Emerson (Blonde) was born on September 17, 1919 on the family farm near Wiseton, Saskatchewan, the third child of Robert and Lucy Moore. He passed away at the North Shore Hospice on Sunday, July 8, 2012 surrounded by his family.
Emerson was predeceased in 2011 by Isabel, his loving wife of 67 years, and in 2004 by their only son Robert (Bob). He was the last survivor of 5 siblings. He is survived by “his girls” Phyllis (Bill Rapanos), Linda, and Carole (Pieter) Matthijsse and their children Hanna, Anders and Jenna. He will be sadly missed by his sisters-in law Olga Moore (Outlook, SK) and Freda Patterson (Alberta Beach, AB), his brother- in- law Ross Patterson (Edmonton, AB), as well as many nieces, nephews and friends.
Dad’s father passed away when he was nine years old, and soon after that came the Depression: these events forced him to grow up at a very young age. In his mid teens Dad and his older brother Everard attended trade school and after that Dad worked on various farms, always passing on his earnings to his Mother to help keep food on the table and the farm running. During WWII Dad was stationed in Victoria, BC where he served as a Sargent in the Army. While there Dad proposed to his childhood sweetheart, Isabel (who in Dad’s words he’d met “when he was four and she was two”), who hopped on a train from Saskatchewan and they were married on November 30, 1943, the first weekend he could get a pass. Following his medical discharge, they moved to Nelson, BC, where Emerson began his career with the Canadian Pacific Railroad as a Trainman/Conductor that spanned 36 years, and where they raised their family. During his working career, Emerson trained many young men and was well respected by his employer and fellow employees.
In his retirement he joined the Nelson Curling Club, tried his hand at golf and spent countless hours fishing on Kootenay Lake bringing home many fish and more than one 30 pound Kamloops Trout. Even though he didn’t particularly like to eat fish he loved the challenge of the sport. Emerson grew an amazing garden – but one of the things he excelled at …. was growing tomatoes. In fact one plant, when stretched out at the end of the summer, was 14’ long.
Dad was one of those neighbours everyone wished they had. If you needed something, ask Emerson, if you needed a hand, ask Emerson. At one time he was helping out six widows in the neighbourhood. We are not sure how, but between taking care of his own family and being on call 24/7 with the CPR, he still had time for others.
For 10 years Emerson and Isabel spent time enjoying the family cabin at Christina Lake. Dad would often say “they were the best years of his life!” Mum would swim and Dad would build, fix or paint anything that needed it. But his favourite pastime was watching the birds while sitting in “the king chair”, and that he did for hours. He had 11 birdhouses on the property so he was constantly making sure everything was “just right” with all the residents. When we moved Dad and Mum to North Vancouver in October 2008 Dad carried on this love and was known to all the staff and residents at Sunrise as “The Bird Man of Sunrise”. Although he wasn’t able to be as involved this past year, he was happy to know that he had passed on his knowledge to Sandra and Ruby…..and that his years of experience would benefit others.
Over the years Dad became known for his dry wit and when you saw the teasing twinkle in his eye you knew someone was in for a practical joke. He got so good at it, that at one point the Gutwin kids presented him with a “License to BS” certificate.
Dad will be missed by all those who knew him. He did not have an easy life but to have lived 92 years in relatively good health the majority of the time, we his family say, “what more could we ask for.” We are so grateful for what he brought to our lives and we don’t have to look very far to see something that he either built or taught us to do. We will forever miss our handyman! Dad’s ability to persevere was admirable and he passed on to his children and grandchildren a strong work ethic.
Special thanks to the incredible staff at Sunrise of Lynn Valley, Dr. R. Samborski , Dr. Lakha and the nursing staff in Palliative Care at Lions Gate Hospital and the North Shore Hospice. We “his girls” applaud you for your friendship and the kind way in which you took care of our Dad.
In lieu of flowers, donations in Emerson’s memory can be made to the Lions Gate Hospital Foundation (North Shore Hospice), 231 East 15th Street, North Vancouver, B.C. V7L 2L7 the BC Cancer Foundation, P.O. Box 8700 Stn Terminal, Vancouver, BC V6B 9Z9 or a charity of your choice.
REST IN PEACE DAD; NO MORE PAIN