June 4, 1929 – October 7, 2022
A loving husband, brother, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, uncle and friend, George passed away peacefully at the age of 93 on October 7, 2022, at home in the presence of Betty (Elizabeth) his devoted wife of 71 years, his daughter Robyn (John Dickinson) and son Glyn (Helen). He is also survived by his daughter Peggy, sister Gloria Knowler, grandsons Kevin (Kendal), Curtis (Helen), great-grandchildren Mark, Emily and Maryn, and many nieces and nephews.
George was born on June 4,1929 in Winnipeg, Manitoba to Helen and Alfred Stanier. He and Betty met at the East Kildonan Canoe Club and were married in June 1951 after he graduated from the University of Manitoba with his B.Sc.
After a brief but intense period as a member of an oil exploration seismic crew in Alberta, George and his young family moved to Osoyoos to help on his father’s fruit orchard. Following the harvest, he took a position in the laboratory at Scott Paper in New Westminster. In 1959, George decided to change the focus of his career and joined the industrial relations department at the Crown Zellerbach paper mill in Ocean Falls, BC. While in Ocean Falls, he served as Chairman of the School Board. He stayed with the company until his retirement in 1990, through corporate changes and moves to Elk Falls in Campbell River, Comox Logging, the Armstrong lumber mill, Fraser Mills in Coquitlam, and Head Office in Vancouver. His position often required him to implement difficult decisions, which he did with kindness and sensitivity. He spent many years on the negotiating team for Forest Industrial Relations and was respected by both his colleagues on the management side and union representatives.
George and Betty had a close and loving marriage. They enjoyed an active life together, golfing, boating, fishing, hiking, gardening. Together and with their adult children they travelled extensively. They particularly enjoyed trips to Ontario to see their grandsons and great-grandchildren. Their most recent trip, four years ago, found them on the dance floor, celebrating their youngest grandson’s wedding. Dancing with Betty was one of George’s joys.
Upon retirement, George and Betty returned to the Comox Valley, where they attended Elder College and joined Probus and the lawn bowling club. He served for some years on the Board of the Sunnydale Golf & Country Club in Courtenay and continued golfing four times a week until his late 80s. Although he was a reserved man, George inspired deep friendships that lasted throughout his life. He loved his fishing trips to the Dean River, even if he had to endure the teasing he received when he was often the only participant who returned empty-handed. He had a quiet sense of humour, often punctuated with a slight grin and twinkle in his eye. His family believes the camaraderie he experienced with his golfing friends contributed to his long and active life. After he had to give up golfing, he enjoyed their morning coffee meetings.
George was a wonderful host. He and Betty welcomed and included their children’s friends and extended family to their many gatherings. He had a keen eye for design and form, expressing his creativity through many woodworking projects and, especially, his love of Bonsai. Over 40 years, he diligently and meticulously crafted numerous examples, which he passed on and are now treasured by his family.
Although his last few years were difficult, George lived them with grace and dignity. His family will remember him as a strong, supportive, generous, funny (and fun), kind man of principle. George’s grandsons are thankful for his involvement, guidance, and support, which had a formative influence on their development as kind and honourable young men.
The family are thankful that, with Betty’s support, George was able to enjoy living at home until his death. They would like to thank Dr. Ingrey, Dr. Clark, and the Care workers who helped support him in the last months of his life. Their kindness is greatly appreciated.
A Celebration of Life will be held on Saturday October 22 at 2:00 pm. at Comox Golf Club’s “The Clubhouse Restaurant.”
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the charity of your choice.
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