January 20, 1940 – November 17, 2019
It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of Charles Joseph (Chuck) Montgomery. Chuck passed in the early hours of Sunday November 17, at the Wexford Creek Seniors Home, in Nanaimo British Columbia.
Chuck was born to parents Walter and Magdalene Montgomery, in Chatham Ontario, on January 20, 1940. His love of sailing and motorcycles began in his formative years’ and continued throughout his life.
During the war, his father Walter was posted to Holberg (Norad), on the west coast of Vancouver Island. Holberg, known for copious amounts of rainfall and native to Winter Harbour and Cape Scott, Walter was astonished by the coast! Upon returning home from the war, he regaled young Charles with stories of the legendary fishing and the natural beauty found all along the west coast, Chuck was determined to see it!
After graduation, he worked in the field of electrical/electronics. His first job was with Northern Electric Company, then moved to IT&T, and eventually took several contracts in the Artic as a Radio Technician on the D.E.W Line during the Cold War. It was through some extra curricular communications that he struck up a conversation with a pretty, young telephone operator from Iceland named Ingileif Steinunn Gunnlaugsdottir.
After his final DEW Line contract was coming to completion, Chuck convinced Ingileif to fly to Montreal and together they would take a cross country ride in his new convertible to the West Coast! Eventually, they arrived in Coal Harbour a place where convertibles and sunny days are rare!
In the late 1960’s Chuck and Inga moved their growing family to Port Hardy and started his company “Montgomery Electric” which he continued to operate until his retirement in 2014. He was an extremely hard worker, and a generous employer. His passion for piloting his boat up and down the rugged west coast, led to the exploration of many remote inlets and rivers, these were the adventures that would resonated for him!
Chuck also loved to fish, hunt, ski, and scuba dive. Chuck was adventurous, not all adventures included an ocean and a boat but, I believe he kept an eye out anyway!
In the early 1980’s Chuck and Inga moved their family and company to Courtenay BC, where acreage life began and so did a new chapter for the Montgomery family. Within the next decade all four children would marry their betrothed in Courtenay! Raising horses and grandchildren were to be Chucks’ next passion! The family soon blossomed, and to Chucks’ delight he had what seemed like an inexhaustible supply of little skiers, bike riders, and horse enthusiasts to fill each season with joy!
Chuck was a very present father in his children’s lives and sought to impart to them a set of values and a good moral ethic. (not overnight!)
He was a man of faith, coupled with generosity of spirit! He was actively supportive of the Catholic Church and was a steadfast supporter of Port Hardy’s first Catholic church and its’ ordained priest Fr. Andre’ Dion.
Chucks’ friendship and respect for Fr. Dion would occasionally require hiring the “worker priest” (AKA), as an electrician when the offertory was light.
Chuck sought to live a full life even after his diagnosis of Parkinson’s Disease. He battled the disease with strength, courage and determination for almost two decades. With Inga’s love and care, Chuck met the many challenges his illness presented with dignity and grace and always took time to share a smile!
There will be a celebration of life for Chuck this coming spring, the details of which will be announced in the new year.
The essence of this man was clearly his family: Wife and soulmate Inga, rascal children to follow; Andrew, Charles (Jr.), Joseph and Angela.
Chuck is survived by his wife Inga, their four children and their spouse. To date they have 11 grandchildren, 7 great greatgrandchildren, and Chucks devoted sisters’ Eileen, Merilyn and Elizabeth. Chuck was predeceased by his parents, Walter, Magdalene, and his older brother Donald.
Thank you father, for your love, patience, and understanding!
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