July 23, 1974 – July 27, 2020
On Monday, July 27, 2020, our son Bert William, brother of Michael John was suddenly taken from his loving family and many friends leaving all of us feeling devastated. Bert was born in New Westminster on July 23, 1974 to his proud parents Bert Sr. and Josephine. He was a delightful baby and toddler and was very loved by his Grandparents (now all deceased), his many Aunties and Uncles and cousins and as the years passed, a multitude of more cousins were born into our families and he loved you all.
Bert spent his youth and early adult years in New Westminster and Maple Ridge being active in soccer, baseball, wrestling, Slo-pitch and Scouting in the Laityview area. He was always up for an adventure with his friends. His involvement in the community through school, sports and scouting in these early years formed the beginning of many strong and lifelong friendships. The Osoyoos vacations year after year with a huge number of friends and family were legendary. We all belonged to “Club Ridge.” His other vacation love was Mexico. He loved every visit.
After working many years in silviculture, Bert moved on to another love of his life and that was the construction industry. He liked architecture and big buildings and worked on many sites throughout the Lower Mainland often making remarks about the buildings he had worked on as we passed by them in regard to how they were constructed and he was always taking unique photos of them from his perspective. He also made many more friends working in this industry.
Bert was a generous person who was very sensitive to his surroundings and the people within his circle and truly would often give a friend or stranger in need the shirt off his back or a warm jacket or a soup, hamburger or coffee. He had a great love of children, all animals, dogs, cats, birds, fish - but with the animals, he was especially a lover of dogs and cats. So many of his dear friends and family describe Bert’s infectious smile.
His passion for sports cars and trucks of all types was another great interest for Bert. Like most guys he could talk in detail about cars for hours.
Bert loved music and had a vast knowledge of musicians and their brands and styles of music. He shared this love with special friends over the years. From Gord Downey and the Tragically Hip to Metallica and Nirvana, through Pearl Jam, the Beatles, Axiom - - - he loved them all and was a catalogue of facts and stories about music. His “go to” Karaoke song was the Beatles, “Eight Days a Week.”
He had collections of Coca Cola, Hot Wheels, Star Wars and more but most of all he collected friends because he loved people the most. Bert’s friends were intensely special for him, they were like family and he will miss all of you. All of his friends were significant in his life and they were always there for him. He didn’t want to leave any of us behind but his seizures caused by head injuries ultimately took him from us. He endured so much from the trauma caused by his many face and skull fractures caused by his falls during seizures but he did not want that to be the repeated topic of conversation around him. He focused on getting through life and enjoying the company of his good friends when he could.
Bert always talked about his only sibling, his younger brother Mike of whom he was especially proud. Even if some of his friends didn’t know Mike personally they knew him through his brother Bert.
With all the health concerns regarding the current pandemic a service is not planned but we do encourage any of Bert’s friends who wish to get together to celebrate his life, to do so in a safe gathering. Perhaps in remembrance, think about Bert when you see the colour orange. He was crazy about that bright bold colour and he wore it well with his dark brown skin and warm brown eyes.
Thank you to all of his family and friends who have been so kind in sharing their photos and memories of Bert. He loved you all. One of Bert’s long time friends shared the words from the last text that he had received from Bert: “Big love to you” and “Love ya Brotha…”. Bert leaves this message behind for all of his “Brothers” and “Sisters”. Bert will be waiting for all of us on the other side ready for the next adventure.
Goodbye to our dear son and brother and friend. Rest in Peace now.
SHAKHUL (Genesis 42:36). The death of a child is a pain that never leaves. We will never stop loving and missing you.
Dad, Mumma, Mike and all of your family and friends.