May 1, 1952 – October 14, 2020
It is with heavy hearts that we announce Claude’s passing at the age of 68.
Claude is survived by his ex-wife, Susan Saint-Amour; step-children, Jonathan (Sandi) Matlock of Kelowna and Courtney (Darcy) Wittenburg of Squamish; grandchildren, Max, Ben (Courtney), Hayden, Carter and Ellie (Jonathan); sister, Marie St.-Amour (Quebec); aunt, Cecile D’Aoust (Quebec); and cousin, Louis D’Aoust (Quebec).
Claude was Born May 1, 1952 to Jacline and Henri Saint-Amour in Montreal, Quebec. At the young age of 17 (1969), he entered the Canadian Coast Guard College (Sydney, Nova Scotia) where he studied for four years.
Claude went on to a thirty-six-year career in the Coast Guard that included serving as First Officer on board the icebreaker CCGS Labrador. Claude’s passion was hovercrafts and he was instrumental in opening the Coast Guard Hovercraft Base in Parksville (1982). He served as Captain of the hovercraft during its entire tenure in Parksville.
Soon after meeting Sue in 1984, he moved into his new family’s home in Nanoose Bay. A year later Sue and Claude married. Claude provided much-needed stability in his new family. Not only to Sue, Jonathan, and Courtney but also to Sue’s parents, Tom & Bunny Edwards.
As they grew older, Claude proved to be a compassionate and supportive son-in-law by spending hours talking with Tom, who was suffering from dementia and no longer felt comfortable talking with his friends. This is something his family will always be grateful for.
Claude and Sue later moved their family to an acreage in Coombs that allowed Sue and Courtney to keep their horses at home. He would soon bring home two cows, lovingly named Sir Loin and Miss Steak.
Perhaps Miss Steak was a simple spelling error as Claude will fondly be remembered by his neighbours for, on more than one occasion, chasing his escaped cattle around Coombs while wearing his bathrobe – and nothing else.
Courtney (Darcy) and Jonathan (Sandi) would eventually provide Claude with five step-grand-children. He was quick to build tire swings and climbing nets to make sure the kids always enjoyed their time at the farm. Some of their favourite memories are ATV and tractor rides with Grandpapa.
Claude had a keen interest in technology. All manner of gadgets came into the house over the years. Through the 80s and 90s, this interest drew him to amateur radio. Not only did he get his ham radio license (VE7GMM), he became a member of the Mid-Island Radio Association (MIRA), and served as president of MIRA from 1991 to 1992.
Claude enjoyed cooking, and those close to him were lucky enough to feast on many, many amazing holiday meals. At times his family yearned for ‘normal’ food, rather than the gourmet dishes he regularly prepared. Jeez, can’t we just have a burger once in a while?
Claude loved traveling with Sue and spent a great deal of time in Spain and Australia, among other countries. He looked forward to weeks away from home each winter in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Oftentimes alongside Sue’s brother Dale and his wife, Tersha.
Claude will be missed and remembered always by those who knew him.
At Claude’s request, there will be no service.
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