Ian, my partner for 50 years, died peacefully in my arms at home in Sechelt on Easter Sunday, April 12, 2020, after a short illness from cancer.
He was born May 19, 1945, in London, Ontario to Ed and Grace Mitchell, the eldest of four boys—David, Douglas and Andrew.
He went to school at Tecumseh Public School and London South Collegiate graduating in 1965, then to the University of Guelph 1965-1966 and Brock University 1966-1967 where he developed his passion for marine biology. During summer jobs, he worked in the nickel mine in Sudbury and as a dishwasher at Elgin house in Muskoka. Oh, the wonderful stories he told about his time in the mines and at Elgin house.
Music was in his soul from an early age, especially blues, folk and rock. In his youth he had a weekly gig playing guitar for a blues group "Sergeant Preston’s Grass Band" at the York Hotel in London for over two years, and played string base for a London dance band.
He was an avid reader, fossil and mycological enthusiast, passionate nature lover, knife sharpener extraordinaire, old furniture and tool expert, avid birder, and accomplished musician.
Ian moved to Vancouver in 1971, where he worked, initially, at a variety of jobs in the construction industry, and where we met and began our life together. Fittingly, we met at a rock concert! Ian’s passion for music lasted a lifetime.
He worked for several years at Central City Mission in Vancouver at the front desk. It gave him a great feeling of satisfaction, knowing he was helping these disadvantaged men. He showed compassion, patience and understanding throughout his life.
At Value Village in Vancouver and Burnaby he worked as a furniture pricer for many years. He loved the work because it brought him into contact with people of all walks of life, but mostly because he loved picking out quality old wooden furniture. He also amassed a HUGE wardrobe and CD collection at the same time.
After our life in the Lower Mainland and having explored the Sunshine Coast over many years and wishing we could live there, we finally made the move and found our dream home in Sechelt in 2018. We enjoyed every moment of his two short years here, exploring and settling in to the paradise this place is.
His loving brothers visited us here in Sechelt in February after Ian’s cancer diagnosis. He was so happy to be with them all. It lifted his spirits to be able to talk about the old days back in London, and to share his current interests.
He was happiest quietly sitting and reading, walking in the woods, exploring the shoreline here on the Sunshine Coast, and listening to music.
He is fondly remembered as a caring and gentle dad who helped inspire a love of nature in his daughters, Yani and Fiona. He took great joy in sharing his many interests and fostered curiosity in them both. If he didn't know something, he always had a book somewhere in which he could find that information.
They have precious memories of turning over stones on the beach to find crabs, and volunteering together at the Vancouver Folk Festival as naturalists. Yani treasures hiking with him into Carmanah Valley to camp among the giant trees, and taking a road trip together from BC to Ontario in 2017.
Fiona has fond memories of hiking in Manning Park, fly tying and fishing for trout, and various trips up the Fraser Valley looking for fossils/mushrooms. Her lifelong love of science fiction and fantasy comes from dad introducing her to those genres with some very thoughtfully chosen authors—specifically feminist ones.
He leaves behind to mourn him our children Yani (Drew) and Fiona (James) and grandchild Oak.
Sorely missed by his brothers and family in Ontario—Dave (Vinnie), Doug (Maria) and Andrew (Janet), nieces and nephews Adam, Danielle, Kirsten and Graham, and great niece and nephew Norah and Callin.
Grateful thanks to Dr. Li, and all the Palliative Care nurses and Home Care Aides for Ian’s care
Rest in peace, my love
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