Stanley “Papa” Douglas McLaren was born in Ponoka, Alberta on February 15, 1943 to John and Catherine. He was the seventh of eight children. Stan grew up on the farm east of Ponoka and attended Mecca Glen School in 1948. Through his younger years the family farm grew grain, raised cattle and hogs, as well as poultry. There was always work to be done on the farm, but there was always time to have a little fun, from stacking bales on the ol’ stoker to shovelling snow from the driveway with Brian so they could shoot hockey pucks back and forth. The farm was filled with many great memories.
Hockey was one of Stan’s talents. His stride on the ice was like no other. He played hockey up to his junior B level. In grade eleven Stan quit school to help out on the family farm. Soon after he would be working in the oil patch and farming his own land. Farming in the spring, summer, and fall and working in the oil patch kept Stan busy, but he always made time for anyone who stopped by for a cup of coffee and a visit.
Stan married Evon Weins in 1967. They farmed east of Ponoka, not far from the original homestead. Not long after moving, their first son John was born on May 8, 1968. Then came Calvin on February 9, 1970. Jim wasn’t far behind on January 11, 1974. And then whoops! Carol came January 14, 1980.
Dad discovered camping when the boys were small which quickly turned into a yearly ritual. Dad would pack up all the kids and head west for a week in the woods amongst the harvest season. Dad camped with his family for the remainder of his life.
Hunting was also a huge part of Dad’s life. He did several hunting trips with the boys always bringing home a freezer full of meat and great memories. As dad got older, he still enjoyed hunting and camping. He had many people to visit with and attended monthly neighborhood birthday parties.
Dad will be remembered for so many things. His grandkids will miss his visits, with Papa always making them a cup of hot chocolate. He was famous for his pancakes and black tar coffee.
As a jack of all trades, he could fix anything. Sometimes it would just take a little JB weld, gorilla glue or duct tape to get the job done. His generous heart made everyone feel special and loved. Papa loved to watch his grandkids play sports. Papa had such a soft, gentle, kind, quiet side to him, but he also had that witty, trickster side to him. He could make anyone laugh; his humorous side was well known by all.
Stan “Papa” will be lovingly remembered by his son Jim (Jennifer) of Ponoka; daughter Carol (Shaun) Bailey of Ponoka; daughter-in-law Jaclyn McLaren of Coleman; his grandchildren Madison, Seth, Gavin, Jayden, Drae, Brooklyn, Brody, Caitlin, Robert, Miranda, Mikael, and Clinton; his brother Brian; sisters Sheila and Gail (Bob); sisters-in-law Doreen (Doug) and Lori; as well as many nieces, nephews, and friends.
Stan was predeceased by his sons John and Calvin; his parents John and Catherine; and his brothers Al, Gord, Art, and Kenneth.
Papa was “one in a million” and will be lovingly remembered by all who were lucky to know him.
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