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Dan Spurrill

Image by Nick Andréka


July 11, 1940 – February 27, 2024

In loving memory of

Daniel Joseph Spurrill

1940 - 2024, age 83

Unexpectedly last Tuesday morning (February 27), our dad passed away peacefully in his sleep at home.

He is survived by 'Betty' Elizabeth Rose Spurrill (nee Funk); his loving wife of 58 years; his three children Caroline (Richard) Campbell, Reginald (Shannon) Spurrill and Kevin Spurrill; his brother Ken; and grandchildren Barb (Alex), Jaelyn, Alizandra, Cara and Cassie/Clay; great grandsons Mataius, Jude, Greyson and Oscar.

Dad was born in Winnipeg on July 11, 1940 to parents Leo Joseph Spurrill and Stella Marjorie Spurrill (nee Askew). His early years were in Fishlake, near Chatfield Manitoba until 1944 when he moved with his parents and brother Ken into St.Vital in Winnipeg. He went to Norberry School and Glenlawn Collegiate and then later to the University of Winnipeg to become a teacher. He even joined the RCAF reserves at 18 years old for a year or two after high-school even though his mother didn’t like it.

Dan & Betty met and started to date in 1962 and later went to Winnipeg Bible College together. They were married in 1965. Dad's first teaching job was in Altona where Caroline was born in 1969. Reg and Kevin were both born in Winnipeg within two years afterwards. They moved up north from Winnipeg to Thompson in 1973 with all three children under five years of age. He worked teaching highschool Social Studies & History at R.D.Parker Collegiate from 1973 until 1990. A few years after they had an empty nest, mom & dad moved back to Winnipeg where dad worked various jobs including Canada Post until he retired in 2001. They enjoyed travelling in their retirement, mostly by train to see family in B.C. but also a few nice trips to Palm Springs as well.

Dad had a great love of history & genealogy, reading books and an unwavering faith in god. He loved his family unconditionally and found so much joy spending time with all of them, especially his grandchildren and great grandchildren.

He was always quite active with politics and a big supporter of the NDP throughout his adult life. He always had something to say about fighting for the little guy and sticking up for the poor or those that couldn't help themselves. Working with the church and out in the community was something that was very important work for him. This sort of activism later led him to join a group that helped inmates and ex-convicts transition to life after prison. Through his church they helped refugees escape places like Iran and Afghanistan and emigrate to Canada as well.

Dad made many a friend throughout his life, helped many people and touched everyone that had the pleasure of getting to know him. You will truly be missed. We love you!

A Celebration of Life will held at the Broadway First Baptist Church

790 Honeyman Ave.

Winnipeg, MB

R3G 0Y1

March 9, 2024 @ 1:30pm

YouTube channel:


Live Zoom link:

Dan's family kindly requests that all of his friends and relatives take a few minutes to honour his memory by sharing photos, memories, and stories, using 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 4:24 PM

Condolances      knew him from cornerstone     guess this site I hadn't seen today  and pr recognize its layout   i havent readthe obit yet but know its him

If  Betty is still around condolances  wewere walking behind u  across streetfrom dollarma  in st boniface  maybe ayr ago   I think we quickly waved

I thank  dan for being there to let my spouse and i have our commitment ceremony at the church though we couldn't sign papers

U were a deacon    older and u showed gods love     anevent thatwell  always be special to my spouse and I especially

Condolances to the fmaoly and  welcome to gods first home


May 9, 2024 at 8:19 PM

Mr Spurrill was my teacher in Thompson 1974 and was always a wonderful mentor he will be remembered forever and missed by anyone who knew him


May 9, 2024 at 8:08 PM

When I used to use Facebook, I treasured Uncle Dan's comments on my page. The last time I saw him was when Mark and I drove from Regina to Winnipeg for Dan & Betty's 50th wedding anniversary. I wish I had been able to visit them more often.

Uncle Dan was my favourite uncle. He was kind and gentle.

