Passing of Gus Yaki

We are sad to share the recent passing of Gus Yaki.  He was a real friend of RMERF and in addition to participating in our annual social, he contributed by using his means to further our raptor study.  We need more Gus Yakis.  Gus deserves a big “THANK-YOU” for his contribution to our RMERF Citizen Science project. Below is an obituary by his son.

Gustave Joseph (Gus) Yaki, born Sandwith, Saskatchewan (near North Battleford) on August 19, 1932, received MAID (Medical Assistance in Dying) to die peacefully in Calgary on August 10, 2020. He was predeceased by his first wife Rae Jeannine Yaki (Venner), his sisters Mary Anne Grant and Dorothy Pauline Gasper, his grandson Philip, and great grandson Lincoln. He is survived by his wife A‎ileen Pelzer, his brother Stanley John Yaki, his sister Margaret Rose Weger, as well as his children Donald, James (Jim), David, Robyn Fortier, Barbara (Barb), Patricia (Tricia) Bartone, and Jonathon Neville, as well as their spouses, descendants and extended families.

Gus became interested in nature as a child walking back and forth to school and eventually made a living as a nature tour operator. After retiring, he continued volunteering his time as a naturalist. In 2005 he started birding classes with the Friends of Fish Creek which attract hundreds of participants. In 2017, at the age of 84, he organized and led a hike across southern Alberta to celebrate Canada 150 in support of bird study and habitat conservation. In 2019, he was awarded the Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers by the Governor General of Canada, and was recognized as one of Calgary’s “Top 7 over 70”.

Donations in lieu of gifts may be made to Nature Conservancy of Canada, 245 Eglinton Ave East, Suite 410, Toronto, Ontario M4P 3J1, and/or to Alberta Wilderness Association, 455 – 12 St NW, Calgary, Alberta T2N 1Y9. (Receipts for tax credit will be issued.)

Memories to be shared at a future memorial service and/or tribute webpage can be sent to gus.yaki.memories@gmail.com.