Jason brought KFC North
Yk businessman remembered

Jorge Barrera
Northern News Services

Yellowknife ( May 26/00) - Jarvis Jason died on Wednesday, May 24, at the age of 84 at the Stanton Regional Hospital.

His funeral was held Thursday at St. Patrick's Parish. He will be laid to rest beside his wife Doris at the Lakeview Cemetery.

Jason is most remembered for what he did in 1968. He opened a Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant in Yellowknife with his wife Doris. It was the first franchise in Yellowknife.

He met Colonel Sanders and graduated from the Colonel Harland Sanders College of Chicken Knowledge in 1970. The diploma still hangs in the restaurant.

Back then you could get two pieces of chicken and fries for $1.25.

The prices changed over the years, but not Jason's old-fashioned belief in hard work and honesty.

"He had a great reputation in the business community," said friend Ter Hamer.

"He was a man who was true to his word and signed deals with a handshake," Hamer added.

Jason was a child of the Depression, born before the end the First World War, on Sept. 11, 1915 in Moose Jaw, Sask.

He farmed for 20 years in a place called Deadwood, Alta. He was a mix farmer, growing wheat, oats and barley.

"He didn't have a college education, I don't know if he had Grade 12," said friend Henry Adams.

"But he had no problem recognizing his limitations."

"He was hard working, a product of the Depression. He could always find something for his employees to do," added Adams.

"He worked seven days a week. It was his passion."

It was last December Jarvis was diagnosed with cancer.

"The last little while was really hard on him," said Adams.

"He buried his wife and his son. No one should have to do that."

Jason lost his son Len in a 1995 car accident, and his wife two years ago.

Hamer and Adams were friends with Len.

Len's wife and Jarvis' daughter-in-law, Gabi, softened the loneliness for Jason. She was the only family Jason had after his wife died.

"She's been an absolute angel," said Hamer.

"She's been a saint," said Adams.

Jason drove trucks for Grimshaw Trucking from 1956 to 1965, and his orders often brought him into Yellowknife.

One winter in 1964, Jason made a miraculous escape from a truck he was driving that fell through ice while crossing the Mackenzie River at Fort Providence.

In an interview with Yellowknifer in 1998, he said he had a feeling the ice was going to give. In those days truckers drove with the door open and one foot on the running board.

"The ice was always creaking so you knew the noise. But this crack was different ... I was 40 feet out of that thing before you could say Jack," he told Yellowknifer.

For Hamer, Jason is one of those individuals who leave a hole in the community once they leave.

"Jarvis was one of those people that made the community better," said Hamer.

"One thing's for sure, he won't be shaking hands in heaven with Mr. Trudeau and Mr. Mulroney, he'll be telling St. Peter to keep an eye out for those guys."

Yellowknife will miss Jarvis Jason.

"He was good people, he will be missed," said Hamer.

Jason is survived by his sister, still living in Moose Jaw, his two children and Gabi.