August 23, 1954 - December 23, 2021
It is with great sadness that the family of Adrien Perras shares the news of his sudden passing at the Health Sciences Centre on the evening of Dec. 23, 2021 at the age of 67 years. Although his life was marked by kidney issues, he was unrelenting in his pursuit of fully enjoying life, which he did exceptionally well.
Adrien, a man of all seasons with a zest for life was a remarkable father to Kim and devoted grandfather to Mia. His loving, loyal wife Rosemary was his partner in all adventures including dialysis. Adrien was born and raised in St. François Xavier, alongside siblings Yvonne (Ken) and Marc (Jennifer). Also left to mourn his passing are nieces Alice and Elise (Richard) and nephew Chris (Sara) and their children as well as nephew Justin (Mel). He was predeceased by his parents Alice and Henry Perras along with multiple aunts and uncles, including his favourite Uncle Gene who taught him mechanical skills, fostering one of Adrien’s favourite pastimes.
At age 22, Adrien experienced kidney failure which rocked his world, but he was incredibly blessed to receive a transplant before requiring dialysis. He fully recognized this gift of life and sought to live every day to the fullest. After university, he worked with Probation Services of Manitoba in various positions for 31 years, most recently in the Restorative Justice unit.
Adrien enjoyed exceptional health for someone with a kidney transplant for over 40 years and was celebrated as a true success story for transplants. To mark this important milestone, two CBC video interviews were conducted on the importance of signing the online donor registry and overcoming a kidney transplant and celebrating life. (to view, visit links)
When his kidney began to fail four years ago, he and Rosemary began the long and difficult journey towards dialysis. This new journey in dialysis began in April 2019 and they were fortunate to receive training to do hemodialysis at home. This was a gruelling undertaking with Adrien experiencing many health issues throughout the process but they successfully transitioned to home dialysis in September 2019. They remain incredibly grateful for the opportunity to have done this at home rather than in hospital, most especially throughout the pandemic.
Adrien and Rosemary were a true partnership throughout the dialysis venture, sharing the workload and gratefully thanking each other at the end of each session. Their “mask kiss” was always a warm ritual in an otherwise difficult time. Dialysis slowly became easier with experience and recent machine adjustments made the process easier on him; however, it severely curtailed the active life he longed for.
After a long, difficult process, Adrien’s brother Marc was successfully approved as a live donor in November 2021 and the surgery was conducted on December 16th. The transplanted kidney did very well and performed as expected. This renewed hope was bittersweet, as Adrien soon developed complications from the surgery and died on December 23rd. Rosemary and the family will be forever grateful to Marc for this selfless gift.
Adrien was a devoted father to Kim and spent seven years as a single parent before marrying Rosemary. He was a steadfast attendee at all sports and theatre activities, forever cheering her on. Very proud to be the father of the school valedictorian! Their home was a favourite gathering place for Kim’s circle of friends, which was largely driven by a fondness for Adrien.
In 2004, Kim made the decision to move to Ottawa for school and work. The special bond between father and daughter was strengthened as Adrien helped her move across the country and later bought a house with her under trying circumstances. He did the cross-country move in true Adrien style, living in his beloved Honda Element in a Walmart parking lot while negotiating house and moving details. While on dialysis, using the miracle of FaceTime, Adrien managed to participate in Kim’s home renovations during the pandemic including input on a new kitchen, bathroom and deck.
Adrien was a strong supporter of Kim’s fitness business and proud of her accomplishments, including getting her Pro-Card this fall. He was very impressed by her creativity in maintaining and developing her business throughout the pandemic. As usual, he quickly became a favourite of Kim’s friends and is widely loved and admired, as ‘Papa Peppers’.
A true joy in Adrien’s life has been his relationship with grand-daughter Mia (now 17) and her parents Rachelle and Marcel. Their unique family is a model for Open Adoption. Adrien was so grateful to Kim for this gift and to Rachelle and Marcel who welcomed them as new members of their family and gave Adrien the opportunity to be a Pepère. Mia shared a special relationship and close bond with her Pepère and they had so much fun throughout the years.
