Wilfred Samuel Howarth; better known as “Dewey” was born January 19, 1925 in Dumfrie Ontario and passed away with the family present in Deni House on May 10, 2002 after a battle with cancer.
Dewey travelled by railway across Canada when he was 16 years old to Alaska with a friend to a mining company. Next they boarded ship to Prince Rupert and proceeded to walk all the way to Quesnel and into Barkerville, after which Dewey headed to Williams Lake. The Mayfields came along and hired Dewey to work on their ranch, teaching him the cowboy lifestyle giving him his first horse and saddle. When Maggie Mayfield bought the Chilco Ranch; Dewey followed and went to work on the Chilco Ranch for awhile, he also worked at the TH Guest Ranch and worked for Bill Woods in the Whitewater area for about eight years
Dewey met his wife to be; Lucille in 1951 when she arrived at the TH guest ranch as a cook with her five-year-old son Randy from a previous marriage. They married on June 19, 1952; their oldest son Evan was born in 1953 and in the fall, they bought the Carlton place in Alexis Creek; their youngest son Chris was born in 1954.
In 1957 Lucille’s father took sick so they travelled to Alberta to help out but only for a couple of months; then moved to Cold Lake for four years where he worked in the airport as a cement finisher and then back to Williams Lake. They bought property on Schmidt Road where they built a house; Dewey worked for the mill Lignum for 13 years.
A move to Chezacut at the Knoll ranch where Dewey cowboyed for a year, after which they bought property at McLeese Lake for four and half years where Dewey worked at the Gibraltar Mine. The next move was to ’The Gables’ where Dewey cowboyed for Chilco Ranch and River Ranch; eventually they moved to the River Ranch at Riske Creek; so he could work full time as a cowboy. During the stays at these places, Dewey took pride in Lucille’s skill as an avid gardener and the beautiful flowerbeds.
Dewey retired in 1987 so they rented a house in Meldrum Creek from Orville Stowell; after which they rented a trailer from Joan and Gilbert MacDonald in Riske Creek, the neighbours had four years of amusement from Dewy’s antics with Gilbert!
Likely was the next move where they stayed for nine years; Dewey would give Ed Plummer a hand once in awhile on his ranch but mostly puttered about with his birds; cats and the flowerbeds as well as the garden each year.
The last and final move was to the Baker Manor apartments in 1999 where Dewey literally invented jobs to keep himself busy day in and day out, making friends and helping out until he was practically running the place.
Their son Evan has three daughters and Chris has one daughter, all four granddaughters knew how to get a rise out of Grampa, making him roll his eyes and scowl but knew how to get around him. Dewey liked the world to think he was rough and gruff but the girls knew better, as did his cats and birds that would go for walks with him.
Dewey was always looking for ways to help people, ready to hand out advice, whether it was wanted or not, ready to dig in to his ’stuff’ to help get someone out of a bind, when anyone one came up the road to visit he would always turn to Lucille and say, “Don’t just stand there, go put the coffee pot on!” Off she’d go, puttering around with cups, coffee and goodies so all people got to see was her backside while Dewey would catch up on the latest and roll his eyes around and scowl.
As he would sit and pull on his eyebrows, trying to be gruff the girls would tease him about his binoculars, getting him all riled up, as he would get ready to grab them out of their reach. Dewey was constantly on the look out of how to pull pranks on people and he loved to get in an argument, that made his day.
Dewey is survived by his loving wife of 50 years, Lucille; sons Evan (Linda-Lou); Chris (Hilda) and Randy Nafziger (Linda); nine grandchildren; 11 great grandchildren and two great great grandchildren.
Dewey requested that there be no funeral when he passed on, in lieu of flowers donations can be made in his memory to the CT scanner fund raising for Williams Lake.
Even though he is gone; Dewey’s legacy lives on in his sons and their daughters as well as his wife, we all have a cherished memory of him that we hold dear to our hearts, we will miss him very much but we are grateful he is no longer in pain.
Happy Trails Dad!