Where's Gary? Woman looking for biological father in Calgary

The details are scant: his first name, his job and a connection to the Prairies.

But a California woman is hoping to track down the father she never got the chance to know.

See Full Article

Toni Rempel placed a newspaper ad this weekend on behalf of her half-sister Bonnie Eklund, 45, who has been hoping to reconnect with her father who doesn't even know she exists.

"You want to know what somebody looks like. You want to know if you have other siblings. You want to see somebody that may be from that side of the family, to see if there's some familiarity," Eklund told CTV Calgary.

In the summer of 1969, Eklund's mother, Vernette, had a love affair in Tisdale, Sask., with a pharmaceutical representative named Gary, who lived in Calgary.

Vernette Eklund was working as a nurse at the Regina General Hospital and met Gary at a nightclub at the Westward Inn in Regina.

"They had a love affair that lasted through the summer, and then ended," said Rempel, who lives in Kelowna, B.C.

Gary was not informed when Vernette Eklund became pregnant, and Bonnie was born in April 1970.

"It was the summer of '69 and there was all of that free love," Rempel told The Canadian Press.

Vernette Eklund, who is now 69, worked long shifts at the hospital. With no proper daycare, she gave up her daughter for adoption when she was two, and she was raised by her grandparents.

"They were everything to me," said Bonnie Eklund. "I had a wonderful upbringing."

Eklund -- who is working as a doctor in San Diego, Calif. -- spent decades wondering about his father and his life, but didn't have the nerve to track him down. However, she relented when Rempel offered to place the newspaper ad.

"She's told me over the years that she feels there's a part of her missing and she wishes she knew, but she doesn't really have the courage herself to go searching. I asked her if it was OK if I did," said Rempel.

"We're trying to figure out who he is and trying to establish a possible connection for Bonnie to meet her father."

Rempel said that Gary, who would've been in his 20s at the time, would fly into Regina for his job. She said that he was about six feet tall, slender and had blond hair.

"His last name ends with something 'Ski,'" she added. "He may be of Polish (or) Ukrainian descent."

So far, the newspaper ad has yet to yield any leads.

Should Gary's identity come to light, Eklund says she would love to meet him, but she says she has no expectations.

"Unless you've walked in (my) shoes, it's hard for people to know it is not a matter of not feeling complete, it's just … curiosity," said Eklund.

Anyone with information that could help identify Eklund's father is being asked to contact Rempel at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

With a report from CTV Calgary's Shaun Frenette and files from The Canadian Press



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Residents return but Southern California fire still has life

    World News CTV News
    MALIBU, Calif. -- Thousands of people have returned to neighbourhoods evacuated during Southern California's deadly wildfire but officials said the threat is far from over. The huge blaze briefly gained renewed life Tuesday with a flare-up in the Santa Monica Mountains before water- and fire retardant-dropping aircraft beat it back. Source
  • 13-year-old Indiana boy to learn fate in May school shooting

    World News CTV News
    NOBLESVILLE, Ind. -- A 13-year-old boy who admitted shooting and wounding a classmate and a teacher at a suburban Indianapolis school was expected to learn Wednesday whether he will be sent to a state juvenile detention centre in an attempt to rehabilitate him. Source
  • Death toll climbs to 48 in Northern California fire

    World News CBC News
    The death toll in the Northern California Camp Fire grew to 48 Tuesday, as recovery teams identified six more sets of human remains from Paradise, a town once home to 27,000, overrun by flames last week. The wildfire disaster is already ranked as the most lethal and destructive in California's history. Source
  • More than 20 people convicted of killing minors held in healing lodges since 2011

    Canada News CTV News
    More than 20 people convicted of killing minors have spent time in Indigenous healing lodges since 2011, according to numbers released Tuesday by Public Safety Canada. As of Sept. 23, 2018, there were 11 people living in Indigenous healing lodges who were convicted of first- or second-degree murder in the death of someone aged 18 or younger. Source
  • 'She's liable to attack': Coco the cow escapes Newfoundland farm

    Canada News CTV News
    A wily, bad-tempered cow has escaped a Newfoundland farm -- and her owner is warning would-be captors that Coco could be dangerous. On Thursday, the heifer leapt over a farm fence while out to pasture in Conception Bay South, N.L. Source
  • In factory after factory, Kim tries to grow N. Korea economy

    World News CTV News
    WONSAN, Korea, Democratic People's Republic Of -- For North Korean factory managers, a visit by leader Kim Jong Un is the highest of honours and quite possibly the most stressful event imaginable. The chief engineer at the Songdowon General Foodstuffs Factory had looked forward to the visit for nearly a decade. Source
  • Toronto man with autism 'traumatized' after police tackle him over toy gun

    Canada News CTV News
    A Toronto family is demanding an apology from police after a man with autism was tackled by several officers because someone reported seeing him holding a plastic toy gun in a car. Zakiyeh Rezaee told CTV Toronto’s Tracy Tong in an exclusive interview that several officers barged into the home where she lives with her 20-year-old son on Saturday night and jumped on top of him. Source
  • Amid legal wrangling, Georgia election uncertainty lingers

    World News CTV News
    ATLANTA -- After two federal court rulings and a flurry of legal filings over a 24-hour period, uncertainty still hangs over Georgia's midterm elections, including the still undecided race for governor. Unofficial results in one of the nation's hottest midterm contests give Republican Brian Kemp a slim majority. Source
  • Melania Trump calls for White House aide to be fired

    World News CBC News
    U.S. President Donald Trump is under pressure from his wife to fire his deputy national security adviser over what two sources close to the White House said was the way Melania Trump's trip to Africa was handled. Source
  • Ontario company fined for factory accident that left child dead

    Canada News CTV News
    LINWOOD, Ont. -- Ontario's Ministry of Labour says a steel tubing manufacturer has been fined $150,000 for violations related to a factory accident that left a child dead. The ministry says a worker was at J.M. Source