We are sad to announce the passing of Joe (Joseph Nickolaus) Benzer in Merritt, on September 5, 2012, at the age of 82 years.
Joe was born and took all his schooling in Kelowna.
He moved with his parents to Merritt in 1951. He was trained as an Electrician by his Dad and later joined the IBEW where he worked for the rest of his career. He thoroughly enjoyed his work and travelled much of the Province working at different B.C. sites. He retired to Kamloops, and returned to Merritt when he needed more care.
Joe enjoyed swimming and paddling in the war canoe races at the Kelowna Regatta. He was one of the first people to swim across Okanagan Lake, a distance of over a kilometre.
He enjoyed the outdoors, participating in hunting and fishing. He was involved in Boy Scouting, rising to a Troop Leader.
Although Joe never married, he was very much a part of our families. He was especially loved by his nieces and nephews, who he used to take out for breakfast whenever they were all together. They would stop to have a visit with him anytime they went through Merritt.
He was predeceased by his parents Nick and Liz, and brother Bill. He is survived by his brothers, Ernie (Kaye) in Kelowna, Art (Gail) in Montrose, sister-in-law Sybil in Terrace, and his eleven nieces and nephews and their families, also three great, great nieces. He will be missed by all the family.
A special thank you to Maurice Mathieu for being a wonderful friend to Joe, visiting often, taking him out, and doing any shopping for him. You were a huge part of his life the last few years that he lived in Merritt. Also thank you to the staff at Nicola Meadows, where he lived until he needed more care. You were awesome to him, teasing and helping him and practicing “Tough Love”. The last few months at Gillis House were made so much easier because of the very caring staff there. A special thanks to Dr. Van Der Merwe.
Merritt Funeral Chapel is in charge of the arrangements. Joe’s ashes will be put in his father’s grave in Merritt, B.C. A marker will be added to match his mother’s and dad’s.
There was a service at Gillis House on Sunday, September 9, at 1:30 pm. Nicola Meadows is having a Celebration of Life tea in memory of Joe on Saturday, September 15, from 2 to 4 pm. All are welcome.
Come and bring your stories about Joe.