December 25, 1920 – December 20, 2007
It is with great sadness we announce the passing of our dearly beloved father, Kenrick Noel Wakelin, on December 20, 2007. Yet we also rejoice in the knowledge that he is now at peace in the arms of his beloved sweetheart. Dad chose to join his devoted wife of 61 years, Elsie Joyce Wakelin, who has been waiting for him since her passing in September 2005. His conscious decision to make this journey was yet another lesson of love he shared with us during his lifetime of happiness on Earth.
Ken is survived and will be sadly missed by his loving daughter Janette (Alan) of Merville, loving sons Trevor (Pauline) of Whitecourt, Neil (Anne) of Vancouver, Keith (Deborah) of Merville, and Stephen of Courtenay. He was dearly loved Grandpa to granddaughters Alana (Michael) of Vancouver, Anne-Marie (Derick) of Calgary, Erika (Robert) of Leslieville, Heather of Calgary, Lindsay of Edmonton, and grandsons Kaje (Clelia) in Australia, Soren of Edmonton, Kevin of Calgary, Matthew of Vancouver, and Great Grandpa to Brandon, Robbie and Alex of Leslieville, Kieran and Liam of Vancouver, and Lily Mia in Australia. He was predeceased by his mother Violet, brother Ron and sister Joan, but is survived by his many nieces and nephews in New Zealand.
Ken was born and grew up in Wellington, New Zealand. As a young man, Ken excelled in the sports of running and table tennis. He also enjoyed a good game of cards. When he was about to leave for service in the 2nd World War, he met Elsie, the love of his life. He asked her to marry him and so began their great love story.
During the War, Ken served in the South Pacific with the New Zealand Armed Forces as a Bombardier. His service took him to the islands of Tonga, Norfolk and New Caledonia, where the New Zealand and Allied Forces reinforced civilian protection from the invading enemy troops.
When the war was over, Ken and Elsie started their married life together in New Zealand, where all their children were born. Ken spent the rest of his life in the role of a devoted husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather, to which he placed the utmost importance. To Ken and Elsie, the family meant everything. In October 2004 they celebrated sixty years of loving marriage together. Their devotion to each other will continue to be a great example to all the family.
Ken and Elsie immigrated to Canada in 1974 and settled on Vancouver Island in Sayward, later moving to Race Point, Campbell River where they enjoyed many retirement years. Early 2004, they moved the family home to Merville. Ken and Elsie turned every house into a home and loved being surrounded by nature and having a view of the water. Together, they landscaped and created beautiful gardens everywhere they lived. Ken delighted in the wild birds and animals and always provided food and shelter for them. He especially loved the hummingbirds, raccoons and squirrels that visited their gardens.
Ken also had many pets throughout his lifetime- two budgies, three dogs and countless cats! All of whom he loved dearly, especially ‘The Boss’ who became his constant companion for the past two years.
One of his favourite pastimes was sitting with Elsie while she read from their extensive library. She had a wonderful quest for knowledge and especially loved to read about animals, health and spiritual growth. Their family photo albums were a great joy to them and they also enjoyed listening and dancing to music.
Ken enjoyed traveling with Elsie, driving throughout New Zealand, visiting the gardens of Hawaii and USA, cruising the waterways of Holland, Belgium and ballooning in France, hiking in Austria and England, and exploring Canada by train and campervan.
Although the past two years have at times been sad and lonely for Ken without Elsie beside him, he kept his keen sense of humour, and enjoyed many precious times with his family. He graciously accepted help when it was needed, enjoyed social gatherings with family and friends, many of whom have come to know his gentle soul during this time.
Although Ken suffered with constant joint pain since the War, he never complained and stayed active throughout his life. Dad chose to leave us in good health and without medication, the way nature intended.
Special thanks go to the caring staff of Glacier View Lodge, where Ken has enjoyed living since last July, for their understanding and unconditional support of Ken’s requirements and decisions for his own health and care.
Overwhelming gratitude and thanks go to Anna Klassen for her two years of companionship to Dad, and to Dr Christophe Kind for his genuine concern for Ken’s health and comfort, for always being there when his professional help and advice was needed, for his prayers, and indeed, for the love he gave to both our parents.
Our Dad was a war veteran and protector of humanity; a provider and teacher to his family; a caregiver and gardener of the earth; a lover of birds, animals and children; an athlete; an artist; a comic; and the kindest, most gentle, loving soul to have graced our Earth. It was an honour and privilege to have shared in his life, and his peaceful journey of rebirth leaves a legacy of inner knowledge for all to follow.
At Ken and Elsie’s request, Ken’s ashes will be scattered by the family in their rose garden – “so that they may rest together, forever in their garden of dreams.” A gathering for family and friends will be held from 1 to 5pm, Saturday, January 12, 2008, at their home in Merville to celebrate Ken’s life and their love. In lieu of flowers, Ken has requested the planting of bulbs (especially lilies) throughout the garden. Please phone Janette at ZenZero, 250 338 0571 for directions.