Obituary of Justus Teasdale
It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of Justus Teasdale, a resident of Taylor, British Columbia, on April 4, 2022, at the age of 26 years.
Justus came into this world, on Tuesday, September 12, 1995. He was a healthy, happy boy with a smile that could light up a room even as a baby. Meeting this little soul for the first time, even at a young age you could already see that he was just as intrigued and curious of you as you were of him. Right off the bat there was an interesting family coincidence he and his grandmother shared the same birthday. It was no wonder they spent so much time together going out to parks and beaches throughout the lower mainland. As innocent and happy as Justus was, his mischievous side also shone through. At just over two years old he was already able to climb counters and find the treats put up high and supposedly out of his reach. The other game he loved to play was the turn the TV off while you are watching game, and this was of course on a TV that had no remote control. Oh, as you can imagine he loved that game!
Later, as Justus grew older, he and his mom moved in next to our immediate family. It was nice to have them so close as Justus had many family members who loved to spend time with him.
Not too long after that his mom ended up moving a few times and then finally to Fairview, Alberta. Although farther away from some of the family, he was now closer and able to see his dad more regularly. At this point Justus and his dad were able to spend every other weekend together. This was such a great time and was so amazing for the both of them.
A year or so later, surprisingly, his mother decided she could no longer be the full-time caregiver to him. Sheldon was happy that he could now be a full-time parent to him. At that time, Justus’ Grandpa Steve was also living with Sheldon, so there were three generations living together. It was actually quite hilarious for all of them to now get used to each other as a sort of bachelor scenario. Prior to moving in, Justus had fallen far behind in school. Once they understood where his grade average was compared to where it should be, Grandpa Steve and Dad set into action a plan to help Justus catch up and excel beyond his grade level. Within a year he did just that.
One of his best attributes was that he was so eager to please and loved the responsibility of helping out around the shop. It wasn’t long before we realized that Justus had such a great affinity for cars, trucks, and anything with an internal combustion engine. As a reward for helping and cleaning around the shop, we had a Toyota station wagon that was converted to a pickup truck at some point. Ugly as she was, Justus was in his glory moving garbage cans, car parts and anything that he could find an excuse to move. He would drive around the shop grinding gears here and there, but overall, for 8 years old, he could actually drive better than most. We now realize that Justus loved doing his chores more than anyone his age!
A couple years later they moved from the shop to a house in the Farmington area. At which time he went to Parkland Elementary where he made lots of friends. According to his teachers, he may have been a bit of a handful at times and wasn’t a fan of math or spelling. However, he definitely excelled at social events like art and lunch break! Seriously though, he had great hands-on talents such as a six-foot-tall bird feeder he made in one of his classes as well as a metal shelving unit made a few years later, both of which are still holding together and standing the test of time.
Growing up in Farmington there was no shortage of outdoor toys to play with, such as quads, dirt bikes, skidoos etc. There was a rule however, if there were no adults around, they were off limits. Well one day, when he was home alone, and was clearly a little bored, he realized there was one thing that wasn’t on the do not ride list. Justus clearly took note of this opportunity and nonchalantly took advantage of it. When arriving home that evening, we found Justus hard at work doing his homework. Okay, at this point I had a feeling this was a little strange. At which time I decided to have a look around the yard, only to find that the riding lawn mower was missing. So before jumping to conclusions, I followed the tracks of the mower leading through a sort of obstacle course with the final destination being the dugout where the lawnmower was found half submerged in water. You could clearly see the footprints and amount of work he put in to try and free it. It was really funny though that he had showered, changed his clothes, and started doing homework. To clear his name just in case I thought aliens had come down to place my mower in the water. When asked about it, of course he confessed he was only trying to help mow the lawn. Which I responded to, “yeah ok son!”
When the pressures of middle school started to set in, Justus, was convinced that, according to him, everyone had a cell phone, but him. So, after considering it, I figured why not. I can get a hold of him at any time and could keep tabs on my son. Win-win situation, right? Well, as the first couple weeks progressed, he was pretty good with it and knew if he ignored my calls or texts, it would be short lived. I, of course, expected this to taper off and that he would become harder to contact. To my surprise he was pretty good with it. Then one moment at home I caught him by surprise by walking in the door unexpectedly. Well, he jumped up dropped his phone and seemed in panic mode. Clearly, at that point I was very curious as to what mischief he was up to. Knowing that he knew he was busted I had to play the situation out a bit. At first, I quizzed him on what I might find on his phone that he could admit to. No, he wasn’t biting he wasn’t giving up nothing. Upon sifting through his messages, I found in the few weeks of having the phone he had multiple girls blowing up his phone. Some of the girls were much older than him and he had them chasing him. I thought to myself, wow, there is clearly much more to this shy little kid then meets the eye.
