It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our beloved Vic, Dad and Grandpa on Feb. 3rd. Born in his family home in 1929, Dad went to school at Burnaby North where, at the age of 15, he met our Mom, his sweetie, Leaona (nee Wallace), who he married at 20 and they enjoyed 72 wonderful years as husband and wife. Dad loved us all unconditionally - Steve (Elaine), Lisa (David) and Leanne (Wayne) and together we mourned the loss of our sister, Janet (Peter) in 1998. He also enjoyed his role as Grandpa to his four grandkids and three great grandkids.
Always a storyteller with a great sense of humour, Dad shared his life adventures with a chuckle and, occasionally, a few salty words, that would bring us all to laughter. Dad could also recite all kinds of poetry at the drop of a hat, including Irish limericks, which he did with a perfect Irish brogue.
Mom and Dad’s story began in 1944 at school when Mom turned around and asked if she could borrow his ruler. Years later at a class reunion their teacher recognized them and said she knew she shouldn’t have sat them together! Mom would offer to carry his books home from school since he was so thin – she jokes that she thought he was sick.
After their wedding they lived in many homes, often just getting by and making do – that’s what you did ‘in those days.’ Emptied drawers worked very nicely as makeshift dinner tables for Steve & Jan as young kids. From Burnaby they went out east before heading back to B.C. with homes in Vancouver, Coquitlam, White Rock, South Surrey, Chilliwack, and finally settling in ‘sleepy’ Aldergrove.
Photography was always Dad’s love and he started taking correspondence courses to learn as much as he could about it. After a stint in upholstery with his sister, he joined the Air Force to begin his career in photography, moving Mom to Trenton, Ontario, and would tell us tales of hanging out the side of the plane shooting pictures. From there he was a pioneering cameraman and producer in Canada’s burgeoning film industry, that started at Artray Films in 1955 for five years, before he moved to KVOS Television. His camera work included, West to the Mountains, with Burl Ives, and two years of worldwide travel filming, If These Walls Could Speak, that starred Vincent Price. He also shot and then produced many award-winning commercials before leaving KVOS to start up Spooner Television Productions. His retirement came after 8 years heading up B.C. Hydro’s Audiovisual Department, shooting footage all around B.C.
After retirement, Dad found his true passion as a volunteer with the Township of Langley Community Police office, spending close to 20 years in Crime Prevention, Victim’s Services and Block Watch and, in 2004, was the proud recipient of the Eric Flowerdew Volunteer Award. During his lifetime he and Mom trained and loved many four-legged friends – most notably Great Danes – but their precious mixed-breed, Hannah, was Dad’s favourite and she never strayed far from the side of his chair.
Dad and Mom shared so many wonderful memories with lifelong friends who spanned from their school days, foster parenting (13 babies), the film industry, the Great Dane Society, the ‘cop shop’ and their Aldergrove neighbourhood. The family would especially like to thank their amazing neighbours, of whom there are many, who would wave and blow kisses to Dad in the window during this past strange COVID year, spoil them both with an assortment of food and treats, gossip with Mom in the driveway and, more importantly, lend a helping help at all hours of the day and night when needed.
Dad, you will live on forever in our many wonderful memories and in our hearts. We love you.
You are invited to leave a personal message of condolence for the family.
We were so very sorry to hear of Vic's passing. He and Keith shared so many experiences — and laughs — in times gone by. Sending deepest sympathy to Leaona and the family.
I remember Vic well from my three years at KVOS TV and Canawest Films... I was one of the animators there in the early 70s. He was a great guy, very funny and kind. I was a young guy just starting out and he was very helpful. I was sad to see his obituary but glad that he lived a long and, from the sounds of it, very happy life. He's the only one of what we called 'The Sales Guys' that I remember well. My condolences to the family...
Tom and I are so sorry to hear about your dad. Your family were great neighbours "down the lane". We will never forget the commercial for "Beeno's" with Tom and Mike. Your dad made a young, Mike a very happy boy by setting up that commercial. We have great memories of your dad and family from the "good old days!" Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.
I worked with Vic at the old Aldergrove CPO in the 90’s before it moved to Fraser Hwy. We scrounged used air conditioners and got used furniture to equip the office. Vic was always calm and humorous. A true gentleman. Dave Jones Cpl. 35928 RCMP retired
I was very sadden to read of Vic's passing in The Sun this morning. I worked with Vic during his KVOS days. He was the head of the animation photography department. His age would have been around thirty six at the time and I was twenty one. I was just starting out in cinematography at the KVOS (on the job training) school of film. Vic made it so much fun to work there. He was always funny and very kind and caring as well. You knew that whatever you wanted to say to him would be heard with compassion. Over the years I have often thought about Vic and how, when he would walk into a room, you knew you were going to laugh in the next few seconds. He had a great outlook on life as his sense of humor attests. And he helped a lot of people, and I was one of them. Vic, you will be surely missed! John Holbrook