In his 99th year, peacefully, under the loving and quality care of the staff at the Lodge
at Broadmead, a Veterans Health Centre in Victoria, B.C.
Born to parents Oliver and Alzida, on a farm in Hill End, Alberta. His early years were
spent in Alberta helping on the farm. His love of the outdoors took him to the Rocky
Mountains working winters as a ski guide around Mt. Norquay and Mt. Sunshine with
summers spent on the barges along the Athabasca River.
Joe enlisted in 1941, for WWII, with Canadian Armed Forces and served in England,
as a cook, for the Electrical and Engineers division (REME). Discharged in 1946
decorated with the Defence Medal and Canadian Volunteer Service Medal.
Returning to Canada, and still with the REME, Joe ventured north where his first
adventure involved helping to survey the road from Jakes Corner to Atlin, B.C. The following year he helped break ice on Lake LaBarge to survey
the road from Whitehorse to Dawson City. Those first two years “North of 60” hooked Joe on the Yukon. Appointed as Game Guardian by the
Commissioner of the Yukon his area was that of the Kluane Lake area. Shortly thereafter he became the Forest and Land Manager for the Federal
Government of Canada with his base in Haines Junction, Yukon.
It was here, that Joe met and married, in 1956, his wife Marion (nee Mayowski), a school teacher. A family of two sons were soon to follow. Joe
and family transferred to Dawson City in 1960, where his work expanded to mining inspections, land use, game warden and forest fire fighting –
culminating with retirement from Federal Service in 1977.
Joe took up a hobby career of mining and jewellery making, actively pursuing this hobby well into his late 80’s. He was well known in the community
for his “gift of the gab“ and his culinary skills enhanced many community dinners and school graduation banquets. An active member of the Dawson
Kiwanis Club, and honorary life member of the Dawson City Volunteer Fire Service. Joe was also an avid photographer, and was often called upon to
take pictures of weddings. He collected Yukon artifacts, and ran a small museum in the Dawson Hardware building.
Joe and Marion retired to Parksville on Vancouver Island in 1979. Joe continued to be lured by the north, spending his summers on Bonanza Creek up
to his 90th year. His winters were spent as an ambassador to the Yukon, called upon by numerous clubs and associations to share and show his fantastic
slide presentation of the Klondike and surrounding areas.
Pre-deceased by his loving wife Marion, survived by sons Brian (Patti) of Whitehorse, Gerry of Dawson City, Grandchildren, Ashley and Kelsey and
great granddaughter Keely all of Alberta.
A lifetime Member of the Yukon Order of Pioneers, Dawson City Branch, Joe will be
interred in a private ceremony in the Y.O.O.P graveyard, in Dawson City,
next to Marion.
A memorial service will be held in Dawson City during the summer season of 2010,
date to be announced.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to: The Broadmead Care Foundation
– founded to support the Broadmead Care Society’s aspiration to excellence in care –
providing quality of life and services to Veterans and seniors.
Broadmead Care Foundation, 4579 Chatterton Way, Victoria, BC V8X 4Y7 “There’s a land — oh, it beckons and beckons,
And I want to go back — and I will
It’s the great, big, broad land ‘way up yonder,
It’s the forests where silence has lease;
It’s the beauty that thrills me with wonder,
It’s the stillness that fills me with peace.
So me for the Yukon once more”
Robert W. Service