Adrien was a man who loved physical activity and the outdoors. An all around athlete, he grew up playing most sports (except for football where he would have been decimated) but was especially involved with baseball and curling. Curling continued to be constant in his life and his teams at the Deer Lodge and Assiniboine Curling Clubs have many legendary stories about the bonspiels they entered. He was always an active cyclist and cross country skier and then took up running (including a half marathon), roller blading with his daughter, and working out regularly at the Rady Centre.
Gifted with a rock climbing course for Father’s Day by Rosemary and Kim, he quickly became an active rock climber and then developed a new passion for ice climbing and mountaineering. He spent countless hours at the St. Boniface Alpine Club’s ice tower at Whittier Park helping to build the ice tower, climbing, working and competing at Festiglace and teaching climbing skills to high school students. Friendships made at Club d’Escalade de St-Boniface were among the most important in his life. Many trips to the Rocky Mountains were made to climb with friend Toni, attend Alpine Club camps, and enjoy the challenge of mountaineering. Climbing to the Abbot’s Hut and the top of Mount Victoria was a highlight of his life. The mountaineering events usually had some alarming event and would end with a call to Rosemary saying “I’m ok, but…”.
Summer also involved hiking accompanied by Rosemary with the Skyline Hikers of the Canadian Rockies for many years. This involved hiking every day from a high altitude base camp featuring amazing scenery, building strong friendships, and having great fun at campfires and skit night. Adrien was much loved as the camp host for 3 years entertaining people with his wit and hi-jinks.
Rosemary introduced Adrien to canoeing, followed by kayaking. Living on the Assiniboine River allowed for leisurely kayaks up to Assiniboine Park using a great new dock equipped with a winch system installed by Adrien. Day trips with the Grey Hares of Nature Manitoba and the Alpine Club were features of local adventures in and around Winnipeg and two weeks were spent every summer at a cottage in Rushing River to enjoy the beauties of Blindfold Lake. Unable to go for two years due to health challenges and the pandemic, they were able to return this summer with support from dialysis at Kenora Hospital. Adrien transitioned to a fishing kayak propelled by foot pedals which allowed an easier passage and he took up fishing. They were so happy to get back to Camp Waterfall, its beautiful surroundings and good friendships. Their granddaughter Mia came to the cottage each year and they have many precious memories of playing dress-up when she was younger and fishing together as she grew.
Covid brought its difficulties but living on the Assiniboine River brought them so much joy. The tight-knit neighbourhood community came together to develop an amazing system of skating and skiing trails last winter. Adrien was a regular in shovelling these trails and enjoying skating again albeit with a hockey stick for balance. Another testament to his desire for adventure and recreation. This winter, the trails were already started before his surgery and once again Adrien was out there the day before entering hospital, working away.
Adrien was a man of wit (sometimes caustic!), creativity, humour and wide-ranging interests. He was able to add fun to almost anything. Early in their marriage, they took a year off work and school for Kim and took a road trip to the east coast, followed by three months in New Zealand, where they did several wonderful multi-day hikes. For many years Rosemary and Adrien enjoyed hiking trips throughout Canada and the US, especially loving Sedona, AZ. France with friends Clark and Joan was another special time.
Adrien particularly enjoyed fix-it projects and woodworking. His workshop was always pristine and rich in tools. A regular “MacGyver”, he believed in fixing, not tossing!
Reading, going to the theatre, following Formula 1 racing, and participating in the Retired Gentleman’s Book Club were among his more sedentary past-times.
The family is grateful to the various renal services of HSC and to the doctors and nurses who tried so valiantly to save his life after a successful transplant occurred. A special thanks to family and all those friends who supported them faithfully through many trials and tribulations.
Cremation has occurred and a private family gathering has been planned. There will be a celebration of his life in the spring when we can meet in the outdoors he so loved. If desired, memorial contributions may be made to The Kidney Foundation of Canada in his honour. The family also hopes that people will consider signing up to be an organ donor which is done on-line at signupforlife.ca
The family encourages the sharing of memories and condolences by using the comment section on this tribute page.
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