ForeverMissed
A Celebration of Life is scheduled for 5:00 p.m. on April 25 at the Coast High Country Inn Ballroom. 

 In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Brent’s name to the Yukon Humane Society via https://www.canadahelps.org/en/charities/humane-so....

Yukon Foundation announces a new fund established in memory of Dr. Brent Slobodin: https://www.yukonfoundation.com/single-post/2020/04/09/Yukon-Foundation-announces-a-new-fund-established-in-memory-of-Dr-Brent-Slobodin


About the Dr. Brent Slobodin Memorial Scholarship in the Humanities

This annual scholarship has been established in loving memory of Dr. Brent Slobodin, to foster study in the humanities and support an upper-year (second year and up) Yukon student with a demonstrated interest in, and intent to specialize, in one or more of the following Humanities subjects at a provincial university:

  1. History                              

  2. Political Studies                                

  3. Philosophy                                

  4. Classics
  5. English
  6. Languages
Candidates for the Dr. Brent Slobodin Memorial Scholarship in the Humanities should prepare a short statement (no more than four pages, typed and double-spaced), showing demonstrated interest and academic excellence with an intent to specialize in one of the above subject areas, as well as some experience in volunteer or community work.  Candidates should include their resume, and both high school and university transcripts.  Applications will be sent to the family, who shall select the successful candidate to recommend to the Foundation.

This fund will begin accepting applications in 2021. Anyone wanting to donate to Brent’s scholarship fund, can do so here:  https://www.yukonfoundation.com/donate


Posted by Megan Slobodin on May 25, 2020
Happy Birthday, Brent. I am so grateful for our life together and shared memories.  What a good day to celebrate it. xoxo
Posted by Larisse McDonald on April 15, 2020
Came to listen to some good music...
Posted by Andrea Davidson on April 15, 2020
<3
Posted by Therese Vermette on December 10, 2019

