


Cremation & Life Celebrations

530 St. Mary Avenue - Winnipeg

204-421-5501 -

Memories, Stories and Condolences


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May 10, 2024 at 2:44 PM

Our chains will link again Dad, until then, I know you are watching over us.

Joan Mackay

May 10, 2024 at 2:44 PM

When Rick was 12 years old, I took him out for a Saturday afternoon to treat him to a movie at the Capitol Theatre..  Before the show I took him to the Marti Gras restaurant for fish and chips and the waitress brought us finger bowls.  He used his to fill up his  water pistol and then proceeded to squirt each waitress in the bum as she walked by.  That impish mischief maker never changed.  He came to Toronto when I lost my son and took me out to supper and, again, proceeded to tease the waitresses with his outrageous sense of humour - because he needed to make me laugh, he said. His love and deeply caring friendship will live forever in my heart.  We will all miss him so very much.

Bill + Jody Florence

May 10, 2024 at 2:43 PM

Such a beautiful video. I will always remember going fishing with Rick and Phil numerous times back in the 1980's.  Our condolences go out to his family and his many friends. Hope that the water is calm and the fish are always biting on the other side Rick..... 

Phil Brauen

May 10, 2024 at 2:35 PM

A true friend one that I was so fortunate to have. A real family man and. My family had adopted him as one of us. Upon meeting people his greeting always was. Hello I’m Rick Ashdown. Hell of a nice guy once you get to know me!!  Truer words has never been spoken. But as I would point out to the new acquaintance that it could take some time then we would laugh.

He made mine and so many other lives so much better.

Derek West

May 10, 2024 at 2:32 PM

I have fond memories from the 1980’s of when I went fishing with Rick & Phil at Long Legged Lake. We had a fun loving crew & shared plenty of laughs. Rest In Peace my friend. My heartfelt condolences to all your family & friends.

Darren, Kirsten, Zach and Abbey Bates

May 10, 2024 at 2:32 PM

What I remember distinctly as a a child was, in the too long between visits to the Saskatchewan relatives and specifically the Bates farm at Abernethy…..was that certain excited feeling or buzz in the air. Yep cousin Rick Ashdown was coming to visit…I wasn’t told but I could tell by the shine in my parents eyes that someone special was coming for a visit. He just had that quality that made everyone excited to be around him. To keep it short, just one last memory….his intense attention to detail and everyday pride he exuded became VERY clear when he came out at harvest time to truck grain at the farm in Abernethy. That farm grain truck had never ever experienced anything as amazing as the Rick Ashdown truck detailing spa experience and we were all better for it.

Sympathies to the family…

Paul Moist CUPE

May 10, 2024 at 2:24 PM

I had the pleasure of working with Rick in the trade union movement and serving with him for many years on the Board of Directors of Manitoba Blue Cross.

He was a friend to all workers and a fights for social justice for all, he will be remembered.  My sincere condolences to the entire family.

Betty Gagnon (Norbert)

May 10, 2024 at 2:24 PM

As a newbie to the Gagnon family I first met Rick in 2015 and as afraid as I was to meet everyone Rick and Lorraine were my first to meet and all I can say is. He was a hell of a guy once I got to know him !!!  He and I hit if off immediately I loved that man and will miss him dearly to say the least. But I know he is in good hands with the best of fishermen. Rest in peace my sweet man.   🙏🙏❤️

Daryle Kaskiw

May 10, 2024 at 2:23 PM

So sad to hear of Rick's passing. A true friend. I got to know Rick during my teamster days in the 80's 90's, and 2000's. Always there with an ear to listen. Always going the extra mile to help you with whatever was needed. RIP my friend. We'll all miss you.

Bob and Adair

May 10, 2024 at 2:22 PM

Beautiful video, brings back so many memiories. All of the fishing trips together over the years, the trivial pursit games at New Years, were enjoyable times to remember. Rest in peace Rick. Out sincerest condolences to Lorraine and family.

Aggie Neale

May 10, 2024 at 2:22 PM

My heartfelt sympathy goes out to Lorraine and the family.  Rick was a wonderful neighbour from the time we moved onto Sunset Lane in 1984 until we moved in 2016 he was always a big presence on the block.  His smile, wave and conversations were always a pleasure to share.  May peace be with you during this difficult time.        

Randy & Jody Powers

May 10, 2024 at 2:21 PM

I had the good fortune to to learn from, work, socialize and laugh with Rick in his many capacities as a Teamster, friend and story teller.  The fact that he always called at Christmas with best wishes, even after he retired, speaks volumes to his character.  I missed him when he retired and I will miss him even more now.

