Generous Yellowknifer Charlie Delorme dies at 64
'I think people just didn’t know that that kind of kindness and generosity could exist.'
Yellowknifer Charlie Delorme, whose generosity made headlines earlier this fall, died at his home this week at the age of 64.
In September, Delorme, who spent nearly 40 years living on the streets of Yellowknife, received a $100,000 residential school settlement.
He donated $10,000 to the Stanton Territorial Hospital Foundation, $5,000 to Yellowknife's Salvation Army, and $2,000 to the city's SideDoor Youth Centre.
Delorme was born in Fort Resolution in 1949, the oldest of five siblings. As a youngster, he went to residential schools in Fort Resolution, Fort Smith and in Saskatchewan before moving to Yellowknife in the early 1960s.
Matthew King remembers Delorme as a shy boy nearly 55 years ago. He says Charlie didn't have much growing up but he never complained or asked for anything. And one thing he knew was that Charlie loved to play sports.
"He kind of reminded me of Guy Lafleur when he played hockey," he says. "He was quick. You couldn't touch him."
King says Charlie always returned the favour if someone helped him out, and that his selflessness would sometimes got the better of him.
"I said, 'Charlie, I got a cheque for you from forestry for firefighting,'" said King. "He said, 'You mean I got paid for that?' I thought I was just going over there for a ride with you guys.'"
King says that Charlie always put others before himself.
"He'll take that sandwich and would say, 'Well I already ate but I'll take this I'll take it uptown with me. There's somebody that'll need it more than I do.'"
Lydia Bardak, who became a friend of Delorme's while working at the Yellowknife Day Shelter, says he’s an inspiration.
“A lot of people who are not familiar with people like Charlie who have lived with all those challenges, I think people just didn’t know that that kind of kindness and generosity could exist... in the middle of lots of hard times.”
Condolences have been pouring in on Facebook.
There's no word yet on the cause of death.