It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Arnold (Arne) Bennet Tjorhom on August 5th at 11:50 pm. He was the patriarch of a very large family and left a legacy that so many of us are so very proud to be part of.
Born in Vancouver on May 12th, 1932, Dad moved to Lantzville in 1944. He always said that was his best year because that was the year he met his one true love, our mom, Wilma. They were childhood sweethearts and married in 1951, celebrating their 71st wedding anniversary last March 17th. Theirs is a true love story, an inspiration to us all.
Their union produced six children: Sandy (Gil), Arlene (Gary), Anita (Landis), Debbie (Tom), Alan (Tracey), and Patricia (Arnie). He will live forever through his five daughters and one son; sixteen grandchildren Reg, Kim, Zara, Kyla, Ashlee, Devon, Jordan, Joel, Ellice, Emily, Carmen, Nikki, Stephanie, Amber, Carey, and Dusty; and thirteen great-grandchildren Alison, Kyle, Grayson, Ethan, Cody, Addy, Elijah, Hartley, Grady, Gracie, Ana Belle, Katelyn, and Jaxon.
He also leaves in mourning sisters Mildred Marston, Olga Clarke, and their children.
Dad was predeceased by his parents, Alex and Mabel Tjorhom, and son-in-law Reg Sr.
Dad's many years produced numerous accomplishments and exemplified the countless targets he set for himself. His first teaching position was in Cedar and then on to a one-room schoolhouse in a logging camp in Vancouver Bay.
While in Vancouver Bay, Dad taught grades one through seven to the children of those who resided in the camp. While there, together with Mom, they chopped down trees and planed the lumber to build the boat that took them and their young, growing family across the straight to Lantzville to visit both sets of grandparents. What adventures they had!
From there, Dad brought his family to Pender Harbour, Garden Bay, and Kleindale, where he taught high school, coached sports teams, and continued, with Mom, to expand, raise, and support a growing family. During the off times of summer, Dad fought forest fires to assist the family income. So many wonderful memories were created while we lived there.
From Pender Harbour, Dad accepted a position in Nanaimo starting as a Head Teacher in Harewood, then on as Principal at Fairview, Forest Park, Cilaire and Mount Benson.
In 1968, Dad received his Bachelor of Education, and in 1975, his Master of Education. Both accomplishments, with family support (primarily from Mom), epitomized the strong values he held in the role of education and continued learning. He was passionate about his role as teacher, coach, and principal, and cared deeply about his students.
There are countless stories of students attributing him to their success in school.
In addition to his academic and career accomplishments, Dad was a very talented artist, musician, gardener, carver, and carpenter. Grandchildren and great-grandchildren were proudly gifted with their 'very own' handcrafted chair. We have carved spoons, Norwegian 'old men', and handcrafted memories created by Dad. And he was a collector too, proud of his numerous ironwood carvings.
Those who knew Dad in his retirement years will remember the coil 'memo book' kept in his breast pocket. New ideas and plans were always written down with the thought to enter them into his journal or daily plans. Dad was a devoted journalist, starting in 1985 and continuing for many decades. His personal library holds years of his writings and ponderings. These journals are a source of inspiration and valued insight.
A 2011 notation from one of Dad's journals illustrates his values,
This was our dad, thoughtful and caring, and the one true and only love of our mom. He was a devoted husband, dad, grandpa, and papa, the head of this large family. He had a life well lived, full of dreams and accomplishments, and most importantly, love.
We will miss him deeply but are so proud and grateful to be part of the family that he and Mom raised. We are truly blessed.
It is time to rest now, Dad. You are forever loved.
A special thanks to the nurses and support staff of the NRGH Emergency Ward and PCU. Their kindness and compassion were so appreciated.
To share stories and condolences please visit www.dignitymemorial.com
We would like to invite you to celebrate the wonderful life at First Memorial , 1720 Bowen Avenue on October 21st at 1PM.
Please join us for memories and friendship.
Wilma and family