Our Dad was in the middle of a family get together at the cabin on Shuswap Lake when, following a great day with us all, he stepped away for a few moments, called out for assistance suddenly, and collapsed in the arms of his son and died of heart failure on the way to the hospital.
Dad led a varied and interesting life. He started work as a young lad as a helper making casks in a brewery, but finding it a dull job he made his way to the local power station and was accepted as an electrical apprentice. He left part way through his apprenticeship in order to serve in the army at the end of WW2. While in the forces he was first stationed in Germany where he joined the Motorcycle Division of the Military Police – a job he really loved – before being sent to Holland, Egypt, and finally Burma.
On returning home he returned to and completed his electrical apprenticeship. Then, at the age of 23, he met 17-year old Freda (our Mum) on a blind date. They fell in love and were married three years later in 1953, and spent 62 wonderful years together.
In 1955, in the face of the severe restrictions imposed in Britain following the war, they decided to emigrate to Canada – a decision for which they have been grateful all their lives.
After a brief stay in Ottawa, they travelled by road to BC, ending up in Port Alice, an isolated community on the northern coast of Vancouver Island. There they started their family of three children – Mark (Sandi), Paul (Jackie) and Jan (Berny) – before moving to Castlegar, where Dad worked in the Celgar Pulp Mill. Mum and Dad built a home for us there, working by hand after work and on weekends for four years.
After nine years we all moved to Salmon Arm, where Dad became the Electrical Supervisor for Federated Co-op in Canoe, before retiring at age 60. Mum and Dad enjoyed all 28 years of retirement, and had many adventures (and misadventures) along the way. They were very active for many, many years and enjoyed travelling, sailing, skiing, tennis and eventually golf, which Dad played until the end.
Dad enjoyed and was so proud of each and every one of his three children, nine grandchildren and his three little great grandchildren, one of whom he met for the first time this past week.
We are all so sad to say goodbye to a wonderful husband, father, grandfather and great granddad, who was loved and respected by all for his wonderful sense of humour, creative ingenuity, intellectual curiosity and loving nature.
He was a true gentleman.
A Remembrance Celebration was held on Monday July 27th at Bowers Funeral Home.
Online condolences may be sent to the family through Eric’s obituary at www.bowersfuneralservice.com