March 9, 1974 – August 14, 2023
It is with great sadness we say goodbye to Henri. He passed away quietly in his apartment in August of 2023. He will be greatly missed by his friends, family and all who knew him.
Henri was born at the St. Boniface Hospital in Winnipeg. He spent his childhood in Vivian, MB and moved back to Winnipeg as an adult. He attended Anola Elementary School and went to junior high in Oakbank as well as high school at Springfield Collegiate Institute. He was no fan of school, but made a lot of lifelong friends in those years.
Henri was a hard worker from an early age. When he was a kid he worked on Coulter Farm picking vegetables and was paid in quarters. Later on in his teenage and early adult years he worked at Star Builders and Dominion Lumber. He worked for many years at Aqua-Tech. He also worked for a time at Rothsay Rendering. Henri applied the skills he learned from the pool company he worked for and started his own small pool service business, Hank’s Pool Service. He had many loyal customers, many of whom he could count as friends.
Henri loved his dirt bike. It was his lifelong passion. He has many pictures and videos on his social media with his beloved machines. He and his friends spent countless hours riding and racing. He loved nothing better, summer or winter, than to meet up with his pals and get a chance to ride.
Henri was always there when you needed him, for friends and family alike. He loved to bug anyone in his vicinity and never missed an opportunity to give people the gears. He would stand up for his friends, even if it meant he got into trouble. His mum was often called down to the school because Henri was in a fight. He never started the fight but he was always in the middle of it. He made friends wherever he went. His quick comebacks and ability to tease were notorious amongst his friends and family. His dad counted on him to come out to the country and help with projects in the yard and garage. Many times he could be counted upon, especially on Christmas Eve, to help put his niece and nephew’s toys together. Whenever a helping hand was needed, we called Henri.
Henri loved drawing and many people who knew him have some of his work. He loved tigers and often drew them. He had a lot of collectable items, like Hot Wheels cars, Star Wars and other memorabilia. His apartment was full of cool things he collected over the years. He loved the Oilers hockey team from the time he was a kid. He was a die-hard fan.
He was known by many nicknames over the years; Ribs, Hendrix, J.R., Little Henri, Hank and probably a few some of us don’t know! But whatever he was called he was a great friend, brother, nephew, uncle and son.
He is predeceased by his mother Diane (McDonald) Desbiens; his grandparents Albert Desbiens, Marie-Anne (Kirouac) Verrier, George McDonald and Jeannette (Remillard) McDonald. He is survived by his father Henry Desbiens and sister Michelle (Desbiens) Minken, brother-in-law Steven Minken, niece Deanna Minken and nephew Nicholas Minken along with several aunts, uncles and cousins. There will be a Celebration of Life and interment of ashes in the spring or summer of 2024.
“The other night I went outside and looked up to the stars. It’s still a little hard just thinking about it. In my dreams you are still here. In your time you made the world a better place. You gave me enough joy and happiness to last until it’s my time to go. You are with the true healer. Love Dad”Print This Obituary & Condolences