August 2, 1949 –
September 15, 2014
The story of Dave starts off with him as a son, as provided by his mom Dorothy and dad, “Red” Wassick, the famous Kootenay Lake fisherman. Dave was a great hunter and fisherman learning these skills from his dad. His career was varied. He worked in a sports shop during high school where he chased down and caught a thief attempting to steal a rifle. Dave was a world class grader operator as he went to Chicago and was trained on running all kinds of heavy duty equipment which was his passion after finishing high school. He also was boom boat operator, paramedic, mill foreman, safety and environmental manager, and lumber salesman. Dave’s mom and dad remember that he was always so proud of his girls, bragging about their skiing, figure skating and successes in school.
As a brother, Dave was the perpetual joker, a positive force, and always made his two sisters Harriet and Juliet, and two brothers Guy and Brant laugh. He taught them all how to water-ski as they spent summer after summer playing down at the beach, swimming and diving and roughhousing. He built a tunnel-entry-only cave across the lake which was his secret hideaway. They played lots of road hockey, and Dave’s passion for the Chicago Black Hawks was unrivalled. Dave played a lot of cards and monopoly with his family as TV was yet to grace the family home. He also had a short acting career playing Hayseed in the school theatre. He bought a new 1969 blue Mustang right off the assembly line at the Ford plant in Ontario, and tested it right away on the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah with his friend Brian Clarkson. He was also the first on the north shore of Nelson with a snowmobile, his beautiful Arctic Cat. Dave managed a trap line up Sitkum Creek mountain trapping martin and mink. Dave’s sisters and brothers were blessed with an unconditionally fun loving brother, who made sure they always saw the sunny side of life.
Dave was the kind of father that every kid wanted to have. Literally, every kid Erin and Renee knew, said they wished he was their dad. He coached soccer, played with Barbies, and chaperoned every event. He was a cool dad too, getting his ear pierced on a band trip along with the students. He always played sports with his girls. One time, while playing tennis, he dislocated his shoulder, again, so he popped it back in against a fence so they didn’t have to stop playing. He was the best dad anyone could ask for. Erin and Renee knew they were loved and they loved him right back.
Dave and Jeannie were married for 11 years. Dave initially followed her by showing up at all of her open houses. There was one day that Jeannie was late for an open house, and the office called her saying that someone phoned wondering where she was. After some tine, Dave and Jeannie knew they loved each other but they could not live in sin because Jeannie was doing mission work. They weren’t sure how to go about holding their wedding. A client of Jeannie’s suggested that the Yukon would be a great place to go. They had a fabulous wedding made by total strangers in Beaver Creek. Everyone from the small town attended, from the mechanic to the policemen. They only charged for the alcohol, not the meals, or the room or flowers or photos. Dave was an amazing husband. He was Jeannie’ fan club and she could do no wrong. They travelled to France, Italy, Thailand, the southern states, Mexico and Hawaii. Even on a hard day, when they were not seeing eye-to-eye, the mood would quickly lighten with laughter. This happened in Memphis one day when they just were not getting along so well. They went to check in to the Heartbreak Hotel, the only room available was the “Hunk a Hunka Burning Love.” They took the room.
Dave treated Jeannie’s children as his own. He loved Erin, Robert, and Shari and their spouses with all his heart. He helped with their children, with many renovations, and was caring enough to offer fatherly advice.
Dave was one of the world’s greatest Dedas. He was able to give the gift of his time, doing the very special things that meant so much to his 6 grandchildren –Donovan, Tegan, Gracie, Ella, Anya and Kate. He took them: fishing, played cards and games, listened to them play the piano, took them on wagon rides behind the quad, built a chicken coop, and a zip line. As babies, he held them in awe.
To all Dave was a friend. He was someone that you would like to have with you all the time. This involved all matters of friendship, including his hockey fanaticism side. His friend Brian Clarkson told us that as teenagers, Dave, Brian, and Jim Langridge were inseparable. They lived along Kootenay Lake and spent countless hours fishing, hiking and just hanging out at Dave’ house with his family. Brian recalled that trip in 1969 when they flew to Toronto, to pick up the brand new mustang as it came off the assembly line in Oakville. They spent three glorious weeks driving through the US before returning to Nelson. There were fun and laughs the whole time.
Dave touched those who knew him so dearly. We all learned so much about life, even through his illness. He taught us about how to fight and not give up even in the face of extreme adversity. The times we had with Dave were blessings. He is forever in our hearts, Dave our son, brother, father, husband, stepdad, grandpa and friend. We can only imagine that you are doing well in heaven, breathing freely, running, fishing, and playing hockey.