Fred Topping

Fred Topping


Monday, November 3, 2014

It is with deep sorrow and disbelief that we announce the death of our dad, Fred Topping, 80 years old. Surrounded by his children, Fred passed away on November 3, 2014, at the Victoria General Hospital in Victoria, B.C.

Fred was born in Saskatchewan in 1934 and grew up on the family farm with his 8 brothers and sisters. Adventurous at heart, he made his way to Vancouver in the early 1950’s. He worked as a Supervisor at Canada Post and a Senior Correctional Officer at Okalla. He even did a short stint on a television series, until he found his true passion, cooking. Over a period of 8 years he went from opening one restaurant to owning three simultaneously.

Never one to sit still long, he sold everything in 1974 and moved to Duncan to manage the Tzouhalem Hotel. Three years later he purchased the Travellers Hotel in Ladysmith. Fred talked to everyone, made friends easily, and had a great relationship with his customers. He had a wry sense of humour and as such could often be found on the Traveller’s stage regaling his customers with his rendition of “It’s Hard to be Humble, When You’re Perfect in Everyway”. Fred was also a proud member of the Ladysmith Volunteer Fire Department and he was deeply touched when the current Fire Department recognized his contribution and gave him one of their t-shirts. He wore it proudly every parade day.

Itching to try something different, Fred sold his share of the Travellers in 1981 and opened up a Work Mark store at Coronation Square. 3 years later he was off to the Queen Charlotte Islands for his next adventure. The following years Fred went back to his true love, cooking. He managed a variety of restaurants in Alberta for Coopers & Lybrand and then settled into life as a camp cook. He eventually moved back to Ladysmith, and recently began volunteering at the Ladysmith Auxiliary. He was so proud to be a part of that organization.

Fred is predeceased by his parents Mikolaj and Ksenia Toporowski, Beverly Anne his wife of 24 years, his first wife of 25 years Beverly June, brothers Dan, Con, Eugene, and Stan. He leaves behind his five children, Cheryl Topping (Sheldon), Kendre Haugen, Ernie Stolarchuk, Karolyn Stolarchuk, Nick Topping (Diana); grandchildren, Alicia, Chelsea, Brooklynn, Gabby, Rakiya, Owen; brothers Elmer (Ina), Ed (Sally); sisters Stella, and Mary (Peter); sister-in-law Doris; several nieces and nephews; and his beloved cat, Tikka.

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“You are here, even if I don’t see you.

You are with me, even if you are far away.

You are in my heart, in my thoughts, in my life…


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