December 6, 1925 – January 3, 2018
Vern passed away Wednesday, January 3, 2018 in Moose Jaw, at the age of 92. He loved horses, hunting, trail rides, the outdoors, and he lived life to the fullest. Vern was a proud World War II Navy Veteran. He was able to have a long radio career before retiring. Vern is predeceased by his wife Lois Traill; parents, Frances and Stuart Traill; his brother, Darcy Traill; and his sister, Evelyn Milne. He will be sadly missed by his children: Bradley (Sandra), Diane (Wayne), Leslie (Jeff) and Gordon; grandchildren and great-grandchildren: Lindsi (Adam) and their children Jade, Emery and Jaron; Brett; Kalli (Tim); Christopher (Leah) and their children Kaitlyn, Chayton and Mia; Mark (Jaramie); Cara and her children Ryan and Jade; Jason (Michelle) and their children Ashely, Brooke, Emma, Avery and Ella; Gina; Stacy (Jeremy) and their child Khloe; Crystal (Les) and their children Tyran, Xander, Zyra; Evan (Courtney) and their child Stevie; and his siblings, Ed (Edie), Les (Marion), Dot Ackerman; and their families. A Celebration of Vern’s Life will take place at the Masonic Temple (1755 Main St N, Moose Jaw, SK) followed by a time of Fellowship on Monday, January 8, at 2:00 PM. Pastor Marvin Seaborg will officiate. Vern’s family would like to thank the nurses, and staff, as well as Dr. A. Waldner for their compassionate care. A special thank you also to Steve for always being there for their Dad. In lieu of flowers memorial donations can be directed to the Shriners Hospitals for Children, 1003 Decarie Boulevard, Montreal, Quebec H4A 0A9 or a Charity of Choice. In living memory of Vern, a memorial planting will be made by W.J. Jones & Son Funeral Home.
TAIT: The world loses a true character with Vern Traill’s passing
Published:January 6, 2018
To pinpoint a specific Vern Traill story, which always turns into an adventure with a laugh track from the start, doesn’t do the man justice. Because there are so many to be told.
Moreover, it makes a profound statement of how a generation of true characters — men and women who marched to their own tune, their own drum and their own expressive creativity — is, sadly, a closing chapter in time.
And, so, it’s important to pay tribute to Vern, who passed away last week in Moose Jaw after 92 years of pure fun.
Vern had an Edmonton connection. Along with his wife Lois, he moved here in 1980 to slide into the general manager’s chair of 630 CHED, after the legendary Jerry Forbes retired.
I first met Vern at Molson House — the log cabin located at the former brewery just north of 104 Ave.
“How ya doin, Tiger?” he said in his friendly gruff voice. Vern called guys “Tigers” and ladies “Dears.”
He, however, had the nickname that described him to a T: The Cowboy.
Vern not only ran CHAB radio in Moose Jaw – he ran the town. His sales manager complained about the area of the city he lived in before he went for a vacation. Vern called a house moving company, had the manager’s house dug up from its foundation and moved to another part of the city. When the sales manager returned from his vacation, he couldn’t believe his eyes when he drove up to an empty lot.
Before he lived in Edmonton, he had his entire radio station staff from Moose Jaw come to Edmonton on a bus a few hours before the CHED Christmas party. They took all the tables, so when the Edmonton staff showed up at the Hotel MacDonald, there wasn’t any more seats, causing the banquet staff to scramble.
Vern liked to golf. In 1984 at the Wayne Gretzky Golf Classic, Vern got hit on the head by a ball on the Edmonton Country Club’s 11th tee. He showed up at the tournament the following year wearing a hockey helmet and full mask.
Vern invited Oilers Mark Messier, Craig MacTavish, Grant Fuhr and Dave Semenko to play golf in Moose Jaw a year later. The Edmonton contingent flew to Moose Jaw in a Lear jet and Vern met them with several horse-drawn chuck wagons.
They ran into a little hiccup riding into town: one of the horses broke in a parking lot, creating a mini stampede.
“Messier had the reins of the horse that broke and Vern was riding side saddle,” recalls Bill Penny, a Moose Jaw native also on the trip. “All of a sudden Vern comes out of nowhere, jumps in front of Messier and calms the horse down.
“It was just like the wild, wild west.”
Vern returned to Moose Jaw in 1988 to manage CHAB and have more fun. He filled up one of the hotel pools with lake water one day for a charity fishing derby.
Vern had a glass eye. He was known to walk up to a bus driver, and place something on the dash.
“Just in case you need another eye on the road,” he’d say. If Vern was with you at a party and you weren’t carefully guarding your drink, he would slip his glass eye into it.
There are so many Vern Traill tales. If you have one, please add it to camtait.com
The Cowboy has trotted off into the sunset for the last time. But his love of life, love of people and love of making others laugh will only enrich his legacy.