Emil Paul Yurasek passed away at the age of 88 at Banff Mineral Springs Hospital in Banff on January 20, 2023. He is survived by his wife, Pat, daughters Kelly (Gareth), Terryl (Lee), his brother in law Bruce Henry and grandchildren Mikayla Hysert, Emerson Hysert and Caroline MacLeod. He is predeceased by 9 siblings.
Emil came to Banff from his birthplace, Coleman, Alberta when he was 16 and worked for the Brewster Family, combining his love of horses, the back country and guitar playing. Emil also loved to ski and he taught skiing at Lake Louise with Mike Weigele. He was a fixture at Norquay skiing with his long time friends . He taught his kids to ski downhill and cross country from an early age. Emil was also very active in the Banff Light horse association and rode many trails with his daughter Terryl and many friends.
Emil played in several bands over the years, including the Playboys who were regular entertainment at The Norquay Lodge in the 60's. He was incredibly talented musically, playing the guitar, banjo and mandolin by ear. He had many jam sessions with musical friends and he passed on his love of music in his teaching of many students over his lifetime.
Emil was the Wilderness Recreation Director for Banff National Park a position he established for true Back country development. He along with his trail crews built many trail upgrades, back country campsites and bridges that we all enjoy today. In winter he was instrumental in starting the track setting program in Banff National Park. He was extremely proud of his contributions. He was a builder, pioneer and mentor to many.
After his retirement Emil had lots of time for skiing and music and horses. He spent his last years at St. Martha's in Banff. We would like to thank Drs. Shigeishi and Clem and the nurses and staff of the Foothills hospital and Mineral Springs Hospital for his wonderful care.