September 29, 1929 – December 17, 2018
Peter passed away in Nelson, BC after a brief illness. Born in London, England, Peter grew up during difficult times in England. His mother died when he was 7 and he was sent to the countryside when he was 9 to avoid the Blitz bombing in London during the war, and his father went to Egypt. When Peter was 12, he worked at a farm with greenhouses where he learned about growing vegetables and flowers. He stayed in the countryside until the end of the war.
When he came of age, he joined the army and completed training as a dental technician in London just as WW2 ended. Unhappy with the English class system, Peter tossed a coin. Would it be Rhodesia (a family connection) or Canada? In 1951, using his only savings, Peter travelled to Montreal on the Empress of Southampton, and then by train to Edmonton. He had $27 in his pocket when he arrived. In Edmonton, Peter had a pre-arranged job at a dental lab and stayed for several years in Edmonton. In 1963, Peter came to Nelson and worked as a dental technician until he retired in 2000, at the age of 71. Peter’s integrity, skill and meticulous work ensured his services were in high demand throughout the dental community.
During a trip to Spain in 1984, he met the love of his life, Isabel. They married soon after, living happily together in Nelson. Peter loved Spain, especially Catalonia, and his beautiful and dear Sitges, near Barcelona. Peter and Isabel would spend a couple of months every year in Sitges and the surrounding beauty of Catalonia. He thoroughly enjoyed it, and very soon he joined in the “la joie de vivre” of the country and its people.
Gardening was a lifetime hobby and passion of Peter’s. Peter could usually be found, dawn to dusk, splitting wood or tending to his numerous gardens and greenhouse. With his friends and neighbours, he generously shared the variety of bedding plants that he grew including tomatoes, flowers and especially his beautiful orchids. Peter was also an exceptional baker. His homemade cookies always put smiles on the faces of many school children and teachers when he delivered them to Isabel’s French immersion students.
Peter had a wry sense of humour, loved good food and drink and sharing them with friends. He always asked about your family, sons and daughters; their lives were important to Peter because they were special to you. He was a voracious reader and served on the Library Board for many years. Peter had a twinkle in his eye and spring in his step even at his 85th birthday party, and even after having chopped wood all day!
He is survived by his loving and devoted wife, Isabel Olivella, brothers Alan and Stephen (Vancouver Island), sister Heather (Spain) and was predeceased by his mother Rose, father Victor and brother Eric (all of London). Peter loved his cats Mona and Lisa and they loved him.
Peter lived a full life and we now grieve the loss of a loving husband, and cheerful, generous friend. He will be missed. A celebration of Peter’s Life will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, please donate to the SPCA of Nelson.
Condolences can be expressed at the family’s online register at www.thompsonfs.ca.