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May 21, 1929 - December 23, 2022
Dale Huck, cherished husband, Dad, Papa, and Great-Papa, passed away peacefully, with family at his side, on December 23, 2022.
Dale was fun-loving, and a kid at heart! His quick wit and wonderful sense of humour will be missed by all who knew him. He had a big smile, a hearty laugh, and a sparkle in his eyes.
A man of great generosity and integrity, Dale cared deeply about family and friends. He was honest, loyal and above all, kind. Dale's strong work ethic was key to his many accomplishments. His resilience and determination saw him through life's challenges.
Pre-deceased by wife, Eileen, and siblings Arthur, Lawrence, & Eileen, Dale will be sorely missed by his loving family: wife Joan, "his girls" Jan Bruce (Michael), Barb Hickson (Ron Sandland) , Karen Newman (Bill), his grandchildren Brad Bracewell (Kaoru, son Alex), Sandy Dumouchelle (Steve), Wade Hickson (Sheri), Christie Purych (Jason), Ryley Newman (Sydney).
Great-grandchildren Ray, Cora, Sydney and Colby are saddened by the loss of their Great-Papa Dale.
Dale loved and embraced his extended family, Joan's children Rick Rathy (Lindsay), Doug Rathy (Ruth), Sandra Battle, Phil Rathy (Laura), Trish Drews (Dave) and Chris Rathy (Janet), eighteen grandchildren and fifteen great-grandchildren. All will miss him dearly.
Born in Renown, Sask., Dale's family moved to Victoria when he was four. Raised on Prospect Lake, "out in the country" in Saanich, Dale had many wonderful memories of his youth. At fourteen, following his dad's death, his family moved into the city.
Dale was a kitchen helper at the Royal Jubilee Hospital, then enrolled in the Cook's Apprenticeship Program at the Empress Hotel. Dale completed his work experience at the Banff Springs Hotel, a highlight of his young adult life.
Dale graduated, was hired as sous chef, and met his future wife, Eileen Ellis, a server in the dining room at the Empress. Dale and Eileen married on June 2, 1950, much to the delight of co-workers.
Dale left the Empress to work for Sheppard's Dairy as a milkman. In 1957, he was recruited by Nanaimo Dairy Ltd. which meant moving his family, Eileen and daughters Jan and Barb, to Nanaimo. Dale was manager of Nanaimo Dairy for twelve years during which time their third daughter, Karen, was born.
In 1969, Dale and Eileen became owner-operators of the first Smitty's Pancake House in Nanaimo (later Smitty's Family Restaurant). Sadly, less than one year later, after twenty years of happy marriage, Eileen passed away at the age of 39.
Dale, his family, and the Smitty's team forged ahead at that difficult time. The restaurant flourished thanks to great food, exceptional service, and innumerable loyal customers. Dale encouraged staff to work hard and have fun, in equal measure. He often instigated fierce water fights at closing time on summer days! Co-workers formed close friendships with Dale and each other, friendships that remain today long after Dale's retirement in 1989.
Dale and Joan married on April 18, 1992. During over thirty wonderful years together, they lived life to the fullest. Theirs was a loving, caring relationship, supportive of each other no matter the circumstances. Dale and Joan enjoyed travelling and sharing time with family and a multitude of good friends. They were a fun, popular couple with a busy social calendar!
Dale believed wholeheartedly in community service. He thrived on fellowship and was dedicated to numerous organizations, too many to list. Nanaimo Rotary Club, Probus Club, Ashlar Lodge #3, Mid Island Shrine Club, Scottish Rite (Nanaimo and Victoria), Nanaimo Yacht Club and Nanaimo Coffee Club are just a few.
Dale was the ultimate Rotarian, putting service above self in every aspect of his life. Fellow Rotarians considered "Huckee" the heart of their club and will remember him not only for his eagerness to volunteer and help with all projects but for his frequent jokes and pranks!
Dale's family sincerely thank the paramedics, the ER staff and the 5th Floor staff at NRGH for their professional, compassionate care during his last few days. We are truly grateful for everyone's kindness.
In honour of Dale's request, there will be no service. Instead please raise a glass to Dale, picture his big smile, and reminisce about all the laughter and good times with him.
In lieu of flowers please consider a donation to the charity of your choice. Dale held a special place in his heart for the ALS Society of BC and the Heart & Stroke Foundation of BC.
Dad, we love you and will miss you more than we can say. You will be in our hearts forever. "Bye for now".

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