MURRAY BRUCE “BARNEY” DEARDEN

Barney, a brave, loving, remarkable man, was born in East Angus, Quebec in 1923. He married the love of his life, Joan, in 1946 and they had a committed marriage enduring over 69 years.

He was a lifelong outdoors enthusiast who continued to climb Fisher Peak and to enjoy his annual salmon fishing trips with his family until well into his 8O’s. Hunting, fishing, hiking, exploring-these were all passions he pursued with joy and skill.

His strength and courage came to the fore during WWII when he stole his older brother’s birth certificate and joined the Canadian Army in 1940 at age 16. He served with the joint USA/Canadian First Special Service Force (a commando unit known as “The Devil’s Brigade”). After surviving injuries sustained in a parachuting accident, he served with the Royal Hamilton Light infantry (R.H.L.l.), landing in Normandy just after D-Day in June 1944. He fought in several battles, including Caen, Verrieres Ridge, and the Falaise Gap. He was severely wounded on four separate occasions on October 16, 1944 during a night attack on Woensdrect (the battle of the Scheldt Estuary, Netherlands).Despite his injuries, he continued to lead his men to successfully secure an important objective against heavy odds. For his determination, bravery and inspired leadership, he was awarded the Military Medal for Valour by King George VI at an investiture at Buckingham Palace on February 16, 1945.

Following WWII, Barney and Joan moved to British Columbia from Quebec. Their first “house” was a wall tent in Campbell River, where they coped with eight feet of snow their first winter. Barney was a jack-of-all trades, working at many different jobs, but he and Joan realized a long­ time dream when they and their two young children moved to the East Kootenays and in 1960 bought and operated a cattle ranch at Mayook, near Cranbrook. They kept the ranch for over ten years. He then worked at Fort Steele and enjoyed restoring the old buildings, including the Theatre. Barney and Joan also lived a few years in New Denver and Kaslo, moving back to Cranbrook in 1985 to be close to the growing families of their two children.

In their later years, outdoor activities continued to be a joint passion, but were interspersed with numerous adventure travel trips all over Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia, and South and North America.

Barney is survived by Joan, his wife of 69 years; his two children Patrick (Ellen) and Molly (Derald Cloarec); six grandchildren – Kristy (Ryan Comishin), Jennifer (Steve Kelly), Sean, Diana, Kellie, and Tania; as well as four great grandchildren – Brennan, Sadie, Clea, and Luke.

He passed away in Cranbrook at 91 years of age, surrounded by his loving family.

We would like to express our gratitude to the kind, respectful and supportive staff of the Moyie Unit of Joseph Creek Village for the care and encouragement provided to Barney and us. At Barney’s request, there will be no funeral service.

You were an example to us all, and we will miss you – Barney, Dad, Poppo!!


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