Julie “Big Dee” Bilesky

December 12, 1921 – May 28, 2019
Julie, our much loved father, grandfather, and great-grandfather, passed away peacefully at his home on May 28, 2019. Julie was born in Meacham, Saskatchewan on December 12, 1921. His family relocated to Trail when he was 10 months old. After graduating from high school a year early in 1938, Julie eventually became employed by Cominco (Teck) in the steel fab trade where he worked for 45 years until his retirement at the age of 64.
From a young age, Julie learned to love all sports and became a superb all round athlete. In the local sports scene he excelled in the following: baseball, softball, soccer, lacrosse, hockey, basketball, curling, x-country skiing, swimming, and golf. He also tried pole vaulting, hunting, and fishing, and one could even say rafting, as he would often retell the story of how he and best friend Paddy McCabe strung a couple of logs together and rode the Columbia River from Trail to Northport. Julie was a member of the first Minor Hockey Day in Trail in 1935. He
most enjoyed his teammates and opponents he met over the years. He skied into his ’80’s, golfed into his ’90’s, and was an active curler at age 95 with the Rossland Retirees Curling Club. He accomplished most of these activities in his later years after having four complete hip replacements.
In his earlier years, Julie played lacrosse for Trail and then Rossland. As a member of the Rossland Redmen, he helped power them to three BC Provincial titles in a row from 1954-1956. In his later years, he threw batting practice to the baseball players he coached using his lacrosse stick, simulating both lefties and righties. Besides sports, Julie was also well known for his intelligence and his ability to design, build, and repair anything, often using steel. He extended the life of countless toys for his grandchildren over the years and took great pride when he was tasked by Cominco to design a Christmas tree that would be situated in Warfield and could be seen by nearly all of Trail. He built his own at-home workout gym and was still exercising into his early ’90’s, he built a trailer from scratch using steel, a lathe, a whiffle ball machine for baseball, bird feeders, monuments and so many other things. He designed and built a retractable netting connected to two trees in the park outside his home that would be used by grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and neighbourhood kids for over two decades. Although Julie had great success in sports, he claimed his greatest achievement was when he met a beautiful girl named Shirley Ham from Rossland. They became inseparable and shortly thereafter were married and enjoyed 56 years together until Shirley passed away in 2010. As years passed, Julie and Shirley became grandparents which was their reward for getting older. They loved and supported their grandchildren and great-grandchildren and it was during this time that Julie became
affectionately known as “Big Dee” to all of them. Julie supported them in a variety of sports activities that included training in his basement, practicing in the park outside his home, to coaching various baseball teams, to attending
nearly all their sporting events and other activities.
Julie was predeceased by his parents John and Julia Bilesky, brother Andy, sister Jean Lindsey, and his wife Shirley. He is survived by his sister Olga Beer, brothers Vic and Jim, son Pepper (Jill), daughter Deborah (Wayne), and grandchildren Chris Florko (Barrie), Ashton Florko (Jessica), Chelsea Keith (Matt), Mark Bilesky (Natalie), Andrew Bilesky (Lauren) and great grandchildren Ethan, Elijah, Ella, Lola, Felix, Gavyn, Gemma along with many nieces and nephews.
For the past two years since his mild stroke, Julie was very appreciative for the excellent home care provided to him by Deborah, Ethan, and Wayne as well as the kind visits by family and friends.
At Julie’s request, a graveside service will be held at Mountain View Cemetery on Monday, June 3rd at 11:00am where he will be buried alongside his beloved Shirley. Al Grywacheski of Alternatives Funeral and Cremation Services has been entrusted with the arrangements. As an expression of sympathy, donations in Julie’s name may be made to the Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital Health Foundation at 1200 Hospital Bench, Trail, BC, V1R 4M1 or online at www.kbrhhealthfoundation.ca
You are invited to leave a personal message of condolence by visiting the family’s online register at www.myalternatives.ca
 Alternatives Funeral & Cremation Services

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