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January 1, 1927 - March 25, 2023
In Loving Memory ~
Karl Simkus of Port Alberni, B.C. passed away on March 25, 2023.
Karl was born in Lithuania and grew up playing sports and exploring the countryside. The war broke out while he was a teen and he and his family lived through difficult and challenging times.
Dad arrived in Canada in 1946 for a better life and started out working in the woods of Northern Ontario.
He arrived in the Alberni Valley in the early 1950's. He felt at home in the forest and worked as a faller for M & B at Cameron, Franklin River and Sproat Lake Divisions for over three decades. He was also an active member of IWA Local 185 and was dedicated to improving working conditions and safety in the bush.
Karl's weekends were spent chasing salmon in the canal, where he caught and lost his fair share, always refining his knowledge, techniques and equipment. He played bridge and took courses ranging from fly-tying to Toastmasters and enjoyed friendships along the way.
Karl was ahead of his time in embracing healthy living through diet and meditation. He regularly watched Hockey Night in Canada to cheer on his favorite team, the Toronto Maple Leafs and volunteered for many worthwhile causes.
After retirement, Karl was able to pursue his love of sports and excelled in the BC senior games, winning many gold, silver and bronze medals, first in table tennis and later in his favorite passion, swimming. He was delighted to train with like-minded athletes and competed well into his eighties.
In his daily routine, Dad swam thousands of laps at Echo Centre and enjoyed the casual camaraderie and some impromptu challenges at the pool.
Dad never stopped learning and working towards a better day. Even at the end, he tried to brighten the lives of those he came in contact with. Residents and staff at Westhaven where he spent his last year, will not soon forget his memorable performance as Santa Claus.
Karl is survived by his wife Danute and his children, Mark Simkus, Lisa Richardson and Laurence; step-children Sandy Smith; Daiva & Jolita (Lithuania); grandchildren, Kendal, Lauren, Travis, Kaily; Zivile; Eimantas, Deividas, (Lithuania); and great-grandson, Linden, as well as his nephew David and niece Diane, in Ontario.
Our Dad remains an inspiration to us all. We will miss him. .
"You can't cross the sea merely by standing and staring at the water."

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