September 22, 1923 – August 5, 2019
It is with great sadness that we announce the death of our father, Bruce Alexander Aikenhead at the age of 95, on August 5 at Hearthstone Manor in Vernon. Dad died peacefully with family at his side. He is predeceased by his wife Helen and sisters Dorothy and Edith. He leaves behind his sister Audrey, children Stephen, Kasey (Louis), Elizabeth (Trevor), Barbara (Brad), Jane (Ralph) and grandchildren Li, Jennifer, Zoe, Patrick, Julia, Claire & Reid, great grandchildren Melody and David.
Born in Didsbury, Alberta and raised in London, Ontario, he was a veteran of WW ll (RAF/RCAF), stationed in India as a radar mechanic. Bruce graduated from the University of Western Ontario in 1950 and went on to have a remarkable career that spanned several decades in aerospace history. He has been heralded as a true ‘Space Pioneer’, and was involved with the Avro Arrow, NASA Mercury and Gemini projects, the Canadarm and finally as Director General of the Canadian Astronaut Program.
He was proud to have been appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada. He retired to Salmon Arm, BC in 1993. Dad found great joy in the simple things in life: music, family, that first sip of a cold beer, and he was always up for an adventure. His lesson was about gratitude and he humbly attributed his own accomplishments to ‘good luck’. Dad was steadfast in his kindness, consideration of others, compassion, generosity, and his humor. A true gentleman, open minded, open hearted, always interested in everyone’s story. He touched many lives.
Dad leaves us all with many cherished memories and he will be very deeply missed. We are so grateful for the great times we spent together especially in the last decades after retirement when there were frequent, extended family get togethers in Vernon, Victoria, Toronto and Warkworth.
The family appreciates the excellent care given by Diana, the care aides of BC Interior Health, the staff of 3N at Vernon Jubilee Hospital and the tender care given during his brief stay at Hearthstone Manor over his final days. A Celebration of Life will be held at the Salmon Arm Art Gallery on Sunday, September 22 from 1-3 pm, and another at Elizabeth’s home in Warkworth, Ontario on Sunday, September 29, from 2-4 pm. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to your local SPCA or the Okanagan Science Centre in Vernon. You are invited to leave a personal message of condolence at the family’s on-line obituary @ www.MyAlternatives.ca
Arrangements entrusted to Alternatives Funeral & Cremation Services, Vernon 250-558-0866 & Armstrong 250-546-7237.
Alternatives Funeral and Cremation Services
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