It is with great sadness that the family announces the passing of Clifford Adolphe Duchesne. He
had been battling with chronic and complex medical issues prior to his passing. He passed
peacefully on Feb.17th while at rest.
Clifford was born to Peter and Cora Duchesne in Birch River. He was the oldest of six siblings:
Larry, Clarice, Eddy, Blaine, Elaine, and Ricky.
Clifford and his daughter prepared an autobiography. It was at this time that he spoke about his
childhood. He said that he was never much of a student and that the classroom was not for him
and, therefore, he was only prepared to complete grade five before pursuing odd jobs. He first
worked for Mrs. Williamson in Westgate at the age of eight cutting wood for .35/week. His
mother had gotten him the job. At fourteen he was employed with the sawmill in Benito for a brief
time and then went on to work alongside his father with CN Rail. He explained that he was
approximately fifteen and therefore had to lie about his age and change his name to
maintain his employment. In his words, “back in the day, no one had anything, there was
nothing, you had no choice but to work”. In 1973 he completed a course at KCC in The Pas for
Heavy Duty Equipment Operation, starting with a scraper and eventually working his way up to
operating a D8 Cat. He was skilled in this area and enjoyed doing Popawheelies on the Bobcat.
He explained that his dad began teaching him to drive at the age of five and that he was driving
on his own by the age of 9. He stated, “I was in full control because I was operating a machine”!
Following the completion of his training program, Clifford accepted a position with Limestone
Training as the head instructor in the heavy-duty equipment training program and worked in
various locations in the north. In the 80’s he also worked for the Ospawagan Dredge. He then
went on to purchase his taxi in 1989. He operated under Driftwood and Thompson Cabs for a
number of years before branching off on his own as Cliff’s Taxi, managing his own dispatch,
running three taxi cabs and working with his brother Blaine. He made many solid connections
with people over these years and changed many flat tires, especially along the Gillam highway.
He had a work ethic like no other and some years it was a 365-day work policy. His true
passion was his work as he loved to drive, to work hard and to be with the public. His taxi was
his second home.
Clifford met Muriel in Birch River and the two were married in 1969. They had two children:
Michelle and Clifford. The family relocated to Thompson in 1975. Clifford and Muriel did a lot of
traveling during the years that young Clifford was playing hockey. These special times brought
him a lot of enjoyment! In later years he enjoyed taking long walks with his dog Lady and driving
his Harley Davidson. He loved food, especially Michelle’s fish fry’s and her homemade apple
crisp. He also loved to laugh, joke and tease. He was always up for a good BS session with
whoever he came across. He also enjoyed the comfort of his own home, his recliner and an
episode of Family Feud.
Clifford was also a big part and a big influence in the lives of his granddaughters. He was
always available to offer his wisdom and advice on any matter whether they wanted it or not.
And as a great grandfather, just the thought of his grandsons brought a smile to his face,
referring to his grandson Bradley as the Bad Bad Brad.
In 2021 Clifford traveled to BC in his motorhome. He had a few adventures in his travels,
blowing out one window that he repaired with three bandages and a knife. He dented his rear
bumper, ran out of gas and then his heater started smoking and lost power, so he rigged up an
interior wiper with the end of his vacuum and a towel. But none the less he made it safe and
sound. He had hoped to spend more time in BC in the upcoming spring and the fall, but he would
say “not in the summer because it’ll be too bleeping hot”. He told Michelle I want to come there
and live next to you and fight with you a little bit. And she would respond “ok but just a little bit”.
In closing, Clifford was larger than life and his presence always filled a room. In a lot of way he was a forced to be reckoned with and had a way of getting what he wanted and accomplishing anything he put his mind too, most that knew him were drawn to him and very fond of him and if you knew him well he’s probably given you a nickname. He will be truly missed. May his soul rest in peace.
Clifford was predeceased by his parents and his son Clifford (2000). He is survived by his
siblings, his daughter, granddaughters, and his great grandsons, along with numerous extended
family members, who all held a special place in his heart.
A funeral service was held on February 27, 2023, at 11:00 AM at the Birch River Legion Hall.
If friends so desire, memorial donations in Clifford’s memory to Heart and Stroke Foundation PO Box 460 STN K Toronto, ON M4P 9Z9 or Canadian Diabetes Association PO Box 1224 STN K Toronto, ON M4P 9Z9.
To plant a beautiful memorial tree in memory of Clifford Duchesne, please visit our Tree Store.
Heart and Stroke Foundation of Manitoba
1379 Kenaston Boulevard, Winnipeg MB R3P 2T5
Canadian Diabetes Association
1 Wesley Ave Suite 401, Winnipeg MB R3C 4C6