On April 6th Dale Melnechuk, a good man with a gentle soul, passed away peacefully at the age of 78 after a long and courageous battle with Alzheimer’s disease. The defining qualities of his life were his love of family and community, and his kind and considerate way of dealing with everyone he met.
Born and raised in Saskatchewan, Dale wore his Ukrainian and Icelandic heritage proudly and never lost the connection with his prairie roots. A job opportunity brought him and his young family to Nelson in 1965 beginning his life-long love of this town and its beautiful natural surroundings.
Unforeseen circumstances intervened and Dale ended up as the primary parent of four of his five young children, something that was not very common in the early 1970’s. He did it bravely and capably, with a few amusing mishaps along the way, especially related to cooking. In 1976 he married Gerrie, the love of his life, and together they forged a deep and enduring bond that would last for over 40 years.
Dale was known for many years as the proprietor of Cutler’s News on Baker Street, where his cheerful service was appreciated by locals and tourists alike. He also took pride in serving his community, as a long-time member of the executive at the Royal Canadian Legion and as a member of the Employment Insurance Appeal Board. He was the kind of citizen who makes Nelson a great place to live.
Dale loved hiking, camping and skiing with Gerrie, reading, tending their beautiful garden, a beer at the Legion, kids and dogs, and most of all, having his family gathered around him. He was a caring husband and father and a really fun grandfather. He dealt with his cruel illness stoically and thanks to Gerrie’s loving care he was able to maintain his quality of life and stay the person he was much longer than anyone could have hoped.
Missing Dale terribly but happy that he is now at rest are Gerrie, children Tara (Terry), Wendy (Mike), Karen (Bruce), Greg (Lana) and Colin, grandchildren Jessica (Mike), Sabrina, Paul and Thomas, great-granddaughter Lexi, sister Diane and many other family members and friends.
Our deepest thanks to LaViva Seniors Living (Vivian, Olena, Lise, Soon Yeen, Lynn and Devon) who helped us make this journey with grace. Grateful appreciation also to the staff at Jubilee Manor for their loving care of Dale and their support of Gerrie during the past three years.
If you so desire, donations in Dale’s memory can be made to the Alzheimer’s Society of BC http://www.alzheimer.ca/bc or Nelson Jubilee Manor/Place Foundation 500 W. Beasley St., Nelson BC V1L 6G9.
A celebration of life will be held on Sunday, May 21st from 2 to 4 pm at the Legion Hall.