Retired fire chief remembered as dedicated family man

Doug Angrove passed away in Kelowna last week.

Even through the darkest of days, Doug Angrove always had a smile on his face.

The former Victoria fire chief had a smile that could light up any room and a laugh that was contagious, said his daughter Amy.

That smile never faded, even when Angrove was diagnosed with brain cancer in December.

“He always found the humour in every situation. He had a quick wit and was always one step ahead of you, trying to think of the next joke to make you laugh,” said Amy.

“Throughout all of this negativity, dad never stopped joking. You couldn’t complain once about yourself without him saying ‘hey, I’m the one with the tumour’.”

On Friday, May 12, Angrove passed away in Kelowna at the age of 59.

His life was one of passion, especially for firefighting.

Angrove grew up in Esquimalt and began his firefighting career in 1979 in Nanaimo, where he rose to the position of deputy fire chief and was involved with the professional firefighters’ union for several years.

In 2003, he was named deputy chief of the Victoria Fire Department and three years later became chief.

In Victoria, Angrove was responsible for ushering in new technology and efficiencies in the electronic filing of records, much of which hadn’t changed since the 1990s.

He also pushed for increased funding for the department, which helped purchase the city’s first multi-purpose fireboat.

Paul Bruce, Victoria’s current fire chief who worked with Angrove for five years, described him as an all around good guy with a good sense of humour. He was dedicated to his profession, giving 100 per cent on the job every day and even outside of work hours. Occasionally, Angrove and Bruce would meet on the weekends to talk about the department, as well as chat about their personal lives.

“He was very dedicated and committed to any task he was doing,” Bruce said. “When you get into the fire department, you’re either all in or you’re half in and Doug was one of the guys who was all in.”

Former Victoria mayor Alan Lowe, who worked with Angrove for a few years, said he was always willing to help others. When Lowe’s son was contemplating becoming a firefighter, Angrove offered to speak to him about the profession. Now, Lowe’s son is a firefighter in Nanaimo.

“Doug had time for anyone who needed advice,” Lowe said. “He was an overall great guy who served the city very well.”

But the only thing Angrove loved more than being a firefighter was being with his family.

Angrove made his family a top priority. He was heavily involved when Amy and her older sister Jenna played sports, and the weekends were often reserved for camping, boating or fishing trips.

After his retirement from firefighting in 2011, Angrove and his wife Sandy remained active, riding bikes and kayaking. Last year the couple decided to pack up and move to Kelowna, the halfway point between his daugthers’ homes in Calgary and Salt Lake City, to be closer to his children.

After Angrove’s diagnosis, Amy and Jenna rushed to be at his side, and began preparing for the inevitable. In the weeks leading up to his death, friends and family stopped by to visit and Angrove called it his farewell tour. He passed away surrounded by family.

“He was my hero, as cliche as that sounds considering he was my dad and also a firefighter, but he was, and I hope he knew that,” Amy said. “Throughout this whole journey, he was the strongest one out of all of us. He never lost hope and kept up a good fight until the very end.”

Angrove leaves behind his wife, two daughers and four grandchildren. Amy is expecting her second child later this month. His name will be added to a memorial at city hall that honours firefighters who lost their lives in the line of duty.

kendra.wong@vicnews.com

Just Posted

Woman accidentally hands over diamond ring with spare change

Incident happened Wednesday at about 7 p.m. at parking lot near Nanaimo’s boardwalk

Proposed public art installation sparks debate in Victoria

$250,000 sculpture compliments an interactive sound element of First Nations drumming and singing

#MeToo at work: Employers play a role in fixing culture of harassment

B.C. workplaces are getting ahead of being the next MeToo debacle, calling on experts to train staff

Car and sport-ute collide at north-end intersection

The accident happened just before 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 15 at Mostar Road and the old Island Highway

RCMP seek motorists allegedly racing on highway in Chemainus prior to crash

Incident occurred at approximately 6:40 a.m. on Dec. 8

VIDEO: Campaign begins to keep Nanaimo Recycling Exchange open

Lease for recycling exchange on Kenworth Road site expires in March

‘The Last Jedi’ opens with $220M, 2nd best weekend all-time

As anticipated, the movie fell shy of the opening weekend for J.J. Abrams’ 2015 franchise reboot

2 couples tie the knot in Australia’s 1st same-sex weddings

West Australian couple Anne Sedgwick, Lyn Hawkins have been together for 40 years

B.C. concert promoter bans Nazi symbols at shows

A man was witnessed making a Nazi salute during a heavy metal show at Pub 340

EDITORIAL: Putting #MeToo to work in your workplace

Workers from top to bottom need to stand together against the bully of sexual harassment

Owl found dead after eating rat poison leaves B.C. woman concerned

After finding the owl on her Surrey property, Christine Trozzo says the poison is a concern for kids

Change to CPP death benefit panned as insufficient to cover funeral costs

Funeral Services Association of Canada lobbied governments to raise the value to $3,580

Suspect in Parksville allegedly steals a nail gun and liquor

Oceanside RCMP sent out a press release about a theft that took place Monday, Dec. 11

Beefs & Bouquets, Dec. 14

To submit a beef or a bouquet to the Nanaimo News Bulletin, e-mail bulletinboard@nanaimobulletin.com

Most Read