July 7, 1945 – March 24, 2022
It is with great sadness and an immense sense of loss that we announce that Wray Parsons, Dad, passed away quietly and with dignity in Palliative Care in Nanaimo, BC, on March 24, 2022 from an aggressive lymphoma. Dad had hoped to keel over at his lathe in his wood shop, but the universe had other plans for him.
Dad was born in Birch River, Manitoba July 7, 1945 to Thelma and Gordon Parsons. He spent his childhood milking cows and skipping school to go shoot gofers on the family farm in Bowsman, Manitoba. Being the pesky younger brother to Joan and John, he was full of mischief and often had to call his brother-in-law, Lorne Halliday, to bail him out of trouble -or the ditch- in his teen years.
Dad spent much of his early adulthood working for Avco Financial Services. He made many dear friends through Avco in Kitimat, Smithers, Vancouver, and Nanaimo. With his bonuses he began his hoard of wood working tools for his wood shop, which his kids are now trying to figure out what to do with.
Dad quit the financial services rat race in his 50s, taking up woodworking full time and riding his motor bike to his shop in Coombs. He threatened to grow his hair out, but that didn’t take. Coombs lost its magic for Dad, so he took his woodworking on the road to craft fairs. His work became so well known that he was able to sell his beautifully crafted products worldwide from his home. Dad continued to create and sell his work up to the day before he went to “the big house” in early March.
Volunteering for Eden Gardens Dementia Care in Nanaimo has been a large part of Dad’s life since May, 2019. His volunteer work and financial donations have been extensive and valued by all at Eden. He, and his best friend Eric, created all sorts of wood crafts and puzzles for the residents to construct and create.
Dad said that his work with Eden Gardens was the most fulfilling and rewarding work he had ever done.
Dad is survived by his two adoring kids from his first marriage: Cory Parsons (and fur-grandchild Ruby), and Chantel Parsons (partner Frank Brunt) and his human grandchild, the light of his life, Elowyn Love.
Dad leaves behind his beloved wife of 23 years, Dorothy, and her family in Calgary and Nova Scotia.
Dad also leaves behind many treasured family members and dear friends from all over North America. Dad’s cherished fur-child, Phoebe the dog, is now in the care of Elowyn and Shackleton (the other fur-grandchild).
Dad lived a big life on this earth. He would tell us all to quit crying and get on with things. The best way to remember dad would be to shoot some targets with your favorite pellet gun, have a super strong coffee sweetened with local honey, eat all the cookies, listen to some old country and western music, and have a good laugh with your friends.
He would be angry if you wasted your money buying flowers for his family, so instead, make a generous donation in his honor to his favorite cause, Eden Gardens Dementia Care in Nanaimo, BC.
Our family would like to send a special thank you to Dr Jonker, Dr Ontko, Julie from Bayshore, the first floor staff at NRGH, and the staff at Palliative Care. We appreciate all your efforts to treat Dad with dignity and care, and laugh at his off-color jokes.
A special gathering of Dad’s Nanaimo friends will be organized for late May when we will pretend to fulfill Dad’s wishes of “chucking his ashes behind the greenhouse”. We will gather, tell stories, and celebrate his life.
Much to his disappointment, his daughter will be taking him on a road trip this summer to Swan River, Manitoba (where it’s too hot and dry, according to Dad) to have another Celebration of Life with his Manitoba family and friends, and spread his ashes near his parents in Bowsman.
We love you, Dad. Bye for now.
- Submit News Tip
- Trending Now
- Photo Galleries
- Contact Us
- Site Map