In the early evening of Monday February 22, 2016 Yute Atagi, 86, passed away in Nelson, BC at Mountain Lake Seniors Community after a brief but courageous battle with brain cancer. He was comforted by the company of family and friends. He was predeceased by his wife Ruth, older sisters (Ayako, Kimiko and Mariko) and his parents (Kiyomatsu and Kane). He will be forever remembered by his sons Gene (Susanne) of Campbell River, BC and Dana (Valerie) of Smithers, BC. Yute was born in Campbell River, BC and spent his childhood in Quathiaski Cove on Quadra Island before his family was interned in Kaslo, BC beginning in 1942. He graduated from Kaslo High School in 1947 and was married in 1962.
He spent nearly 39 years working for the Canadian Pacific Railway in the Bridge & Building gangs in the East and West Kootenays before retiring in 1986 as a B&B foreman where he forged many lifelong friendships. He was a talented tradesman who was a jack of many trades (carpenter, pipefitter, welder, plumber etc.). Yute and Ruth and their boys loved to camp and fish but Yute’s passion was angling. This stemmed from the Atagi family’s historic roots in the wooden boat building and commercial fishing industries on the BC coast. Yute and his family fished Kootenay Lake and the waters around Quadra Island and Campbell River. Yute passed the fishing bug on to his sons. Yute and Ruth loved the community of friends they made up at Schroeder Creek Resort. His hand-turned Cedar plugs were coveted by all who were fortunate enough to receive them. He fished many years on the waters near Campbell River in search of the elusive 30 pound “Tyee” Chinook salmon and the waters of Kootenay Lake in search of “Walter” the 25 pound Gerrard rainbow trout. He did catch his Tyee salmon (several times over) but he never did catch “Walter” although he came pretty close on several occasions!
He will be remembered as a quiet, kind, caring, and gentle man who cared deeply about family and friends. He was committed to the well-being of the Atagi family and he looked after the young and the old. He was a committed husband to Ruth and they shared nearly 60 years together. Yute was the quiet patriarch of the Atagi Clan. He will be greatly missed by his sons, his friends and his Gore Street family.
A celebration of life will be held on May 14, 2016 at 300 pm in the chapel at Thompson Funeral Service (613 Ward Street, Nelson, BC). Special thanks go to Dr. R. Milde who gave wonderful care to Dad over the years and to Dr. T. Janz and the compassionate nurses and care aids at Mountain Lake Seniors Community and Kootenay Lake Hospital and who made Yute’s last days comfortable. Condolences to the family may be left at www.thompsonfs.ca.
Yute fished Kootenay Lake for 60 years for Gerrard rainbow trout, kokanee and bull trout and he was very supportive of the recent rebuilding initiative for the kokanee and rainbow trout fisheries. In lieu of flowers, a donation may be made online to the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation (http://www.hctf.ca/donate) or by sending a cheque to the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation (#107- 19 Dallas Road, Victoria, BC V8V 5A6). The family requests that you indicate that it is in memory of Yutaka Atagi to support fisheries conservation and restoration activities on Kootenay Lake.