It is with great sadness that the family of Wally Bourelle, a longtime resident of Quesnel and Kersley and previously of Williams Lake, announces his peaceful passing on May 1, 2013 in Quesnel at the age of 93 years and 8 months.
Wally was born in Bawlf, Alberta on August 28, 1919 to Philip and Catherine Bourelle, the youngest of eight children and the only one born in Canada. The family had emigrated from Nebraska, USA, looking for a better life and homesteaded a farm near Edmonton. When he was 16 years old, and the last child left to “work” the farm, he prompted and got his parents to move to BC to join his siblings, who had married and were working at logging and installing telephone poles in the Vernon area. When these jobs ended, he and his brothers ventured into the Chilcotin to round up and break wild Mustangs for the government. This endeavor turned him into an awesome horseman and rider! When WWII erupted, he contracted with the Army to install telephone poles from Prince George to Ashcroft. During this time he met and married Alice Pinchbeck, (nee Scanlon) and together they raised four children. During their 23 years together, Wally worked in the logging, sawmilling and construction industries, earning his Millwright Certificate in 1967 and his Advanced Welding Certificate in 1969.
Quesnel became his home in 1970 and in 1975 he married Agnes Bowers, (nee Coldwell). Wally was a jack-of-all-trades and master of many and he expected anyone who worked with or for him to keep pace, which for some was daunting. He always kept busy and until the advent of the computer age, was able to repair anything involving motors, electronics or plumbing. He was also heavily involved in politics and even into his late 80’s could be found erecting signs throughout the Quesnel area during election campaigns.
Community spirited, he and Agnes put in countless hours helping to get the Seniors Centre up and running, doing maintenance work, and volunteering at many of the centre’s events. In earlier days he hunted and fished and when time permitted, he’d go prospecting. He played the banjo, fiddle and accordion and he loved to dance, so much so that in the last week of his life, he attended Quesnel’s Bluegrass Festival and upon returning to hospice performed some tap dance steps to the amazement of nursing staff. He was also an avid reader and life-long learner, even trying his hand at computing. His favorite techno device was his cell phone and as recently as three weeks ago wanted to upgrade to an iPhone!
Wally loved his family dearly. Predeceased by his beloved wife Agnes, his daughter Denise Anne, brothers William, Philip and Roy and sisters Lila Langille, Lily Brigden, Lyda Crouser and Lauretta Shields. Left to mourn are Bonnie Mueller (Don), Kate Keene (Doug), Wayne Bourelle (Lin), Teresa King (Kelly), Helen Krause (Alfred), Jack Thomson (Sharon), Betty Karolat (Jerry), and their families, which include Grand, Great Grand and Great-Great Grandchildren, and in addition, two brothers-in-law, two sisters-in-law and many nieces and nephews.
Wally’s wish was for no formal service. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Quesnel & District Hospice Palliative Care