Dan Wheeler of Hopkins Landing passed away June 20th at the age of 93, with his wife and daughters at his side, after a struggle with vascular dementia.
Dan was born in Leith, Scotland and was the middle child of a very large family. Although times were tough during his early years he had happy memories, especially cycling weekends with his two older brothers.
During WW 11, at the age of 17, Dan left school to serve his time in the Royal Air Force. Soon after returning to civilian life, he was ready for new adventures. In 1949 the city boy from Scotland, took a job with the Hudson's Bay Company. A two-year post at a small village on James Bay gave him his first taste of living in the far, cold, North. He enjoyed his time there, having great admiration for the people of the village who sometimes took him out for days on their trap lines. After a short stay in Toronto, he headed back North where a small mining town in the Yukon was calling. In 1954, a quick visit to an uncle brought him to Gibsons. That is where he settled.
Many will remember him as the ESSO Oil Man. As an Agent for Imperial Oil Ltd., the days were never long enough as he lived by his motto ‘Never put off until tomorrow, what can be done today’ and there was always lots to be done. Customers were known to say if you wanted to talk to Dan you would have to run beside him.
Dan was predeceased by many of his siblings. Survived by his wife and best friend of 63 years, Margaret, son Glenn, daughters Lynne (Doug), Gail (Doug), Grandson Sam, Granddaughters Jamie, Ali, Tristan, Great Grandbabies, brother Robert and sisters Margaret, Alice and Dorothy along with many nieces and nephews.
Dan was a quiet, caring, no fuss, hard working man who seldom voiced his opinion although he did have many. He enjoyed being an active member of the Sunshine Coast Kiwanis Club, who were community minded and supportive of senior housing. As a board member of the Hopkins Landing Waterworks in his younger days, he would often be seen with a shovel in hand, digging to repair the water lines.
Retirement in 1986 meant time for family and friends. Many parties and celebrations were held on his well manicured lawn which he spent countless hours grooming to perfection. His happiest times were with the grandchildren, from trips to Disneyland and Kelowna, walks to the wharf, hiking the Knob, picking huckleberries, swimming, feeding the ducks, dressing the dolls, or just hanging out. He was the best 'Papa' ever.
Travel was a passion both Dan and Marg shared visiting many parts of the world, cruising the oceans, visiting with family in the UK and spending many winters in Mexico where his day started at 6 a.m. with walking the beach.
Thanks to the nurses at Sechelt Hospital. Special thanks to his caregivers at Christenson Village, who went above and beyond, letting him wheel the halls and keeping him comfortable.
Keep on Wheeling Dan…