Ian was born in Killam, AB on October 2, 1956, to James and Annie Whitehead of Hardisty, he passed away peacefully, surrounded by his wife and children on July 30, 2023, at the Grey Nuns Hospital ICU in Edmonton.
Ian moved from the farm with his parents & siblings at a young age where his dad James was employed with Interprovincial Pipeline, now known as Enbridge Pipeline. In the early 60s the family moved back to the Whitehead family farm, when James transferred to the IPL station in Hardisty.
Ian attended Allan Johnstone School in Hardisty and Central High School in Sedgewick. Where you would find him, his siblings and ½ the team piled in the family vehicle for ball or hockey. During & after high school Ian worked on numerous pipeline projects, until November of 1975 when he began working in Edmonton with IPL, following in his dad’s footsteps.
In November of 1977, Ian married Sharon Ann (Coates) and to this union 4 children were born, Leslie Ann (Nelson), Deanna (Cookson), Denell Whitehead and Jordan Whitehead. Ian & Sharon Ann lived in Edmonton and Kerrobert and gladly settled back on the farm in Hardisty where they stayed and raised their family.
Ian worked and farmed until major back surgery in March of 1998. This was the year that started the flow of grandchildren, Gavin, Gage & Griffen born to oldest daughter Leslie Ann; Ashton, Ebony and Raya born to 2nd daughter Deanna; Easton, Emersyn & Hudson born to youngest daughter Denell and Everlee & Lacey born to son Jordan. In 2020, Ian & Sharon were blessed with their 1st great granddaughter Ella.
Ian enjoyed his family and liked to have them around often, it was even joked about by a son in law that “your dad would be happiest if we all lived on a little 5-acre piece of land”. It made Ian proud to hear his children were liking their work and doing well. He especially loved to see the grandkids and hear about what they had been doing, whether it was discussing work over a cold one with the older kids or hearing about the numerous ball, hockey, soccer, or lacrosse games, riding their horses or just that they had been to the lake. It gave him great pleasure just to know they were having fun no matter the activity.
As a young dad, Ian made sure that his kids were capable and knowledgeable horseman. When time permitted and he wasn’t busy working or farming Ian would take the kids for rides on their ponies and he was quite likely riding a green or young horse he was breaking in hopes that one of kids would be able to soon ride a “bigger horse”. In later years, he was so proud that his kids were carrying on the family traditions and instilling the love of horses, country living and rodeo to their kids. He loved hearing about the latest round up, bucking horse session, wild horse race or wild cow milking. This would usually drum up a story from the past, reminiscing about childhood antics with his siblings and the many “town kids” that were like siblings who made the Whitehead farm their second home, these stories were always accompanied by his infectious laugh.
Ian was a “Jack of all Trades”, and the kids recall the many life skills that their dad has passed onto them, from learning to weld on scrap metal, basic mechanic skills, how to rewire a carpet cleaner, fix a fence, handle a firearm safely, drive a tractor at a young age and everything in between.
Ian was predeceased by his parents, 2 brothers, and one sister and will be sadly missed by his wife Sharon Ann, daughters: Leslie Ann (Bryan), Deanna (Matt), Denell (Dustin) & son: Jordan, grandkids, and great granddaughter (mentioned above); 2 brothers: Ron & Kevin (Leanne) & family, sister: Wendy & family as well as many nieces, nephews, great-nieces and nephews, great-great-nieces, and numerous cousins.
Our family would like to thank Dr. Hanton & the nursing staff at the Killam Hospital and the Doctors and nurses at the Grey Nuns ICU in Edmonton for the excellent care Ian was given during his time there.
Donations can be made to Stars Air Ambulance or a donation of the donor’s choice. A memorial will be held for Ian on September 30th at the Elks Hall in Hardisty at 2 pm.