Garry Enns

January 17, 1947 to March 6, 2024
young Garry Enns
senior Garry Enns

Francis Gerhard (Garry) Enns, 77, of Morris Municipality Manitoba, born January 17, 1947, to Susan Enns (née Klassen) and Frank F. Enns in Boissevain, Manitoba, passed away suddenly March 6, 2024, at home.

Garry attended the last Manitoba teachers’ college in Winnipeg, 1964-65, and the University of Manitoba, starting 1968. He attended high school at Mennonite Collegiate Institute, Gretna, Manitoba. He completed Brandon University’s requirements for a Rural Development Masters.

Garry was the first student elected to the University of Manitoba Senate and initiated the annual Festival of Life and Learning. His UMSU elected offices and writing for UMSU The Manitoban kept him busy those years. His leadership and innovative approach emerged!

Garry taught elementary school for two years after Teachers College and communications classes for the Manitoba Civil Service Commission for several years. He substituted in southern Manitoba high schools each spring during his university years. Garry worked for the Canadian, Saskatchewan and Manitoba governments, Assiniboine Community College, Red River Community College, Parks Canada in Nunavut, and the International Peace Garden as CEO. His jobs always involved community and economic development. His accomplishments include two new national heritage sites in southern Manitoba (volunteer), planning and starting Rural Step for Manitoba high school and university. students, initiating No Smoking in Winnipeg restaurants (volunteer), funding officer for Health Canada community projects through Saskatchewan and Manitoba, including Main Street Project, managing eight Jobs Fund regional program offices in southern Manitoba, and initiating new satellite community colleges in rural Manitoba.

Garry married Gaile Whelan-Enns on April 1st, 1975, in Regina, Saskatchewan. Garry and Gaile researched and wrote the history of his hometown, Gretna, Manitoba, which won the Prix Manitoba and the Margaret McWilliams Medal for Manitoba History. They also researched and wrote the initial Manitoba sustainable development public school curriculum for grades 4-12.

Gaile survives Garry; sons Jared Whelan (Mandy) and Kelly Whelan Enns (Kellie Winzinowich and her children Cohen, Ethan, Natasha and Alyssa); grandsons Devan Whelan and Connor Whelan; siblings Margaret (John) Frederickson and Victor Enns (Michelle Hewitt) and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins will miss him, his support, friendly manner and stories! Garry was especially glad to know Lucas, Megan Frederickson’s son, in person.

Many will know Garry had a car accident resulting in catastrophic injuries in 2017. He recovered much more than doctors expected, but travel was not possible. The family especially wants to thank those who visited Garry at home, made zoom or phone calls.

He was preceded in death by his parents.

No funeral will be held. Memorials or donations may be made to the Heart and Stroke Foundation Manitoba or The Winnipeg Folk Festival.

Morris Funeral Home Tribute

For Garry Enns d. March 6, 2024

There is so little to hold us when our hearts
tire of pumping our blood you knew when
you had as much fal de rol as you could
stand and fell, smiling. Let’s imagine
a mobile phone was mobilized numbers
right, wrong, left and otherwise holy
brought the screaming trucks and the
confidently speaking men and women
yes there will have been both, especially
when the second truck came, to be sure
a little iffy on the dirt road beginning to
thaw the land waking to the next season
not ready yet letting go of winter’s foul
mouth but slowly not enough here comes
the sun let’s imagine that playing in your head
with your last breath, you can let go
your vigilance of keeping your property
dry from flooding Red River not just once
but let’s call it three times, a number I seem
to stick on, you manned the four pumps
one at each direction, waking every two
hours to empty, to check to keep the water
on the other side of the dike now permanent
a hardship for the brave stretcher bears
carrying your already lifeless body
to the ambulance taking you away
to the mortuary’s always cold slab
Plautie Pie Lois assured me, Platz
has a caked bottom, apricots
perhaps littered across the top
with brown sugar and excuses

like we get for the delayed family interest
in reporting his death. I imagine
his family were never prepared
for death, not his sibs either,
stepping away we have enough pain
nobody owes a dead man anything
and though lawyers may need more
convincing nor does the dead man
owe anything, anymore. He has given
his all and his everything you decide
he says this is a time of great clarity
I am dead. You do as you like though
I might appreciate some songs in harmony,
music the only place I ever found such rarity.

Don’t spread my ashes in the river
Don’t spread my ashes in the soil
Put them in a box, with label address
sufficient postage to fly away, no more decisions in your way.

\Victor Enns April 2, 2024
1st draft

1 Slip in first draft it was first person a mistake yes, I’m alive


I am not strong.
I am breathing.
I am alive with love
in this valley
of apples, cherries, pears,
peaches, and apricots.

My sister, my brother and me
play shadow tag. The grinning
reaper lifts their skirts,
racing to play, catches
my brother, dead to last.







  • Blog Subscription

    To receive notification of new articles.