Hugh Fraser

May 9, 2024 at 8:08 PM

We remember the Spurrills from the 70’s, my wife worked with Betty at TGH and I with Dan at RD Parker Collegiate. Betty and Dan were quiet and sincere people although I always knew that Dan was in the staff room by the sound of his infectious laughter! He is remembered by students and staff at RDPC as a great teacher, a kind person and a genuine human being!

Colleen Askew

May 9, 2024 at 8:07 PM

Dan is my cousin. I was always drawn to him at family events. We come from a large family and I’m hoping his knowledge of our genealogy is not lost and will be passed down. He was and is (in heaven) a very intelligent man like his dad.was. His dad having his own television show and an author.

I will miss our discussions in person (not as frequent as I would have liked) as well as texting. You are a man to only be admired. A great loss.

My prayers are going out for aunt Betty as she faces these trying times of great loss and loneliness for her loving husband.

Love you both always.


May 9, 2024 at 8:02 PM

My mother once told me a story about how she had left us kids to play outside, but when she later came out to see how we were doing, Dan was nowhere in sight.  She started hollering his name and running back and forth on the road like a crazy woman.  Finally, she heard a sheep bell from one of our animals, and she said, "I'll bet he's following those damn sheep!"  So she kept following the sound of the sheep bell through the bush, until—sure enough—there he was, following the sheep.

Dan told me a story about how, when we were playing outside, all of a sudden I said, "I'm going to Grampa's."  He tried to hold me back, but when I got a bee in my bonnet, I wouldn't back down.  He was yelling for Mom to come and stop me because he couldn't hold me back alone.

My earliest memory of Dan is when one night, when we were both in our beds, he bolted upright with his eyes bugging so far out of his head that you could knock them off with a stick.  He had been having a nightmare and could still see a green hand floating around the room.  He was pointing at it and screaming, so my mother came into the bedroom, but nobody else could see it.  She sat down onto the bed, telling him that there was no green hand; he was just having a nightmare.  It took her quite a while to calm him down so that that green hand disappeared, at least as far as he was concerned.

For my dad's birthday, Dan decided that we should make a cake.  We got the pan out of our mother's cupboard, but what we didn't know was that, when it had been left at the community hall, the janitor had found a use for it.  It had been washed, but when it got into the oven, the heat must have drawn out the residue into the batter.  Oblivious, we served up the cake.  When Mom noticed the look on Dad's face, she rushed over and grabbed the plate out of his hand.  She smelled the cake and said, "That old Mr. Benoit must have used it to pour kerosene into the heater.  And you ate three bites without saying a word!"


May 9, 2024 at 8:00 PM

I was one of Dans neighbours for most of my life and my parents still are.

Dan and Betty were the nicest couple ever and always stayed to chat wiith me while outside in the backyard.

It was very easy to have a conversation with them and when I moved away I missed those easy conversations with really great people.

Sorry for your loss. Truly heartbroken over it.


May 9, 2024 at 7:59 PM

Dan and Betty have been my neighbour for 26 years. I am going to miss his stories. He was always willing to help out in anyway possible and it was awesome to have Betty and Dan as neighbors for so long. RIP Dan you will be missed

Clark Gietz (Rev.)

May 9, 2024 at 7:49 PM

I pastored Cornerstone Baptist Church from 1998 to 2008, where Dan and Betty attended and were deeply involved.  Dan was one of our Elders for a many years, and I always appreciated his deep-hearted concern for each person in the church as well as those outside--truly reflecting the spirit of Christ.  Dan and Betty were committed core people in the Cornerstone community and they both added great richness and love through their humble and devoted service to others.

One of my favourite memories was the year (2007?) when Dan and I both offered to make fundraising for a youth trip to BC something special:  if the fundraising goal was reached, I would have my head shaved, and Dan would sacrifice his wonderful 'Santa Claus' beard.  I think very few people had ever seen him without it.  But true to his promise, the goal was met and his beard came off.  And as the old-timers used to say, "A good time was had by all."

