November 6, 1948 – April 1, 2021
Hìm̓ askasu Nànuaq̓ ayu Xanius, Dennis John Hanuse, peacefully passed into the Spirit world on April 1, 2021. He was born on November 6, 1948 to Johnny and Agnes (Pielle) Hanuse in Powell River, the eldest son of 13 siblings.
Dennis was cherished husband to Georgina Hanuse (Flamand) who was devotedly and unconditionally by his side with the most tender care throughout his long illness with cancer. Georgina made it possible for Dennis to live and to do his spiritual work before passing; she gave him the time he needed.
The last few years of his life, he lived in two worlds, the mortal and the spirit world ~ the ancient past and the future. He realized that we are in danger of forgetting our ceremonies, and his enduring desire to pass on the teachings and his love for his wife kept him here against all odds.
Dennis is also survived by two ex-wives Cynthia Khonje and Elaine Hanuse, both of whom bore him beautiful children. He also had children with ex-partners, and all his children held a very special place in his heart.
He will be affectionately remembered by Dennine (Phil), Johnny (Yoko), Alec (Ramona), Banchi, Alan, Evangeline, Julia (Warren), Quay and Michael Louie (Carolyn), Jordan, Doug, and Hope (Jonathon), and his grandchildren Jake, Latisha, Isaiah, Aramis, Kahlan, Damien and Blake Johnny, Mike Rask, Kwosen, Jerrell, Jade, Journey, Nathan, Kaylee, Aleah, Paisley, Ella, Grayson, and baby Michael.
Dennis was predeceased by his mom and dad, brothers Barney and Gilbert, nephews Bryan and Corey, granddaughter Jorden, and mother-in-law Julia Flamand. There are many more whom Dennis considered family, and he was especially close to Donna Thomas, foster mother of his siblings.
Dennis’s remaining siblings Lori, Delores (Johnny), Pauline, Marlene, Rose (Ron), Kenny, Noelle (Ken), Cyndi, Richard (Freda), Jeannie and Glenda (Marvin) are in awe of his fortitude and spiritual strength the last few years of his illness. He never lost his humour in spite of the pain he was in and his connection to spirit only deepened as time went on.
Many nieces and nephews fondly remember him as a straight shooter who cared about them in his own way offering advice, a good belly laugh and sometimes a wild adventure. Georgina and the Hanuse family have deep gratitude for the steady stream of family and friends who visited Dennis in the hospital and offered comfort and prayers throughout; he felt every single prayer and often commented on the power of them.
The Hanuse family is especially appreciative of Georgina and her unwavering commitment to Dennis’s wellbeing, and will be there for her as ever.
Dennis was born into his hereditary leadership role through his father and grandfather, both from Wuikinuxv. His Mother was from the Klahoose Nation on Cortes Island, and his Coast Salish lineage on her side comes through his Great Grandfather Ladally (no last name) and grandfather, Charlie Pielle, who married Josephine, a part Italian and Indigenous woman from Vancouver Island.
Dennis was blessed with a keen mind for historical knowledge and carried the wisdom and teachings of ancestral lineage through mythology and the Potlatch system, primarily, possession of original names and dances. His inherent desire to ensure family was coming into the next generation is what kept him alive in his last years.
In spite of all the pain in his life, he understood other human beings and saw beyond the status quo. His sense of humanity and commitment to ensure everyone felt a sense of belonging was one of his greatest strengths. He knew in the end, that Love is the answer to everything, and is eternal.
On a more personal note, Dennis, was nicknamed “Bad Rooster,” for his sociable/roguish attributes and handsomeness. It’s not surprising that he chose April Fool’s Day to pass, as his humour was never-ending (albeit raunchy at times).
He attended the Sechelt Residential School, and St. Thomas Aquinas until one day he and his sister Pauline rebelled and insisted on going to Prince Rupert where their cousins Earnest and Bobby Hanuse were. His rebellious and mischievous nature got him into more than a few scrapes, inspiring his other nickname, Dennis the Menace.
He was a fisherman at 14 years old, and in his later teens plied his skills in the logging industry where he developed a formidable reputation as a top-notch logger. Not many could keep up with his run or die aptitude. He worked much of his career in remote logging camps and was occasionally based out of his home in Rivers Inlet.
Dennis easily made friends out of foes and liked a good tussle. His integrity to make amends held him in high esteem on the Central Coast. In his day, Dennis liked to party and was a mind-blowing dancer, doing splits and backflips to everyone’s amazement right into his 60’s. His remarkable dance feats on the floor are legendary and will be talked about for years to come.
Aside from the fun he liked to have, Dennis cared deeply for his community, relatives and friends and was outspoken as he strived for justice and equality for all. Above all, Dennis’s deep love for his wife Georgina sustained his zeal for life in his final years and kept him going beyond what everyone thought was possible.
Georgina and the Hanuse family have utmost gratitude for Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw Nations for allowing us on their lands.
We also have profound appreciation for Dr. Lee and his staff at the Port Hardy Hospital for their stalwart and loving service, as well as the Port McNeill and Royal Jubilee Hospitals. In addition, the family extends appreciation to the Glen Lyon Inn, and more recently, Kwalilas, for hosting Georgina and their beloved dog, Raven.
As well, the Wuikinuxv Nation and First Nations Health Authority have been supportive in their concern and assistance. In lieu of flowers, donations can be sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Everyone has given remarkable service above and beyond and shown the deepest respect and care for hereditary chief, Hìm̓ askasu Nànuaq̓ ayu Xanius, Dennis John Hanuse.
A Celebration of Life will be held in the House of Nuwakawa’in Wuikinuxv when it is safe to gather again.
With our Love and Blessings to all.
W ə l ̀ i ‘ s i x ǎ
(until we meet next time, or in the spirit world).
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