David (Dave) Alan DeLeeuw

David (Dave) Alan DeLeeuw

Nov. 25, 1945 – Nov. 21, 2013

Dave passed away peacefully in his home surrounded by the love of his family and his faithful dog “Buddy” after a year long battle with cancer, four days short of his 68th birthday.

Dave is deeply loved and will be terribly missed by his wife Roberta, children and grandchildren: Frank (Wendy), Zander (Leah), Avienda, Leeland; Jason (Corrine), Soren, Tristan, Remi, Emma, Jodymae (Bruce) Brown, Faraon, Katey-Mae; Arlana (Kasey) Phillips, Kord, Peri; Lora (Darryl) Higgins, Alana, Emalee, Aubree; Lynnaea (Scott) Rawlings, Elsie, Gage, Tess; Rhonda (Tyler) Buchanan, Easton; step-mom Jean DeLeeuw, siblings Joe (Barb), Darlene (Joe) Walker, Mike, Pat, Esther (Lee) Sprague, sister-in-law Lyn (Doug) Halliday, Uncle Oliver Phelps, many special nieces, nephews, cousins and bushels of friends. He will be sadly missed by all the Gowans family who embraced Dave into their large family and Dave reciprocated.

Dave is predeceased by his father Hilbert, mother Ethel (Phelps) Burman, brother John DeLeeuw and cousin Larry DeLeeuw. He was raised on DeLeeuw Ranch in Rose Hill and attended Rose Hill School when the means of travel was by foot, on horseback or by ski in the winter. Dave also attended St. Mary’s in Edmonton and John Peterson Junior Secondary.

At age 14 Dave headed out in the work force and was employed by Joe Frolek Sawmill, Fred Stocking Ranch, the Basque Ranch, Haney Motors and the Gang Ranch. He married Wanda (Ward) and they welcomed his first son Frank.

Dave took his John Deere farm equipment apprenticeship at Stan Steele, worked for Dearborn Tractor and started his own mechanical repair services at Cherry Creek, D&D Mechanical Services. Dave and his second wife Bev (Veach) operated Wells Gray Auto Service in Clearwater, providing mechanical repair services along with retailing fuel, tires, and operating tow truck services.

About this time he became obsessed with waterskiing so much so that in the winter Dave would travel to southern B.C. and over the U.S. border to find bodies of unfrozen water. Dave was also a snowmobile enthusiast and became the Yamaha dealer of snowmobiles and motorbikes in town.

On one snowmobile trip he accidentally drove his snowmobile off Raft Mountain and fell 2,000 feet. By some miracle Dave survived the 20 below temperature for the 12 hours it took his brother John to orchestrate his rescue but he sustained such severe injuries he suffered the effects for the remainder of his life.

Without enough danger in his life, Dave built his own trike (called the Streaker) and used it to speed up his trips into Kamloops for supplies. Dave traded the service station for a paving company and operated Big Country paving for a time until he returned to Kamloops and began working for Frolek Cattle Company as their mechanic where he remained for over 25 years until his retirement. On his return to Kamloops and drawn by childhood memories of the scent of the wild roses, Dave chose his favorite site on the bottom corner of DeLeeuw Ranch to build his hime and a mechanical shop where he operated Dave DeLeeuw Equipment Services.

During these busy years Dave and Bev were also blessed with son Jason and daughter Jodymae.

Other special children in Dave’s life were Robbie and James Clark.

Dave was re-acquainted with high school sweetheart Roberta (Gowans) in 2000 and together they enjoyed a fabulous fishing trip to Langara, an Alaskan cruise with the Gowans clan and a wonderful vacation in Maui as wall as many, many fishing and camping trips in B.C. They had so many good years enjoying their children, grandchildren, fishing, camping, dancing, friends and wine.

Dave was born with music in his bones and was an accomplished pianist, singer and guitar player. He performed for many dances (sometimes with brother John) including the Provincial Bull Sale dance. Chunky Woodward was so impressed with his musical ability he offered to sponsor Dave and send him to Nashville. Dave completed his mechanical training so quickly and with such high marks that he was offered a lucrative position with John Deere in Dubuque, France. Both offers were declined. Dave was always a passionate fisherman, an accomplished hunter, enjoyed scuba diving and absolutely loved to dance. In earlier years he enjoyed flying with his Uncle Andre. Dave believed the measurement of a man’s wealth was in the number of friends he had. He was deeply spiritual, passionate about life and sentimental to a fault. Nothing would make his “eyes leak” more than giving a good gift, receiving any kind of gift or watching a sad movie.

No amount of time on earth would have been enough.

A memorial service will be held on Saturday, Nov. 30, 2013 at 11:00 a.m. at Calvary Temple with Pastor Don Maione officiating.

The family would appreciate donations to any charity, especially Royal Inland Hospital cancer ward or Vancouver Children’s Children’s Hospital renal ward.

The family would like to thank the wonderful nurses in the cancer clinic, the ER nurses and doctors, Dr. Proctor, Dr. Van Heerden and especially Dave’s special angel Dr. Du Preez.

Schoenings Funeral Service entrusted with arrangements.


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