It is with great sadness we mourn the passing of Pat Shirley.
Born January 23rd, 1924 and passed away December 12th, 2014 at age of 90.
A pioneer of Salmon Arm, Pat was born to George and Helen Shirley who settled in Salmon Arm from England in the early 1900’s.
Pat’s father George was an original member of the Salmon Arm Fire Brigade serving from 1913 until 1944 and Pat followed in his footsteps dedicating much of his life to the Fire Department serving 40 plus years as master mechanic, Assistant Chief and Chief of Fire Hall # 3. He served as career Deputy ChiefFire Prevention Officer for Salmon Arm until retirement in 1989, at which point he was recognized as an honorary life member.
Pat was also presented with an honorary life member designation from the Volunteer Firefighters Association of British Columbia and a 40 year fire service exemplary service medal from the Federal Government of Canada.
As a young man he served in the Arm Forces overseas during World War II and upon his return married June Lidstone in 1951. He had a natural mechanical ability and an obsession with the automobile. Pat apprenticed and became a certified mechanic working at local garages including many years at Salmon Arm Motors as head mechanic & service manager. In 1979 he became a business partner with son Jim at Salmon Arm Texaco.
Pat worked as mechanicowner of Texaco until 1983 when he went to work fulltime for the Fire Department and although leaving the automobile business, this didn’t stop him from enjoying driving and restoring antique automobiles and was proud to participate in over 100 parades.
He was also a long time member of the Vintage Car Club of Canada and an original member of the Shuswap Chapter.
Pat was a great historian of Salmon Arm with vast knowledge of places, people and the automobiles they drove. He maintained records of his own and assisted many others with clarification of days gone by.
Pat was pre-deceased by wife June in 1993 and is survived by son Jim (Lorna) of Salmon Arm, daughter Pam (Glen Van Horne) of Campbell River and son’s Brad (Jane) and Greg (Debbie) of Salmon Arm, 8 grandchildren, 6 great grand children and great companion Sharon Thorpe.
Family wishes to thank Doctor Wood, Doctor Jones and staff at Shuswap Lake General Hospital for making his last few days comfortable.
A celebration of life will be held in spring of 2015
Online condolences may be sent to Pat’s obituary at www.bowersfuneralservice.com