Eric Robert Widen
July 18, 1924 – October 12, 2012
Eric Widen passed away peacefully at the Bulkley Lodge at the age of eighty-eight. He is survived by Arline, his wife of sixty-six years, and by his nine children, Lindy (Fred) Mayner, Rob Widen, Lori (Neill Gallagher) Widen, Barb Horte, Kevin (Cindy Savage) Widen, Terry Widen, Ted (Stanza) Widen, Virginia (Eddy Strawiak) Widen, and Sherri (Petr Kyn) Widen. He is also survived by his sisters Signe Haller and Mary Ellen Schon. He was predeceased by his brothers Louis, Bill, and Alfred (Bobo). He will be fondly remembered by his family, including his grandchildren, his great grandchildren, and his honorary daughters Rhonda and Carolyn.
Eric was born in a cabin south of Houston BC, and moved to the Bulkley Valley at the age of four. He attended the Woodmere School, and joined the army during World War II, but did not complete his training because the army discovered he was only 16 years old. He worked in the shipyards in Prince Rupert, and he bought a farm on Woodmere Road, where he lived for forty-seven years. He married Arline Scott in 1945, and she became the cook for his logging crew. For many years they ran a beef ranch and he logged to support the farm while they raised their many children. They moved to Telkwa for twenty years, and then to Smithers for the last few years.
Eric helped to expand the Round Lake Picnic into a regatta. He also helped the people of the Hungry Hill area to get hydroelectricity. He was honest in all his dealings. Many of the structures he built still stand on the old Woodmere farm. He and Arline were known for their graceful dancing.
His life began in a cabin in the bush without electricity and telephone. He became a master mechanic of automobiles and farm equipment, but he never dealt with the computers that surrounded him by the end of his life. Eric will be remembered for the many stories he told (mostly about moose), and for his sense of humour.
A celebration of Eric’s life will be held at Round Lake Hall on November 3, 2012, beginning at 12:00 noon. Light refreshments will be served. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Bulkley Lodge Recreation in Smithers.