George Nelson Irving
November 11, 1922-February 2, 2010
Nelson is forever loved, remembered & Survived by; Beloved wife: Anne. Sons: Clifford (Linda), Wayne (Lavinia), Ron (Gail), Rob (Della). Daughters: Darla (Reynolds), Sherry (Bob). Daughter-in-law: Cindy. Grandchildren: Patrick (Teresa), Julie-Anna (Mike), Taylor, Joshua, Merna (Brandon), Kynan (Samantha), Tyrel (Aleta), Teja (Victor), Jonathan, Christopher, Daniel (Patricia), Courtnee, Jeffrey, Lisa (Matthew), Anthony, Stephanie, Erica. Great grandchildren: Alexander, Gage, Kayden, Olivia, Emily, Mariah, Taylor, Elissa, Keiran, Kai, Aalidha, Natalie, Kayliegh, Melody, Quinn, Kaylee. Poppa to: Abby & Cameron. Sisters: Sally, Mary, Anne, Jean. In-laws: Paul, Joyce & Ken, Bill & Darlene, Eileen & Walt. Numerous nieces, nephews and many, many friends. Nelson was predeceased by: Children: Walter. Siblings: David, Richard, Buster, Johnny, Walter, Edna, Doris, Madge, Grace. Parents: David & Mary Jane Irving.
Funeral service and celebration of life was held Monday, February 8, 2010 at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, Vanderhoof . Officiating: Fr. Andy Takach. Pallbearers: Nelson’s Grandchildren.
George Nelson Irving was born in Vanderhoof on November 11, 1922 to David and Mary Jane Irving. He was the 13th of 14 children, with five brothers and eight sisters. Nelson and his family lived in Vanderhoof until he was in his early teens, when the Irvings decided to move to the lower mainland. While living in the lower mainland, Nelson worked both before and after school, first delivering meat for his father, and then delivering milk. Nelson then moved to Vancouver Island, where he joined his brother-in-law in logging. However, with the outbreak of World War II in 1939, Nelson, who was only 17 years old, lied about his age and joined the army. He spent five years overseas with the Royal Canadian Electrical Mechanical Engineers, working as a mechanic and in recovery, where he learnt his mechanical trade. Nelson landed on the beaches of Normandy on Day 2 of the D-Day Invasion. This affected him more than he ever let on. When he returned to France in 1998 with his brother Richard, his sisters Anne and Sally, and his nieces Joan and Darlene, he revisited Normandy. Instead of seeing the Normandy of today, he saw the Normandy of 1945, which brought back the terrible memories of the war. After returning to Canada, he went back to Lake Cowichan in order to get enough money to go back north. He then spent three years up north mining and trapping with his brother Buster and Tom Omeara. Nelson finally returned to Vanderhoof where married Norma Andros and started his greatest adventure – his family. He continued to work hard, first working as a mechanic for Alex Saranovich and the buying his own “Kenworth” logging trucks. Nelson’s life in Vanderhoof continued on, and he eventually met and married the love of his life Anne, and became father to her five children and extended family. Nelson loved his family and it was important to him. It was always easily extended, whether it was neighbourhood kids or foster children – he always had enough love for everyone. In 1980, Nelson went to work at L&M Lumber as a mechanic and worked until his retirement in 1996 at the age of 74.
In his spare time, Nelson had many hobbies he enjoyed doing, he loved fishing. He started freshwater fishing with Ford Moran, and later learned and loved saltwater fishing, a love that he passed on to his sons and his grandchildren. He got his first boat as a gift for his 65th birthday, and later bought the Rainbow Pursuit for ocean fishing. Nelson eventually sold the rainbow Pursuit and started fishing with his friend, Vern, sons Clifford and Rob, and anyone else lucky enough to be invited. His other hobbies included crib, which he looked forward to playing every Sunday morning with Clifford; poker, berry picking, prospecting, wood working and gardening. He loved being outdoors, sitting by a fire (he always had a year’s supply of wood on hand) and watching the birds eat from his bird feeders. He also loved Christmas lights, and would put thousands of them up during the Christmas season. BC Hydro loved Nelson’s Christmas lights as well! Most of all, Nelson loved company. He loved visiting with friends, sharing stories and a cup of coffee or a drink of whiskey (it always had to be Walker’s Special Old!).
Nelson’s work ethic and love of life were an inspiration to his family and to anyone who came into contact with him. He was a strong, proud and kind man. But Nelson had his fair share of trials. Later in his life, he faced illness and the death of his son Walter. However, when he was faced with a challenge, he always said that there was nothing you could do, so you’d better make the best of it. Nelson Irving played many different roles to many people. He was a son, a brother, a husband, a father, an uncle, a grandfather, a grandpa Nelson, a poppa, a friend. But his greatest role was that of teacher. He taught those around him to work hard, to rise to any challenge, and most importantly, that love knows no boundaries. For this he will be missed.