Gaylen "Tad" Edwin Fetterly
8 August, 1942 – 16 January, 2021
Gaylen (Tad) Edwin Fetterly August 8, 1942 - January 16, 2021.
We deeply grieve the death of our husband, father, grandfather and brother, Tad Fetterly.
Gaylen Edwin Fetterly was born on August 8, 1942 in Ceylon, Saskatchewan to Gerald and Lois Fetterly. He was predeceased by his parents, his brother Stuart, brother by choice Cody Corpe and brother-in-law Ken Coupe. With a profound sense of loss, Tad is mourned by his wife Berdie, his three children (and their spouses) and his five grandchildren: Carlene Fetterly (Hardy Nelson), Alyssa Schoock and Andreas Schoock (Bee Larson); Chris Fetterly (Charlotte Fetterly), Isabella Fetterly and Jonathan Fetterly; Mary Francis (Cary Francis), Tesla Francis; as well as his sisters Marilyn Wright (Dan Wright) and Cheryl Coupe, his sister by choice Cheyanne Bowler and brother by choice Cim Corpe and their families.
When Tad was born, his doctor thought he was stillborn and placed him aside on the oven door. When Tad realized the time was right, he started crying to let everyone know he was present. In Tad’s later words: “I will cry when I want to cry.” He was a fighter and struggled through numerous accidents and illnesses. Young Tad was also a wiggle worm and squirmed around in the bed he shared a bed with his brother Stuart. This led to his nickname, an abbreviation of the word, Tadpole.
Although Tad disliked school, he followed his passion and attended the Alberta College of Arts and Design. This training inspired him to start a business in the Sign industry and ultimately determined his lifelong career. A defining moment in Tad’s life occurred when he met Berdie Kranabetter in Calgary while attending the art school. They married on November 16, 1968 in Creston, BC, at which time Tad gained an enormous extended family. In 1970, the family moved to Vancouver and five years later to the Tri-Cities, their home now for 45 years. Tad joined the Focolare Movement in 1979 and became a Catholic in 1980. He was deeply honoured to receive Holy Communion from Pope John Paul II in St. Peter’s Square.
Tad was full of life and always happy to be of service to others. His energy, joyfulness and positivity uplifted the spirits of anyone he encountered. In the words of his family, “he was a very nice, funny guy, a good brother, good husband, great dad, and amazing granddad with the loudest, most gregarious laugh in the world.” Two of his friends shared that they had “lots of great memories of time spent with Tad and a few annoying ones!”
Tad happily participated and supported the activities of his children and grandchildren. He could be found on the floor playing with hot wheel cars and trains; carving the coolest pumpkins long before three dimensional pumpkins were a thing; coaching and umping for softball, soccer and ringette; and cooking a mean grilled cheese and tomato soup for his kids and grandkids, as well as his renowned French toast. He took up serious cooking upon his retirement thanks to his Christmas gift of “How to Cook Everything” by Berdie. He enjoyed watching movies, especially The Crimson Pirate, in addition to playing Board Games, although he involuntarily cheated at Stock Ticker. His favorite alone times were spent either fishing off the rock at Kootenay Lake near the family cabin or painting. A pastime that topped all others, however, was his love of playing Bridge, especially at the Dogwood Centre. Nothing came before Bridge.
Tad retired happily from Colortec Creative Print Solutions in 2004, a company which he founded and had then passed on to two of his children. In the past four years, he resided at Nicola Lodge Long Term Care Home in Port Coquitlam, where the staff offered excellent care, for which the family is extremely grateful. Tad remained a cheerful, loving and generous person and would strike up a conversation with anybody, anywhere. He was quite proud of the fact that he escaped from Nicola Lodge to walk over to Walmart and loved showing off his "wanted" poster at the front door. Tad never lost his sense of humour or his love for life.
We miss you Tad, Dad and Granddad. We love you so much.
Date & time of funeral services - Friday, January 29, 2021 @ 10:30 am.
Interment - Gardens of Gethsemani
In lieu of flowers please consider a donation to the food bank.
Painting of Tad produced by Rick Gaetz.
To watch live streaming of the service please visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KRoPgeXy2p4
Gaylen "Tad" Edwin Fetterly
have a memory or condolence to add?ADD A MEMORY
3 February 2021
Tad will always hold a special place in my heart. He hired me to work for him at Colortec some 30 plus years ago. He really was a great guy and treated his employees kindly and with respect.
I always liked when he took me to jobsites downtown because he would take me for lunch to his favourite restaurant on Main Street - The Adega. The drive to and fro would always be...exciting, too, as he took all the backstreets to avoid the crazy city traffic.
Aside from his incredible hair and thunderous laugh (which once guided me to our table at a restaurant during one of our fantastic Christmas dinners!), he had the greatest sense of humour and was always down for whatever might be thrown his way. He dressed up for Hallowe'en and danced at those wonderful Christmas parties at the family home. He'd mix the drinks and have fun playing the games, too.
