It is with deepest sadness that the family of Everett Makela announce his passing on May 4, 2022, at St. Joseph’s Continuing Care Centre. Everett is survived by his loving wife Gabrielle (nee Dyce). Loving Father to son Everett Jr. predeceased (Barbara) and Mark (Roxanne). Proud Poppa of Benjamin (Viorica) Jane (Gunay), Lara and Elizabeth.
Predeceased by his parents Carl and Saimi Makela and brother Ralph (Eileen, predeceased). He is survived by his brothers Reino (Rita) and Allan (Thelma, predeceased) (Gail). He will be dearly missed by many loving nieces and nephews.
Everett was born into a family of determined and resilient Finns that homesteaded land on the Vermilion River and taught their strong work ethic to an independent young boy. He shared many stories of the lessons he learned in his youth as well as fond recollections of boyhood friends and adventures.
Everett married Gabrielle Dyce (Cupey) in 1959 and the young couple would move to the Makela Farm in 1965 where, surrounded by neighbouring family and friends, they would raise their two sons. He was the base the family relied on as a constant throughout their lives.
Everett pursued his many interests with a thoughtful awareness, and he loved to share his insights with anyone willing to stop and spend a moment. His unmistakable voice could captivate the listener as he told tales woven from the fabric of his own life or gleaned from the many historical and educational books he would read. Always a sharp observer, he especially appreciated nature. He would marvel while watching a colony of ants or delight viewing otters on the springtime river ice.
For those that knew Everett in passing he was an “airplane guy”. To those from the Northern Ontario flying community he was an aviation legend. A bright yellow OPAS biplane landed at Stoney Bay on a cold winter’s day, and he was captivated. Stories were passed down of a joyful youth sitting on his grandparents’ steps with a toy airplane in his hands. In 1948 Everett’s dream of flight would become reality and he would get his wings at Nickel Belt Airways on Ramsey Lake. His love of aviation inspired many to learn to fly including his brothers Reino and Allan, and son Mark. His passion became a career as he started his own aircraft repair shop on Grassy Lake in 1970. He operated Akela Aircraft until 1993 and left a lasting impression throughout the aviation community.
Retirement would mean pursuing his interests on his own terms. He built airplanes, cut wood, surveyed and worked the farm, witched wells, flew a Beaver, built a snow-plane, helped his family and friends, enjoyed Cupey’s cooking, read his books, kept the fire on, and told a lot of marvelous stories from a life well lived.
A Celebration of Everett’s Life will be held at the Penage Road Community Center, 968 Panache Lake Road, Whitefish, ON on July 16, 2022, from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm. Celebration of Life to begin at 11:30 am.