Longtime Williams Lake resident Harold Hartwig passed away at the Williams Lake Seniors Village on July 23, 2013. He was predeceased by his wife, Patricia, in 1992.
Harold was born Oct. 2, 1931, in Kuroki, Sask. to August and Emelie (Ratke) Hartwig. He was the 14th child of 10 brothers and four sisters.
In 1949, he and his parents moved to Abbotsford, B.C., and shortly thereafter he left home in search of work. He worked over the years in sawmills in Vavenby and Clearwater; on the oil pipeline — Blue River to Merritt; in the mill in Canim Lake and at Black Creek for the Rosenal Brothers.
He decided he wanted to be a faller and secured a job with H.J. Gardner and Sons in Horsefly.
He also worked as a faller in Barkerville. After a co-worker suffered a severe injury on the job, Harold decided to make a change and moved into Williams Lake where he secured a job with B.C. Hydro, first falling trees, then as an auger truck driver and groundsman.
It was in Williams Lake where he met Patricia “Pat” Burke, a registered nurse, in 1966.
In 1969, he and Dick Chapell formed a partnership for the ownership of “Dick’s Towing and Auto Wrecking.” In 1971 he bought his partner out and operated the towing/auto company until he sold it in 1989.
He repurchased and resold it the same year. As he had never changed the name he sometimes was called “Dick” and then by some, “Charlie.”
Harold was an avid sportsman. He served term as president of the Rod and Gun Club and was voted “Sportsman of the Year.” He bowled, curled, golfed, played baseball and loved to “socialize” in general. He was always up for a laugh or a joke.
Harold was a proud Williams Lake volunteer fireman for 30 years. He loved the camaraderie of his fellow fire fighers! It was here he got the nickname, “Dad.” He was a canvasser for the Cancer Society and was a supporter of the Hough Memorial Cancer Society and the Williams Lake Senior Centre. He was a jig-saw puzzler extraordinaire, and very lucky. In 1986 he won a blue Cadillac Sedan DeVille in a scratch and win Lotto.
In 2007 due to health issues Harold moved to the Williams Lake Seniors Village where he remained until his passing. He is survived by brother, Clarence (Barbara) of Central Lake, Michigan and sister, Tillie Baker of Surrey (formerly of Williams Lake) and niece, Shirley (Mike) Hewat, in-laws Murielle McFaddin, Morris and Audrey Burke, all of Williams Lake, as well as numerous other in-laws, nieces and nephew living in Canada and the U.S. In keeping with Harold’s wishes there will be no service.
He requested that his ashes be spread in the Chilcotin where he enjoyed many years of fishing and recreation. A small family gathering will be held at a later date.