If you’ve ever driven along Broadway Street in Chilliwack at Christmastime when it’s dark, you’ve probably seen Roy and Wilma Louttit’s house.
It’s the one with all the bright lights and Roy’s hand-built, eight-foot-tall ferris wheel.
And if you are familiar with the house, you probably noticed last year that there were no decorations.
No, the Louttits didn’t move. But Roy wasn’t able to hang up any lights.
“He was so disappointed he couldn’t do it last year. He was just too sick,” Wilma said.
Every year his friend Norm Miles would help him decorate.
“He did it for the kids. He just enjoyed it and enjoyed the reaction from the children. He really loved Christmas.”
Since it didn’t happen last year, Roy was determined to put his Christmas decorations up one last time, but he died before that could happen.
“This year, before he passed, Roy had told Norm that this was going to be the last year that he would do it because he felt really bad he couldn’t do it last year,” Wilma said.
After Roy died, Wilma spoke with Norm and his wife Cindy.
“I gotta do this for him because he was bound and determined he was going to do it this year,” she recalled saying to them.
So they did.
Wilma, Norm and other friends and family members started hauling out strands of lights and Christmas decorations. She even bought a new ornament to add to this year’s display.
“We always said we’re not buying anymore. Guess who brought one home this year?”
She found a polar bear that lights up and couldn’t resist.
“He was just too cute to leave behind,” Wilma said.
Wilma, who’s 81, had never helped out Roy and Norm in all those years and she had no idea how much work was involved, or exactly how to attach some of the items.
“I’m here to tell you, a zap strap, I never knew how to work one of them doggone things,” she said with a laugh.
It took them about a month and they had to work around several cancelled days due to pouring rain, but eventually they finished.
Lights are now twinkling through the trees, icicles dangle from the edge of the house and Roy’s ferris wheel – which was stolen in 2014, found the next day and later restored for kids to enjoy again – is standing right where it always does every Christmas.
And it looks just like how Roy would do it.
“I know that he’s probably looking down and proud of all of us that worked on it,” Wilma said.
Wilma Louttit’s house is at 8880 Broadway St. The lights come on around 6 p.m. and stay on until about 11 p.m., but don’t ask Wilma to turn them on early because she doesn’t know how to.
“They’re on a timer,” she said.