Harold John (“Harry”) Pruden passed away peacefully with family at his side on Sunday, January 4th, 2015 at St. Joseph’s General Hospital in Comox, at the age of 82 years, beloved husband of Shirley Eamer Pruden of Comox Seniors Village.
Harry was born and raised in Winnipeg, MB, the youngest child of Joseph Henry Pruden and Annie Palmer Pruden. He was a member of a large Métis family with roots deep in the Hudson’s Bay Company fur trade. Harry had lifelong interests in sports, youth development, the performing arts, and church and community service. As a teenager in WWII, he proudly served in the Canadian Forces as a cadet and continued on in the military Reserves for 22 years, reaching the rank of Major. As a young adult, he was a member of Winnipeg’s “Flying M” track club. He was a middle distance runner, and competed at the Canadian Olympic Trials. In later years, he played in a men’s senior baseball league. He attended the University of Winnipeg and although he held many and varied positions of employment during his lifetime, he was a Mediation and Conciliation Officer in the Manitoba Department of Labour at the date of his retirement in the late 1980s. At that time, Harry and Shirl moved to Comox.
Harry is a past member of the Order of deMolay, Rotary International, Toastmasters, Shrine Circus Daddies, Royal Canadian Legion Branch #160, and the Comox Valley Clown Club. He had a beautiful singing voice, was a member of a number of different choirs over the years and was instrumental in the organizing of Comox Valley’s Evergreen Choristers. Harry had his serious, careful side but, by natural inclination, he was an impresario, a storyteller, entertainer, actor, singer, dancer, musician, clown, magician and prankster. Harry was also a romantic. That is one reason why he and Shirl were married on Valentine’s Day. They recently celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary. He loved flowers and never failed to bring her flowers. There will never be another like him.
Harry was a dedicated member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the “Mormons”) and he had a strong love of God and a vibrant testimony of Jesus Christ and His gospel. In these last few years, Harry read his scriptures and the songs in his hymnbook many times daily.
Harry is predeceased by his parents and all four of his sisters and their husbands: Dorothy (Ed Boittiaux) of Winnipeg; Edythe (Alf Eburne) of Winnipeg and Calgary; Marjorie (Jim Berthman) of Winnipeg; and Mildred (Trevor Hamon) of southern Alberta. He is survived by his daughter Karen Shirley (Leo) of Langley BC; son Hal Pruden of Ottawa; son Glenn Pruden (Laurie) of Ottawa; and step-son Michael Clarke (Tracey) of Courtenay. Harry had 12 grandchildren; 13 great-grandchildren; and 17 nephews and nieces, all scattered across North America.
Friends may meet the family and pay their respects at Comox Valley Funeral Home, 1101 Ryan Road, Courtenay, BC on Friday, January 9th, 2015, at 7:00pm-9:00pm.
The Funeral Service will be held at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Courtenay Chapel, 1901 20th Street, Courtenay, BC, on Saturday, January 10th, 2015, at 11:00am.
Interment in the Courtenay Civic Cemetery on Mission Hill will be followed by a reception in the Courtenay Chapel’s cultural hall.
The family would like to give special thanks to all the nurses and doctors in the Emergency Room and ICU at St. Joseph’s, especially Chris, Trevor, and Sandy, for their kindness during this difficult time period.