Friends remember man killed in fight
Brutal death the second to occur at House 2206C
Dale Pearce was a rough diamond with a penchant for breakfast in bed and pin collecting, say people who buried him on June 6.
Pearce, 50, died on May 31 after receiving a severe beating at House 2206C in Iqaluit on May 24.
Chris Dederick, 33, has been charged with aggravated assault.
Pearce’s girlfriend Ulluriak Nutaraluk was in Ottawa when he died. But SARS precautions limited visiting hours at the Ottawa Civic Hospital, and as a result, Nutaraluk was not at Pearce’s side when he died.
“He was my everything. My mind, my mouth,” Nutaraluk said in an interview from the home the couple shared near the beach in Iqaluit. “We did everything together.”
She’ll remember her common-law husband of nine years for his extensive pin collection and for serving her breakfast in bed.
“He always made me laugh, even when I was grumpy,” she said.
Pearce moved North in the early 1980s. He lived in Cape Dorset, where he married, had children and lived at an outpost camp.
Doug Workman, president of the Nunavut Employees Union, also lived in Cape Dorset at the time and remembers Pearce as an entertainer.
“He was a character, a survivor,” Workman said.
Dave Stephens met Pearce in 1993 after Pearce moved to Iqaluit from Cape Dorset. The two worked at the Toonoonik Hotel restaurant before it closed in 2002.
Stephens was one of 60 people who gathered at the Anglican Church for Pearce’s funeral.
“Each summer we’d set up tents at the Causeway. The last time he called he was keen on buying a tent from us. He was excited about camping,” Stephens said.
Pearce’s death, the second caused by a beating at House 2206C, has Stephens searching for answers.
“It’s a tragedy and I hope justice will be served in heaven and here in the courts,” he said.
Shoatee Joannie, 39, died in September 1999 from blunt force trauma to the head after a beating in the same house. No witnesses have come forward and Joannie’s murder remains unsolved.
The last time Stephens and Pearce spoke was a week before Pearce was beaten.
“I’d heard something had happened up at that house but I had no idea it was Dale. As far as I’m concerned he was at the wrong place at the wrong time. It was shocking. I lost a good, dear friend,” Stephens said.
Pearce’s brother in Ottawa did not attend the funeral, Stephens said. Nor did his children in Cape Dorset.
Dederick was charged after the beating, before Pearce died from his injuries. RCMP Sgt. Greg Bursey said the charge has not been raised to homicide.
“It’s not something we’ll be able to make an immediate decision on,” Bursey said.
“We have a preliminary report [as to the cause of death] but we’re waiting for the full report.”