Len passed away in the presence of loved ones at his home in North Nelson on Sunday, October 14, 2012. Len will be deeply missed by his wife Yvonne, daughter Janice (Darcy) & grand-daughter Sierra Villeneuve, son Dan Shewfelt (Patti), sister Lil Breen, along with numerous nieces, nephews, friends and extended family.
Len was pre-deceased by his parents Roy and Margaret Shewfelt and sisters Irene, Phyllis and Ray.
Len began his life in Simpson, Saskatchewan. At a very early age Len’s family relocated to downtown Edmonton, Alberta. Living in the inner-city in the mid 1940’s, Len learned to become street -smart to make his way around the “big city”. Picture this short little white/blond kid running around selling newspapers or operating his shoe shine – that was Len. Len often commented on the “little thug” he remembered himself being during his teen-age years and decided that he needed to make some major changes in his life.
In May, 1955 Len set off to join the Royal Canadian Navy and was assigned to basic training in Cornwallis, Ont. The Navy had a profound effect on Len and his time in the Navy remained a constant backdrop for his entire life. The Navy brought forth his love of being on or near the ocean, observing all manner of vessels as they came and went, and eventually placing him on his own 24 foot “money pit”. An avid traveler, Len continued to nourish his passion for the sea, visiting many world ports and seashores during his travels with Yvonne. It was no real surprise then, that when Len finished his stint in the Navy, he left his landlocked home and the cold winters of Edmonton behind to move closer to the sea and live on Canada’s west-coast Lower Mainland.
Len was a very intelligent man and keenly interested in medicine. With initial training in Edmonton, Len became fully engaged with a career in Psychiatric Nursing at BC’s Riverview Hospital, Coquitlam, and went on to spend 25 years in the field of Mental Health.
In 1993, looking for a change in lifestyle, Len and Yvonne sold their home in Maple Ridge and purchased the Kokanee RV Park & Campground near Balfour, BC. While adjusting to “Kootenay time” Len worked hard on their RV business building new docks, wash facilities, making new friends and fulfilling all other duties of the Camp Commandant. Len and Yvonne sold the RV Park in 2004 and Len fully retired to the North Shore of Nelson. This allowed for some much deserved freedom to enjoy his ongoing passion for golf, cooking, RVing and travel. He particularly enjoyed his annual golf tournament with “the boys” and was forever supportive of Yvonne’s independent activities, often saying it was his job to make sure she was properly fed and watered when she came home.
Len loved his family and was fiercely protective for their health and well being. Len was especially grateful for his recent re-union with son Dan.
Len’s sense of humor and sharp wit will be forever missed but not forgotten.
A special thank you to Dr. David Sonnichsen, Cindy and the Palliative care nurses, and, especially to nephew Paddy who came and stayed to help Yvonne fulfill Len’s wishes to have a peaceful & respectful death at home.
Cremation has taken place, and there will be no service at his request. A Celebration of Len’s life will take place Saturday, November 10th from 1-3pm at the Best Western Baker St Inn (Kestrel Room), Nelson; memory sharing and story telling at 2pm. A further Celebration of Life will be arranged for July 2013, on the Lower Mainland, so Len’s many friends and extended family there also have opportunity to gather and share memories.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations to the Nelson Red Cross Equipment Loan Program would be appreciated.
Everyone has a happy place. Mine is anywhere you are.
Arrangements are under the direction of Thompson Funeral Service Ltd.
Online condolences may be expressed at www.thompsonfs.ca