September 4, 1931 – November 15, 2018
With heavy hearts, we sadly announce the passing of a long time Fernie resident and legend, Archie Shade. With family by his side, Archie passed away peacefully at the Elk Valley Hospital on Thursday, November 15th following a battle with cancer at the age of 87.
Archie’s life journey began on September 4, 1931 in a small town of Vanguard, SK to his parents August and Ida Shade. He was one of eight children, having three sisters and four brothers.
In 1944 his family purchased a farm in Abbotsford, BC. Archie was only thirteen years old when they took a leap of faith and headed out west on the train. With family and their belongings in one box car and his father tending to their livestock in another – they were on their way to better opportunities and a brighter future!
Archie started work at a young age. His first paying job was picking and tending fruit. He moved up quickly to driving the delivery truck …… without a driver’s license! He delivered fruit and vegetables to different businesses, and did eventually get his license.
After grade seven Archie left school and family to take a camp job near Princeton as a cook’s helper. While at camp he made a small furry friend – if you can call a black bear small! It took a while for the bear to be-friend Archie, but soon he had the bear eating out of the palm of his hand (literally). It became a daily routine to see the bear waiting for Archie to bring him his hand fed snacks! Archie eventually started his career with Emil Anderson Construction. He was a heavy equipment operator and learned quickly. Archie’s boss was so impressed with his skill and knowledge of machinery that he asked him to train other equipment operators. He worked on the Hope Princeton Highway, which happened to be one of the biggest jobs he’d ever done.
Archie went on to work at the Travers Dam in Lethbridge, AB, installing culverts along the highway from Elko to Fernie. He dug some of the first holes for the Fernie ski hill lifts! While working in Fernie, Archie met his beautiful future wife, Margaret Jean Brown and they were married on Christmas day in 1954. The couple purchased their first and only home together, selecting it from three they’d looked at because the marble they brought didn’t roll across the floor! They were very proud of their garden, whether it was in the back yard or down at the King Ranch’s potato patch. Archie and Jean were married for sixty-one years and raised six children together, before she passed away in September 2016.
While building the road to Fernie’s famous “Microwave Towers”, Archie was offered employment with the City of Fernie. Though wages were lower, the job had benefits and also meant Archie could stay closer to home. He accepted the job stayed until his retirement 36 years later. Archie helped build Fernie’s first float for the parade and in 1972 took first place in Cranbrook. He won many ribbons for best in show throughout the years and continued to design floats for the City before retiring in 1996. His last job for the city was working on the reservoir expansion.
After retiring Archie busied himself with his annual 9th Avenue Halloween House. Archie’s spooky creations frightened and amazed people of all ages! The first walk through his haunted house was scary and the second was inspiring! Preparations would begin 2 months in advance and decorating didn’t stop until Halloween day. Each year became bigger and better, eventually becoming a family event with people needed to scare the kids, run the show and hand out trick or treat bags! His reputation spread and soon people travelled from out of town to see it. It was the place to be and will always be remembered in our big Halloween hearts!
Archie was very inventive and could fix almost anything. He enjoyed snowmobiling, snow shoe making, wood working, hunting & fishing, and huckleberry picking. He built and enjoyed his cabin and trap lines; the outdoors was his second home! He was a self-taught mechanic and welder. He built box kites and took his oldest son out for a fly. Wasn’t long before his kite was lifting his son off the ground. Thankfully dad was there to save the day!
In the 1960’s he bought Kelly’s Soft Ice Cream and even had Fred MacMurray from the tv show “My Three Sons,” stop by. While there Fred signed an arm cast of Fernie local Marlene Pazzoni, making her day! In the later years he enjoyed doing puzzles with anyone who dropped by. When the puzzle got difficult, he assumed someone had lost a piece. He loved his outings whether it was a shopping spree or a road trip to visit family. He enjoyed riding the bus and the people he met at Rocky Mountain Village’s adult program and the beloved company of his cat Chevy.
Family was very important to Archie. You’ll be missed so much more than you could ever know. There are memories of you wherever we go. The laughs we’ve had, the tears we’ve cried, the special memories you’ve left live on, brightly inside. We want you back here, but know that can’t be. Fly high and be free! To a life well lived and a love that will never be forgotten!! We love you and keep you close in our hearts, until we meet again xxx.
Loved ones that cleared a path for Archie are his wife Margaret Jean Brown, his parents August & Ida, brothers Ed, George, Raymond and Len, and his sisters Olga and Leena.Archie is survived by his children: Gail Guest, George Shade, Linda Shade, Donald (Jennifer) Shade, Debbie (Kenn) Sisley and Jerry (Leann) Shade; his grandkids: Al (Cory), Jennifer, Johnathon (Jill), Jolene (Ryan), Jody (Desmond), Kelly (Chris), Jaxon, Kennedy, Seth, and Piper; great grandkids: Saige, Kylen, Layla, Chase, Danisha, Connor, Tristan, Chase, Alice and Mike, and his sister Lorraine as well as many nieces and nephews.
In lieu of flowers donations may be made to Elk Valley Hospice. Memories & condolences shared at www.cherishedmemoriesfs.com, Arrangements entrusted to Cherished Memories Funeral Services Ltd.