William "Archie" John Archibald Hartley Van Buskirk
May 4, 1934 – April 14, 2004
It is with great sadness that, after a courageous battle with cancer, we announce Archie's passing on April 14, 2004 at the age of 69.
Archie - beloved son, husband, dad, papa, uncle, brother, brother-in-law and close friend to many people was "an astonishing and amazing man." He is survived by: his loving wife of 49 years Jo-Ann aka Nannie; sons Bill (Joann), Dale (Lois), Peter (Pat), Calvin (Marianne), daughters Patti Mawer (Gary), Christine Flaatten (Brian); 13 grandchildren, 3 step-grandchildren and 1 great-grandchild; sisters Grace VanBuskirk, Pat Stewardson, Catherine Harris; sister-in-law Judy Evans, brother-in-law Tommy Evans (Marie); and many nieces, nephews and cousins. He was predeceased by his parents William (Bill) and Christina, brother Earle and sister Elizabeth.
Born in Fernie, BC on May 4, 1934, he moved with his family to Victoria in 1960, but kept very close ties with the people of Fernie and the East Kootenays. Archie's life and priorities were his family and friends. He was accomplished at everything he set his hand to: woodwork, carpentry, metalwork, boat building, camper design and construction, electrical, plumbing, auto mechanics, welding, etc. He was an avid outdoorsman with a passion for camping, hunting, fishing, canoeing, archery, horses and rodeo clowning. He unselfishly shared his skills and passions and for that we will be forever grateful.
Archie spent most of his career teaching Industrial Arts at Colquitz Junior Secondary School. He left a lasting impression on his countless number of students and colleagues with whom he worked. Archie was instrumental in the development of many of the school's outdoor clubs. He was a dynamic, skilled instructor. He participated in the development of the CORE Training Program, taught the Hunter Training Program and was a Master Firearms Instructor. Some of his affiliations included Goldstream Lodge No. 161, Fraternal Order of Eagles, Victoria Fish and Game, Snow Valley Wranglers and South Country Cowboys, and he was instrumental in the construction of the East Kootenay's "Arena of Dreams."
Although Archie spent most summers with family relaxing at and enjoying the cabin, he sometimes worked fighting forest fires, commercial fishing, teaching and millworking. Archie was always in charge; he called all the shots and kept us all running. During the last several weeks Archie and his family embarked on a number of adventures which affirmed his commitment to his family and his love for the outdoors. Although these adventures did involve some anxiety, anticipation and fear, they were filled with joy, excitement and satisfaction. When Archie decided he had done everything on his to-do list, he then left lists of things for other people to do - simply amazing!
Archie was always willing to help out where and when he could and expected nothing in return. He has been known to say "You do things because they are right, not for recognition or reward." To remember Archie, one only has to look at his family members for they are a reflection of him. Remember him for what he was - a vibrant, fun-loving, adventurous family man who never ceased to amaze people. He touched the hearts of so many and was dearly loved. We will truly miss him and will cherish him in our hearts and memories forever.
As per Archie's wishes, there will be two Celebrations of his life (casual dress): the first in Victoria at Strawberry Vale Community Hall, 11 High Street on Thursday April 22, 2004 from 2:00pm - 4:00pm; the second in the East Kootenays - time/ date TBA. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Victoria Hospice or a charity of one's choice. The family sends heartfelt thanks to all the staff and volunteers of Victoria Hospice for their exceptional care and support.