The family of Peter Aussem share the sad news of his passing on Saturday, December 30. Peter was born in 1935 in Johore Bahru, Malaya, and passed away at Vernon Jubilee Hospital after a determined fight with cancer. He was 88 years old.
Peter was predeceased by his parents, Henry and Moira Aussem in 2002, and brother Tony in 2003.
Peter’s early years were spent in Malaya (Malaysia) and during WW2, in Ceylon (Sri Lanka); he had many stories from this interesting and challenging part of his life.
The family moved to Canada in 1951 and settled in Burnaby BC. Peter started school at Burnaby South Highschool, but his help was needed to support the family and he left school to take work on pipeline projects that took him across the country. He talked about the French-Canadian family that took fantastic care of him and provided delicious dinners and bag lunches for $2/week. A sharp contrast to the Northern Alberta winter when he walked into the camp kitchen to find nothing on the menu and nothing in the fridge; he had to hitch a ride in the back of a cold truck to get to Edmonton.
He met Jacqueline Taylor, a Registered Nurse in Prince George when both had moved there for work. They married in March 1966 after Jackie returned from a nursing contract in St. John, NB. to attend her sister’s wedding. After their own wedding they bought a little travel trailer that they pulled up to Lynx Creek where Peter worked on the WC Bennett Dam, and Jackie was often called to assist at the community First aid station. Peter continued to work on the BC Hydro Dam projects at Mica Creek and Revelstoke. He also enjoyed working for the film industry later in his career. He was recognized in 2023 by the Teamsters Union Local 213 for 60+ years of active Union membership. He was a strong advocate for workers rights, and he knew the labour code and union contracts well. Whether acting in the capacity of Shop Steward or mentor, he was a reliable resource for many workers. He was also a volunteer fire fighter at Lynx Creek, and the volunteer Fire Chief at Dallas Canyon.
Pete and Jackie settled on a small acreage in 1972 near Lumby BC and remained there along with numerous much loved family pets until he passed. They have two children: Dean (Cathy) and Janine (Doug), and three grandchildren, Ryan, Rachel, and Jack.
Peter was an avid hunter and fisherman and taught both CORE and PAL courses for decades. He was an advocate for safe and responsible hunting and fishing. Peter was active with both the Lumby Wildlife Association, and the BC Wildlife Association, holding positions on the local, regional, and provincial executives. Public access and Hunter Education were key causes for him. Fishing Forever, the Annual Lumby Wildlife Club Raffle, Gun Show, and Banquet & Awards Night were favourite events he gave his time to support.
He cared a lot, he liked people, he loved his family (pets included), and dedicated his time to what was important to him: family, friends, fair treatment of people and animals. A good man with a big heart; he will be missed.
A Celebration of Life for Peter will be held at 1:30PM on Saturday, January 27 at Trinity United Church, 3300 Alexis Park Dr, Vernon, BC.