It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our beloved father, papa and great papa, Rowat (better known as Mac) Wilfred Halifax, 84, of Fruitvale, BC, who passed away peacefully at home with family by his side on Tuesday, January 22, 2013 after a courageous battle with skin cancer.
Mac, eldest son of Frank and Gwen Halifax, was born on October 14, 1928 in Trail, BC. At age 10, the family moved to Fruitvale, where he grew up in the cement block house built by his father and grandfather. In 1947 while watching the girls’ baseball game between Fruitvale and Salmo, he saw and fell in love with Joan Kraft from Salmo. They were married September 13, 1952 in Fruitvale and moved into the second cement block home that he built with his father. He and mom were blessed with four children, nine grandchildren and nine great grandchildren (soon to be ten in March and eleven in July). He was a gentle, patient and loving husband, father and grandfather who deeply cherished and provided for his family.
Dad spent over 40 years working “up the hill” at Cominco, starting as a 15-year old summer student on the labour gang. After high school graduation he took his place at his bench in the Plumbing Shop where he worked as a pipe bender/fitter. Dad took great pride in his work and it showed as we’ve been told by many of his co-workers that “no one could bend a pipe like Hali”. In October 1985 he retired from Cominco and never looked back. He and mom enjoyed their retirement travelling, camping, and fishing, gardening and spending time with the family. After many years fishing for “the big one”, in the fall of 1990 Dad was finally rewarded with the catch of his life while fishing alone in a little tin boat on Kootenay Lake near Lardeau, BC. “Walter” put up a good fight, but that day he was no match for Dad and after about 40 minutes he landed that 27 pound rainbow trout with one hand on the fishing rod and the other juggling between the motor, the reel and the net! Dad was so excited with his catch he drove the boat straight back to the campsite, practically ran up the bank, all the while yelling for Mom to “pack up the trailer we’re heading home!” He was so proud of that fish.
Dad was a smart, inventive, kind, caring, honest, gentle and quiet man with a great sense of humor. At 15 he taught himself how to play the alto saxophone and played in a band at various dances in town. He coached and umpired little league baseball; helped build the curling rink in Fruitvale and was a member of the Curling Club for a number of years which was highlighted when he skipped two 8-ender games! He enjoyed challenging his brain with word and jigsaw puzzles and then video games which were introduced to him by his grandchildren. During his retirement he taught himself how to paint landscapes by watching Bob Ross on PBS. He has always embraced technology and kept in touch with family and friends by way of his computer. In his later retirement years he took up cooking, baking, canning and house cleaning. He took great pride in his yard, flower and vegetable gardens, his fish pond and his bird feeders.
Mac was preceded in death five weeks ago by his loving wife of 60 years Joan; parents Frank & Gwen, sister Eileen, brother Ken and grandson Ryan Halifax.
Mac is survived by his children: Gary (Lee-Anne), Randy (Sherry), Gail (Bob) Mayne, & Karen (Scott Simpson); grandchildren/great grandchildren: Sean (Kristy), Brooke, Riley, Britney; Aaron (Deana), Austin, Mackenzie; Jason (Laura); Michael (Karin); Gwendolyn Mayne; Shane (Tiffany), Keagan, Mason, Scarlett; Kara Mayne (Justin Weiers), and Tyler and Joanna Simpson; Step Grandchildren/great grandchildren: Kelly (Brad), Cole, Isabella, Finn Stykel and Marlise (Mark), Mattea, Delano Livolsi; sisters Norma McCarthy, Freeda Little; brothers Ron and Jed Halifax, as well as numerous nephews, nieces and cousins.
As an expression of sympathy, memorial donations may be made to the BC Children’s Hospital Foundation at http://www.bcchf.ca/donate/ or the BC Cancer Foundation at http://bccancerfoundation.com/ways-donate/gift-memory
As per Dad’s wishes, there will be no funeral service. A Celebration of Life will be held for both mom and dad in the spring. Cremation has taken place. Al Grywacheski of Alternatives Funeral and Cremation Services™ has been entrusted with arrangements. You are invited to leave a personal message of condolence at the family’s online register at www.myalternatives.ca
The family wishes to thank Dr. Behrens for Dad’s care over the years as well as Dr. McCoid for her care in Dr. Behrens absence. Your compassion for Dad was appreciated.
GOD SAW YOU GETTING TIRED
God saw you getting tired
and a cure was not to be,
so he put his arms around you
and whispered, “Come to Me”
With tearful eyes we watched you
and saw you pass away,
and although we love you dearly
we could not make you stay.
A Golden heart stopped beating
hard working hands at rest.
God broke our hearts to prove to us
He only takes the best.