Thomas George Owen Nelmes

Thomas George Owen Nelmes

April 25, 1931 – October 7, 2017

Owen Nelmes, late of Chilliwack, passed away on October 7th at home with his loving family at his side.

Owen was born to Harold and Louise (Owen) Nelmes on April 25, 1931 in Chilliwack, B.C. He was the youngest of 5 children and began his school years at Central Elementary followed by his graduation from Chilliwack High School in 1949.

Owen played basketball during his years at highschool and was involved in the naming of the “Chilliwack Frontiersmen” which remained a longstanding name for the boys varsity teams for over 50 years. He also spoke fondly of his days working and playing at the Cultus Lake outdoor roller skating rink.

Owen attended the University of British Columbia and graduated as a pharmacist in 1954. In 1952 he married his highschool sweetheart, Donna Fotheringham, who worked as a dental assistant in Vancouver helping to put Owen through university. They left Vacouver in 1955 and moved to Kelowna B.C. where Owen was employed by Harold Long at Brown’s Pharmacy and later helped Harold in establishing Long Super Drugs.

Owen and Donna’s three children were all born in Kelowna. The family left the Okanagan in 1966 and moved to Surrey B.C. where Owen accepted a position with the Charles E. Frosst Company as a detail man. In 1969 they returned to Chilliwack as Owen had purchased Hipwell drugs at five corners. The drugstore was closed in 1973 and he moved on to manage Zeller’s pharmacy until 1977 when he and Donna opened Nelmes Pharmacy in the new Medical Services building on Mary Street. This proved to be a successful move and they, along with wonderful staff members, enjoyed 19 years of serving the doctors and people of Chilliwack. Owen was very compassionate in his care for patients and he touched the lives of many people during his years as a pharmacist. They sold the business in 1996 and Owen retired.

Community service was also an important aspect of Owen’s life. He was a member of the Kelowna Kinsmen Club in his younger days and presently an active member of the Chilliwack Fraser Rotary Club where he served as president in 1991/92 and continued to be involved in many community projects over the years. Owen was a very caring citizen and gave generously of his time in chairmanships within clubs, his profession, and his church.

Owen and Donna moved into Edenbank in 1983. They enjoyed some wonderful travels together and spent many winters in Palm Springs. Donna passed away in 2008 at the age of 78. Owen remarried in 2009 to Jacqui Fast (Barwell) and they continued to reside at Edenbank. They also enjoyed traveling and had many memorable times socializing with friends and family over the 8 years they were together. The family is grateful for Jacqui’s loving and gentle care of Owen during the past difficult year as his health failed.

Owen was pre-deceased by infant son Andrew, sister Marie (Dumont), brothers Howard (Betty), David (Margaret), Roy and parents Harold and Louise (Owen).

He is survived by wife Jacqui, daughter Mary-Ann (Doug) Clift, sons Brad and Jeff. And grandchildren Jodi, Jackie, Carly (and their mother Cathy McNabb), Kyle, Megan, Alexis and Lauren, four great grandchildren and another one the way. Also survived by stepchildren Scott, Lisa, and Leslie (Bill).

The family would like to especially thank Dr. Cameron Ross for his devotion to Owen’s care and compassionate support for the family.

And also thanks to the dialysis and palliative care teams.

A memorial service will be held on Sunday November 5th at 2:00 p.m. at Carman United Church.

In lieu of flowers consider making a donation to Cystic Fibrosis Canada in memory of Owen or charity of choice.


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