January 24, 1923 – February 4, 2020
Archie passed away peacefully at the age of 97 in the care of Royal Inland Hospital, Kamloops BC. He was born into a family of eight children in the townland of Gloonan near Ahoghill, County Antrim, Northern Ireland where he was also raised. In his youth Archie worked picking potatoes and vegetables for local farmers, often transporting goods with his donkey, Nellie hitched up to a cart. He contributed his earnings to the welfare of his large family.
Around the age of seventeen, he moved with his family to Gracehill, where he studied and apprenticed to be a mechanic. During the Second World War, Archie worked on the dry docks of Belfast building engines for gun boats and submarines. He was also a mechanic in the British Navy for three years until he suffered a bullet wound to his leg. In 1944 while he was living in Belfast, Archie met and married the love of his life, Jean.
Archie immigrated to Canada via New York in 1955 then on to the province of Alberta where there were more opportunities for work. Once settled there, Archie sent word to Jean and she came over to Canada by ship. He landed jobs as a mechanic at Calgary Motor Products (7 years) and Mannix in Drayton Valley. Also worked for Majestic and Marine Pipeline Companies and many others throughout the years, some lines still in use today. With his skills and knowledge of repairing many types of engines Archie was in great demand, also working for CP rail and on the Tans-Canada highway from Yoho National Park to Field, B. C., as well as the Revelstoke Dam. Archie joined the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 115 in 1956 and was a member for 64 years. Archie was a great problem solver for his employers when it came to getting equipment and vehicles working that no one else could. He helped many stranded people in his travels. Archie made many friends throughout his career.
In the early 60’s, Archie and Jean moved to B. C. and settled in Kamloops where Jean gave birth to their son, Stanley. In 1973 Jean and Archie attained their Canadian Citizenship as they decided Canada was a safe place to live compared to where they were from.
Predeceased by his wife Jean in 2016 and grandson, Kevin in 2017, Archie is survived by his younger sister Maudie who still resides in Ireland, living in Kamloops his son Stanley, his partner, Michelle Jacques, granddaughter Ashley Carson, grandson Roland Carson, his wife Katie and their son Sebastian, Archie’s great-grandson.
Archie enjoyed telling stories of his many work experiences and travels. He loved to sing Irish tunes to himself and to the entertainment of other Chartwell retire home residents within hearing. In his last few years Archie visited the Turtle Valley Donkey Refuge and rode on the CN Heritage Train with the enactment of the Billy Miner Train Robbery. He really loved those outings and was just grinning! He loved spending time with his three grandchildren, often taking the boys fishing. He was just getting to know his great-grandchild. We will all miss Archie and remember him as a wise, kind, simple man, respected and loved by many.