June 23, 1917 ~ February 5, 2012
Eric Heikkila, passed away February 5 in Nanaimo Regional General Hospital at age 94, predeceased by Gertrude, his wife of 45 years, in 2001.
Eric was born in Isokyro, Finland on June 23, 1917 and spent most of his early years in Helsinki before emigrating to Canada with his parents and younger sister in 1931, initially settling in northern Alberta. After 5 years attempting to farm in the muskeg, the family moved to BC, living in a logging camp on Lake Cowichan, then briefly in Ladysmith, before buying the family farm on Doumont Road in Pleasant Valley in 1938. Beginning in the late 1930’s, he worked up and down the BC coast as a logger, and lived in Vancouver for several years while working as a log trader. He enjoyed his years in logging and often spoke of his hard-working and sometimes high-spending days. He rejoined his parents on the farm in the early 1950’s, marrying Gert in 1956, having 2 sons, and raising turkeys until the 1970’s followed by pheasants and quail on a smaller scale. He and Gert did some travelling prior to her death and afterward he kept up his interests and voracious reading, living on the farm until the end.
Eric is survived by his sister, Aino in New Westminster; his son, Rick (Barbara) in Nanaimo; and grandchildren, Carly (Allan), David and Kate; and by his son, Bob (Lynell); and grandchildren Isabel and Kurtis in North Vancouver; along with numerous nieces and nephews in Canada, and cousins in Finland.
A private memorial service will be held for Eric. Thanks to NRGH staff, Homecare staff, Dr. Colin Walker, and Dr. Anthony Booth for assisting Eric in recent years. In lieu of flowers, the family would be grateful if you would consider a donation, in Eric’s memory, to the Nanaimo Regional General Hospital Foundation, or the Canadian Cancer Society.