Passed away on November 20, 2020, Hugo "Tex" Thullgreen at the Central Newfoundland Regional Health Center, Grand Falls-Windsor. He was 96 years of age. He was predeceased by parents; common law wife Irene Canning. He leaves to mourn Michele (Ozzie) and D.J.; friends John and Doreen, Inger and Linda, Wendy and Max also a circle of other friends and family.
It is with deepest sorrow that I write this reflection on my adopted grandfather Hugo Thullgreen, fondly remembered as Tex. A nickname that was given to him by his late departed wife, Irene, many years ago when Tex first met her. He had recently just arrived in Botwood on a ship, wearing a cowboy hat he had gotten previously from Texas, walking into a bar in Botwood when Irene first saw him. She called him Tex after hearing where he got the hat from and the nickname stuck with him since then. Tex, or “Poppy Tex” as my son calls him will forever be in our hearts.
His life was one incredible story and even though he was born in Sweden, he will always be cherished as a beloved citizen of Botwood.Tex entered the Swedish Navy in 1942 when he was 16, working on a supply ship. This ship encountered an explosion that resulted in him being in the hospital for 5 months, being one of only three survivors. Tex never knew what caused the explosion but it happened when his ship was in the English Coast in the Atlantic Ocean. After coming out of the hospital he was conscripted into the Swedish Navy where he served from 1944 to 1946.
Tex immigrated to Newfoundland in 1953 at the age of 27. This was where he met Irene, the two were together until she unfortunately passed away from cancer many years later. When he first arrived in Botwood, he worked as a contract mechanic and welder up to the age of 48. He then started to work for the Province of Newfoundland as a Wildlife and Ocean Officer until the age of 70. Tex was passionate about his responsibilities as a Wildlife and Ocean Officer. There were many people, and there were a lot, that Tex encountered in his job. The people that Tex met, even the ones he had to give tickets to, became friends with him and later spoke in respect about his passion and love of wildlife. Tex contributed greatly to this home community of Botwood in many capacities including being part of the RCMP and Fire Department auxiliaries. He is also one of the more well-known citizens of Botwood and was referred to in the book, “Death at the Harbourview Café”, in his capacity as the Wildlife and Ocean Officer working out of Grand Falls, Newfoundland.
Tex entered my life when I was about 20 years old. He taught me how to shoot my first rifle and how to fly fish. We went often in the summertime to fish for salmon and in the fall to hunt for moose and deer. He became such a beloved figure in my life that even thought when I moved from Newfoundland, close to 20 years ago, I made sure him and I were able to spend time together every summer when I came back to visit. Tex was part of my life for close to 35 years and along with my parents, my brother, and my aunts and uncles, he was family. Tex was there for me during some of the toughest times of my life, always there to talk to and to share stories with and to get advice from. From my home in Thompson, Manitoba, we spoke on a weekly basis to see how each other was doing.
I want to thank Iris and the staff at the Killick Retirement Home who took such good care of Tex over the last few years. I would also like to thank the staff from the Grand Falls Hospital, especially the kind nurse who borrowed a cell phone to allow me to face time with Tex during his final moments. I was able to tell him how much he was loved and how much I will miss our weekly talks. Thanking him for being part of my life and for being there for me. Tex was 96 years old upon his passing on Friday November 20th. He had lived a long life. He touched and made such a positive impact on so many during his time with us. I miss him and wish him, and I could go on one last fishing trip but now all I can say is rest in peace my dear friend until we meet again. A “Celebration of Life” will be planned for Tex in the new year to allow his friend and acquaintances to remember this remarkable man.