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Brent Arthur Morriseau.Courtesy of family

Brent Arthur Morriseau: Family man. Fireworks impresario. Wit. Storyteller. Born Oct. 22, 1959, in Port Arthur, Ont.; died Oct. 31, 2022, in Thunder Bay, of a massive brain hemorrhage; aged 63.

Brent Arthur Morriseau was uncomplicated and engaged in the world around him. He saw the trees and the bushes because he lived within them on the shimmering shores of Lake Superior on Fort William First Nation.

Brent grew up on Rabbit Lake Road in Kenora. The third child of four with two brothers and a baby sister. He was the apple of his mother’s eye and could do no wrong: He was his mother’s beloved “booboo Benson.” Brent was an adventurous child who always liked to push boundaries and break the rules though he never set out to harm anyone. He grew into a kind man, strong man who had principles and a sense of right and wrong.

In his younger years, Brent worked for CP Rail as a line captain. The teams he supervised worked to maintain the railroad ties – it was gruelling, long hard work. Brent was based in Thunder Bay and would drive with co-workers as far west as Saskatoon but he always committed to driving home for weekends to be with his family before heading back out the next week. His work and life were fodder for his storytelling, which Brent built up to often outrageous conclusions.

While Brent’s older brother Andre was running around the world in search of an elusive paradise, Brent lived smack dab in the middle of it at his home with his family on Fort William First Nation.

Brent and his lifelong partner Rita met in an entrepreneur business class being offered on reserve. Rita was immediately attracted to Brent’s humour and spirit. She had known Brent from afar as children and the class gave them the opportunity and time to bond. Life unfolded for them with its challenges, and it was the birth of first their daughter, Meaghan, and then their second daughter, Jensen, that built the stage for a lifetime of deep love and friendship which strengthened with each passing year.

Brent had a great sense of humour and, after a few drinks, a caustic wit. He loved his music, especially the ballads and anthems of the seventies and the power it had to make Rita crazy when he would constantly play songs over and over.

Brent also loved fireworks. On beautiful summer evenings, Brent would light up the sky at his home that overlooked Lake Superior, with Pie Island and the mountains as a backdrop. One Canada Day, he put on a fireworks show for the ages. His family remembers how the light show illuminated his elderly father’s upturned face, which was filled with the pure joy of it all. Those fireworks shows on birthdays and starry summer nights became such a big part of how he showed his love for his children and grandchildren and anyone else within 20 miles.

In February 2020 Brent came to Toronto to hang out with Andre, who’d been given tickets for a Maple Leaf’s game. Brent was a Leafs’ fan who had never been to a pro game and these seats were right at the glass, behind the net. The excitement was tangible and everlasting, it was a night that was carved into his heart forever.

No one knew it was the end of the third period in Brent’s life, but may the Creator hold him gently as the memory of his smile awaits us all on our journey to the Spirit world.

Andre Morriseau is Brent’s older brother.

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