I was just reading about the yukon college announcement towards becoming a university and thought that Brent had been behind this for many years. I googled and read with surprise about his recent passing. I am so sorry for your loss. Brent and I worked hard to write , get ottawa to agree on key points and eventually pass and sign the first Yukon Canada immigration agreement . I was there for the official signing etc. We communicated frequently ironing out issues related to interpretation and overseas problems and settlement funding . I would meet Brent several times over the years at national meetings and in Vancouver where my office was located. Brent always delivered on his word. He spoke a lot aBout his family in particular the boys who followed in his footsteps at schools in the east. Brent was a pleasure to work with. He never once mentioned his PHD and always brought his A game even during some challenging politics . I hope these words give you some comfort at this difficult time.
Therese Vermette
Posted by Heather MacDonald on May 25, 2019
Thinking of Megan and Conal and Kieran today, and you, Brent, up in Heaven with all the other great guys. You're missed! But we are getting together in your honour tonight, and we'll be remembering all the good times we had with you.
Posted by Timothy Boden on May 10, 2019
I was so very sorry to learn of Brent's passing. He was a tremendous person and a great friend who will be missed by so many people.
I first met Brent almost 40 years ago at Queen's where we had both started MA courses. We bonded over our common interests of rock music (where we had very similar tastes), history and travel. He was from western Canada, I was from the UK and we explored Ontario and Quebec together during that year. Among other things he introduced me to the Canadian national passion of ice hockey. I was also made very welcome by Brent's family at their home in Medicine Hat during the Christmas/New Year of 1979/1980. When I look back on that year Brent looms very large.
I then returned to the UK and - although distance meant that we did not see each other very often - we did manage to keep in touch by letters every now and then and afterwards more regularly by email, exchanging news of friends, families, music and politics (most recently I was updating him on Brexit developments). It was great to welcome him and his family a couple of times to Belgium where I now live and where he particularly showed his appreciation for Belgian beer. We also met in Paris and London and in 2001 I enjoyed the great hospitality of the Slobodin family in Whitehorse. I had been looking forward to catching up more often in the future after retirement.
Although our face to face meetings were not so regular, I regarded Brent as a great friend and kindred spirit who had a deep interest in the world around him and an infectious enthusiasm for life. His love of his family and pride in his sons and their achievements also shone through.
Brent - thanks for all the great memories and your friendship. You will be deeply missed.
Posted by Stu Cook on May 7, 2019
Deepest condolences.
Posted by Ned Garrett on May 7, 2019
I didn't really know Brent, except through email discussions on the CCR email group where I first encountered him. I met Brent just once at a CCRv concert in the Bay Area with Kevin Mulvey from Australia and Philip Brady from Ireland. It was simply a great evening starting with beers and dinner in Berkeley (my home town) and continuing on to the show. I remember Brent as great fun with a clearly giant brain and a wit to match. It was great being able to put a face to that personality I'd encountered online. I remember later reflecting back on that night and what a unique and rare moment it was, and Brent was a huge part of that. I'm very grateful for that, and I wish peace to his family and friends.
Posted by Kevin Mulvey on May 6, 2019
Like many I was shocked and saddened to hear of Brent's sudden and untimely passing on 15 April. My family and I had not seen Brent or Megan for a few years, but had the great pleasure of staying with them in Whitehorse in the late 90's. We went there because Brent had said to me, in Karratha, Australia, desert by the sea 20deg south of the equator, "oh, you must come up to the Yukon, I will look after you and you will love it here!" So we did, 3 chillums in tow, and he did look after us and we did love it... Brent and Megan were so hospitable to us and arranged so many adventures, meals and just wonderful times in the great Yukon and Skagway, never having met us before. We loved them and got on so well with them and the boys, and later had them visiting us in Eugene, OR mid 2000's.
Brent and I also had a couple of visits to the San Francisco Bay area for CCRv gigs with friends from around there and the world including Philip Brady from Ireland, and Ned Garrett from UC Berkeley. A later trip also involved getting absolutely wonderful tickets on the 50 yard line at Jeff Garcia's first game for the San Francisco 49'ers... Brent made sure everybody around us in the crowd knew that Jeff Garcia learned all he knew about football from playing in the Calgary Stampeders in the Canadian Football League....... The locals at the game were all humored greatly by this and began acquiescing to his undoubted wisdom on all things football.
(we had winged such good seats by pretending to all be visiting Australians, who had never seen an NFL game. I did the talking "mate", to get us in, but Brent, wisely to be sure, did the talking during the game, LOL!)
They put us in with the wives and girlfriends of the team, who were all enamored with Brent's incisive perspectives. Which only expanded as the game marched on, brews were downed and new boy "Canadian adoptee" Garcia threw a few good passes.
Well, I for one learned a lot that day, mostly about the CFL, and Brent continued his fun stories into the night as we were walking along a road and heard a very good guitarist/singer playing in small bar. In we went, like we must have needed another pint or something, and Brent went up to the musician, in his inimitable way, and said, "your'e good, but can you play any Gordon Lightfoot?" Which the musician did in a heartbeat with 'Sundown" and Brent dropped him a $10er in the tip bucket, for being so up for it.....
That was Brent to a tee. He could hold court in a disarming, charming way with verve, everyone listening in attentively; be proudly, heart on sleeve Canadian, with class and humour. And generous to those around him, because he saw the good side in everyone. There is much more to Brent that this reminiscence but as many have said, he was generous, intelligent, loving of his family, appropriately patriotic in the best way of his Canadian heritage and country, and had a wonderfully sharp and naturally endearing sense of humour. The days with him and his family, will be days we will always cherish. And miss dearly
All our love to Megan, Conal and Kieran
Keep on Chooglin Brent!
Kevin Mulvey and family,
Perth, Australia
Posted by Heather MacDonald on May 5, 2019
Brent was such a lovely person. He was good-natured and fun-loving, and he cared passionately about others. He had integrity and a genuine belief that each of us can make a difference in the world. I feel lucky to have counted Brent among my friends, richer for having known him, and I'll miss seeing him. But I know he is still with us. His spirit lives on in all those he touched, and especially through his sons, Conal and Kieran, and his little granddaughter, Freya. They're so lucky to have had such a great guy to lay the foundation of their lives, and they'll forever be stronger, happier, and more resilient because of it. You really can rest in peace, Brent. You did a great job!
Posted by Debra Wickham on May 1, 2019
It's been a couple of weeks now, and I still can't believe you are gone. My days have been full since leaving the Yukon, which is good in some ways but then I remember and I keep mourning. Thank God I have a great family and friends to help me through this. I think the tears will be here for a long time. I can't find any meaning in losing you so fast and unexpected, but I think there has to be a lesson in living your life to the best of your ability. I believe you did that, and it helps. I miss you Big Brother...
Posted by Anne Leckie on April 29, 2019
So sorry for this loss to the family of Brent, to the Heritage Community of Yukon and to others who knew him. Brent was always enthusiastic, inclusive and cheerful. It was a pleasure to know him and to have shared time with him on the YHMA Board for a number of years. It was a beautiful tribute to him last week and it was a privilege to attend his celebration.

