September 8, 1927 - October 10, 2023
In loving memory ~
Fred passed away peacefully in his sleep on October 10, 2023, at the Swan Valley care home in Creston, BC. Fred was born at and grew up on his family's farm at Ta Ta Creek, British Columbia on September 8, 1927.
Fred grew up during the Great Depression and he lived a life as a hard-working family man who took nothing for granted. Fred became a carpenter and worked on early construction projects across BC from Ocean Falls to the Kootenay National Park and in his spare time built three houses by hand that his family lived in, two in Marysville and the one he lived in near Premier Lake for the last 40 years of his life. Fred worked for most of his career at the Kimberley School District, retiring as the Maintenance Superintendent in 1989 after 30 years at the School District. Fred took immense pride in maintaining the schools in Kimberley and overseeing significant capital projects at McKim and Selkirk.
Fred married Jessie Ann Taylor Leith in 1953 and the two of them raised three children and were inseparable fishing, picking huckleberries and gardening for most of their lives. Fred was deeply saddened by Jessie's passing in 2017 and more recently was impacted by his son Bill's sudden death on September 3rd while on vacation in Paris. He is survived by his daughter and husband Louise and Craig Rondestvedt, son and wife Robert and Andra Jensen and daughter-in-law Katherine Jensen. He is also survived by grandchildren Sonja, Scott, Xander, Mitchell, Christopher, Liam and Mia, as well as, great-grandchildren Molly and Hannah.
In retirement, Fred and Jessie enjoyed many winters in Mesa, Arizona and also enjoyed travelling around the US and Europe with their children visiting the birthplaces of their parents in Scotland and Denmark. Fred was predeceased by his parents Peter and Paula Jensen [nee Beck], brother Edward and sisters Helen, Victoria and Susan.
Fred and Jessie were very active in campaigning along with environmental groups attempting to protect the forests, streams and wildlife in the Kootenays. In many ways, they were ahead of their time moving to Sheep Creek in 1981 from Marysville in order to garden organically and enjoy the fresh air, mountain views and wildlife that frequented their property.
Fred grew up surrounded by nature and he loved camping, fishing, hunting and picking huckleberries in areas around Kimberley such as St. Mary's, Lost Dog and Skookumchuck. He is also survived by two people who enjoyed hunting and huckleberry picking for many decades, we wish Ian Johnson and Shirley Neil well. Fred enjoyed playing crib with Bill and other visitors and was also thrilled to get out of his home for a few days of huckleberry picking with Louise and Rob this past summer near Creston.
Our family wants to extend our very sincere gratitude to the staff of Swan Valley Lodge for their excellent care and compassion towards our father. We also want to thank Dr. Andrew Weaver for his excellent care of our father over the past several years.
A celebration of life will be announced at a later date.