Claus Schunke (left) and Cameron Mah are seen at the Chinese community memorial stone and garden on Vernon Street in 2016. Both men died this year. File photo

YEAR IN REVIEW: Noteworthy passings of 2019

Remembering key members of our community

Some of the noteworthy people we said goodbye to in 2019.

John Bowles, 101. World War II veteran and longtime Balfour postmaster and general store proprietor. Died June 30.

Lionel Binette, 99. World War II veteran, who recited In Flanders Field each year at Nelson’s Remembrance Day service. Died March 12.

Herb Brown, 101. Longtime deckhand, oiler, and engineer aboard the Kootenay Lake ferries. Died Nov. 21.

Mary Carne, 93. Keeper of Greyhound and general transportation history in the Kootenays and Okanagan. Died April 30.

Bernie Clarkson, 89. Former principal of South Nelson and Central schools. Died Feb. 6.

Eric Clough, 89. Landscape architect known for his work with the Slocan Valley Seniors’ Housing Society. Died Aug. 18.

Herb Couch, 70. Teacher and advocate for causes including the preservation of Red Sands beach, proportional representation, and cannabis legalization. Died March 25.

David Drake, 88. Poet and mathematician known for his submissions to local newspapers. Died Sept. 2.

Max Frobe, 80. Jeweler and filmmaker. Died April 21.

Nils Jensen, 69. Former Nelson Crown prosecutor and Oak Bay mayor. Died April 7.

Steve Lapshinoff, 76. Historian whose books included a 407-page report on the death of Doukhobor leader Peter (Lordly) Verigin. Died July 24.

Walt Laurie, 96. Leading advocate for the preservation and promotion of Streetcar 23. Died Jan. 12.

Cameron Mah, 72. Longtime Nelson restaurateur. Died June 8.

Evelyn Murray, 96. Last living person born in the Ymir hospital. Died April 9.

Gary Ockenden. Organizational and development consultant. Died Nov. 18.

Andreas Pittinger, 47. Longtime host of Kootenay Co-op Radio’s Pineapple Express. Died in February.

Isabel (Buddy) Ramsay, 100. Former co-proprietor of Vogue Studio and Ramsay’s Cameras, active community volunteer. Died March 7.

Claus Schunke. Blogger, city council critic, Chinatown historian. Died April 5.

John Voykin, 80. Regional district director for Area I (Rural Castlegar) for over 30 years. Died Nov. 26.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here


Claus Schunke (left) and Cameron Mah are seen at the Chinese community memorial stone and garden on Vernon Street in 2016. Both men died this year. File photo

Just Posted

First Energy Metals set to start gold exploration work in the West Kootenay

The work will be conducted at two of its sites near Nakusp and Nelson

Nelson skateboarders charged with assaulting Trail police officer

Incident happened at the skate park in Trail

RDCK closes all indoor recreational facilities until at least August 18

The district said closures are necessary to meet financial plan and to deliver safe programming

Flooding: Why the RDCK ordered hundreds of properties evacuated

All evacuation orders have now been rescinded

B.C. records four new COVID-19 cases, Abbotsford hospital outbreak cleared

Four senior home outbreaks also declared over, eight still active

Help the Nelson Star continue its mission to provide trusted local news

Black Press is now accepting donations to keep its papers operating

RCMP, coroner investigate murder-suicide on Salt Spring Island

Two dead, police say there is no risk to the public

B.C. schools see 30% of expected enrolment in schools as in-class teaching restarts amid pandemic

Education minister noted that in-class instruction remains optional

Trudeau avoids questions about anti-racism protesters dispersed for Trump photo-op

Prime minister says racism is an issue Canadians must tackle at home, too

B.C.’s Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics goes virtual

The annual event partnering RCMP with Special Olympians is dramatically altered by COVID-19

Bateman program encourages people to sketch outside, connect with nature

#MyNatureSketch initiative encourages Canadians to become ‘bright-eyed three year olds’

Be cautious expanding COVID-19 bubble, Dr. Bonnie Henry tells B.C.

Senior homes stay off-limits as schools, businesses reopen

Most Read