Cronmiller, Charles “Chuck” Philip
10 Apr 1927 – 31 Jan 2006
Well-known and respected throughout Vancouver Island for his involvement with the
real estate and insurance business, community service organizations, and conservation and environmental associations. Chuck will be missed by his wife, Norma, sons David (Bonnie) of Courtenay and Ted (Susan ) of Nanaimo; daughters Barbara Guile of Comox and Brenda Hunter of Vancouver; their mother, Lois, of Comox; stepsons Peter Lemieux of Edmonton, Paul (Holly) Lemieux of Lethbridge, stepdaughter Leanne Lemieux of Vancouver; grandchildren Brandon, Jim, Sarah, Matthew, Dianne, Stephanie, Derek, Julia and Evan; great-grandchildren Issey, Aiden and Charlie; brother Max (Donna) Cronmiller of Walsingham, ON; sisters Vivian Armstrong of Port Rowan, ON, and Marilyn Haydt of Walsingham, ON; brothers-in-law Gerald (Barbara) O’Brien and Michael (Marjorie) O’Brien, both of England; and numerous nieces and nephews throughout Canada and England.
In 1943, Chuck lied about his age and joined the army at 16. He served as an infantryman until 1945, then re-enlisted in the RCAF in 1954 and served as an Armourer until 1970. He took early retirement to train as a real estate salesman, and then worked for Nanaimo Realty North in Courtenay where he became the General Manager and a partner.
No matter where he lived, Chuck believed in community involvement. He founded the Teen Club at RCAF Station Uplands in Ottawa, founded a hunting dog retriever club at RCAF Station Cold Lake, AB, was a founding member and director of the Strathcona Sunrise Rotary Club, founder and president of the Upper Island Retrievers Club, co-chairman and director of DU Canada Comox Valley Chapter, and served as president of the King Salmon Club, Hidden Valley Conservation Club, and Upper Island Junior Hockey Team. He was a charter member of the Comox Rotary, Sunrise Rotary and Probus, a member of the Masonic Lodge, Royal Canadian Legion, RCAF Association and the Courtenay Fish and Game Protective Association, and an associate member of the Outdoor Writers of Canada.
Whether organized sports or recreational, Chuck was also active and during one period in Ontario he was playing first base on seven different baseball teams. While stationed at Cold Lake he raised and trained his own award-winning Labrador Retrievers, became a member of the top rated Western Military Skeet Team, and built a cabin cruiser suitable for use on large lakes and the ocean. His hunting skills were such that he was always on call to escort VIPs on hunts for ducks, geese and pheasant. He continued these activities after arriving in the Comox Valley, and also became involved with junior hockey for several years. He later took up cross-country and downhill skiing, sailing, fly fishing and raising pigeons.
After his retirement in 1987, Chuck and Norma travelled extensively throughout western Canada, France, Germany, Russia, Siberia, Australia, New Zealand and Cuba. Chuck fell in love with Cuba, its people, and the hunting and fishing it offered. He returned over 15 times, usually as the tour leader for small groups of like-minded friends. When they weren’t travelling Chuck loved entertaining friends at home, combining his expertise at the barbecue with Norma’s haute cuisine. In 1988, he and Norma were actors in a television commercial shot locally for Suntory Distillery in Japan. Both of the Japanese crews involved were entertained by Chuck and Norma, and many more lifelong friends were made.
That Chuck had strong family values and was committed to helping others in the community was always obvious. He will be fondly remembered by his immediate family, extended family, and countless friends throughout the world for his thoughtfulness, friendly manner and warm sense of humour.
A Service of Remembrance will take place on Friday, February 10th at 1:00pm from COMOX VALLEY FUNERAL HOME AND CREMATORIUM, 1101 RYAN ROAD, with Father Paul Murphy officiating.
Should friends wish, donations in his memory to the Alzheimer Society, Suite 300, 828 West 8th Avenue, Vancouver, BC V5Z 1E2 or a charity of choice would be appreciated.