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Marlene (Maria) Park (nee Kyca)
Born March 23rd, 1929

Hugh Duncan Park
Born February 21st, 1931

"Together Forever"
Marlene, the eldest of 6 children, born to Bill and Jenny Kyca, was born in Andrew, Alberta, at home, in a small, predominantly Ukrainian community north of Edmonton. Being the first born, she grew up with many responsibilities, from helping care for her siblings and helping with the farm duties, she became very proficient at operating a Combine and Tractor.
She learned to be an expert seamstress from her loving mother, and always said that she and her sisters were the best dressed girls in the one room schoolhouse that they attended, thanks to her mother. This was most definitely a legacy, character, and skill she carried through her entire life.
After leaving school early to help with the farm for several years, Marlene eventually made her way to Calgary where she was working as a nurses aid, at the time she met the love of her life Hugh.
Marlene was known to all, then and throughout her life as a kind, elegant, and classy woman, with a hidden wit, who always tried to make you feel good about yourself. Her passion and what she was well known for, apart from her cooking, were her talents and love for gardening, and flowers .... And it must be said that no one made an Apple pie or Jellyroll like she could!

Hugh was born in Central Butte, Saskatchewan, to Robert and Katinka Park (Scottish and Norwegian decent). He was the youngest of 7 children, and a farm family that Homesteaded across the prairies, during the Great Depression. Hugh helped with the farm and, eventually the family made their way to the coast where they settled in New Westminster, B.C.
Hugh left home at 15 years old, to find his own way in the world and soon took a job as a Apprentice Mechanic, which was the start of a life career. After several years of honing his skills as a mechanic, he entered the Air Force and shortly after, met Marlene.
Hugh had a natural talent for the mechanical, and built a reputation, throughout his life, as being able to fix anything. He also possessed a very creative and inventive side, and a tenacity to tackle and solve any challenge. His humour and love of a good joke or story was known to all!

A Love Story: Hugh and Marlene's love story began on a blind date, and continued for over 70 years. Forgoing the offer, from her parents, for a large Ukrainian Wedding in the summer, Marlene joined Hugh in Ottawa, where he was recently posted. They were married on April 22, 1952, in Ottawa, in a very small ceremony and then a short but memorable Honeymoon in Niagara Falls.
Left with only a few dollars after the Honeymoon, they started their new lifelong journey together. An Air Force posting took them to Whitehorse in the Yukon Territories where Scott (their "Midnight Son") was born. Hugh helped build the Alaskan Highway as part of his posting, and had many beautiful lifelong memories that took them back several times, in their retirement.
They were posted to Alberta, and soon after, in 1959, welcomed a daughter, Holly. Their family was complete, and soon after, Hugh was posted to Metz, France. The family and the 1957 Chevy made the week long journey to Europe, aboard the RMS Saxonia, to begin the next adventure.
Weekends were filled with sightseeing, camping trips and day picnics to other countries, all in the comfort of the '57 Chev, which drew a lot of attention wherever they went. They made lifelong friendships, and during this time, Hugh fixed cars, a side job, in the basement garage of the home in France, and Marlene made it home with her flower garden.
Hugh and Marlene adjusted beautifully, to the french way of life, and fostered a life long love of great food and wine. Upon returning to Canada {1964), Hugh and Marlene purchased their first home, and again, Hugh took a second job doing an evening mechanics job, at a car dealership, where he also started buying, restoring, and selling Sports cars.
It was not uncommon for the Family to day trip to Niagara Falls, family dog included, top down in a fun little sports car!
A final posting to Comox, B.C., lead to their decision to retire in the Valley, and the family started setting up deep roots.
After Hugh's retirement from the Air Force, they purchased the Ryan Road property, and, while Hugh worked as a Millwright for Fields Sawmill, they set to building their Dream home, a labour of love for both of them.
Shortly after the completion, they also started a small excavating company, and Hugh worked, as an Engineer, for several local Tugboat, and Fishing boats.
Marlene went to work for Anderton Nurseries and was in her glory, and started to plan the garden and landscape for the home that they were building. She earned her nickname "Waterlily" from her co-workers.
Life was settling in nicely and they loved the Comox Valley. During this time, Hugh took a job as Chief Engineer on a Tuna Boat, and went to sea for 3 months, a difficult decision for both Marlene and Hugh to make.
The ship sailed all the way to the international boundaries of Japan, often battling 40 foot waves, and some incredible experiences, both wonderful and scary. Hugh wrote nightly, in a Journal of his daily adventures, and his heartfelt feelings for her and his family, and Marlene prayed for his safe return. It was a joyful day for all when he returned!
Total retirement was exciting and with a Greyhound Bus conversion completed, Hugh and Marlene (complete with tow vehicle and pets) travelled south to the Mexican Baha, as well as exploring North America, including several return trips to Alaska and the Yukon that they shared with Family.
As well as many local camping and fishing adventures on the beautiful West Coast, with friends and family. Their adventures brought great joy and many cherished memories! Family was everything to Marlene and Hugh; and now with their family close by, and the arrival of Grandchildren, life became busy.
Their home, and Hughs' shop were most often a hub of activity. Hugh could always be found in his workshop, even if he had to get there on his "Popemobile". Marlene could most often be found with her Wheelbarrow, in her garden, or tending to the virtual paradise of baskets and plants on the patio.
Those who knew them remember their welcoming personalities. There was always time for friends and many a great story and a joke or two, were shared over coffee, or a glass of wine. The laughter and life of young people brought great joy to Hugh and Marlene, and nothing made them happier. Hugh and Marlene became known affectionately, as "Gram and Papa" to many.
Many a Happy day was spent outside, between Marlenes' Garden and Hughs' shop, while they took a 'coffee break' to share and enjoy the days productivity together. The love of Animals were a integral part of who Marlene and Hugh were! Many pets became a loving 'family member' and provided so much happiness for them, over the years.
When Hugh and Marlene heard that the SPCA was needing to relocate, they kindly offered to donate a free piece of their land. Although the location did not work out, they were honoured with a lifetime Membership to the SPCA.
In the later years, Marlene and Hugh were happy, and content to spend their days, reading and relaxing in the comfort of their own home. Together they built a meaningful life, with deep love, respect, through the ups and downs and always with grace and strength. They were each others best friends, and until the end, held hands as they fell asleep every night.
Marlene and Hugh were very fortunate to spend their last years in their own home, and for them, it was their fondest wish. Their life was truly a love story that stood the test of time, and was true testament and a fine example of what enduring love is. Those who were fortunate enough to have known Marlene and Hugh, will always remember them as Beautiful people, humble, kind, hardworking, who gave of themselves freely and genuinely.
We are honoured to have had their knowledge, perspective, wisdom, laughter, and most importantly, the love that was shared. Thank you, with deepest gratitude, Mom and Dad, Gram and Papa, Hugh and Marlene, for the gift of yourselves.
Hugh and Marlene leave behind their Son Scott (Shelley) Park, Daughter Holly Francis, Grandsons Jordan, Quinn and Hugh, and Granddaughter Brigitte, and many close friends and relatives.
Many heartfelt thanks to all that have reached out with your messages of support and flowers, for the family during this difficult time. Many thanks to Comox Fire and Rescue, and the RCMP. Thanks also to Dr. Ingrey and Staff, and the Medicine Shoppe for all the kind support.
In lieu of Flowers, please send Donations to SPCA Comox Valley.
A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date.

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