Howard Ronald Hornby

Howard Ronald Hornby

1934 – 2014

Howard Hornby passed away peacefully on October 1, 2014, just before his 80th birthday. Born in Asquith, Saskatchewan, Howie’s love for hockey began as a young boy, skating under the huge prairie sky on his father’s flooded backyard rink. He played junior hockey in Saskachewan and subsequently joined the Nelson Maple Leafs when the decision was made to move to Nelson, BC. At the height of his career, he was chosen by the Trail Smoke Eaters to represent Canada in the World Cup. This was a very proud moment in Howie’s life.

In the early years of his career, Howie was employed at Sterling Home Furniture. As the family grew, he made the decision to purchase the business. His parents, Ruby and Kenneth, came to Nelson to retire, with Kenneth helping out at the store which was later bought by Howie’s brother, Lyle. Howie went on to have a successful 30-year career as a realtor.

Howie lived life fully as a local citizen, businessman, and athlete. He gave generously of his skills and of his time, coaching hockey, teaching skiing, and promoting Nelson as a community. At Whitewater Ski Resort, he spent time teaching handicapped skiers. This included his blind friend, John Neville, who knew when to make a turn by Howie ringing a Swiss cow bell.

Some realtors and residents may remember Howie disguising himself as a woman, in order to crash a competing real estate company’s public meeting. He looked just like Robin Williams in the movie Mrs. Doubtfire!

In his last years, Howie could be seen buzzing around Nelson on his electric scooter and at the rink teaching young children to skate. In the evenings he spent time at the Hume Hotel, as he loved to engage people in interesting conversation and storytelling.

Howie will be remembered for his passion for life, love of music, and his endless energy. His tenacity knew no bounds, which challenged us and made us love him even more.

He dearly loved his family: his two daughters, Karen and Brenda, his sons Mark and David (Hyun au), and grandchildren – Brie, Larry, Steven, Claire, Abigail, Alex, and Sean. He was deeply loved by his one surviving brother, Lyle (wife Judi and their children, Grant and Kerri). Howie will also be remembered by Margaret Hornby and Rob Sproule, who joined his daughters to sit with him during his final days.

The funeral will be held on Thursday, October 16, 2014 at 3pm at the Nelson United Church, 602 Silica Street, Nelson, followed by a celebration of Howie’s life at the Hume Room.

Online condolences may be expressed at

Funeral arrangements are under the direction of

Thompson Funeral Service Ltd.

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