David William Janes


5 August 1912 – 2 July 2002

When He Was Young,

The Valley Was Young.

Davey Janes was born in the family ranch home in Grantham before the Great War to settlers Frederick and Mary Ellen Janes of Alberta. He was the last surviving sibling of Edith, Majorie, Gwen, Mavis and Norman, Clifford and Howard. Dave loved his keen sports fishing and hunting nephews, Barry Churchill and Gordon Blackburn.

His life story, with the the lives of his friends, family and neighbors, made Comox Valley history. His and their memories of settlement and logging from the 1920’s to the 1960’s was documented by Richard Mackie’s book, Island Timber (2000). Several of his friendships continued over seventy years. His granddaughter Avry Janes, recalls, “His stories were as long as the horizon he looked upon every day.”

After he lost a leg in a log loading accident with Comox Logging, he returned to his family farm and supplemental commercial fishing. Despite his disability, he became an independent, Gyppo logger and cat-driver, both in the Comox Valley and on steep sided East Thurlow Island and at Cortez. Dave built his home at Kitty Coleman Beach on Aldergrove Drive, which he also bull dozed from the forest, and where he lived for 43 years. There he enjoyed his garden and developed an acute eye for nature. He took pleasure in his entire family – the numerous Janes, Churchill, Blackburn, Shopland and other relatives – and children, Greg (Genoa) and Norma Janes (Philippe), whom he raised with his late wife, Sally Janes who predeceased him in 1984, and step-children, Gary and Karen Sealey (Charles). Dave delighted in his grandchildren, Avry Janes and ChloŽ Menetrier and Shane Murphy.

He was grateful to his daughter, Norma, who gave Dave the great gift of sustained care in his last years. He was deeply appreciative of Home Care Support of Jeannie Speer and Theresa Noot, who offered friendship and personal care.

In lieu of sending flowers, friends, family, and associates are invited to send photos and stories towards a commemorative collection, celebrating Dave’s life. All pictures, anecdotes, memories, quotations, or happy thoughts will be duplicated for a “living scrapbook.” Copies of the scrapbook will be available later in the year. A memorial will be held sometime in August, the month during which Dave would have marked his 90th birthday.

Comox Valley Record

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