Michael Kendrick

January 18, 2019
Michael (“Tim”) Kendrick died at home in Nelson on January 18, 2019 at age 90. Born in England, he served as a Pilot in the RAF for 9 Years, Flying Mosquitos and 1st and 2nd generation jet fighters.

Emigrated to Vancouver with his wife and two small sons in 1957. Unable to find work as a pilot, he started as filing clerk with a financial company and worked up to become a senior administrator.

Tim loved the outdoor life, was an enthusiastic scuba diver, mountaineer and SAR Volunteer. Able to turn his hand to almost anything, he designed and built a 30ft. sailing catamaran in his back yard, diving and exploring the coast on it with his family in the ’60s.

In 1975, saying goodbye to city life and regular paycheques, he bought a small landing craft, loaded it with house contents, and took it up the coast in winter weather to the isolated mill town of Ocean Falls. Determined to make a living doing anything but office work, he was soon busy running a vending business, working on his “Sea Truck”, starting and editing a weekly newspaper, forming and training a SAR team, learning some pottery, fishing for food, and more.

In 1986 he renewed his pilot’s licence, took a floatplane course, rented a neighbour’s float plane, and was back in the air after 19 years “on the ground”. Twice elected as a director of the Regional District, he was also Area Coordinator for the Provincial Emergency Program on the Central Coast. When the mill closed in 1980 almost everyone left Ocean Falls but he hung on – “In survival mode”, he said.

Taught himself programming and sold articles to U.S. computer magazines. Caught salmon from a canoe, felled trees for firewood, and led the few remaining residents in their fight against a government determined to totally destroy the town.

In 1986 he chose Nelson for retirement and started renovating an old house there. He was soon involved in community work: writing for the Nelson Daily News, Search Manager with the fledgling SAR team, served on the Library and Housing Society boards, and for years was board chairman of the Home Support Society.

With his partner June he explored backroads and beaches all over the Pacific Northwest. Tim loved Nelson, and in his final years enjoyed meeting people and birdwatching on daily walks on the waterfront. With a lifelong enthusiasm for photography, he entered many competitions on the internet (and sometimes won). He is survived by three sons, four grandchildren, three great-grandchildren and his partner June.

At Tim’s request, there will be no funeral service. He will be buried in the Nelson Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Nelson Search and Rescue.

Special thanks to Dr. Kevin Mckechnie and staff for their compassion and care over many years, but especially at the end.

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