Archie Shannon

Obituary of Archie Shannon

It is with heavy hearts that we announce the sudden passing of Archie Shannon, a long time resident of Chetwynd, BC, on Friday, June 8, 2018 in Chetwynd at the age of 84 years.

Archie was born October 3, 1933 to parents James Patrick and Mary Shannon. He was the eldest of 4 boys, followed by Guy, Allan and Dennis. The family farmed in Belloy Alberta and at the age of 16 Archie left home and went to work on the Scott family farm. He saved his money and at age 18, him and friend, Stan Stepinook, bought a D4 Cat and went to work in the bush. A few years later they took a job at Fugle’s logging camp 30 miles west of Chetwynd. Margie’s cousins were working at the same camp and that Christmas they brought Archie to her parent’s house. This is where they met and where their story begins. Archie and Margie were married 9 months later on September 15, 1956 at St Mark’s Church in Dawson Creek. A few days later they moved to Fugle’s camp, which was situated on the banks of the Pine River. A tiny bunk house was their first home. Fording the river was a daily chore when the river was low and crossing on wet slippery logs was downright dangerous when the river was high. Ten months later Kelly was born, making crossing the logs that much more treacherous. Archie held Kelly in one arm, a suitcase in the other, while Margie held fast to his belt. Neither could swim and they didn’t own life jackets, to most this would be unnerving, to them, just another day in the life. Wendy came 20 months later and 6 weeks after that they moved to Nichols Camp in Jackfish Lake. They moved from camp to camp following the work. Darla was born in 1961 and Kyle in 1962. The year Kyle was born, Archie traded a radio for a 12x24 shack and put it on an acre of land he purchased in Gerwin Sub. This is also when he bought his first logging truck. Neighbours McKay’s and Gayse’s became close friends and remains that way to this day. In 1970 they moved to the Rodeo Sub, where they lived for 23 years. The business expanded to 12 trucks along with other equipment. Another big move was when they bought Brewster’s log house and built a new shop. A lot of memories were made there over the next 13 years. There were a few more moves before finally settling where they are today.

 

Archie loved sports. Ball was a huge part of his life from the age of 15, so much so that he left Margie just hours after Kelly was born to play in a tournament in Bay Tree. Not sure which he was more proud of, his first born or the no-hitter he pitched that day. Summers were spent playing ball all over the Peace Area. Archie playing ball while Margie kept score, harassed the umps and spit bathed the kids. In 1993 Archie was instrumental in building the current ball diamonds in Chetwynd. The Shannon Diamond is a testament to his love of this sport. When Archie was 64 he took up golfing and it quickly became another passion that both him and Margie enjoyed. In 2001 Archie, Margie and a team of dedicated workers started the Ball and Golf Charity Tournaments. 17 years of support from the community made it possible to raise almost $200,000 for the Seniors of Chetwynd. While summers were occupied by Ball and Golf, winters were consumed with curling. It was a family affair, for all but Darla curled. Countless Bonspiels made for wonderful memories and lasting friendships. The Grimshaw Truckers Bonspiel is one that stands out because it was an annual event for Archie and Terry LePretre for 13 years. It took them that long to bring home the A, once they achieved that goal, there was no longer any need to go back.

 

Although sports were his passion, family and friends was his life. The Shannon house was always filled with extra kids. Brad McKay in particular, was so much a part of the Shannon family, that to this day Margie refers to him as her third son. Age was irrelevant to Archie and to those who knew him. Camping, boating, Prisoner’s Base, dances, parties and gatherings were always a mix of young and old, and they were weekend norms. There were jokes to be told, tricks to be shown, pool to be played and beer to be drank. Work Hard, Play Hard was how he lived. As most of you know, Archie was a generous man. The old adage “He’d give you the shirt off his back” is an understatement. Both him and Margie took in several stranded families, fed anyone who dropped by and he would be the first to volunteer his time, his equipment and his money to anyone and any cause. It’s impossible to condense a life well lived to a few words on a page - He was of the era where, a handshake was a contract, your word was collateral and respect of oneself and others was paramount. Archie was a was a wonderful husband, father, grandfather and friend. Read by Robyn Parrish

 

I first met the Shannon Family in 1968. We lived next door to Margie’s mom & dad in Dawson Creek, where they would come once in a while and visit on weekends. I still remember that green station wagon they used to show up in. But it wasn’t until 1976 when I moved to Chetwynd that I really got to know Archie. We were both very competitive in sports and we would often meet up, either on the ball field or on the curling ice, where we had some pretty memorable times and some pretty awesome games against each other. We both hated to lose, and I think not only did it bring out our competitiveness but also brought out the best of our abilities, but no matter the outcome we would always shake hands and go have a beer or two or three and sit down and tell stories and reminisce about the good old days. Even after tournaments we would go to Archie & Margie’s house and all the men would be competing against one another on the pool table while Margie and the women would be belting out tunes on the piano. Another of Archie’s passions was the community of Chetwynd; he was very proud to live here and would do anything to make sure that we had the facilities that were needed in our community. One project I worked with Archie on was developing the ball diamonds that we have today. Archie approached the District on plans to develop these fields but was denied by the District of Personnel & Equipment, so typical Archie just jumped on his own equipment and did the work himself. He was very proud of our community and the people who lived here. He would often tell me how proud he was that so many good athletes and teams came out of such a small town and was always happy for everyone’s accomplishments. Later on in life Archie and Margie took up golfing and his competitive spirit also showed up on the links as he would eventually organize a golf and ball tournament which has raised tens of thousands of dollars which was all donated to assist Senior Living at Surerus Place, Little Prairie Haven and the Palliative Care Unit at the hospital. Archie’s strong work ethic plus his love for the community makes him a Pioneer of Chetwynd. I am privileged to have known Archie and will sadly miss the friendship that we shared but will never forget all the fun times we shared competing and socializing together. Written by Darryl Campbell & read by Randy Waldie

 

Archie was a proud man. Family came first and then his job. In the summertime Archie was either working on trucks or at the ball diamonds playing ball or coaching his team, ‘The Archie’s’. What I remember the most was Archie’s competitiveness, to have the best team and win games. I remember one tournament back in the 80's where we played Darryl Campbell’s team in the final and beat them. The game was over and the beers were opened, everybody was friends again. I looked around and there was Archie giving Daryl a hard time about losing to The Archie’s. I believe the reason I grew so competitive in my ball days was a direct result of Archie.

Til we meet again on the ball diamond up in the sky Coach. Written and read by Randy Waldie

A celebration of Archie’s life was held on Friday, June 15, 2018 at 2:00 pm at the Chetwynd Rec Center. Pastor Bill Evans officiated. Interment will be held at a later date. 

For friends so wishing donations may be made in memory of Archie to Surerus Place, PO Box 1679, Chetwynd, BC V0C1J0.   

Very Respectfully Reynars Funeral Home & Crematorium 

 

 

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Friday
15
June

Celebration of Life

2:00 pm
Friday, June 15, 2018
Chetwynd Recreation Centre
4552 N Access Rd
Chetwynd, British Columbia, Canada
(250) 788-2214
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