“It’s not if you win or lose, but how much you tried and how fairly you played.”
- Former Chief Jim McGregor, LNHL Co-Founding Father
It is with great sadness that LNHL announces the passing of our LNHL Elder, George Francis.
George "Chauffeur" Aldric Francis of Whitefish River First Nation passed away peacefully, surrounded by his family and friends on April 9, 2016 at the Espanola General Hospital at the age of 73.
George is survived by his beloved wife of 48 years, Lulubelle Francis (Toulouse) and his children; Aldric (Melinda), Debbie (Chris) Osborne, Jeff (Debbie), and Corinna (Doug) Spencer.
Dear Brother of Mary Jane (John), Rosalie (Burt), Dorothy (Jack), Jonas (Peggy), Donald (Betty Ann) and the late Dave (Julia), Ken (Rita), Vincent (Maggie), Terri (Ray Sr.) and Helen (Woody).
Loving Son of Elizabeth Nahwegahbow and Leslie Francis (Nanabush), both predeceased.
Beloved Mishomis to; Santanna, Justin, Tyson, Dylan, Noah, Zoey, Kate and great-granddaughter, Rilynn.
Special son-in-law to Paul and the late Lillian Toulouse and Ida Southwind.
Dear Brother-in-law to Delma , Melvin (Linda), Don (Florence), Jackie, Angie (Louie), Noel (Linda) and Toby (Pam).
George was a favorite Uncle to numerous nieces and nephews; as well as a proud Godfather to many .
He was a special mentor to the boarders and foster children that he and Lulubelle opened their hearts and home to.
George had many valued friendships and he was a larger than life individual who made a lasting impression on those who were fortunate enough to know him. His door was always open and he enjoyed visits at his kitchen table or from the driver's seat of his truck.
He had strong ideals and values which he was passionate and vocal about. He dedicated much time, energy and effort towards the promotion of the Anishinawbek language, education and recreation, traditional health practices and giving back to the community.
He loved his family and shared with them his passion for the outdoors, being on the water and sporting activities, particularly hockey. He instilled in them a strong work ethic as well as the importance of volunteerism and a love of community.
As a dedicated worker for almost 30 years, George travelled the highway working as a miner for INCO. During this time, he also worked in the Bay of Islands, assisting cottagers throughout the seasons. He continued this upon his retirement from INCO, as these working relationships had developed into life-long friendships.
George was a passionate volunteer who took great pride in his Anishinawbek heritage and his home community of Whitefish River First Nation. He served his community for many years as an elected member to Chief and Council and as a result, was instrumental in many local initiatives and projects. Some notable accomplishments include Repatriation of Ancestral remains from the University of Michigan, the dedication of a Veteran's Memorial Monument, the St. Gabriel of Lalement Church building fund, Elder's Land Claim Committee, Stanley Cup visits and the Powwow Committee, to name but a few. He took great pride in representing Whitefish River First Nation and rarely said no to the requests for his time and energy, even dressing as Santa for the local Christmas parade.
George also displayed a strong commitment to various First Nations Organizations, including the UCCMM Police Services Commission and the Anishnaabemowin Teg Language Conference.
George loved minor hockey and in particular, the Little Native Hockey League Tournament. During the past 45 years, George was involved as; a coach, a skate-lacer, a fundraiser, a driver, an Eagle Staff Carrier, an Executive member, Executive President and most recently, an Elder. For all of his efforts, George was inducted into the Little NHL Hall of Fame, receiving recognition as a Builder of the Little NHL Tournament. However, George took most pleasure in his role as fan, as he cheered on his children and grand-children throughout the years.
In 2004, George received a Union of Ontario Indians Lifetime Achievement Award for his outstanding contributions to our people and in particular his community of Whitefish River First Nation.
George will be fondly remembered with a bingo dabber in hand ... chew in his cheek ... crusading for the underdog ... (cheering on the Leafs) ... debating the local news (whether official or not) ... and for having a bark that was worse than his bite and a heart that was larger than the man.
George left his home a better place; George left his home for a better place.
Yeah Right George...As If!
LNHL Elder, George Francis - You will forever be remembered!
LNHL OPENING CEREMONIES - SUNDAY, MARCH 13 - 7:00 PM - POSTER BELOW
ATIKMESHENG STINGERS HONOURING EMBER WYNNE
Little Native Hockey League Mobile Hall of Fame awaiting a permanent location.