July 26, 2018
George Edward Clarke, 81, of Chilliwack, British Columbia, passed away Thursday, July 26, 2018 surrounded by his wife, children, and grandchildren.
A Celebration of Life was held just 11 days prior when George was joined by 25 family members and a few special friends for a 3 hour cruise on Harrison Lake followed by a dinner. It was a perfect day with love, lore, and laughter-and George enjoying it all.
He is survived by the love of his life and his wife of 58 years, Fern; daughter Kathy (Rob Hogue) of Chilliwack; and son Michael (Cindy) of Fort Worth, Texas. He was the proud grandpa to his four grandchildren and recently took particular delight in his five great grand-children: Travis (Elizabeth) Clarke of Wichita Falls, TX (Bradyn, Chaney, and Crosbi); Natasha (Eric) Elliott of Fort Worth, TX (Emma); Jeffrey Clarke (Sara Ferencz) of West Vancouver; and Braeden Clarke (Payten Anderson) of Chilliwack (Bentley). George is survived, also, by brother Don of Tsawwassen, BC; sister Vivian of Orillia, ON; and loving brother-in-laws David (Betty) and Ellis in Kitchener, ON. George was predeceased by his father, mother, two brothers, and one sister.
Born in Oshawa, ON, young George grew-up in Orillia, ON. In 1954, at the age of seventeen, he joined the Royal Canadian Navy and during a five-year hitch served aboard the destroyer escort HMCS Nootka and the HMCS aircraft carriers Magnificent and Bonaventure.
After a brief season as a milkman, George then returned to military service, this time with the Royal Canadian Air Force and now a married man. He served with distinction (Canadian Forces Decoration & Clasp and NATO medals) at various military bases including: Winnipeg, MB; Metz, France; Portage la Prairie, MB; Armstrong, ON; Trenton, ON; and Chilliwack, BC where he achieved the rank of Warrant Officer. After retiring from the military in 1979, he assumed a civilian position at CFB Chilliwack as a Vocational Trade Instructor at the Construction Engineering Training Squadron and later a Mechanical Design Estimator until his final retirement in 1993, resulting in 37 years with the Federal Government.
George and Fern travelled in their RV-enjoying camping and the outdoors as they had throughout their marriage. George enjoyed a life-long passion for fishing and hunting. In a private journal, he listed his “fondest memory” as “meeting my wife, Fern.” Also ranking as top memories were the births of his children, grandchildren, and “living long enough to be able to watch my great-grandchildren grow.” And when given the opportunity to write a message to his family and friends, George simply wrote, “Love You All.” He had been a member of the Royal Canadian Legion since 1959.
By George’s request, no visitation, viewing, or services will be held and his cremated remains will be handled in the specific manner he requested. Flowers are gratefully declined. Donations may be made to the Heart & Stroke Foundation of BC; Alzheimer Society of BC; or the Canadian Cancer Society.