October 11, 1930 – November 13, 2022
In loving memory ~
Joseph Gaál, née József Sándor Gaál, born October 11th, 1930, died peacefully at home in Campbell River on his mother’s birthday, November 13th, 2022, surrounded by family.
Joseph was born in the Hungarian city of Temesvár, Romania. He spent the war years in Vienna, a time that haunted him until the final weeks of his life. He later escaped the communists in Romania and found adventure and freedom, travelling the world as a ship’s engineer. He worked in Germany, France, England, Australia and Fiji Island in the 1950’s.
In 1961, he met Rannveig (Rawny) Hansen, a young Norwegian stewardess who would become his wife of 61 years. They travelled the world working aboard ships together before settling in Oberwesel am Rhein, Germany for several years. Later, they immigrated to Canada.
After landing in British Columbia, Joseph immediately began his tenure as a mechanical engineer at B.C. Hydro, where he was a dedicated and valued employee for 27 years. He never missed a day of work and once saved a man’s life on the job and was awarded the most valuable employee award from B.C. Hydro. He spoke with fondness of his years working there, flying to remote parts of this beautiful province and working on the turbines and microwave towers.
Rawny and Joe lived in many parts of B.C.–Macbride, Alert Bay, Port Hardy, Masset, Prince Rupert, Cranbrook, and finally Campbell River, where they moved in 1980 and lived ever since, raising their three children, Alex, Julie (Therezia), and Jennifer (Jeneve).
Joseph was a beloved grandfather who loved to garden and spend time with his dogs and his grandchildren. He was a magnificent and passionate cook and loved nothing more than cooking for his family and breaking bread with them. He also was a skilled jiu jitsu fighter and wrestler in his youth. After living through so many hardships and adventures early in life, nothing was a “big deal” to him, and he could always be counted on to remain calm in the face of adversity. He had a special connection to animals and children, who were drawn to his quiet, strong and peaceful presence. He was an authentic, down-to-earth man who disliked pretense, and was a deeply loyal father, grandfather and husband who could always be counted on.
Our dear Joe (Chonny) will be missed terribly by his wife and soul mate, Rawny, and his grown-up children, Alex, Therezia (Pasha) and Jeneve (Dave), Yvonne, Shelley, grandkids Nico, Svava (Reid), Joseph, Eric, Gabriel and Everix, and brother Emil (Florika).
Although he lived many healthy years, he suffered the last year and a half of his life with complications from diabetes. His family would like to extend a heartfelt thanks to Dr. Meckin and the Campbell River Home Care Nursing and Home Supports staff for their compassionate and kind support of Joseph and his family during that time.
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