1913 – 2008
Mike died at the age of 95 at Glacier View Lodge, Courtenay, B.C. on Friday, December 5, 2008. He is survived by his wife Rae, daughter Louise (Robert), grandsons Jeffrey and Stephen (Jessica), great-grandson Oliver, brother Eddie (Grace) Welykochy, sister Kay Pangrass, sister-in-law Helen Smith, sister and brother-in-law Kaye and Jim Douglas, as well as nephews Gordon Douglas (Loreto), Wes Pangrass (Wendy) and niece Doreen Stratychuk (Mark). Michael was predeceased by his son Douglas in 2006.
Soon after Michael’s birth in Zealandia, Saskatchewan in 1913, the family moved to Saskatoon where he spent his early years and completed his education. To play in as many team sports as possible was Mike’s main purpose in life until 1935 when his love of hockey guided him to Trail for employment at Cominco where he shipped zinc to locations throughout the world. The company encouraged his hockey interests and Mike became a well-known hockey referee officiating at hockey games in the 1930’s and 1940’s throughout the Kootenays, the Okanagan, Spokane, Washington and Vancouver Island. After settling into married life and having a family, golf became his main recreation until his retirement from the game in his mid-80’s.
Writing was a hobby of Mike’s and, as a side-line, he wrote as a sports reporter for the Nelson News. He may be remembered for the many letters he wrote to the Trail Times editor commenting on many contentious subjects.
An ever present interest of Mike’s was listening to and singing the popular songs of his era. A few days before his death, he was singing ‘Beautiful, Beautiful Brown Eyes’ with Glacier View staff.
Michael will be remembered by family and friends as an energetic, industrious, kind man – a gentleman with a twinkle in his eye. He was, above all, a devoted husband and father.
Michael truly loved his life in the Kootenays. He always wanted to return to Rossland. To honor him, there will be a family gathering in Rossland this coming summer.
The family would also like to express their gratitude to Dr. Bogue and the staff of Glacier View for the exceptional care given to Michael during the past year.
Any donations in his memory may be sent to the Special Care Unit at Glacier View Lodge Society, 2450 Back Rd., Courtenay, BC V9N 9G8 or to a charity of your choice.