Grizzly Muchow

It is with regret that we announce the passing of Grizzly Muchow of Salmon Arm (age 65) at Polson Special Care Center in Vernon, BC on Wednesday, January 23, 2008.

Grizzly was born in Rockford, Ill. on Nov. 30, 1942 and raised in St. Louis, Missouri by his father Harold Muchow. Although suffering from a mild form of polio at the age of 7, he spent much of his young life outdoor. Because of his love of nature and his fierce spirit he was given the nickname “Nature Boy” as a child…and later his legal name of Grizzly Bear.

After graduating high school in 1960 he attended the Univ. of Missouri, at Columbia and received his BA degree. It was there he began his training in the Martial Arts, which continued for the rest of his life. He moved to Boston in 1965 where he earned a living through commissioned oil portraits while attending Boston College. Back to St. Louis in 1966, he acquired his Master of Education degree. He taught high school Fine Arts in the Parkway District from 1968-70 — where he met his wife-to-be Cindee. They married in 1970 followed by the birth of their first child, Summer Dawn (1971). In 1972, wanting a better political climate, following his dream of owning land (lots of land) and meeting all Canada Immigration requirements –they moved to Tofield, Alberta ready to continue their adventure in Canada.

In 1974 their son, Oak William, was born and Grizzly began teaching at Paul Rowe High School in Manning, Alberta. For the next 14 years he taught Art, English and Phys. Ed. and raised his family on the 1?2 section farm. He received his Canadian Citizenship in 1976, of which he was always proud.

Along with his teaching and farming, he and his wife set up a photography studio in 1979. In 1988, the family and business — Grizzly Fine Art Photography – relocated in Salmon Arm, BC. Over the next 20 years he became known as a “Camera Artist” to a large clientele of people from all over Canada, the US and other parts of the world. He was a member of the Prof. Photographers Assoc. of Canada, Chamber of Commerce, Kelowna Bonsai Club and the Salmon Arm Rotary Club. He continued to enjoy the outdoors – working on his 5 acres in Glen Eden – and keeping active with golfing, softball, bowling, snorkeling, tennis, and the martial arts.

Grizzly was known as an Artist, Teacher and Photographer. He was a devoted family man, a friend, scholar, and philosopher – an honest, compassionate man with a great sense of humour.

After his diagnosis in 2004 he remarked, “We are heading for a new adventure”…and he began to research and learn as much as he could about this disease called Alzheimers. He faced it and dealt with it bravely.

Grizzly was predeceased by his father, and is survived by his wife of 37 years, Cindee of Salmon Arm, daughter Summer (Darwin Bates) of Kelowna; son Oak of Kamloops; and two grandsons Teryl and Tarran Bates, Kelowna. He also leaves to mourn his best friend Sky Olsen of Astoria, Oregon and his martial arts protégé Donna Gardecki of Vancouver.

There will be a celebration of his life at Fischer’s Funeral Chapel in Salmon Arm, on Saturday February 2nd at 11 am. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Grizzly’s memory to the Rotary Foundation (for the continual fight to eliminate polio) c/o Salmon Arm Rotary Club, P. O. Box 224 Salmon Arm or to the Alzheimer’s Society, #300, 828 W. 8th Avenue, Vancouver, BC, V5Z 1E2.

From his journal: “Your path lies not beneath your feet — but in your heart”…… we believe he is now on a New Adventure.

Arrangements entrusted to FISCHER’S FUNERAL SERVICES & CREMATORIUM LTD., Salmon Arm, (250) 833-1129, fischers@sunwave.net.