Leave a Tribute

 
Recent Tributes
Posted by Megan Slobodin on May 25, 2020
Happy Birthday, Brent. I am so grateful for our life together and shared memories.  What a good day to celebrate it. xoxo
Posted by Larisse McDonald on April 15, 2020
Came to listen to some good music...
Posted by Andrea Davidson on April 15, 2020
<3
his Life

Dr. Brent Slobodin, a dedicated husband, loving father, an historian, a rock and roll fanatic, and a community builder passed from sudden renal failure on April 15, 2019, at the age of 61. Brent was born in Medicine Hat, Alberta, found his heart in Kingston, Ontario, and made a home in Whitehorse, Yukon.

Brent is survived by his wife, Megan (née McDonald); his sons and their partners, Conal (Quinn) and Kieran (AndreaDavidson); his siblings, Belinda Benn, Debra Wickham (Dean), and Darrell Slobodin (Rhonda); his best friend, Piers McDonald (Ofelia Andrade); and his beloved granddaughter, Freya. He will be missed by an extended family across the country.

Brent was born on May 25, 1957.  A boisterous child, voracious reader, and intrepid young man, his passion for history and sports consumed him.  Brent earned his PhD in History and foreign policy from Queen’s University in Kingston.  There, at graduate school, he met and fell in love with Megan, who became his wife and lifelong companion.  They married on August 7, 1982.

Brent was, first and foremost, a thinker.  He loved debating politics and holding forth on history and music. He dedicated his career to advancing education, devolution, and training in the territory.  He was a champion of First Nation education and self-governance and was integral to the creation of the territory’s immigration and labour market landscape.

Everyone remembering Brent talks about how he encouraged them, in one way or another, to get involved in something grander than themselves.

Anyone who met Brent knew he cared about his community and its history.  A lifelong proponent of Yukon’s Heritage, he led efforts at all levels of government to preserve Yukon’s history and its culture.  He was a passionate community activist and worked tirelessly for affordable housing and education.  He loved and had deep care for animals, always concerned for creatures most in need. He was, after all, a hapless Habs, Jays, and Cowboys fan to the end.

Brent was most invested in his family.  If there is one accomplishment by which he would want to remembered, it would be his sons. They are his proudest legacies.  He lives on through them, and instilled in them the value of community involvement, hard work, and fatherhood.


Recent stories

Poem Read at Brent’s Service by family friend Judy Pelchat

Shared by Megan Slobodin on May 26, 2019

Remember

Remember me when I am gone away, 
         Gone far away into the silent land; 
         When you can no more hold me by the hand, 
Nor I half turn to go yet turning stay. 
Remember me when no more day by day 
         You tell me of our future that you plann'd: 
         Only remember me; you understand 
It will be late to counsel then or pray. 
Yet if you should forget me for a while 
         And afterwards remember, do not grieve: 
         For if the darkness and corruption leave 
         A vestige of the thoughts that once I had, 
Better by far you should forget and smile 
         Than that you should remember and be sad.

A Special Boss

Shared by Carolyn Joudrey on May 3, 2019

Dear Megan, Conel, Kieran and families,

I am so very sorry for this terrible loss to your family and to everyone who knew Brent.  I was his assistant at Advanced Education and truly loved working with Brent. He was so very smart, caring and funny and he was so proud of his family.  To lose such a wonderful person at such a young age is heartbreaking. I know people say "it's God's plan" but I never did understand or agree with "His Plan".  

I have funny story I would like to share with you.  We were having one of our weekly ADM/Directors meetings at Advanced Ed and a couple of us decided to hide my fart machine above the ceiling tile in Brent's office.  Since I had a remote control for the device I would set off the sound during the meeting. We could hardy keep a straight face waiting for Brent to figure out what we were up to.  After we showed him the machine he proudly went around to all the staff offices and cubicles in AEB with the fart machine in his back pocket to set off the machine and excuse himself.  We all laughed and laughed.  

