Charles Neil Bond
June 11, 1939 – Jan. 21, 2015
Unbelievably, Neil died in Saint Mary’s Hospital from the effects of cancer instead of dying in a blazing fireball on his motorcycle.
Neil was born in Lytton to Charles and Olga Bond. Tragically, his mother died when he was 18 months old and Neil was sent to live with his extended family, the Dumkas, in Yorkton, Saskatchewan. There he and his cousins lived a true prairie boy’s life. They travelled to school in a horse drawn sledge in the winter, drove tractors as soon as they could reach the pedals and worked long hard hours to bring in the crops. It was here on the Canadian Prairies that he developed the resilience and self-reliance that served him so well throughout his life.
Neil eventually returned to British Columbia to live with his extended Bond family in Princeton and Penticton. At 16, sick and tired of being broke and desperately wanting a car, he left home to work on the Coquihalla Section of the Kettle Valley Railway. A few years later he brought his creative and technical skills into play as a technician for the Department of Fisheries on the Fraser and Nechako Rivers.
The numerous encounters he had with the denizens of the rivers and forests became a rich source of material for his many hilarious stories.
Neil moved to Clearwater when an opportunity came up to haul logs as part of his father’s trucking company. He put his mechanical skills to good use there and eventually obtained his Journeyman Heavy Duty Mechanics ticket while employed at Weyerhaeuser.
Neil was a resourceful man of many talents. He could shoot and dress a moose, cook it up for dinner and serve it with the best choice of wine. He could build a house, repair any vehicle, fix a broken fence, weld a basketball hoop, glue the sole back on your shoe, sew up a hole in your overalls and, like any good Canadian male, could make love in a canoe without capsizing.
Neil had a lifelong passion for anything with a motor. From an early age he owned Nortons, Triumphs, Yamahas, Hondas, many dirt bikes and too many cars.
For thirty years he put his talents to use at the Guest family cabin on Summit Lake near Prince George and helped out at the Guest Tree Farm in Mission.
Neil was predeceased by his brothers Tommy and Wayne, sister Diane, and by the light of his life, beloved and cherished daughter Rio Christina. He is survived by the wife he adored, Mary Louise Guest, his amazed and always incredulous sisters-in-law, Beverly Guest and Barbara Marcellus, brothers Gordy and Buster Rutsatz, Billy Bond, sisters Carol Robertson and Gayle Martin, stepmother Betty Bond and special nieces Christina Lees, Ann Allen andCharlotte Mcquocodale.
Neil was much loved by so many. He will be missed by his Red Mud and Salt Flat partner Ron, his dear Gibsons friends Nina, Roger and Madolyn, Denis and Evelyn, Victor, his friends in Clearwater, his mates in Australia, his Dumka, Bond and Rainey cousins, the Barnes family, his co-workers at SD 46 Maintenance Department, and everyone on Sargent Road where he was always available for a chat or instant practical help.
The family would like to thank Dr. Barbara Bienkowska who came from Prince George to provide outstanding care and steadfast support to Mary Lou and Neil during Neil’s final week.
The funeral will be held at Gibsons United Church Monday, February 2nd at 3 p.m. followed by a reception at 4 p.m. at the Gibsons Public Market, formerly the Yacht Club.
A memorial will be held in Clearwater later next month.
Neil was an avid reader. In lieu of flowers please donate in his name to the Gibsons and District Library Foundation.