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McKen, Archie

(May 31st, 2023)

Archie McKen passed away peacefully on May 31, 2023, living every one of his 94 years to the fullest.

Archie lived nearly his entire life in Nelson, moving here when he was 5.  His start in Nelson was at 49 Creek in a two room log cabin with a dirt floor and no electricity.  He was the youngest of 4 children.  Perhaps this basic start shaped his tenacity for accomplishment and being able to create something from nothing.  When something needed to be done, there would always be the “right way”, the “wrong way” or the “Archie way” that always worked.  After high school, Archie attended SAIT in Calgary, graduating as a machinist.  Returning to Nelson, he went into business with the Renwick family in the early 50’s on Granite Road. They acquired the Chrysler franchise in 1958 and grew the dealership to a long and successful business.

Archie was heavily involved in the community.  He was a member of the Nelson Gyro Club for over 50 years and helped Whitewater Ski Hill in its beginning.  Archie also was a member of the Nelson Planning Committee for nine years.  His involvement with the Nelson Street Car was instrumental.  He was a critical part in keeping the wheels on the track, machining parts when they couldn’t be found.  He was passionate about collecting and restoring old cars, being a member of both the Vintage Car Club and the Roadkings.  His personal collection was diverse and enjoyed by many at the local car shows.  

Wherever he went, Archie looked for fun.  Whether it was relocating the steering wheel and pedals to the back seat of his first car, bobsledding from Cottonwood Lake to Nelson – with no brakes or dressing up for the many costume parties with Gyro, Archie enjoyed them all.  He had a great sense of humor and an even better memory for local history.

Archie may have been passionate about his community and hobbies but nothing trumped his family.  He was married to his life’s companion, Joan for one month short of 64 years.  Joan and Archie raised four children; Grant (Heather), Tammy (Glen) Darough, Gary (Camille) and Glen.  Sadly they lost a son – Gary  in 1993 and a grandson Ian Darough in 1994.  Archie was “Bub” to his seven grandkids – Brandon, Jeff, Chelan (Arie), Mitchel (Kelsey), Doug (Alax), Ashley (Jordan) and Kate.  Nothing pleased Bub more than flipping pancakes, loading the kids in the loader bucket to pick apples or watching the kids play together at the cabin.  He felt so fortunate to have all his grandkids born and raised in Nelson where he watched them grow from babies to successful adults.

Thank you to Dr. McBride, nurses, paramedics and all the staff at the Nelson Hospital.  In lieu of flowers please consider donations to the Nelson Kootenay Lake Hospital or the Heart and Stroke Foundation. There will be a friends and family gathering at a later date. 

 

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