Mervyn Manford Peever, resident of Williams Lake since 1977, collapsed suddenly at Raven Lake on March 1, 2003, as he was leaving an afternoon of ice fishing with his grandson, Sammy.
Mervyn was born in Commanda, Ontario on August 21, 1930 to James Thomas Wellington Peever and Annie Jane Peever. Mervyn was the ninth child in a family of eight boys and four girls.
Mervyn first came to Winnipeg in the spring of 1951 to help his brother move. He spent about a month in Winnipeg where he met his future wife, then went back to the family farm to help until harvest was completed. Upon his return to Winnipeg he found work as an apprentice mechanic.
He married Joyce Doreen Krueger on October 18, 1952. Together they attended Apostolic Bible Institute in St. Paul Minnesota, graduating in June of 1956. After that, Mervyn and Joyce lived in various towns in Manitoba with their family growing to eight children along the way.
Mervyn, Joyce and their children lived in Flin Flon, Manitoba from 1961 to 1974. Mervyn worked for Hudson Bay Mining and Smelting but his main focus was missionary work among the Cree people of northern Saskatchewan and Manitoba. The places almost most travelled to were Amisk Lake, Pelican Narrows, and Sturgeon Landing.
Canadian Bible Society donated Cree Bibles and songbooks. These were written in both syllabary print and Cree using our alphabet. These were very much appreciated, especially by the older people, as the younger people were schooled in English. Mervyn acquired a Bozak Power Toboggan to help in the mission work. It is now housed in the Flin Flon museum.
The family moved to Prince George in 1974, and then to Williams Lake in 1977, where they began the Voice of Pentecost Church.
Mervyn began working for BC Rail upon his arrival in Prince George and continued until his retirement in 1995. On October 20, 1993, Mervyn’s crew was returning to Williams Lake from Prince when they were notified of a three-year-old girl lost from a home bordering the tracks at Red Rock. Meryn, as trainman, was in the engine with Ron Anderson, the engineer. Warren Weseen and Russ Moffat were in the caboose. As they were coming around a downhill curve, they spotted Keely lying between the tracks. Keely climbed over the rail and sat down. Ron spiked the brakes and thrust the gears into reverse. Realizing the train could not stop in time, Mervyn ran down the engine steps and leaped off the train, snatching Keely to safety. Mervyn won the Award of Valour for an exemplary act of bravery in perilous circumstances. The Governor General, in Ottawa, presented him with a Medal of Bravery. Various additional ceremonies and honours followed.
Throughout his life Mervyn was an avid outdoorsman, passing on his enjoyment of hunting and fishing to his children and grandchildren. It was this passion that took Mervyn and grandson Sammy to Raven lake on the last day of his life. They had looked forward to this trip all winter and left home in high spirits. The afternoon was enjoyed and considered a success as two fish were caught. Mervyn collapsed as they were walking toward the truck to return home.
Mervyn is predeceased by his parents James and Annie; and by three brothers, Preston, Gerald, and Carl. He is survived by four brothers Rea, Lloyd, Howard, and Archie; and also by four sisters Lillian, Edna, June, and Thelma. Mervyn is also survived by his wife Joyce Doreen Peever (nee Krueger) and all of his children: Susan, Curtis, Gwen, Carl, James, David, Rosalie, and Fred and their families.
The funeral took place on March 7, 2003 at 11 a.m. with interment at Williams Lake Cemetery. We extend thanks to Compassionate Care Funerals for the arrangements, to Calvary Church for generously hosting the funeral, and to Voice of Pentecost for officiating. Thank you also to all whom contributed in time, compassion, prayers, food, and flowers. To all that came from far and near, we thank you for coming to commemorate the life of Mervyn Peever with us.
The family of Mervyn Peever