Obituary – Keith Senkoe

Keith Senkoe

It is with great sadness that we, the Senkoe family, announce the passing of Keith Senkoe.
Keith was born to Mike and Marjorie Senkoe Dec. 16, 1947 in High Prairie. Keith was raised on the family farm east of High Prairie. At the age of 16 he left school and pursued a job as a rig hand, beginning a lifelong career in the oilfield. Starting in northern Alberta, his career would eventually take him around the world, working both on-shore and off-shore across Alberta, British Columbia, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, Quebec, Alaska, Scotland, Brazil, Libya, Kuwait, Pakistan and northern India.
Keith experienced many historical moments first-hand in his travels. While living in Drummondville, Quebec he experienced the War Measures Act following the 1970 [FLQ] October Crisis. A few years later, Keith began working offshore Newfoundland in the Hibernia oilfield. On Feb. 14, 1982 a major Atlantic storm surged through that drilling area wreaking havoc on the offshore rigs. Keith was working his shift on the Sedco rig that night. The Sedco rig sustained minimal damage when it was struck by 190 km/hour winds and a 20-meter high rogue wave. Eight miles away, the Ocean Ranger rig suffered devastating damage and sank, killing the 84 workers aboard. Keith was one of the last people to communicate with the Ocean Ranger and was a key witness in the subsequent enquiry. In the 1990s Keith also worked in the Middle East during the Gulf War and in 1991 witnessed the burning oilfields set by the Iraqi military.
While working in Kuwait, Keith travelled to Mumbai, India recruiting oilfield workers. It was during these trips that Keith met his future wife, Gwen. He loved adventure, travelling and had many interests – toured India on motorcycle for almost a year; music, hunting, fishing, camping, photography, carpentry, computers and driving fast! He was good at everything he tried. He enjoyed a cigarette with a good cup of coffee, or a rum and coke.
Keith and Gwen had many passion projects over the years and for a time raised purebred Boxers. Many of their pups were subsequently sold and trained to be police dogs. Most recently they have been raising parrots, some have even been trained to speak.
Keith’s parents, Mike and Marjorie Senkoe, infant brother Douglas and infant son Nicholas predeceased him.
Keith will be sorely missed by his devoted wife, Gwen of Chennai, India, three sisters, Chris [Dwayne] Pollack, Bev [Doug] Ferguson and Pat [Michael] Olansky, all of High Prairie. Also mourning his loss are Keith’s nieces, nephews, and their families, cousins, as well as many friends worldwide.
After a brief illness, Keith passed away on Nov. 4, 2021 at the age of 73 years, in Chennai, India with his wife, Gwen by his side. A funeral was held on Nov. 5, 2021 at the St. Carmel Shrine in Kovalam, Chennai, India.

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