Now a few years later, when he was 14 years old, our shop was sponsoring some of the stock cars at the Taylor speed way. During this time Justus developed relationships with many of the drivers. He was always eager to help them with their cars. So, he was invited to help the pit crews at the track. At this time, there was a junior driver space available in which Justus was invited to participate. So being 14 at the time, he qualified in the 14 and up for juniors. On that race weekend Justus drove his car to the limits to win. Unfortunately, Justus knew and was worried about the fact he had blown the clutch in the vehicle that had been lent to him to race. Ironically, it was the annual Memorial event which had a $1000 top prize for the most consistent overall driver of the weekend. To everyone’s surprise he won the top prize over all his first-time racing and ended up winning $1000. Justus couldn’t be happier that he had won the grand prize because now he could afford to repair the damaged clutch. Which he bought and replaced himself. Either way it was one of his proudest moments and he had earned the right to brag. To this day I still want to thank Aaron Tubbs for that memory that will not be forgotten by his friends and family anytime soon.
Justus in his early high school years, like most teenagers, thought schoolwork was not all that important. After one of his final semesters, he had fallen behind in work and in attendance. As a father I wanted to help him learn the importance of hard work and dedication. Over the years I had gotten to know some members of the Blueberry Christian Colony from helping them with repairs and maintenance at my shop. In talking with them I found that they were willing to take him on and have him as a part of their community for part of the summer. That summer we did just that and he agreed to stay with them for a part of the summer. Well, apparently while being a part of the colony, he excelled with them as one of the most respectful and hardest working young people they had the privilege of working with. Beside myself at that moment. I started to ponder, either he was an expert at making sure he didn’t give me the satisfaction of the punishment I put forth. Or he was actually just an amazing person with a gift that he was willing to share and put forth his energy to go above and beyond (obviously it was the latter).
Over the later years, Justus worked for the family shop off and on. He was always an amazing employee when given the right motivation. Unfortunately, as his father was his employer, he often felt cheated, and Dad was too cheap to pay him the 35.00/hr he deserved at 18 years old. He was a very talented and determined employee, but we all need to put our time in and work our way through the trenches of life to attain that kind of wage, back then anyways. So, after a period of unemployment, I reached out to my friend Brian who also owned an automotive shop. I explained to him that I would not be responsible for the outcome, but that Justus was always eager to learn how to fix vehicles and was actually very good at it. So, if you need a hand, maybe not having dad as the boss would give him the drive he needed. It turned out he was a very good employee except for the part of being on time and occasionally the odd no show. Brian had also seen the immense potential in Justus and invested much time and effort into him, but sadly it wasn’t his time to be that person. To this day even though things may not have gone how they should have, there was no ill will or anger coming from Justus because he understood that Brian just couldn’t afford 35.00/hr.
One of the last projects Justus and I had worked on together was during the 2020 part of the COVID outbreak. That year the family had got together to wait out the pandemic at our lake house in the boonies. Our project at hand was to build a new dock. So, the first step in the process was finding, cutting and basically beachcombing logs off the beach for the dock. Of course, he loved that. As the project progressed, he started to realize how big this project was. For 3 weeks of that summer, we busted our asses. Assembling this monstrosity required a huge amount of labor and with no heavy equipment to assist, it was how it would have been done generations ago - apart from power tools to assemble the decking near the end. It was blood, sweat and tears. Towards the end of that project, we had learned so much about each other. Good, bad, or even ugly at some points. Many of our similar and not the most positive traits of stubbornness, impatience and others came out during that time. During the project it was our love, determination and strong will that got us through. That will always be the most real and amazing time we spent together, and I wouldn’t change it for the world.
In many ways Justus had so many amazing traits - selflessness, honor, integrity, and a strong will unmatched in certain situations. As his father I have to say that through all the years I was definitely a bit of a hard ass and tried not to let him make excuses for his actions. Maybe I went about it wrong, but I always wanted the best for him, and he always knew that. I was always there for him and him for me and that really meant something to both of us. Even though he may have been his own worst enemy at times, he always owned it. Never ever shifted blame or denied the mistakes he made. That in itself is the true test of a real man. I miss Justus with ALL of my heart and soul and wish I knew how things may have been different. At the same time maybe, I wouldn’t change a thing!! All my love forever!!
A Memorial Service will be held for Justus on Friday, April 22, 2022, at 1:00pm in the Taylor Community Hall. Pauline Haycock will officiate.
Very Respectfully, Reynars Funeral Home and Crematorium
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