I wish I could have been there for his tribute and I thank you for this memorial to share stories and remember such a special person.  Thinking of you all...Carolyn Joudrey (Mingo)

Honourable Manhood

Shared by Megan Slobodin on May 1, 2019

I first started playing baseball with my dad and brother because I didn’t want to be left out.  I was three years younger than Conal and had neither arm nor the patience to really care about the sport, but I was jealous of how much of my dad’s time and approval Conal would get if it was just him and my dad playing catch up on the road.

My dad taught me a lot during those ephemeral summer nights, fifteen years ago.  He taught me how to catch; to make sure I kept sight of the ball all the way into the glove. He taught me to field grounders; to place my body into the path of the ball, trusting that even if you get hit, you would stop the ball. And he taught me how to throw. Ball back, elbow in, straight and even – always follow through.

Playing baseball is my most visceral learning moment with my dad, but truth be told he was always my teacher.  Whether it was assessing the quality of my history essays or screaming “slow down” while clutching the roof handle when teaching me how to drive, Dad spent much of his free time teaching me how the skills I’d need to thrive.  But from splitting wood to catching fish, nothing he taught me was as important as the values he taught me to hold.  While he demonstrated those values in everything he did, I learned them first by watching him with my mom.

As much as my dad loved an audience, the only audience he craved was my mom.  He first met her during his graduate studies at Queen’s.  It was not love at first sight, but my mom definitely caught his interest.  He had to work a little harder for hers.  My mom loves to tell the story of my dad showing up to the graduate department for lunch everyday.  Every day, without fail, my dad would show up to where she worked and strike up a conversation with her.  Over time, those conversations deepened, and they began to peel back the platitudes of small talk, revealing common interests, shared passions, and a mutual love of learning. Years later, on a hazy Yukon summer's day, my dad confessed to me that he spent more time planning their next lunch conversation in those days than he did studying. 

It was during that college courtship that I know my dad developed that private smile he held only for my mother.  He wore it for her during their long conversations on the veranda. He flashed it to her from across the party during backyard barbeques or Yukon’s frequent after hours.  Growing up, my dad always saved his energy for when he was around my mom.  It didn’t matter how long or frustrating his day was, he kept the best of himself for her. Now in my late twenties, living with my fiancée and working a job with long hours and even longer travel, I truly appreciate how important that lesson was. 

When you’re a child, you don’t understand what it takes to run a house or raise a family.  I was no different.  When I was ten, all I knew was that someone would drive me to after school sports.  I knew dinner would be on the table.  That my Saturday morning cartoons would be taped so I could watch them after swimming practice.  Because of this, it wasn’t until I was older that I understood how much my parents’ marriage was a truly equal partnership. 

Now, of course, I can see and articulate the divisions of labour that my younger self could not.  Both my parents cooked.  My mom did most of the laundry.  Dad drove us to friends or parties.  That, however, does not hold testament to their complete trust in each other. Trust that held strong when my grandfather fell ill, and my mom flew out to be with her family in his final moments. Trust that stood steady when she had cancer, and chemotherapy kept her from us for brief but agonizing periods. Trust when my dad had surgery, or pneumonia, and he needed time to recover.  

That trusting bond was forged over years of happiness, turmoil, joy, and laughter.  In the fading fire of my dad’s life, the trust never wavered.

I do not know what vows my dad made to my mom thirty-six years ago, but I know he lived up to every one of them.  Some things can only be fully seen by the results they cause. I see the results of my parents’ marriage when I look at my brother, and his family. I hear it in my brother’s laughter as he plays with his daughter.  I felt it when I asked my fiancée to be my wife.  

My dad stayed with us just long enough to watch us grow into honourable manhood.  He taught me about two important things: how to be a loving and worthy partner, and how to play baseball.  They’re really the same lesson, though.  

  • You have to keep your eye on the ball – even if it means spending your lunch hours sharing stories with your partner instead of studying.
  • You need to put your body into the path of the ball.  Through sickness, health, careers, and arguments, you need to be fully committed.
  • Always follow through.

Two days ago, I started to wear my father’s wedding ring. It is a simple band, freshly polished and enlarged.  It has weight.  Until and long after I commit to my fiancée and begin to wear my own, dad’s ring will remind me of what it means to be a Husband.  To be a loving, patient, and gentle partner.  To live and serve as an honourable man.


Kieran Slobodin