Matthias Stephen Wharram
January 23, 1923 – August 23, 2011
Stephen passed away peacefully at the Comox Valley Seniors Village.
Predeceased by his loving wife Dorothy; father, William Wharram; mother, Dorothy Wharram, sister, June Hayler; brother-in-law, John Hayler; Aunt Olive Banks Gordon; Uncle William Banks, and Grandmother Lily Banks.
Stephen is survived by daughter Susan Wharram (Paul Jespersen), Yarmouth, Nova Scotia; son Peter (Tracy) Wharram, Union Bay; grandchildren, Alexandria Wharram, London, England; Sarah and Michael Wharram, Union Bay. Stephen’s niece, Elizabeth (Graham) Bragg, England; great niece, Victoria Davies, England; great nephew, Andrew (Sarah) Bragg, England, Great great niece and nephews, Rachel Davies, James Davies and Patrick Bragg, England.
Stephen was born in Howden Hall, Hemingbrough, Yorkshire, England. Stephen was the eldest child born to William and Dorothy Wharram. He was followed by his sister June. He spent his younger years growing up on the farm at Howden Hall on his Grandfathers estate in Hemingbrough. He and his sister spent many hours riding their ponies in the fields around the farm and holidays at the seaside. Stephen attended boarding school where he excelled at his school work, enjoyed many sports, soccer, and cricket. Stephen won many trophies and awards in track and field, horseback riding and academics.
His later schooling was spent a Warwickshire College where he continued to excel both scholastically and at sports. He won many awards for mathematics and graduated with a full scholarship in Engineering.
Further education was put on hold as World War II had broken out and like many young men, at the age of 20, he was eager to join the battle and serve his country. He held the rank of gunner in the Royal Artillery Division in the Yorkshire Regiment. He spent most of the war serving in Northern Africa, and Italy at the battle at Anzio. Stephen finished out the war in Greece before returning in 1945, to his home in Harrogate, Yorkshire, England. It was in Harrogate where he met and married Dorothy Varley on November 9, 1949.
Stephen chose to finish his education in Accountancy rather than Engineering. He received his degree as a Chartered Accountant and completed his articling in Bradford and Sheffield, England. Encouraged by his Canadian Aunt Olive, Stephen and Dorothy immigrated to Vancouver, Canada in 1954. Working as an Accountant for one tax season in Vancouver, they then moved to the Comox Valley in September of 1954, where Stephen accepted a position as an accountant at Lavers department store.
He soon opened his own practice and later joined and opened a branch of Standeven and Company in Courtenay. The business grew rapidly and soon became Wharram Standeven & Company. Many of the Accountants who practice in the community today started out with Stephen. He was highly respected by his co-workers, clients, and in the community. His honesty, integrity and work ethic were beyond reproach.
Even with a busy practice Stephen always made time to volunteer in the community. Over the years he served many community organizations; a member of the Kiwanis Club of Courtenay for over 50 years and serving as President in 1960. President of the Red Cross, Chairman of the United Appeal, President of the United Good Neighbours, Chairman of the Board at Glacier View Lodge from 1982-1989, and was a volunteer for the Filberg Festival.
He was also active in his church, The Anglican Church of Saint John the Divine, where he served as a Warden for many years.
Stephen believed it was important to give back to your community; he instilled this in his children and grandchildren, leading by example. Stephen went about his charity work quietly and dedicated never expecting anything in return.
In his retirement years he enjoyed golf, reading and spending time with his family. He also continued his charity work with many organizations in the community.
Our family would like to thank all of the staff and care givers that so lovingly looked after Dad over the last few years. We would like to give a special thank you to the nurses, caregivers and staff at the Comox Valley Seniors Centre. We so appreciated your special attention and loving care you gave to Dad. We also appreciate the caring support you gave us in the last few weeks of Dad’s life. We thank God for your special gifts of caring for those in need.
Stephen will be missed by his many friends but especially by his family. Dad, “Pops”, always had a smile on his face and a loving nature, but we are comforted to know he has joined the light and love of his life, his friend, and companion, Dorothy.
Funeral services to be held at, The Church of St. John the Divine, 579 5th Street, Courtenay, 2:00pm, Saturday, August 27, 2011. In honour of Stephen we graciously ask that if attending the funeral you wear something red, his favorite colour.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Stephen’s name to the Alzheimer Society of British Columbia.