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Born: Jun 14, 1945

Date of Passing: Feb 24, 2023

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Harry Stimson, born in Winnipeg on June 14, 1945 to Florence and Thomas Stimson, passed away peacefully on February 24, 2023, at home in the presence of his family. Harry was the only son.
He is survived by his wife of 52 years, Margaret; son Tom; and grandchildren, Beau and Daisy.
Harry attended schools in St. James, Manitoba, and Churchill, Manitoba. He earned his Master of Arts in History at the University of Manitoba. While a student, he worked at The Happy Outdoorsman, an outdoor specialty store, where he made many lifelong friends who, like him, were keen to explore the outdoors. Harry eventually became a partner in the Happy Outdoorsman. In 1983, he started his sporting goods agency, which he ran until his retirement in 2008.
He enjoyed travelling the world during his retirement and continued paddling until 2020.
Harry was grateful to his many friends for their love and support over the last year. He gave special thanks to Dr. Jeff Saranchuk and his staff at the Health Sciences Centre (HSC) Prostate Centre, the HSC Oncology Department, CancerCare staff at Grace Hospital, the staff of the Palliative Care Program, and dear friends, Dr. Jeff Mottola and Dr. Graham Fuchs.
Harry will be deeply missed by his family and friends. His love of the outdoors and passion for exploration will live on through those who knew him.
Respecting Harry's wishes, there will be no funeral. A Celebration of Life will be held on April 20, 2023 to honour him. In the meantime, Harry's family kindly requests that his friends and relatives take a few minutes to honour his memory by visiting his tribute page at A photo-biography, as well as memories and stories published by those who knew him are available there.

Simple Cremation & Life Celebrations
204-421-5501 –

As published in Winnipeg Free Press on Mar 04, 2023

Condolences & Memories (6 entries)

  • I’ve felt a kinship with Harry since first meeting him in the early 1960s in high school at St. James Collegiate. He had just moved back to the city from Churchill and I remember being impressed by how exotic that seemed. I saw him even then as a world traveller, not knowing how true that was to become. Over the next several years, our bond was strengthened through a variety of shared activities and interests including as classmates, teammates on our high school football team, his introducing me to the pleasures of canoeing and cross country skiing, a weekend fishing trip, countless evenings and weekends riding our snowmobiles in the country and along the Assiniboine River, and carpooling to U of M with a great group of friends from SJCI. So many fond memories. When I drove out of Winnipeg in the summer of 1970 to move to Montreal, Harry followed me in his car (a very cool MGB GT, I should add) to the Winnipeg city limits to say goodbye. Pretty special. After I left Winnipeg our opportunities to connect became less and less but our personal connection endured. More recently, Debbie and I have been able to travel frequently through Winnipeg on our annual trips between Calgary and Nova Scotia and invariably took advantage of the hospitality at Chez Stimson for a night or two en route. Margaret and Harry always made us welcome and we enjoyed many pleasant times over good food, strong coffee, fine wine and (in the case of Harry and me) a wee dram or two of scotch. The conversation flowed easily, often late into the evening, sharing thoughts and ideas, solving the problems of the world, or reminiscing about old times and old friends. Our hearts go out to you Margaret, Tom, Beau and Daisy. The world would be a better place if it had more people like Harry Stimson: a kind and thoughtful man of character, intellect and wit, and most of all a good friend, loving husband, father and grandfather. We miss you, Harry, and will never forget you. Doug Crook and Debbie Smith - Posted by: Doug Crook (Friend ) on: Mar 07, 2023

  • I first learned about a fellow named Harry Stimson in the 1970s, through his advocacy of protecting natural areas in southeastern Manitoba, his association with the Manitoba Naturalists Society, and later with his company, The Happy Outdoorsman. We finally met when he agreed to serve as the Outdoor Editor on the volunteer board for Manitoba Nature Magazine. His knowledge of Nature and how to enjoy the great outdoors made for fascinating articles. We lost track of each other for a number of years until we both began attending Bob Williams' annual 'Meeting of the Minds' get-together in northwestern Ontario, at which time our common interests brought us close again. Lively discussions during hikes through the boreal forest, and at mealtimes and firesides revealed his awareness of (and strongly help opinions on) a broad array of topics. I found his recounting of experiences about his early years at Churchill were particularly fascinating, also likely the origin for his support of Indigenous peoples' rights. Back in Winnipeg, Harry, a few other friends, and I went on enjoyable walks in parks and local neighbourhoods, completing each morning visit over coffee and baking. It was then that I learned about Harry's interest in skating, and so we became regular skating partners, encouraging an even closer friendship and providing regular opportunities to talk about issues of the day. The positive way Harry managed his decades-long challenge with prostate cancer astounded me and his numerous friends, and his willingness to support others fighting the same disease was so typical of Harry. I know his blog and leaflet on the subject helped so many others. I was fortunate to be invited to visit Harry two days before he slipped away, and his mind and sense of humour were as sharp as ever. I will always treasure our close friendship, and the special times we shared together. Margaret and Tom, I hope your lifetime of memories with Harry will help you to deal with the loss of such a special family member. - Posted by: Robert Wrigley (friend) on: Mar 06, 2023

