August 7, 1938 – October 26, 2018
On Friday, October 26, 2018, Howard Leroy Dirks went home to be with the Lord at the age of 80 years.
Howard was born on August 7, 1938 in Waldheim, Saskatchewan. He was the youngest of 5 children, born to Reverend Charles and Katherine Dirks. Howard grew up in Nipawin, Saskatchewan, finished school at 16 years of age, and moved to Calgary to join sister and brother-in-law Frances and Syd Bates. Howard had several different jobs in Calgary and then headed for the oil field where he started a varied career in the oil field in several locations. In 1959, Howard decided he needed more education. He moved to Saskatoon to attend the University of Saskatchewan and this is where he met the love of his life, Lorna Mary Logan. Life took a more serious turn and Howard with his pal, Don Sterling, headed for Anchorage, Alaska to work in the oil field. The boys headed up the Alaska Highway in January and Lorna followed in May. Howard and Lorna were married on May 12th, 1961 in Anchorage, Alaska.
They were in Alaska for about 2 years before returning to Saskatoon where Howard attended university. Howard completed 2 degrees in 5 years, then they moved to Watson Lake in the Yukon for a school teaching position where Howard taught for 2 years. Good friends persuaded Howard and Lorna to “go foreign” with Reading and Bates Drilling Co.. They lived and worked in Lebanon, Nigeria, Dohomoy, London, and Houston, before returning to Canada. Upon returning to Canada, they settled in the Slocan Valley where they owned and operated a successful Dixie Lee Chicken franchise in Nelson, BC. Howard contributed to the community in small and big ways with jobs as city counsellor, then politics as the MLA for Nelson-Creston, then as the Minister of Lands and Resources and Minister of Development, Trade and Tourism. Following the government postings, he returned to Nelson and became involved with the Chamber of Commerce. Upon retirement, Howard and Lorna retired to the small but welcoming community of Vulcan, Alberta. Politics was always in his blood, so Howard served as Mayor of Vulcan. Wherever he lived, he always gave of his time to making the community a better place for everyone.
He will be missed by many family and friends, but especially by his wife, Lorna.
Funeral Celebration of Life Service Friday, November 9, 2018 at 12:00 pm at the Vulcan Evangelical Missionary Church with Pastor David Skinner officiating. Interment Vulcan Cemetery.
Tributes in Howard’s memory can be made to the Vulcan Health Care Palliative Unit, Box 299, Vulcan, AB T0L 2B0.
Arrangements in care of Vulcan Funeral Home. Telephone 1-403-485-2633. E-mail condolences through www.vulcanfuneralhome.ca.