In honour of the life of Peter Paul Deck, January 7, 1914 – December 29, 2002. Peter Deck filed his final flight plan at noon on December 29, 2002 in Chilliwack. Surrounded by his loving wife and family, he peacefully and gracefully took flight.
Peter’s life was one of adventure and family. Born on January 7, 1914 in Sedley, Sask., his goal was to be an RCMP officer. Height restrictions in the RCMP caused him to choose aviation as his career. Flying was Peter’s life from his first solo flight on July 28, 1942 until his final flight on December 29, 2002. Peter instructed pilots for the RCAF in airfields across Canada until his discharge from Comox in 1945.
Peter’s love for the West Coast brought his wife Susie and young family to Chilliwack (Cultus Lake) where he joined the Chilliwack Flying Club and became one of only six Class 1 Flying Instructors in Canada. Peter’s pioneering spirit and quest for adventure led him to a position as flying instructor for the United Nations in Indonesia in 1953. The pilots trained there were the foundation of what has now become Garuda Airlines of Indonesia. Returning to Chilliwack in 1954, Peter returned to RCFC instructing, his love, helping to build the Chilliwack Flying Club into the best in Canada, thus winning the Yorath Trophy. In 1960 he became Operations Manager with Skyways Air Services, where over the next few years he pioneered procedures still used in fire bombing today. With Chilliwack as home base, Peter and his wife Susie bought Kent Aviation in 1967 and together achieved his dream of owning his own company, flying the lakes and valleys he loved. He was well-known in the logging camps and native communities of Harrison Lake.
Throughout his years in Chilliwack, Peter was active in both church and community and was a lifetime member of the Knights of Columbus. Peter was an adventuresome pioneer, a concerned and caring husband and father, a loyal friend and a firm and exacting teacher who taught beyond all existing standards. He cared, shared and always strove for excellence.
Peter was predeceased by his parents; his loving wife Susie; two brothers; and six sisters.
He is survived by his loving wife Magda (nee Agothay); and step-daughters, Magda (Larry) Legault of Dawson Creek, and Rosa Agothay of Chilliwack. From his marriage to Susie, Peter is survived by Rita (John) Kerschbaum of Maple Ridge, David (Marj) of Chilliwack, Judi (Bert) Radtke of Red Deer, Alta., and Teri (Marcel) Wester of Ryder Lake; 11 grandchildren; eight great-grandchildren; four brothers; and six sisters.
Prayers will be held at St. Mary’s Catholic Church on Friday, Jan. 3, 2003 at 7 p.m. Funeral Mass will be held at St. Mary’s on Saturday, Jan. 4, 2003 at 2 p.m. Burial to follow at St. Mary’s Cemetery, Vedder Crossing.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Heritage Village Healing Garden for its continued enhancement. McLean’s Funeral Services in care of arrangements.
Oh, I have slipped the surly bonds of earth. And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings. Sunward I’ve climbed and joined the tumbling mirth of sun-split clouds and done a hundred things you have not dreamed of – wheeled and swung high in the sunlit silence. Hovering there, I’ve chased the shouting wind along and flung my eager craft through footless halls of air . . . Up, up the long delirious burning blue, I’ve topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace, where never lark, or even eagle flew. And while with silent, lifting mind I’ve trod the high untrespassed sanctity of space, put out my hand and touched the face of God. John Gillespie Magee.