August 20, 1925 – February 6, 2020
Our beloved father, grandfather, great-grandfather passed away peacefully at the Bulkley Lodge February 6, 2020. Dad was born in Zurich, Switzerland but grew up in Wallisellen, Switzerland. In later years, Dad talked about the impact of the war during his formative years. One of the consequences of the war was food shortages, and because of this he saw the farmers as very vital. At a young age he wanted to be a farmer, and he attended agricultural school in Switzerland. It was a passion he had all his life.
After the war, Dad travelled throughout Europe working on farms. He immigrated to Canada, and in 1951 he came to the Bulkley Valley which he referred to as “Gods Country”. Shortly after, he met our mother, Dora Alice Hauser, and they were married in Smithers in August 1951. They settled on the farm in Driftwood for the next 65 years – a property that Dad loved so much. Dad will be remembered for his strong ethics, his love of family, his flute playing, his love of history, classical music, his (sometimes) wry humour, and his respect for all forms of life and the environment.
Dad was a firm believer in living off the land as much as possible. We will always remember the dandelion salads, and delicious morel mushrooms to name a few. When Dad arrived in the Bulkley Valley, he started working at the experimental farm seasonally. During the 1950’s and early 1960’s, he also worked in the planer mills and a short while at the Telkwa Coal Mine. In the mid 1960’s, Dad started work as a custodian for the School Board where he retired in 1985.
His retirement years were the happiest of his life he said. Dad loved to travel and, for the next 10 years, he and Mom did several memorable trips. His hobbies included gardening and various outdoor chores, which he filled most days with. He was also an avid reader and a history buff. He will be missed by his children Dorothy, Ann (Brian), Al, and daughter in law Cheryl. He will also be missed by his grandchildren Tonya (Daryl), Cory (Shannon), Heather (Mat), Cameron, Alicia, Skyler, and his extended family in Switzerland. Also, by his great grandchildren Quidje-Bo, Elaina, Clara, and Maeven.
Predeceased by his father Albert Stahel (1930), his mother Anna Emma (1942), by his wife Doris (2003), his son Robert (2015), and his daughter in law Margaret (2019).
Those wishing to donate in Fred’s Memory can be made to the Heart and Stroke Foundation.
We wish to thank Dr. Kruithof, Dr. Eustace, and the nurses and staff at the Bulkley Lodge for the wonderful care Dad received during his last four years.
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