August 20, 2020
David Toews, 74, devoted husband and father, passed away at home on August 20, 2020 with his wife Judy and daughters Sarah and Erica at his side. It was Dave’s wish to live out his time in the home where he and Judy raised their family and shared many happy occasions with friends and relations. David lived with prostate cancer for nine years, yet remained active and adventurous until the final months, not so much battling the disease as negotiating its terms with courage and grace.
David was the youngest of three children. Shortly after his birth in Altona, Manitoba, the family moved to British Columbia with David tucked into a wicker basket. He grew up in a loving home in the northern town of Terrace where his life-long passion for the outdoors began. After high school, summer jobs in the logging industry inspired his future career as a forest hydrologist. It was during his graduate studies at UBC that David and Judy met and fell in love.
Dave began his career in the Habitat Protection Branch of the federal department of Fisheries and Oceans in Vancouver. But when an opportunity came up to work in the Forest Sciences Section of the Ministry of Forests in Nelson, Dave couldn’t have been happier. He counted himself lucky that his research took him out of the office to tramp through forests and along streams.
In his free time, there was nothing he enjoyed more than to hike, cycle, ski, and camp with family and friends. David also loved to travel. In the mid-nineties he was seconded to the ASEAN Institute of Forest Management and the family moved to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, for an exciting two years. In retirement, David and Judy enjoyed touring Europe on their bicycles, at times with Dave’s brother Peter and his wife Joanne or with friends Ilse and Andrew Murray. Among David’s greatest adventures were a six-week canoe trip in the Arctic and two month-long treks in Nepal led by his friend and colleague, David Gluns.
Above all, David was dedicated to his family. He was predeceased by his parents, Neta and Andrew Toews and his sister Jean Voth. He is dearly missed by his wife Judy, daughter Sarah Merriman and husband Brad, daughter Erica Kleisinger and husband Mike, and five cherished granddaughters: Liz and Emily Merriman; Ellie, Grace, and Lucie Kleisinger. David also lives on in the hearts of his brother Peter Toews and wife Joanne, his sister-in-law Jennifer Steeksma and husband Ian, his aunts, Anne, Elizabeth, and Edna, and many cousins, nephews, nieces, and friends.
The family is grateful – as was David – to the doctors and nurses who took such good care of him, including Dr. Trisha Goodman and Dr. Phillip Malpass in Nelson; Dr. Jocelyn Moore, BC Cancer Agency, Kelowna; the nurses in the chemo/transfusion room at Kootenay Lake Hospital; and Interior Health Palliative and End of Life Care.
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