Speaking of games, Bridge was his favourite. He'd cut the bridge game out of the newspaper with his "handy, dandy" little retractable exacto knife that he always carried with him. Sure, he'd cut through three or four layers of the paper but, we loved him anyways!
He peeled his bananas from the bottom - "that's how the monkeys do it" - but we loved him anyways!
I cannot express just how much he meant to me and how greatly he will be missed.
Sweet City Sue...XO!
Sr Rhonda Brown
29 January 2021
I still remember when Tad taught the art class at the Mariopolis one of the years I went. It was a lot of fun and he was so patient! My prayers are with all of you.
God bless you.
J Marty Kranabetter
28 January 2021
My best memory of Tad was in Langley, when I was 6 years old. The boys were learning how to ride bikes and I was going nowhere fast. Tad leapt into action and helped me get my balance, running along side and urging me to pedal. Our driveway had some slope so we were coasting down hill, learning to keep our balance. I still remember as the Fetterly's were leaving in their car, Tad rolled down his window and said to me 'I expect to see you riding down this driveway next time we come back!' I almost saluted. A mere 10 wipe outs later and I had full command of my bike, thanks Tad. You were one of the good guys.
Fr. Harry Clarke
28 January 2021
My great memories of Tad were at the Mariapolises. He was always present with the certainty that he had discovered the real Church.
The Mariapolis was was an artistic event for him. He was at home there in a family atmosphere that awakened his soul and at the same time it offered deeper meaning, joy and peace. It was Jesus the total artist at work among his friends.
It is true that art is what enables us to discover ourselves and at the same time to lose ourselves. He was attracted to the art of loving; led by his own desire for truth. Each year he came to see the latest exhibition on the art of loving. He discovered again his deepest longings while he was losing himself in the various events.
I received Tad into the Church in the late sixties. We were always planning a beer at some time during the Mariapolis (to share our souls) but the family atmosphere usually altered our determination. He belongs in the Heavenly Mariapolis.
Marilyn Wright (Fetterly)
26 January 2021
Sharing the sadness in the loss of our dear Tad with Berdie and other family and friends
This is difficult to put into words my memories of my brother Tad. He preferred that name over Gaylen and it certainly suited him. He not only was a wiggle worm like a tadpole in bed but he could not sit still either. Stu and I and Gaylen would go to the Saturday matinee shows at the Garneau theatre in Edmonton. I'm sure he made at least two trips to the bathroom during the movie. Tad would admit to having "T.B."...tiny bladder later. That may have added to the name Tadpole.
Tad was always artistic. He would arrange his food on his plate before eating it. It couldn't touch either. Being cold didn't seem to be a bother! We always had family dinners. They were great times to be together and share.
It was good the Tad got to go to Art School at SAIT in Calgary. He made good friends there and met Berdie.
Dan and I were living in Germany when Tad and Mom came to visit. We went to England and had a brief visit with Mom's brother (Uncle Edwin), who Tad was named after.
While in Amsterdam ,I think , Tad picked out the engagement ring for Berdie. He was in love. And stayed in love for the 52 plus years of their marriage...sweet!
Over the years we have visited many many times. We loved going to the cabin at Kootenay Lake.
One really memorable trip included a stop in Montana at the Little Big Horn National Park where Custer's Last Stand is featured. Tad loved it! It takes you back inn history. Everything was interesting to him.
Can't even count all the bridge games.
Family dinners and so many other good times.
Tad was a really nice guy and a good little brother. He never lost his sense of humour. I'll miss him.
Until we meet again, Sleep in peace.
26 January 2021
We were very sorry to hear of Tad’s passing.
I first got to know Tad through the sign business. Tad, Ron and I enjoyed many lunches together...great conversations and always Tad’s hearty laugh. Another memory was our Tex-Mex cruise with Tad, Berdie and the Bennetts in 1998 during the time Hurricane Mitch was just getting started. Even with all the wind and rain, we had a great time!
Tad (Tadly) was a good friend and we are grateful to have known him.
Our sincerest, heartfelt sympathy....dear Berdie and family.
Bob and Linda MacEwan
Linda & Wes Speerbrecker
26 January 2021
Condolences to Bertie and family, was so sad to hear of his passing. We had Tad and Bertie on our bowling team in Poco for years and it was always a fun time . Bertie always told us for the past few years that he was still wanting to come back bowling with us! We will always think if him when we try to clear that TV shot and he’d always offer up a reward of $2.00. Always made us laugh and was such a positive fun loving person to be around. Was a privilege to know him, and yes the few paintings we saw were beautiful. Rest In Peace to our friend.
25 January 2021
I was really sorry to hear of Tad's passing. I became acquainted with Tad when we were classmates in art school in Calgary in 1965-66.
