Clarkson, Charles Irwin

In Loving Memory of

Charles (Chuck) Clarkson

March 12th 1924 – May 7th 2023

Dad was born in Sardis BC and moved with his parents Charles and Frances and two siblings to a farm outside of Whitewood Saskatchewan where they lived during the Great Depression. At age 15 he left the farm to join the militia eventually joining up with the South Saskatchewan regiment during World War Two. Later in the war he volunteered with the First Canadian Parachute Division, which saw active service in Belgium and Germany, taking part in the Battle of the Bulge and the Rhine Crossing. After the war he returned to his family in Haney BC, and  met and married the love of his life, Edna, in Vancouver.

As the family grew he unexpectedly came home one night to tell Mum that he had joined the Royal Canadian Air Force. There were postings in Alberta and Ontario. A posting to Zweibrucken Germany allowed the family to explore Europe and have many adventures. Upon returning to Canada, he was stationed in Winnipeg and had a memorable day as the Governor General’s driver during the Manitoba Centennial celebrations.

Retiring from the Air Force in 1970, the family returned to BC where he embarked on a new career with the Provincial Government as a stationary engineer. At the time the family were living in Victoria, but a promotion became available in Nelson where he completed his working career in a management role. Dad became involved in the BCGEU where he was well respected and received an honorary life membership. While in Nelson he was involved in many community organizations and activities. The greatest, all consuming responsibility and joy of his life was running the Nelson and Balfour Duplicate Bridge clubs, which he did well into his 90’s. After years of travelling and moving from place to place, Dad was proud to be a Nelsonite! Dad also maintained contact with many friends from being in the military, living across Canada and in Europe and travelling. In later life he travelled across Europe, Australia and New Zealand.

A lifetime Buick devotee, he could be seen driving his 1992 Roadmaster around town and every summer for 40 years he towed a trailer to Manitoba, Victoria and Alberta to visit family.

The Buick was a never-ending point of conversation, given many hours of spit and polish and always with the reminder to “Never slam the doors!”

Dad was modest about his achievements, a voracious reader (which he passed on to many in his family), a very determined personality, stubborn and strong, with a cheeky sense of humour, and was a great tease, often shared with a smile and twinkle in his eyes. He had many stories to tell over his 99 years and he was a great connoisseur of fish and chips and maple walnut ice-cream!

We remember his witty sense of humour which was appreciated by many. He will be remembered by some as the ‘Banjoman’ but more importantly as a soldier and an airman who proudly served his country and loved his Family.

Dad always preferred “long hellos and short goodbyes”.

A real-life hero and our own very special hero.

Survived by children Dawn (Maurice), John (Kim), Penny, Pauline (Scott). Grandchildren: Corey (Lee), Joshua, Jeff (Heather), Matthew (Lara), Erin (Pete), Naomi (Kevin), Leah, Kelly, Shaun, Qwin, and Jessica (Chad). Great-grandchildren: Erica, Mason, Noah, Marcus, Claire, Ella, Evan, Benjamin and Ava

Predeceased by his loving wife Edna, grandson Daniel, and four siblings.

Thank you to the many caregivers and friends who were there for Dad over the last few years.

A gathering of friends and family will be held on a later date. Donations to Our Daily Bread Food Bank or a charity of your choice.

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