Walter Mervin Dirks
June 1, 1930 – January 2, 2020
Walter Mervin Dirks of Abbotsford, B.C., passed away peacefully into the presence of his Lord at Holmberg House on January 2, 2020, after succumbing to renal failure.
He was predeceased by his parents, George and Elizabeth Dirks, brother Jack and wife Anne. Walter was born in Dalmeny, Saskatchewan on June 1, 1930, the third of 5 boys born to George and Elizabeth Dirks. Later on, 2 sisters would join the family. The Depression years of the 1930’s brought many hardships but also many blessings which only tough times achieve. Strong family bonds of love were formed. Music and singing in harmony with each other during long, cold prairie winters formed the foundation of a lifelong appreciation of music in Walter. He had memories of singing together as his Mom played her guitar and Dad the “saw”. In his later teens and young adult life, Walter often sang in quartets with his brothers, in churches, and for a local church radio program each week in the Chilliwack and Abbotsford areas.
Walter married his first wife, Anne, in 1952 in the Chilliwack Alliance Church. They made their home in Edmonton for the next 15 years where Walter initially worked on the oil rigs, drove transit bus and later became a City of Edmonton firefighter. During these years, Bryan, Kathy and Geoffrey were born and adopted into the family. Three adopted (“chosen”) children were never loved more! In 1967, Canada’s Centennial, the family moved to Abbotsford, B.C. where Walter learned the plumbing trade and worked for Valley Plumbing and Home Supplies, a company Walter would eventually own and operate for many years. He and Anne sang in the Bethel Choir, a community choir which they enjoyed immensely.
An avid sports fisherman, Walter enjoyed fishing local rivers particularly in his semi-retirement and retirement years, until his eyesight became poor and his health started to fail. Even in his declining health, his sense of humour stayed in tack. He took things in life as they came, acknowledging that God sustains, comforts and gives grace for every situation.
Walter was a beloved husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, brother, uncle and friend. He will be sadly missed and lovingly remembered by his wife of almost 30 years, Ruth, son Bryan (Tonya) Dirks, daughter Kathy (Greg) Klassen, son Geoff (Julie) Dirks, step-daughter Marilynn (Dale) Richter and step-son Ron (Beverly) Prestage. Siblings Harold Dirks, Bill Dirks, Don Dirks, Shirley (Roland) Hoeppner and Lorna Bohn. Grandchildren Joel (Laura) Klassen, Kendra (Hugo) Archambault, Brent Klassen (partner Alfred Lam), Torrey Klassen, Andrew Walton, Aaron Dirks, Daniel Dirks, Sarah (Tom) Vernon, Joel Richter, Victoria (nee Prestage) and Ron Prestage Jr. and 6 great-grandchildren.
A memorial celebration for Walter will be held on Jan 17, 2020 at Menno Hospital Chapel at 2:00 p.m. There will be a private graveside service. Thank you to all the medical professionals who provided care to Walter and to the compassionate staff at Holmberg House.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Missions Fund of the Christian and Missionary Alliance (Sevenoaks Alliance) or the Abbotsford Hospice Society (Holmberg House) in Walter’s memory.
No services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.
Walter Mervin Dirks
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January 19, 2020
Thank you for the opportunity to share about the legacy that Walter gave to this world. The legacy I speak of is his son Geoff. I don't recall if I met Geoff at Abby Junior (Go Huskies) or Abby Senior (Go Panthers), what I do know is that Geoff was and is a gift to all who know him. Thank you Walter and God speed on your journey home.
January 17, 2020
Sad that it just wasn't possible to be at the memorial in person. I would have loved to learn to fish with his direction and humour present in the lessons! Never got that chance but sure enjoyed the jokes and personality. He'll be missed.
Much love to all the family - Tim for Janelle, Jordana, Tavi, Solomon and Hudson.
Ron and Kathy Blair
January 9, 2020
Our deepest Sympathy to Ruth and all the family!
Thinking of you these tender days! May God comfort your hearts each and every day, as you recall precious memories.
Keeping you in our prayers.