Harkness, Percival “Percy” John

February 14, 1934 – August 26, 2019
at the age of 85 years

Percival (Percy) John Harkness was born to Leonard and Selma Harkness on February 14, 1934 in Harptree, Saskatchewan. It was in his youth while working on various farms that his lifelong love of solving mechanical issues with anything from tractors to trucks began. As a young man he moved west to work for Canadian Pacific Railway as a telegraph operator and dispatcher. Although he had many fond memories of work locations like Beaver Mouth and Ashcroft it was in Revelstoke that many important events took place. It was there that Percy first met and dated Irene Chudoba and as often happens, life takes on different paths to the same place as Percy and Irene would eventually marry thirty plus years later in 1993.

Percy was very active in the Masonic order and a mason for nearly sixty years in various lodges around the BC interior. It was a very proud moment for Percy last fall to attend lodge in Salmon Arm with his son-in-law and grandson representing many generations of freemasonry.

 Percy worked at Mainline Co-op and also maintained an electronics repair shop at the mall for many years, and although it was many years in the past the railroad never really left his life. He maintained contact with other railroad buffs around North America and never failed to jump on an opportunity to regale a nearby ear with tales of the rails.

 Percy and Irene settled into married life for nearly 25 years in the Salmon Valley until Irene’s passing one year ago. It was his wish to have his ashes mixed with hers so they would be together once again.

 Percy is survived by his daughters Valerie Mohart (Peter) and Heather Smith (Wally), step-daughter Kazuko Takamoto (Jacqui), step-sons Brad and Mark Winter, grandchildren Griffin Smith (Marina), Kinnon Smith (Josh), Rebecca Mohart, step-grandchild Noriko Vickerson (Paul) and step-great-grandchildren Madison Vickerson-Bangma and Logan Vickerson-Bangma.

 There will not be a formal memorial service for Percy; however, the family requests that anyone wanting to mark his passing to do so by lifting a cup of his favourite beverage of all, coffee.



  1. I am so sad to just be hearing of this passing now. And sad in that he has passed. Percy and Irene became like our adopted grandparents when we were very young. We spent many christmas’ and birthdays together with Irene making our cakes and Percy showing us his trains. We had many sleep overs and all around amazing times with them both. As we grew up and moved away i continued to make a point in visiting them whenever i returned to visit. Percy loved telling the story of my dad and him building a shed together and us giving them the wrong bolts and screws. He told it everytime i visited. I will miss you both so so much.

  2. Janice Saxby and family;

    Very sorry to learn of Percy’s passing and send my condolences to you and your family. Percy worked with family members on the CP, and heard my father speak of him often. Having been employed with CP and a brother Freemason, I’ve always seeing him and hearing his many stories as a railroader.

    It was an honour and a pleasure to have known him and will lift a cup of coffee in his memory.


  3. I am sorry to read about your Dad, Heather. He sounds like quite a character with his strong interest in the rails and mechanics just like two other men in your life. We send hugs and our thoughts to you and Wally and family. Please know we are thinking of you. Sincerely Janice and family

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