Edward Anthony Gatzke
May 26, 1927 ~ January 28, 2016
Ed passed away suddenly at his home in Creston, B.C. on Thursday, January 28, 2016 in his 88th year.
He was the second child born to parents Eduard and Elizabeth Gatzke in Gelsenkirchen, Germany. At the age of two, Ed immigrated to Canada with his mother, father, and sister, Elizabeth. The family took up residence in Whitemouth Manitoba, then Seven Sister Falls near Winnipeg, before relocating to and settling in Creston, B.C. in 1931. It was here the family purchased 60 acres of raw bush land. Over the years, with much dedication and hard work from the entire family, the land was cleared and developed into a mixed fruit farm.
After attending Creston Valley High School, Ed held several odd jobs and assisted on the family farm. In 1950 he purchased Dominion Paint and Body Service which he owned and operated until his retirement in 1992. During his 42 years in business, Ed was awarded the BCAA Long Time Service Contractor Award for towing. He is fondly remembered by many for his faithful good service, no matter the time of day or extreme condition.
Ed was inspiringly active within his community. He was a volunteer driver for Creston Valley Ambulance Association for 18 years, chairing the association for 16 of those years. He was recognized for his involvement and planning in the construction of Swan Valley Lodge, the Creston Valley Airport, the development of Cook Street business area, parking area and walk through, and Creston’s first Handibus. He was a member of the Holy Cross Catholic Church, and served with the Knights of Columbus, earning the title of Grand Knight for
two terms. In 1973 Ed was elected to Creston Town Council and served as Councillor for 26 years until his retirement in 1999. He served on the Association of Kootenay Boundary Municipal Association and the Union of BC Municipalities. In 1998, Ed was awarded the UBCM Long Service Award for 25 years of exemplary service.
Ed was predeceased by his first wife Betty in 1970, his second wife Joan in 2003, and his sister Lillian Good in 2005.
Ed is survived by sisters, Rose Pompu and Elizabeth Schuler, his children Douglas (LaRene) Gatzke, and Donna Gatzke, Heather (Brian) Draper, Linda Martin, grandchildren Stacy (Rob) Mutch, Michael Lee, Breanna Lee, and great grandchildren Eli and Kennedy Mutch, as well as numerous nieces and nephews. He will also be missed by his good friend Hazel Jackman.
Ed loved working in his vegetable and flower gardens. He will always be remembered for the love and care he displayed toward his family, for his honesty, great story telling, strong work ethic, and contributions for the betterment of his community.
Funeral mass was held at Holy Cross Parish on February 2nd, 2016, with Father Tom Kakkaniyl officiating.
Committal took place at Forest Lawn Cemetery with Reverend Harry Haberstock.
Memorial Contributions may be made to the Heart and Stroke Foundation or Canadian Cancer Society.