1919 – 2013
It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Peter Pryce Heide on March 14, 2013 at Chilliwack General Hospital at the age of 94.
Peter was the beloved husband of Margaret, whom he met in England while serving in the Canadian Armed Forces, stationed in the United Kingdom during WW II. They would have been married 70 years next month. Peter passed away peacefully with Margaret, his children and several grandchildren at his side.
Peter is survived by his wife Margaret; sons: Peter (Shirley) and Dana (Julie); and by his daughters: Margaret Popejoy (Barry) and Donna-Marie Klingspohn (Ray). Peter was loved by 12 grandchildren, 16 great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandson. He was predeceased by his parents, Peter and Maria; his brothers: Jacob and John; and sisters: Marion and Anne. He is also predeceased by his son John; grandson, Marlan; great-grandson David. and great-grandaughter, Alexis.
Peter was born near Omsk, Siberia on February 13, 1919, the oldest of seven children. He travelled with his family to Canada when they emigrated to Manitoba in 1926. As the oldest, Peter attended school and learned English. He spent the evenings teaching the others in his family to speak the language — his first, but certainly not his last, role as a teacher.
When the Second World War broke out, Peter enlisted and went overseas as part of the Canadian Forestry Corps and was stationed outside Inverness, Scotland, billeted on Lord Lovett’s estate. On a weekend leave he travelled to Manchester where he met and fell in love with an beautiful English lass, Margaret Mills, then known as Peggy. They married April 24, 1943. After the war, they settled in Abbotsford, moving to Chilliwack when Peter rejoined the Canadian Armed Forces to continue his proud military career as a Royal Canadian Engineer. He was attached to the School of Military Engineering while stationed in Chilliwack, but assumed other engineering roles in postings to Valcartier, Quebec and Whitehorse Yukon, where he was responsible for the maintenance of the Alaska Highway. The family returned to Chilliwack in 1963 and Peter retired from the forces in 1967. Following his military career he first became an instructor for the Department of Northern Development and Indian Affairs for several years. He then taught Heavy Equipment Operations at the College of New Caledonia in Prince George and Malaspina College in Nanaimo, retiring from the college in 1982. Peter was an avid hunter and fisherman and the family well remembers many of the camping trips they enjoyed all across Canada. They fondly recall that each year, “Dad was either preparing to go hunting, actually on the hunting trip, and then talking about that trip until it was time to get ready for the next year’s hunting trip.” He also amazed his children and then his grandchildren and great-grandchildren with his magic skills, transforming an ordinary newspaper into the “Tree of Knowledge” or the “Ladder of Success”. Curling and cribbage were also passions in which he excelled; actually winning at crib several days before he passed away. He was such a great husband and father — he was the ultimate role model for everyone. The number of family members who gathered at his bedside as he passed was a testament to the strong bond and everlasting love they felt for him.
There will be a viewing for family and close friends on Monday, March 18, 2013 between 3:00 – 5:00 pm at Henderson’s Funeral Home in Chilliwack. A memorial service will be held at a later date.
Peter’s family gives heartfelt thanks to the wonderful Chillwack Hospital third floor nursing staff for their compassionate care and Chaplain Jim Gaetz for his comforting words and prayers. “We will never forget him, nor the last time we saw him — that morning, as he prepared for his journey, he smiled good-bye, and ‘slipped the surly bonds of earth to touch the face of God.”