  • Pat and I would like to extend our most sincere condolences to Marg and Tom and Harry’s many friends at the loss of Harry. Though we knew this day was coming, it’s still a shock to the system. Harry was a giant among men; the world would be a much better place with more Harry Stimsons walking (or paddling) among us. He had passion, honour, intelligence and wit. I’m proud to say that Harry was my friend. What he accomplished in the face of his illness was amazing, and he did it with dignity. Rest easy, Harry! I expect you’re already out there in your favourite canoe, a smile on your face, finding new waters to explore; may they be smooth and warm. Much love, Marg. You are in our hearts! Maurice (Moe) and Pat Hogue. - Posted by: Maurice Hogue (Friend) on: Mar 05, 2023

  • I barely knew Harry, but I have no doubt we would have become good friends if our lives had overlapped for any length of time. I wish Margaret and Tom, and his friends and relatives, peace and strength now and in the future. R.I.P. - Posted by: Bill Stevens (Acquaintance ) on: Mar 05, 2023

  • I was very sorry to read of your loss Margaret. I didn’t know Harry but always knew he must be a pretty special guy if he nabbed you. All the best to you in the days ahead. Carl Stephens - Posted by: Carl Stephens (Friend) on: Mar 04, 2023

  • As we age and come to realize that our days ahead are dwindling in number, we are thankful for the people who have touched our lives and come to be best of friends. We share like values and interests, and we cherish moments together just for the sheer joy and pleasure of being in each other’s company. Harry Stimson was one of those people who I valued as a friend as did many others. Looking back, we were lucky to grow up in a time of unprecedented environmental awareness and a new found eagerness to take to the outdoors. As a volunteer with the Manitoba Naturalist Society, Harry advocated for the establishment of new parks on the east side of Lake Winnipeg and was always lobbying for the development of more outdoor recreational attractions in our parks. He also played a major role- as joint owner of The Happy Outdoorsman - in introducing people to recreational pursuits outdoors. The HO was all about the use of non mechanical means of exploring and enjoying the natural world- while maintaining a healthy lifestyle at the same time. Many of us have forgotten that the HO was the place to go to get advice and purchase equipment- be it for camping, cross country skiing, hiking or canoeing. Harry and Margaret walked the talk in the realm of canoeing-spending a chunk of their free time behind a paddle in Canadian shield country. A deep love and admiration for wild things in wild places shaped their lives, along with son Tom, and engendered many enduring friendships. Harry and I were barely acquaintances during our volunteering stints with the Manitoba Naturalist Society and it was not until much later around 2014 that our paths crossed at a weekend retreat organized by Bob Williams to celebrate the life of our mutual friend Robert Taylor. Now in its eleventh year the weekend retreat “The Meeting of the Minds” forged many solid friendships many of which were nurtured by axillary walks through parks, canoe trips, visits to art exhibits and coffee bars along with skating outings. These were great times with much resolve to make the world a better place. At my first retreat I recall praising Harry on his youthful appearance, joking about the meds he must be on. Unbeknownst to me at that moment he was in the early stages of managing life as a prostate cancer survivor- a disease that would eventually take his life. As chance would have, I followed the same path a few years later and found Harry’s support in dealing with the disease to be comforting and helpful. He assisted many others in a similar position often noting that the act of just listening to men talk through their feelings was useful. Harry faced his disease head on with remarkable determination and optimism. A man of detail who yielded an eloquent pen he documented his cancer experiences in detail on a blog that received thousands of hits- unequivocally helping patients and loved ones around the world get through some difficult times. He and friend Patrick Tracey, also a survivor, offered valuable input during the production of a leaflet from The Manitoba Prostate Cancer Support Group. The Harry I know was a quiet, intellectual thoughtful man who had a balanced and embracing outlook on life. He had deep convictions about human justice and equality. He was an enlightened and caring individual who set a high bar with his chums when discussing worldly matters. He valued friendship and took the time to keep folks with multifaceted interests- some artistic- in nurturing relationships. He was the glue that kept us together. He was very much a family man and deeply loved Margaret and son Tom and the grandchildren. He made sure his friends knew that matters pertaining to his health were tackled and done as a family. This held up right to the end. Once Harry entered palliative care we knew the end was near, but his death still hit us hard. We all wanted a few more years of Harry in our lives and could not fathom life without him. Toward the end we took comfort in expressing how much he was admired and loved by all who knew him. We also feel blessed to have had him in our lives and left with so many wonderful memories. I know the feeling was mutual. Rest in peace my friend. - Posted by: Ted Muir (friend) on: Mar 04, 2023

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