Tad was a gentleman and he loved to laugh and would laugh even more when Rick Gaetz was around! Tad had a car and in between art projects we would go on adventures, with the radio cranked up. One of our trips was to Banff and back for a dance but we arrived only as the dance was ending! I accompanied Tad to Vancouver at Easter 1966 and, at times during the trip he would open his window wide and ask if I minded him talking "to keep awake". I always found he had interesting things to say.
Tad gave me a painting when school ended and it is a prized piece in my collection. I have warm memories of that time and feel privileged to have known him. My condolences to the family.
25 January 2021
There are many memories that I have of Tad some of them are when we were at the Lake and we fished from the rocks at Kootenay lake. Tad and I would spend many a sunny day on the warm rocks he did more snoozing than fishing and I would have to wake him up when he had a fish on his line. We also spent some great fun times with the Kids catching Grasshoppers along the highway or at the Kranabetter farm for bait. We caught a lot of fish and kept the cabin well supplied. I also remember the time Tad decided to build a big table for the cabin and asked me to help. We went and bought all the supplies built the table it all went great but we built it to fit Tad and I and as we are tall and when Berdie sat down at the table it came almost up to her chin so we had to cut the legs off. There are many more memories. We always had so much fun any time we were at the lake or around Tad. We will miss him and send our condolences to Berdie and all her Family. Rest in peace Tad.
25 January 2021
Dear Berdie, Carlene, Chris, Mary, and family members,
I have many memories of Uncle Tad, as your family often visited us as we moved from place to place. My earliest memory is thinking that this was a very tall uncle! Berdie was radiant around him.
Tad had an amazing way of playing with others as equals, just like a kid, but also talking to others just like they were adults. He always took whatever I had to say as interesting, and he listened patiently. He truly enjoyed life and loved to laugh. I liked being around him, because he made me feel valued and respected. He was safe. His goodness will be much missed.
Tad loved his kids so much and he was so proud of them. He always had updates to share on how they were doing. In retrospect, it's hard to believe that I was entrusted to take Mary to the Okanagan. It was a long drive and I was in my early 20's. Poor kid was too small to see over the dashboard. I'm not sure that I would have had the confidence in someone else, they way that Tad did. I am grateful.
My prayers are with all of you and I hope that you are finding comfort within each other. Tad would be pleased.
25 January 2021
Great memories and smiles come to mind as soon as you mention uncle Tad. He was a revelation to us 4 boys, an adult who genuinely enjoyed playing games and took great delight in being with us. Later on I have great memories of driving to Tofino with him on my first summer of fishing. We'll miss you uncle Tad - thank you for being you.
Our sincere condolences to Berdie and all the family.
Love Kirby and family
24 January 2021
If you met Tad, you remember his laughter. He held nothing back. He loved life, loved to play, loved Berdie and his family and we loved having him for an uncle. We played a lot of board games when Uncle Tad and Aunty Berdie came to visit. So fun! I also have a poignant memory when he did a sketch of some trees and a mountain one time. It seemed effortless. I was mesmerized and wanted so much to be able to draw like that. We'll miss you Uncle Tad - and we're sending so much love to Berdie, Carlene, Christopher, Mary and all your families.
23 January 2021
I have such fond memories of uncle Tad. We would be so excited when he visited because he acted like such a kid, down on the floor, playing games with us. Of course, his infectious laugh would get us all going. I always wanted to be adored like him by my own nephews and nieces. Been a long time since I have seen any of the Fetterly family but please know you are in my prayers.
Rest In Peace Tad.
23 January 2021
I'm so sorry to learn of Tad's death. My sincerest condolences to Berdie and her family. My fondest memories of Tad were those at S.A.I.T. in 1965, when I attended Art College with Tad. I remember he was staying at a small motel in Calgary and we were listening to a Beatle album on a portable record player. Rick Gates and Brian Batsch were there too. Tad was always ready for a good time and although he spent only first year at the Art School, he worked hard at what he did. There were after school parties with Tad and Berdie and classmates. I spent 4 years at the Art college and they and Tad were some of the best years of my life.
Rest in peace, Tad!
22 January 2021
Rick (Richard Gaetz) and I have so many Tad memories. Rick and Tad roomed together while at art college and I've heard their young bachelor/cooking stories. Rick was the best man at your wedding in 1968 which means you and Rick go way way back. When I came on the scene in 2003 I, of course, I met Tad and the rest of the large extended clan. I golfed with 'the guys' a number of times and enjoyed listening to the banter of Tad and Rick. Naturally, after golf we headed out for a relaxing lunch together. We also traveled a number of times with Tad & Berdie including a trip to Europe in 2005. When we did driving trips in the US Tad was always the careful driver. Yes, we have many many memories that include Tad and the Fetterly family and they are all good (except for the few annoying moments!) lol. The best part of the annoying moments is that we could turn them into a funny story, after the fact. You were always happy (except when you needed your afternoon nap). We sure had a lot of good times over the years. R.I.P. Tad Man.