My name is Deanna Lee Charlie and I am the only daughter of the late Raymond Benjamin Silverfox.
I was raised by my dad since the day I was born. He continued to take care of me, even after he and my mom separated.
Throughout my entire life I had the privilege of receiving the love and attention from my devoted, loving father.
I meant everything to my dad; I was his “little girl” and I was “his world.”
He always talked a lot about me to everyone. He loved and cared for me so much that he would call me pretty much every day, even if it was just to see how my day was going. I miss him so much. My dad always came to see me wherever I worked; I would turn around and there he was. He would just show up anytime, anywhere Ã wherever I was, he would find me.
He taught me everything I needed to know about life Ã sharing his interest with me about sports, especially hockey, and about the mechanics of my car. He taught me how to take care of my car. I thank him, and I will never forget anything he taught me.
My dad taught me how to be responsible with money and always had good advice for me, his special little girl. I miss his advice Ã I feel so hurt he is not here to help me get through this sadness I am feeling for his loss.
When I was growing up, I never ever saw him drunk and I know my dad was not an alcoholic. I would like to clarify the characteristics of my dad.
All of the 19 years of my life, my dad and mom did not drink. As far back as I can remember, he devoted his time in sobriety to his family. It has been just recently I found out my dad started drinking before he passed away. When I found out about his drinking I was devastated.
Growing up, my dad took me with him wherever he went. We would go fishing and hunting whenever we had the chance to; my dad loved living his traditional lifestyle.
He was a very hard worker who helped everyone who needed help with anything Ã he never said “No.”
My dad was an intelligent man, who had many skills and was successful with whatever job he had to do.
He was always busy rushing around doing work for other people; he always put his family and his people before himself.
And he was a very happy person who liked to tease and joke with everyone. He liked to make people laugh and smile. I miss hearing his laugh and seeing his great big smile.
My dad was not a violent man, he treated everyone with respect and, in return, everyone treated him with respect. I barely ever saw my dad upset or mad, he was always smiling. He had a grin which was infectious.
My dad supported me emotionally and physically throughout my life, he always provided for me, because he wanted me to have everything.
My dad always kept an eye on his siblings; he was there for every one of them. He would always visit with his family; this was important to him. When his family needed his help, he would provide assistance.
He was proud of me when I moved on to go to college; I remember him telling me never give up. To keep my head up high, be proud of who I am, and to smile all the time, be strong and brave and not let anyone put me down. I am so proud of my dad for giving me all of these wonderful words of his wisdom.
I am very proud to say that Raymond was my father! He was the most amazing dad I could have ever asked for. He did everything for me and he was so proud of me.
One of my most memorable and difficult times I had experienced with my dad was in January of 2002 when I was diagnosed with leukemia; this was devastating to my dad and he was so hurt, upset and stressed out.
All the same, my dad was there with me in Vancouver when I was getting treatment for two and a half years. My dad made those trips with me back and forth from Whitehorse to Vancouver every three months. Throughout that time I never saw my dad show any weakness around me; he was the strong person who gave me strength through it all. My dad would stay by my side all the time; he spent nights with me and when I woke up he would be sitting there.
My dad had done everything for me. One time he walked all day to buy me KFC, and never complained. When I was given a trip to Disney World in Florida through the Wish Foundation, my dad joined me on that trip too.
He gave me strength and I feel blessed to know how much he loved me.
He was always there for me.
He is gone; I cannot believe he is not here with me now. He was my role model and an inspiration. My dad was a much-respected person.
Today, I am so sad that I don’t have my father here with me to keep me strong and to provide the encouragement I need to face the obstacles put before me in my life.
The tragedy I encountered with my father’s death has made me wonder if my father would be alive today if the system had protected him when he needed help the most.
I’m here to stand up on behalf of my dad. Just because he is not here with us his name will not be forgotten.
Everybody loved my dad Ã everybody loves Raymond.
I pray and wish that the right decision had been made at his inquest, so no other families will encounter the devastation I had over the loss of my dad.
Thank you very much for hearing me today,
Deanna Lee Charlie
See more letters pages 7 and 8.