September 13, 2023
In Loving Memory ~
On Wednesday Sept. 13th, 2023, Win Hobson died peacefully at the Bulkley Lodge Care Home, in Smithers, B.C.
At 96 he had outlived his brother Peter and his beloved wife, Shirley, to whom he had been married for 69 years. He is survived by his four offspring, Mark, Bruce, Daphne and Clare and four grandchildren.
Win was born in county Cork in Ireland in 1927 and saw enormous changes in the world during his lifetime. His parents were stationed in India where his father served as a police superintendent. Win's first years were spent riding camels and ponies with a full-time bodyguard during which time he became fluent in Urdu and other Indian dialects.
At the tender age of eight his life changed drastically when he was sent to join his older brother in boarding school in Ireland. He did not see his parents for three years and was desperately home sick, but luckily had a loving aunt and uncle that cared for him on school holidays.
When WWII broke out his mother returned from India in 1940 to take the boys out of school and immigrate to Canada. At the age of 12 after a risky crossing of the Atlantic in a convoy with U-boats sinking neighbouring ships, they arrived in Quebec City and eventually crossed the continent to Victoria.
Win's teenage years were spent in Victoria where his passion for mechanical engineering became apparent, leading to a degree from UBC with high honours in 1948.
His first engineering work was at the leading edge of technology with the designing of jet engines for the infamous Avro project in Toronto. He returned to B.C. in 1951 and joined the UBC outdoors club for a summer where he met Shirley Lockhart. They both loved the outdoors and were married in 1952.
Win's career changed direction from jet engines to the design of pulp mills. It was this area of expertise that he pursued for the next 20 years with overseas projects in Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Portugal, and Nigeria interspersed with years in Vancouver, Powell River, and Kitimat.
During these years in Kitimat with a family now of 4 children they made frequent ski trips to Hudson Bay Mountain and discovered the Bullkley Valley. At the age of 50 Win left the pulp and paper industry and with Shirley's support built a log home on the edge of the river near Telkwa thus beginning the best years of their lives.
Win and Shirley fully embraced the community and gave generously of their time and energy in a wide range of endeavours. There are 16 log buildings in the valley built by Win. In addition, back country skiers still benefit from a number of remote cabins he initiated. His passion for fly fishing was legendary and right up to his last days he was always dreaming of catching the "big one".
He was a straightforward guy in every way and never took himself too seriously. He could be a bit unaware at times, which could frustrate Shirley but there was never a mean or manipulative streak in him. He lived a very full 96 years and will be missed by his many friends and family.
There will be a Celebration of Life on July 6th, 2024 at Glenwood Hall, Smithers, BC.
Condolences may be offered at www.schraderfuneralhome.ca
Schrader Funeral Home