April 20, 1927 – September 24, 2022
at the age of 95 years:
After a long fulfilling life, Chester DeBruin, aged 95, passed away peacefully and surrounded by family on September 24, 2022, in Vernon.
Chester was born in Saskatchewan and raised on a farm as one of fourteen children in Birch River, Manitoba. At the end of WWII and after thrashing season, he travelled west by train across the prairies to work in BC logging camps around Smithers and Queen Charlotte Islands. He finally settled in Quesnel with brothers Ken and Warren, and sister Esther. After the passing of his first wife, Doreen (Trueman) De Bruin, Chester married Lyvonne Johnson in 1970.
As an entrepreneur in the forestry industry, Chester owned a sawmill in Alexandria, south of Quesnel, and CN De Bruin Trucking, a road building company.
In 1992, Chester and Lyvonne retired to their summer home in Mirror Lake near Kaslo in the Kootenays, where they enjoyed a slower pace and new roads to explore. In retirement they had lots of fun adventures that included road trips in Canada and the US, vacations in Mexico and Cuba, and driving on the wrong side of the road in Ireland. In 1998 they began to over-winter in sunny Vernon at their daughter Givonna’s home, moving to Vernon in 2015.
Chester was known for his positive, friendly, outgoing nature wherever he lived, always taking time to chat with folks, remember their names and share news. In Kaslo, the daily trip to the post office was always a social highlight. His hobbies included reading, walking the dogs, helping to renovate family homes, keeping the wood stove warm, pruning trees, driving the lawnmower, and enjoying home cooked meals or a good cup of coffee always with Pacific canned milk.
Chester will be lovingly missed by his wife Lyvonne, daughters Elodieanne (Brian) Browning of Quesnel and Givonna De Bruin of Vernon, grandchildren Christopher (Ashley) Cherry of Duncan and Amanda Cherry (James Schultz) of Quesnel, five great-grandchildren, sisters Esther Blaylock (Vernon), Diane Behrmann (Kamloops), Shirley Gosselin (Logan Lake), Alice McIntyre (Edmonton), sister-in-law Rachel Paton (Nelson), and extended family.
Special thanks to caregiver Cindy Blatny, Dr Gilhooly, Interior Health care staff and other helpers for their support and assistance, especially over the past year.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Vernon Adult Day Program at the Gateby Care Center in Vernon. A celebration of life is planned for later.
Chester will rest forever in the Kaslo Cemetery.