Norman George Dartnell
10 June, 1931 – 23 March, 2021
The Dartnell family is sad to announce the passing of Norm on March 23, 2021 at the age of 89.
He will be lovingly remembered by his children Joanne (Kevin), Jeff (Wanda), and his grandchildren Jacob, Wyatt, Ella, Riley, Emilie, Kieran, Kellen, Samuel, and their extended family.
He will also be missed by his many lifelong friends, especially his best friends, Roger and Evelyn Van Daele, who he talked to every week and had known for over 60 years. His sister, Heather, and her family were also very close to Norm. Heather made yearly trips from Moose Jaw to visit her brother and I know these visits were a yearly highlight for Norm.
Norm was born June 10, 1931 in Abbotsford, B.C. He was the first of two children born to William and Chrissie Dartnell. During his youth he lived in Abbotsford and Chilliwack. Norm always had vivid and engaging stories of his youth – these included skipping school (which was not his favorite thing), catching the interurban train to see other parts of the Lower Mainland, biking with friends to Bellingham to get milkshakes and delivering newspapers throughout Chilliwack/Abbotsford on his bike (which he must have put thousands of miles on).
Norm, from a very young age, always had a passion for trains and airplanes. He loved visiting the local train yards and airports to talk to the pilots/ conductors and to watch the planes and trains.
In 1950 Norm became part of the first graduating class from the new Chilliwack Secondary School. After graduating he acquired a job in Vancouver, BC at The Province newspaper. Norm held many positions at the newspaper until in the late 1950’s he decided to quit to start a new adventure – enlisting in the Royal Canadian Air Force. Norm’s father served in WWI and WWII and Norm, like all young boys during the war, dreamed of serving his country. Norm served many years in the RCAF and had a plethora of great stories of his years in service. His passion for flight and airplanes led him to his new career with Canadian Pacific (CP) Airlines.
In 1969 Norm married Joan Petersen in Vancouver B.C. They quickly left Vancouver as Norm’s CP job led him to a new position in Toronto. In Toronto the family quickly grew by two as Joanne and Jeff were born.
After the birth of Jeff, the family had to pick up and move back to Western Canada as Norman became the new Manager of the Fort St. John (FSJ) airport. Here in FSJ, the Dartnell family would lay down their roots for the next 17 years. Norm also became City of FSJ Alderman for two terms in the 1980’s and was proud to call FSJ his home. Even after leaving FSJ Norm would always consider himself a Northerner as he truly enjoyed living and working in Fort St. John.
In 1990 Norm and Joan decided to pack up and move to Chilliwack, BC. They bought a new house and started to make numerous new friends throughout the blossoming Sardis community.
In 1994 Norms wife passed away unexpectedly. This event was very difficult for Norm, but his strength, courage, and determination showed through again when he took over managing his diabetes, cooking his meals, and managing the day-day activities that Joan had always done. It was a difficult time for Norm, but he persevered.
Norm became an active lawn bowler in Chilliwack, he bowled for many years in the Golden Age 5-Pin League and was a member of the Probus Club of Chilliwack for many years. He loved to visit his friends at the mall or the local Tim’s to have coffee, talk about the history of Chilliwack, etc.
Norm Dartnell lived an amazing life. He travelled the world and made great friends wherever he went. Norm, an animal lover, always had a dog. He loved his daily walk with his dog and could be seen walking through his complex with little Laila even up to a few weeks before passing away.
One of his neighbors dropped a card off at his house after his passing. It said, “Norm was a kind, gentle man”. Norm will always be remembered for his gentle nature, his wisdom, his personality, his amazing sense of humour and his infectious laugh.
The Dartnell family would like to thank the professionalism and kindness of the ER and COVID ward staff at Chilliwack General Hospital. They would also like to thank the paramedics that came to his house on several occasions. These men and women were true professionals that always made Norm feel safe and cared for.
A memorial service has not been planned due to COVID restrictions but will be relooked at a later date.
No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.
Norman George Dartnell
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17 April 2021
I got to know Norm from my days as a courier when he played in front of the HSBC on Johnston Road. He always had a good word and a tune. Always enjoyed the few minutes we spent together.
He will be playing with the greats today.