April 11, 1930 – September 20, 2019
George was born in Kelowna, BC. The family moved to Prince George during his grade 10 year. A top athlete in high school, George had a major set-back when struck by the poliovirus in 1947. He fought back hard, returning to high school to complete grade 12 after the family moved to Salmon Arm. He earned his teaching certificate in 1952 at Vancouver Normal School. His first teaching position was in a one-room schoolhouse in Martin’s Prairie near Kamloops. He completed his B.A. at UBC over several summers and went on to have a successful career as an educator in both Delta and Langley school districts. On August 22, 1953, he married Hazel Olson in Salmon Arm. Together, they raised three children who have very fond memories of their summers on Shuswap Lake.
George and Hazel retired to Salmon Arm in 1988. Both were active members of the community as president and treasurer of the Sunnybrae Seniors’ Centre. George was also president of the Shuswap & District Retired Teachers’ Association and served on both the Salmon Arm Hospital Board and Sunnybrae-Tappen Volunteer Fire Suppression Board.
George continued to live in Sunnybrae after Hazel’s sudden passing in 2002. His plan to leave his house in a pinebox was foiled when he suffered a debilitating stroke in 2017 that left him down but not out. Fiercely determined to regain his independence, George was able to “rage against the dying of the light” passing away surrounded by family as “summer collapsed into the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness” and leaving behind his heartfelt gratitude for all the good memories and help received along the way.
George will be remembered for his hat but also his strong work ethic, his humour and endless storytelling, his recent hockey predictions, and his deep connection to the Earth whether he was planting a row, swinging an axe or towing a fishing line.
George lost many family and friends over the years – too many to list here but never far from his thoughts. We can picture him once again dancing with his wife Hazel, making horseradish with his mom Kay, and debating educational issues with his brother Jay and dad Roy.
At George’s request, there will be no service. In fact, this obituary is already more than he wanted.
Dad/Papa/Brother/Nephew: You will be in our thoughts with every fried green tomato, fish story, pickled herring, horseshoe, crossword puzzle, card game and shimmering moonbeam. With much love: Brent, Lindsay, Holly, Melanie, Mike, Mahayla, Ian, Tom, Joyce, Kay, Gloria, and MaryAnn, John, Mona and Doreen (to name a few).
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