Gus Gustafson, a resident of Saltair for 54 years, was born in Sweden in 1904. In 1925, he left Sweden for Canada, intending to spend two or three years, before returning to home. He worked in Saskatchewan and around Nelson, BC for five years, doing everything from horse logging to attending business school in Nelson and earning a credential as a bookkeeper. When he returned to Sweden in 1930, he discovered that he had fallen in love with Canada, and returned to Fruitvale in 1931, where he met LIllian Fenton, a school teacher, and they married in 1935. He became a naturalized Canadian in January of 1935.
During the war, Gus and his family moved to the coast, where he worked as a log scaler, grader and bookkeeper in Franklin River, Port Alberni, Honeymoon Bay and Chemainus/Ladysmith. In 1949, he moved his family to a house on Seacloud Road in Saltair that he built. He lived there until his death.
Gus was a builder – he built houses in Fruitvale and Saltair, helped to build the Mt Brenton Golf Course, where he continued to play golf until he was 95 years old. He retired from MacMillan Bloedel in 1968, and liked to think that he had been on penion longer than many people have worked.
Gus always kept in close contact with his family in Sweden, and visited them regularly. He is predeceased in Sweden by his parents, by two brothers and three sisters, and one nephew. He is suvived in Sweden by his sister, Helmi, nine nieces and nephews, and many great-nieces and nephews. In Canada, he was predeceased by his wife, Lillian Gustafson, and his great-nephew Christopher Fenton. He is survived by his daughter, Brigid Walters (Wayne), his niece Sheila Wareing (Dick), nephews Vasey (Phyllis) and Larry (Rondeau) Fenton, and their children and grandchildren.
He spend his last weeks in Cowichan Lodge in Duncan, where he was lovingly cared for. Jean Virtanen, who was a lifelong friend of Brigid and the entire family, visited him daily and he loved her very much. Gus will be greatly missed by all who knew him – his friends and neighbours, Ray and Kathy Barton, Fred and Marjorie Greeves, and Ruth and Frank Biss made his life in later years a joy, and he enjoyed their company and friendship immensely.
A memorial service will be held on Sunday, November 30, 2003 at 2:00 p.m. at St. Michael and All Angels Church, Chemainus, the Rev. David Peterson officiating.
First Memorial Funeral Services.