Anthony Dransfeld remembers Craig Torgeson


Craig Torgeson

November 12, 1950 – March 18, 2021

The saddest part about getting old is losing lifelong friends you went to school and played sports with. Fifty five years of history gone. Poof. Craig “Torgy ” Torgeson was a fellow North Star Junior Ski Racer and just about the nicest person you could know. Torgy, as we called him, was pretty tall for a skier but very coordinated which offset his tall frame. As I was a bit older and actually had a driver’s license, I drove our Kimberley team to ski races in the Kootenays.

Torgy would sit in the front seat, and we had some great conversations about life. I think he was about 14 or 15 years old then, and told me very matter of factly, he was going to be a pilot. Life is all about opportunity, and when Craig was six years old, he had to have a heart operation. Flying from Cranbrook, to Vancouver, the Pilot had Torgy up in the cockpit for most of the trip. That experience had such a profound effect on young Craig, he set his sights on being an airline pilot and never wavered from that. Craig went to Mount Royal College to get his pilot’s licence, then flew out of Yellowknife and Inuvik, getting flying hours wherever he could. He joined Air Canada in Montreal in 1978 and his life’s dream really took off.

Craig met his wife Natalie, who also worked for Air Canada in Airport Operations and Baggage, in 1988. Natalie and Torgy travelled extensively during their careers and certainly experienced an exciting life together until Craig’s health issues grounded them.

He retired as a Captain for Air Canada on the Boeing 767, having flown to many places around the World.

The heart issues that Torgy experienced at age six were resolved by that first operation, but other cardiac and lung conditions developed over the course of his life. He successfully battled bladder cancer as well though he suffered from permanent side effects of the chemotherapy that was meant to treat it. Craig’s medical condition became very complex. In the end, it was lung issues that landed him in his final trip to the hospital, but a stroke that led to his final breath on March 18th at age 70.

I coached the North Star Racers with Ritchie Smith the winter our coach unexpectedly moved to Sweitzer Basin in Idaho. A few things I vividly remember about that season of 1968, was Craig Torgeson had a younger brother named Dyne who was completely fearless on the Dreadnaught Downhill – and i mean zero fear – ice water in that kid’s veins. Craig Torgeson really took to the event Giant Slalom. Back then in 1960s Kimberley, everybody knew everybody. Don Torgeson, their father, was the City of Kimberly Administrator, and skied with my Dad Tony quite a bit. I always liked adults who had time for me, so I liked Don Torgeson, a kind man with a nice smile.

Every time I went to the Grill Cafe in Kimberley on Spokane Street to borrow two dollars from my Dad, Milo Fabro, Wilf Mason, Dickie Bova, Bill Bilko Copeland, Fred Holmes, Gary Holmes , Ralph Redding , Don Torgeson, Russ Lytle and Tony would be sitting discussing events of the day Kimberley and Cominco . Don Torgeson always had a nice way about him. Kimberley was the quintessential small town back in the 1960s and 70s. Certainly when adults are kind to you, it leaves an impression.

Don passed away in 1993, and his wife Muriel followed him in 2004.

Craig’s brother Dyne is in Victoria B C. His sister Donna a retired RN is also in Victoria. Natalie, now retired from Air Canada, is at their home near Montreal.

One of the most genuine, and sincere guys you could ever meet, that was Craig ” Torgy ” Torgeson, my ski buddy, gone too soon.

Just Posted

Michelle Jacobs receives her first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at the Coast Capri Hotel on April 28, 2021. The pop-up clinic was hosted by the First Nations Health Authority. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
126 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health over the weekend

There are 22 individuals hospitalized due to the virus, and 13 in intensive care

Kimberley issues Water Quality Advisory

The first Water Quality Advisory of the season was issued by the… Continue reading

The City of Kimberley has launched a new survey to assess its short-term rental situation. Paul Rodgers file.
Survey launched to assess short-term rental situation in Kimberley

The City of Kimberley has launched a survey with the goal of… Continue reading

BC Wildfire Service personal put out a suspected human-caused fire near Horseshoe Lake. (Photo courtesy Jaime Vienneau)
Small wildfires near Cranbrook are under control or out, but risk still high

The small Hidden Valley wildfire southeast of Cranbrook which started Sunday is… Continue reading

Columbia Valley RCMP say there was one fatality in a single vehicle accident Friday. (File photo)
Traffic fatality reported near Fairmont, Friday May 14

Columbia Valley RCMP are reporting a traffic fatality on Friday, May 14,… Continue reading

An avalanche near Highway 1 in Glacier National Park. Avalanche Canada will benefit from a $10 million grant from the B.C. government. (Photo by Parks Canada)
Avalanche Canada receives $10-million grant from B.C. government

Long sought-after funds to bolster organization’s important work

Sicamous RCMP Sgt. Murray McNeil and Cpl. Wade Fisher present seven-year-old Cody Krabbendam of Ranchero with an award for bravery on July 22, 2020. (Contributed)
7-year old Shuswap boy receives medal of bravery for rescuing child at beach

Last summer Cody Krabbendam jumped into the lake to save another boy from drowning

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry update the province’s COVID-19 vaccine program, May 10, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate stays below 500 a day over weekend

14 more deaths, down to 350 in hospital as of Monday

Royal Bay Secondary School’s rainbow crosswalk was vandalized shortly after being painted but by Monday, coincidentally the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, the crosswalk had been cleaned up and students had surrounded it with chalk messages of support and celebration. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
B.C. high’s school’s pride crosswalk restored following ‘hateful’ graffiti attack

Hate terms, racial slur, phallic images spray-painted at Greater Victoria high school

Terrance Mack would have celebrated his 34th birthday on May 13, 2021. Mack’s family has identified him as the victim of a homicide in an apartment on Third Avenue in Port Alberni sometime in April. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)
Family identifies Ucluelet man as victim of Vancouver Island homicide

Terrance Mack being remembered as ‘kind, gentle’ man

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Vancouver Canucks’ Jake Virtanen (18) and Calgary Flames’ Josh Leivo, front right, vie for the puck as goalie Jacob Markstrom, back left, watches during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Vancouver, on Saturday, February 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Vancouver Canucks forward Jake Virtanen sued over alleged sexual assault

Statement of claim says the woman, identified only by her initials, suffered physical and emotional damages

An avalanche near Highway 1 in Glacier National Park. Avalanche Canada will benefit from a $10 million grant from the B.C. government. (Photo by Parks Canada)
Avalanche Canada receives $10-million grant from B.C. government

Long sought-after funds to bolster organization’s important work

Daily confirmed COVID-19 cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day rolling average in white, to May 12, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. preparing ‘Restart 2.0’ from COVID-19 as June approaches

Daily infections fall below 500 Friday, down to 387 in hospital

Most Read