David Jean-Paul Poirier (known to all as JP) passed away on January 29, 2021 after a courageous two-year fight with ALS.
JP was born in North Vancouver on February 1, 1979. He was raised by his grandmother Emily and graduated from Sutherland Secondary School in 1997. After high school, JP pursued his love of the back country by attending the Mountaineering Program at the College of the Rockies in Cranbrook. Moving to Fernie, then Canmore he shared many back-country trips and ice climbing adventures. He went on to pursue a career in the construction trades where he became an accomplished framing carpenter. He worked for GD Nielson Homes for many years building high end luxury homes in West Vancouver and Point Grey. In 2017, he moved his family to Gibsons on the Sunshine Coast and continued his construction career there with Longman Developments.
JP will be greatly missed by his wife Nicole and daughters Lorelei and Annabelle. He is survived by his father David (Calgary). He was pre-deceased by his mother Lorelei in 1992. He will also be mourned by his sister Genevre, husband Craig, and nephew Tyce (Nanaimo); by brothers Alex (Gibsons) and Spencer (Regina); by sister-in-law Lisa (Sechelt) with husband Karel, niece Lucy, and nephew Malcolm; by brother-in-law Sean and wife Ros (Vancouver) and by mother and father-in-law Michael & Gloria (West Vancouver).
As clichéd as it may be to say, JP definitely lived his life to the fullest and he had several passions including his family, his retreat on Keats Island, his motorcycles and the Montreal Canadiens.
‘Island Life’ was and is a philosophy and a “certain way of being” which JP and family enjoyed at the tiny cottage retreat on Keats Island. This property was carved from solid forest, and all of the timber felled on the property (by JP) was used to construct the buildings on the property (by JP). The old-fashioned homesteader way of doing things appealed immensely to JP, and he put many hours of hard labour into the hand-cut shakes for the main sleeping cabin, and many whimsical design details went into all of the out-buildings. He loved commuting to Keats Island by his boat, in all kinds of weather, first from Sunset Marina, then from Sewell’s Marina, and lately from Gibsons Marina.
JP’s passion for motorcycles was embodied by his 1979 Harley Davidson shovel head, which was a completely custom creation of his own design over many years of modification: loud pipes, no fender, no signal lights, kick-start only, high displacement engine, it was a bit of a handful. He had an entire stable of motorcycles, all had to be handed off to new owners in the past few months because of his ALS.
JP was a builder. He could see something in his mind, visualize it in his head, and then know how to build it, with no drawings, and just a few measurements. This is a hard skill to describe and few have this special knack. He put his skills to good use in his lifelong career as a carpenter, and for personal construction projects and upgrades to the home and cottage.
JP had a lifelong passion for the Montreal Canadiens. He was so passionate that he subscribed to the French version of TSN so he could never miss a game, even though he did not speak a word of French, except “Le But”.
JP was diagnosed with ALS in March 2019. He battled hard against the disease for as long as he could. JP had to stop working in March 2019 due to the physical effects of ALS. The family worked hard in the last two years to have good memories to remember JP by. This included a trip to Hawaii in April 2019, RV camping trips in the summer of 2019 which included a family wedding in Montana, and a family trip to Mexico in March 2020.
Special thanks to all those in the Gibsons community who have supported the family over the last two years and especially in the last two months. We would especially like to thank Tom, James, Tyler, Travis, Cody, Tony, Karl, Andrew and Rob for supporting the family and helping around the house when JP could no longer do daily tasks. Also, a special thank you to JP’s care team including Dr. Carmen Gooja, Dr. Jennifer Baxter, care aid Fuzhan, nurse Orlea and the entire palliative home care team.
A small private family service will be held to bury JP. As JP wanted, there will be a big party when we are allowed to gather together again. There is a Go Fund Me page https://gofund.me/1c7583c8 for which the proceeds will go towards his daughters’ education fund. We hope for a world with a cure for ALS, so no one has to suffer the way JP and his family did. You can take action to help #EndALS by visiting www.alsactioncanada.org/takeaction
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of JP Poirier, please visit our floral store.