Dad passed away peacefully at our home he built in 1946 surrounded by his loving sons and daughters, many grandchildren and his cat, Shadow. Dad was predeceased by our beautiful, caring and nurturing mum who was a cook in the British Army. Whoever Dad met it wasn’t long before he would fondly talk about his dear wife and especially that she had taught all of his nine daughters to be excellent cooks.
Dad was also predeceased by his brother, Philip, (1977) his brother, Geoffrey (2012), a grandson, Richard Hamilton (2009). Dad is survived by 13 children: Keith (Colleen), Rose (Bernie), Neil (Debbie), Margaret (Rick), John (Jennifer), Brenda (Ian), Anne (Terry), Irene (Thom), Geoffrey (Kim), Dorothy (Dave), Carol (James), Maureen (Don), Christine (Richard); 34 grandchildren and 47 great grandchildren.
Dad was born in Dilke, Saskatchewan, where his family were driven out by drought to Rock Creek, BC where they lost everything they owned in a devastating forest fire. After a move to Parksville and the war, Dad moved to Langford and has resided in the same house continuously for 72 years.
During World War II Dad was a part of the Canadian D-Day contingent that landed on Juno Beach (Normandy) on June 6, 1944. He served in France, Germany and Holland until the end of the war. He served his country well and was very proud of his involvement for which he received the Legion of Honour medal from the government of France (equivalent to the Order of Canada). Dad was an active member during the formation of the Langford Legion, served as president of the Legion for a term and volunteered at the Goldstream Food Bank for a number of years.
Dad was very knowledgeable on many subjects, especially practical stuff and was an expert on geology and land formations on Vancouver Island. He was a rock hound who gathered precious gems, made jewelry for his family, did jewelry repairs, taught silversmithing classes at the Seniors Centre and was an active member of the Victoria Lapidary Club. He was an avid gardener and stamp collector who assembled a stamp collection that included all stamps ever printed in Canada. As a legacy to his children, he completed the same album for each of the 13 of us.
Dad’s total focus in life was his family. Providing well for family through jobs in the Cooper’s General Store, the Post Office, and in the Dockyard as a timekeeper and in the supply shop for 30 years. On a large acreage, there were plenty of opportunities for us kids to explore, to learn gardening and for the boys to go “four wheeling” with old cars, which they eventually salvaged and sold. The original being a 1929 Chevrolet car bought for $10 at Esquimalt Road Wreckers by Grandpa Bodman who modified the car for a mini-farm truck complete with pickup type box. This vehicle started a lifelong interest in cars by the boys. The boys did all the chores with it and, of course, all the other “chores”.
Annual holidays meant piling into the Volkswagen bus complete with tenting equipment and head up to Parksville or even to the interior. One of the amusements of the children was to be passed by another vehicle whose passengers would be counting the number of heads visible in the VW. Mum wasn’t as excited about these vacations as Dad!!
Local adventure often including fishing at Pedder Bay or Saanich Inlet in the small family boat with the great name, “MAIDRBAC”, the initials of each daughter. Dad ‘s careworkers often mentioned that our love for each other and for Dad were obvious. There was a loving ambiance in our home. As a big family we all get along and are thankful to our dear father and mum who positively nurtured us.
Many thanks to Dr. Putland, VIHA nurses, Palliative Response Team, caregivers from LuxCare and Beacon Community Services.
The Funeral Service was held at the Church of Advent, 510 Mt. View Ave. Colwood, BC on April 17, at 1 pm with internment at Hatley Memorial Park. Reception to followed at the Church of the Advent.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Poppy Fund c/o Langford Legion,761 Station Rd. or mail cheques/money order to Royal Canadian Legion, Dominion Command, 86 Aird Place, Ottawa, Ontario K2L0A1 or to the Victoria Society for Children with Autism, #306-620 View Street Victoria, BC V8W 1J6.
Condolences can be left at sandscolwood.ca.