Rest in peace Brother.

Our sincerest condolences to Lorraine and family.

Roger Quenelle

May 10, 2024 at 2:20 PM

My most sincere condolences to Lorraine and family. I have had the privilege of spending time with Rick at the bargaining table and at Long Legged Lake. He was always generous with his time and I will be forever grateful for his support and dedication to Labour, even in retirement where he continued to provide guidance and advice (and humor) whenever we needed it.

He was one of a kind, indeed, hell of a great guy once you got to know him.

RIP Brother

Francis MacIsaac & Debbie Howie

May 10, 2024 at 2:07 PM

Beautiful Obituary and video. Our sincere condolences to Norbert and family. A life well lived. 

Judy and Earl Doyle, D’Escousse, Nova Scotia

May 10, 2024 at 2:05 PM

Dear Lorraine and family,

So sorry to hear from Nobert and Betty about Rick’s passing.  We only met once the time you both visited us at our home in Cape Breton with Norbert and Betty.  What a lovely visit we had.  Remember how much Rick liked Earl’s 1928 Model A.  The video of him reminds me of my brother who also loves fishing.  May he rest in peace.  Please accept our deepest condolences at this very sad time.  

Garry Olson

May 10, 2024 at 2:05 PM

Though I never meet Rick, my condolences go out to my long term coworker Lorraine and her family. May your special memories help you through this difficult time.

The Buckler / Cretton Families.

May 9, 2024 at 9:26 PM

We are so sorry to hear of Ricks passing.  Though we are no longer part of the “Twin Beach” crowd we do recall many special times the families spent together.  Rick always added interest to any gathering !  We remember sharing many perfect sunsets over the lake.   Our deepest condolences to Lorraine and family.   

Cousin Guy Gagnon

May 9, 2024 at 9:24 PM

Suzanne and I want to express our sincere condolences to you Lorraine & your daughters. The video & comments from friends & family express the impact Rick had on all those who knew him.

Bon courage ma chère Lorraine.

Rilla (Buckler) Britton

May 9, 2024 at 9:23 PM

I am so sad to learn of Rick's passing, As a member of the Buckler Family who lived next door at Twin Lakes Beach for 60 years I have many, many fond memories of Rick and our families.. We were known to have water fights started by our adult parents and finished by us kids! But I will always remember one incident because we were only a year apart in age so tended to hang out together with friends like Fred Rakowski only a dozen cottages away. One evening I recall us kids returning from some fun in St. Laurent and Rick wiping out when his motorcycle skidded on gravel when getting ready to turn into his driveway. I ran to my cottage and got help from a family friend visiting for the weekend (I was too afraid to wake my dad up!) and Rick was sure his dad would be mad so we didn't want to wake him either.

Luckily, Rick, sore and bruised, but okay, and our

family friend Glen managed to get the bike home safe and sound. I remember Rick was more worried about his motorcycle than himself.

Rest in peace my friend. 

Dave and Trudy Pearce

May 9, 2024 at 9:21 PM

My friendship with Rick goes back many years. we were friends on the Teamsters Canada Board and kept in touch by telephone after his retirement. Rick was one if a kind and I will miss our telephone conversations and his friendship.

Rest in Peace my friend.

Our sincerest condolences to Lorraine and Family.

Dave and Trudy Pearce

Teamsters Local 855, Newfoundland and Labrador


May 9, 2024 at 9:15 PM

My thoughts & prayers are with you Lorraine & family.  I have been blessed to have Rick in my life professionally for over 18 years.  OMG, he taught me well & quickly how to deal with my new circumstances.  The stories will be shared later, for now, I want to remember the times shared with him & you. God Bless & I'm beyond sorry we have lost Rick. My thoughts are with you Lorraine & your family.  Much Love

Herb W. Marx and Wendy Elliott

May 9, 2024 at 5:59 PM

We were so sad to hear of the passing of  Rick Ashdown.

We were in same building as Teamsters Local 979 office.

We have known Rick for the  past 30+ years.

He was a very caring, friendly

Man who had a great personality

& looked after his many members.

We had many laughs together over coffee breaks,

He will be greatly missed by all who knew him.

Our sincere condolences & prayers are with his entire family. At this time.

Rest in Peace Rick

Herb W. Marx

(Retired Bus. Manager)

(BCTGM Local 389)

Wendy Elliott

Adm. . Assistant

(BCTGM Local 389)

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