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

  • 5 people die after being electrocuted at water park in Turkey

    World News CBC News
    Five people, including two teenagers and a 12-year-old, died Friday after being electrocuted at a water park pool in northwest Turkey, according to local media reports. The three children were caught up in an electrical current in the pool in the town of Akyazi, in Sakarya province, the state-run Anadolu Agency reported. Source
  • Churchill, Man., leaders demand rail line fix as food prices soar

    Canada News CTV News
    The mayor of a northern Manitoba town and the chief of a nearby First Nation are asking the provincial and federal governments to immediately fund repairs of a rail line that they say is “critical” to their community’s survival. Source
  • Workers help N.J. woman find prized necklace in trash plant

    World News CTV News
    OXFORD, N.J. -- A New Jersey woman has been reunited with her special necklace thanks to a group of hardworking sanitation workers. Samantha LaRochelle was taken to St. Luke's Hospital in Phillipsburg on Saturday after falling unconscious, NJ.com reported. Source
  • P.E.I. Midget AA player gets 30 days in jail for punching referee

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    CHARLOTTETOWN — An 18-year-old hockey player from P.E.I. who punched a referee twice in the face, cutting his lip, has been sentenced to 30 days in jail. Cole Trevor Crane was being escorted off the ice after a fight in the last minute of play in a game at an arena outside Charlottetown on March 26. Source
  • Dennis Rodman takes credit for North Korea releasing Warmbier

    World News Toronto Sun
    NBA Hall of Famer Dennis Rodman’s visit to North Korea coinciding with the release of Otto Warmbier was supposedly no coincidence after all. Rodman shockingly took credit for the release of North Korean detainee Otto Warmbier during an interview with Good Morning America on Friday. Source
  • Take a gander: Wawa, Ont., getting new giant goose to welcome visitors

    Canada News CTV News
    WAWA, Ont. -- The giant honking Canada Goose in Wawa, Ont., that has quietly greeted countless travellers for more than five decades is set to fly its concrete roost ahead of the formal arrival of a replacement on Canada Day. Source
  • Canadian Armed Forces member in Alberta accused of luring Texas girl

    Canada News CTV News
    EDMONTON -- A member of the Canadian Armed Forces in Alberta has been charged with child luring as well as with making and distributing child pornography. Police say child luring allegations were first discovered by U.S. Source
  • 40 people killed in bomb, gun attacks in 3 Pakistani cities

    World News CTV News
    PESHAWAR, Pakistan -- At least 40 people were killed and nearly 100 wounded Friday in four separate bomb and gun attacks in three major Pakistani cities, officials said. A suicide bomber was involved in the first car bombing near the office of the provincial police chief in the southwestern city of Quetta that killed at least 12 people and wounded 20. Source
  • Navy commander defends spending billions to upgrade Canada's submarine fleet

    Canada News CTV News
    OTTAWA -- The commander of the Royal Canadian Navy is defending the Trudeau government's plan to spend billions of dollars on upgrading Canada's submarine fleet. Vice-Admiral Ron Lloyd tells The Canadian Press that having a submarine is the best way to spot others that may be approaching or have even entered Canadian waters or those of NATO allies. Source
  • Want to do business in Russia? Be ready to hand over your source code

    World News CBC News
    Western technology companies, including Cisco, IBM and SAP, are acceding to demands by Moscow for access to closely guarded product security secrets, at a time when Russia has been accused of a growing number of cyberattacks on the West, a Reuters investigation has found. Source