Stuart Joseph Hoy
June 25, 1927 ~ December 27, 2012
The son of David & Evelyn Hoy, Dad was the 3rd of 7 children, and grew up in Fort St. James, BC. He was pre-deceased by two wives (Fran and Alma), four siblings: Norma, Marion, Doug and Bob. He was father to six children: Brenda (Phil), Doug (Carol), Donna, Leslie (Yuki), Richard (Donna), and Laura (Lyle), eleven grandchildren, and one great grandson, Jordan. He survived the tragic loss of his first wife, and three years later managed to find a second lady to love him and spent the next 30 years with Alma.
Dad lived a very full life. He left Fort St James at age 24 to join the Air Force, and trained as a communications technician. He spent 6 years in the RCAF where he met and married Fran, before returning to the Fort in 1960. He joined the BC Forest Service in 1963, moved to Prince George and continued on to Williams Lake in 1972. Dad spent 25 years ensuring communications were in place from Williams Lake to Fort St John. Long before cell phones, he installed towers on mountains that enabled forest fire fighters to communicate with each other. He retired in 1987 and spent a couple more years travelling around the area installing automated weather stations, while living in Horsefly, and later moved to Keremeos where he helped build the SunKatchers RV Park.
Dad loved the outdoors and nature in general. He would rather walk up the mountain than take a helicopter. He was in great physical shape, complaining that he was getting old because he couldn’t shovel cement for 8 hours a day when he was 75. (I told him I knew 20 year olds with that problem.) He was the king of one liners, and famous for his stories, which he told us over and over.
He moved to Nanaimo in 2007 and gave us a few good years and a lot of memories. He followed us around, through the Prep Camp in Port Alberni, and numerous minor hockey games where he could always be counted on to buy 50/50 tickets – never expecting to win, saying he considered it his ticket to watch, and he could always tell you which rink had the best fries! Phil and I had lots of time with him, listening to his stories and he enjoyed his time, helping us to build our place at Haggard’s Cove, fishing, and helping out. His grandchildren Dani & Dalyce got a chance to know him better, his grandson-in-law Clint and great-grandson Jordan spent many happy hours fishing and listening to his stories, and Jordan will always remember Grampa Hoy’s hockey sticks – that he offered to pay for as his contribution to Jordan’s quest. It’s sad that his second grandson-in-law, Lee never got a chance to know him as the smart guy that he was. He loved his Japanese grandsons, Leon and Lemiel and enjoyed their many visits to Canada and his five trips to Japan, along with Hawaii and Disneyland to be part of their lives.
Thank you to Richard and Donna, for hauling him out to their place at Horne Lake to enjoy nature and help with fence building, the occasional glass of wine, and many hours visiting and keeping him company. Thank you also to my sister Donna, for her many trips from Edmonton. You took him out to enjoy the outdoors and kept him company, so that Phil & I could enjoy the occasional few days away.
Dad had Alzheimer’s and did his best to accept it and continue his life. He suffered a stroke in 2011 that slowed him down physically, but he kept up his positive attitude. He always considered himself a lucky man. Dad spent two years at Berwick on the Lake, keeping the girls there amused by his jokes, and received excellent care before his health took a turn down and he moved to Nanaimo Seniors Village, where he spent the last four months surrounded by a new group of caring individuals that treated him with respect and dignity, and did their best to keep him comfortable.
He taught all of us kids a lot, and we all agree that his most important message was to “always leave the campsite cleaner than we found it”…. that’s how he lived his life and if more people lived that way, the world would be a better place. Although his passing was not unexpected, it does leave a big hole in our lives. He was the most optimistic person I knew, and wanted to “live as hard as he could for as long as he could, and when it was time to go, leave without causing a fuss.” He was a kind, gentle soul and although we will miss him always, we’re glad that his pain is gone. Good Bye Dad, and Thank you for all you did for all of us.
Thank you to all the people who cared for him during his last few years, friends and family who accepted him into their lives, Dr Pienaar, the staff of Berwick on the Lake and Nanaimo Seniors Village, Amit for his efforts to help him to walk again, and his good friend Harold (Thor) Hamilton, who visited him often and brought back memories of his early years in Fort St. James.
At his request we are not holding a formal service. We will remember him in our hearts and celebrate his life this summer in Fort St James. If anyone wants to honour his memory, please think of him as you drink a glass of red wine, or enjoy a piece of chocolate cake. No flowers please. If you wish, please make a donation in his name to the Nanaimo Hospice House or the Alzheimer’s Society.