Dan is and will be greatly missed, but we know that he's now with his Lord in heaven, and we can look forward to the day when by faith we'll see him again.

spurrill-danielKevin Jesmer

May 9, 2024 at 7:49 PM

I had Mr Spurrill for one history class in 1980. He was a very humble man. I was in competition with one student, Alex. I got a B on a test. Alex got an A, I really thought I deserved better. I told him so. He took it and read it again and gave it back with this written on it. "Reconsidered...A." He also invited me a Salvation Army Halloween party. I was not a Christian, but I liked it. My attendance there was a seed planted. Six years later I became a Christian. I never forgot about him

Colleen Guntner (nee Brown)

May 9, 2024 at 7:48 PM

I did not know Dan well. However, his mom and dad meant a lot as a young girl when I was visiting with Gramma Alice. Then when I got married, Dan was out and about when we visited but I always went home with the most delicious raspberries.  Dan was certainly loved by many and very kind to family. 

Sorry for your loss with deep respect.

Charlotte Spurrill-Kayser

May 9, 2024 at 7:47 PM

My Uncle Dan once told me a string of knock-knock jokes that I remember being hilarious.  I don't remember how it went, so I couldn't tell you, but it was about "Ether Bunnies."  I think maybe the reason it was so funny was more the way he told it.  It's a happy memory.

I also remember once I was writing a story about a character with asthma in the 1940s, so I asked Uncle Dan what that was like, since I know he grew up with.  He graciously gave me a wealth of first-hand knowledge.

I didn't see a lot of him, but over the years he's given me parenting advice, spiritual advice, and encouragement.

Darlene Ayres

May 9, 2024 at 7:45 PM

I would like to send our condolences to Dan’s family. Dan was  my grandma Alice’s nephew but I don’t remember meeting him. He sounds like he would have been a relative I would have liked to know. May you all hold onto you fond memories and know Dan will always be with you.

Wayne McBride

May 9, 2024 at 7:10 PM

I am deeply saddened to hear of my friend Dan has passed away. I met Dan and Betty in 2007 when I moved to Winnipeg.

Dan was the kindness and caring person that l had the pleasure to know.

My deepest sympathy to Betty and family for your loss.


May 9, 2024 at 7:09 PM

Dan was a source of many family stories

I appreciate his kind and generous ways

His Mother was my favourite Aunt from the Spurrill  side

Diana Quilty, nee Askew

May 9, 2024 at 7:08 PM

Dan was always my source of information when I wanted some family history. Whenever we were able to meet we always had some very interesting conversations. His mother, Stella, and my father Arthur were siblings. Uncle Leo, and Auntie Stella were always very welcoming the few times I saw them so I know where he got his kind nature from. 

Dan and I worked at the post office at the same time for a while and we had some nice conversations there as well. 

The world has lost a kind and gentle soul. My deepest sympathy to Betty and all his family.

Anthony Hellrung

May 9, 2024 at 7:08 PM

My condolences to the family. Mr Spurrill as he was known to me was one of the best teachers I had in highschool. In Thompson. He enriched and influenced my and other students lives.


May 9, 2024 at 7:06 PM

Deepest sympathy to his family I always thought that he was a wonderful teacher at RD Parker .I only had him for one subject .But he was always willing to listen and help in any way to all students .May he rest in peace knowing that he did make a wonderful mark in RD Parker school

Anne Nelson

May 9, 2024 at 7:05 PM

My late husband, Nels Nelson, and I appreciated so much about Dan. His unwavering faith, wisdom, commitment, and perfect pitch  could always be counted on. His Comment regarding church size: "some churches grow, others just get fat" was characteristic of his humorous way of expressing truth. 

My deepest sympathy to Betty  and family. Until we all meet again I send my love.


May 9, 2024 at 7:04 PM

Your Dad spent many years looking for a little blonde baby girl who his Mom’s sister Muriel had to adopt out in 1948.  We finally were reunited 63 years later due to his dogged persistence & continuing determination !  His kind & loving heart gave us a new & amazing family, for which I will be forever grateful & thankful 🙏  Dianne Gjerde (Eldest 1st cousin) Lomond, Ab   My deepest & most heartfelt condolences 💐 to Betty & family on your loss 🌹Rest in Peace, Dan 💝

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