Richard Laurent Cloutier

January 5, 1963 – November 25, 2021

Peacefully on his own terms, Richard Laurent Cloutier left this world the afternoon of November 25, 2021 at the age of 58; he will always be remembered, as a son, brother, husband, friend and through his legacy and creation of the website Pine Point Revisited,  Gone but not forgotten.

Born the oldest child of Laurent and Jeanne Cloutier on January 5, 1963, in Spirit River, Alberta.  The family, including younger siblings Bobby and Delores moved to Pine Point, NWT in 1970 where they called home for more than 25 years.  Growing up, Richard was vicious and, as he put it a “Bully”, he did not pick the fight, but he sure knew how to finish them, whether playing hockey or bouncing at a weekend dance, he was respected or feared by many.

Being an athlete growing up in Pine Point kept Richard in check; he channeled his energy into hockey as well as every other sport the school offered, helping his father with his sled dogs, army cadets, hunting and the outdoors, and in the later years he took up darts, broomball, and Taekwondo.  Everything Richard tried he excelled in.

On June 14, 1986, he married the love of his life, Rhonda MacEachern in Hay River, NWT.  They lived in Pine Point where he worked in multiple positions at Cominco until the mine closed, then moving to Hay River, left the north in October 1990, and ultimately settling down in Victoria BC.  Richard was one of the few who worked until the final days “turning the lights off” at Cominco mine even after he was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) in 1988.

His transition from a bully and miner in Pine Point to a caregiver in Victoria, BC changed him.  One of his first jobs in Victoria was as a caregiver for a lady who had MS, this set the tone for his later years.  He prided himself on walking miles with his clients and keeping fit for as long as he could. Richard and Rhonda also created a home for a handicapped young man, Willie.  They both considered him their child; however, Richard’s illness and the death of Willie took a toll on them both, and they eventually separated. However, Rhonda visited Richard regularly, until the end.

Richard then started a new journey.  For years, Richard would spend hours searching for and downloading movies, hundreds of them, burning them onto CD’s and sharing them with friends, workers, and family. Eventually, that was not enough, and he started the Pine Point Revisited website.  This was therapeutic and challenging for Richard, as he was not like you and I, he did not sit at a keyboard and type, he created the website by talking to software which typed for him.  He excelled at this too, helping all remember and stay connected to the town that once was.  Richard was also proud to be a part of a documentary called “Welcome to Pine Point – Gone But Not Forgotten”, where you can hear him talking or mouse clicking, to his computer.

Richard changed, he was socially conscious about the environment, being genuine, honest, and caring with all that he was in contact with.  He was remorseful for his younger years although few believed his stories of the North could be true.  He still had the fight in him right until the end, but now it was about recycling and being eco-friendly.

Richard considered his homecare workers as family, all of them very important to his survival, but it was more than that, they became his friends.  He had many workers over the years, as they came and went, but most kept in close touch with Richard after they moved on. Notably, Mary was with him for 18+ years. How can that not be considered family? His work family was able to come say their goodbyes which Richard appreciated.  When he was ready, he said goodbye to his sister Delores and wife Rhonda, and then drifted off peacefully to his next journey.

A circle, a journey, a river, a path; life and death are part of us all. We will always carry your memory in our hearts, rest easy my dear friend.

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