September 19, 1928 – December 20, 2021
Vern Bradwell was born in North Vancouver as the third of six children of George and Lillian (Simpson) Bradwell. His father, a carpenter, had immigrated to Canada from Marple, Cheshire, England in 1912, arriving in the Chilliwack area 1919. His mother’s family came to the Chilliwack area from Manitoba . In 1931, the family moved back to Chilliwack residing in the Atchelitz, Bailey Road and Little Mountain areas. Vern graduated from Chilliwack High School and began his career with Anderson and Graham Architects. Vern married Mona Short on May 24, 1951 and the newlyweds moved to Edmonton for a short time before returning to Chilliwack. They lived along and near Mary Street and raised a family of six children.
Vern worked in architectural drafting, estimating and construction scheduling throughout his professional career and he was well-respected for his project planning abilities. He was employed at 3rd Field Squadron, Royal Canadian Engineers at CFB Chilliwack before joining Commonwealth Construction in Vancouver. He commuted daily to and from Vancouver for many years as the company grew and evolved under various ownership. Vern’s project work took him to the Phillipines, various locations in the USA and from 1975 to 1978, he, Mona and the two youngest children lived in Trujillo, Peru for the duration of a pulp mill construction project. He and Mona then lived in Sherwood Park, Alberta for a few years and in Abbotsford until 1990. They retired to Chilliwack living in the Crescent Avenue area until 2019 when they moved into the Birchwood Manor.
Vern converted to Roman Catholicism prior to marrying Mona and he practiced his faith devoutly and made many sacrifices to raise his children for God. He was a long-standing member of St. Mary’s Parish and served on the building committee for the current church built in 1958. As a member of the Knights of Columbus for almost 70 years he attained honourary life membership.
Vern undertook a major expansion and renovation of the family home over several years in the 1960s and as an avid gardener he created beautiful and productive gardens at many of the family homes. He and Mona enjoyed a number of close friendships through their family, church and social activities, especially playing bridge. The family enjoyed summer vacations camping, and the summer spent in Powell River where Dad was working remains memorable. Vern served on the Chilliwack Minor Hockey Association executive for several years in the 1970s. He loved the outdoors and with his sons he completed the Bowron Lakes canoe circuit and the Kamloops Cattle Drive. In 2011, he and Mona traveled to England, where they visited Vern’s ancestral village of Bradwell before continuing to Paris, Rome and Vatican City.
Most importantly, Vern was a loving husband and father. Nothing was more moving than to see Dad gliding across a dance floor with Mum in his arms. He taught his children to be caring, responsible and hardworking, and to live simply and focus on family. He relished the accomplishments of his 13 grand-children and his 21 great-grandchildren added greatly to his joy. He was a good man and he is well-loved. We entrust him to the care of His Father in heaven.
Vern is survived by Mona, his love for over 70 years, his children Tony (Phyllis), Verona (Jack) Dickout, Monty (Kim), Kevin (Cindy), Taryn (Ron) Dixon and Phil (Karen), his sisters Rowena McPhee and Rhoda Barnes, and his brother Don (Valerie).
A Vigil (Prayer) Service will be held Tuesday, December 28, 6:30pm, and Funeral Liturgy (Mass) will be held Wednesday, December 29, 11am, both at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Chilliwack. Rite of Committal (Burial) to follow at St. Mary Cemetery, Promontory Rd. Reception to follow.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Knights of Columbus (BC) Charity Foundation https://www.canadahelps.org/en/charities/knights-of-columbus-b-c-charity-foundation/ or to the Children’s Heart Network “Mila’s Fund” https://www.childrensheartnetwork.org/get-involved/donate/milas-fund/ established in memory of one of Vern’s great grand-daughters.
The family wishes to thank Rev. Wilfred Gomes, Dr. Paul Basson, and the staff of Birchwood Manor and Cascade Hospice for their care and contribution to Vern’s life.
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