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In Memoriam — Joel William Drew

By Contributor
December 17th, 2013

On December 5, 2013 a highway accident claimed the life of nineteen year old Joel William Drew of Winlaw, B.C. 

Also claimed in this tragic accident was Joel’s special friend Lyla Mortensen of Slocan City.

Born and raised in the Slocan Valley, Joel was an avid outdoorsman.  He loved kayaking, archery, swimming, back country hiking and skiing. 

Joel excelled as a student in the Summit Program at Mount Sentinel Secondary School and as a graduate became proficient in wilderness first aid, avalanche safety, and winter camping.   

He had no fear of the cold and every year on New Years’ Day he jumped into the river as the rest of the family stood by and cheered him on.

Joel had a talent for drawing, sketching and painting.  He also had a passion for making videos.  He published several videos on YouTube. 

The most popular is of his Corgis running through some tunnels he had made in the snow.  So far the video has generated almost 2 million views!

Joel worked at Pacific Insight and had recently been promoted to Production Shift Lead. 

He understood the value of hard work, thrived on independence, and realized, at a young age, the satisfaction of making his own way.  But he also understood life was not just for work and made sure there was time for family and friends.

Joel was a pleasure to be around. 

At family gatherings he would socialize equally with family members of all ages.   He thought deeply on a wide variety of subjects and was always eager to demonstrate his knowledge about the topic of discussion.  

From a very young age he loved listening to Stuart McLean on CDs. 

First and foremost Joel was a kind, caring, and gentle human being. The second oldest of six boys he could take on the role of responsible big brother but could also be found wresting with the little guys on the floor. He was also very generous, giving his step-dad a barbecue for Father’s Day and his mom a season’s ski pass to Whitewater for her birthday.

The evening before the accident Joel came home to Winlaw for his weekly visit and dinner with his family.  As usual he arrived home with suckers and treats for his siblings.   

There was lots of horsing around with the younger brothers, playing games, and just hanging out on the couch.  The youngest two, Devon and Brennan, incessantly played “The duck waddled up to the lemonade stand” and “Six white boomers” until Joel and his Mom begged them to “STOP”!   

Jonathan, Joel’s next-younger brother, sensing the closeness between him and his Mother jokingly commented, “Oh, looks like Joel’s the favourite now”.  It was just another night of playing and visiting with his close family.

Joel is sadly missed by his mother and stepfather (Kim Drew & Ron Kilgour), father (Ian Franklin),  brothers James, Jonathan, Jesse, Devon & Brennan,  half-brothers Danny & Kieran, grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins, friends, and his Corgi, Violet. 


I love you from the top of your head to the tip of your toes,

To the back of your bottom to the tip of your nose.

                                     I love you.

   (Mom’s rhyme written for Joel when he was a baby)


I was the first one to kiss you

And I was the last.

My love, my son

My heart is shattered.


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