RADFORD, Jack Alvin passed away in Victoria Hospice May 19, 2003 after a valiant battle with cancer. He was 73 years old. He is survived by his loving wife, Shirley, daughters Denise (Kerry), Cheryl (Achim), Brenda (Casey), Arlene (Brian) and step children Susan (Bill) and David. Grandchildren Kristine, Kelly, Anna, Charlotte, Wesley, Erica, Reuben and step grandchildren Clayton, Krista, Curtis and Kevin. Cousins on Vancouver Island, in Vancouver, Oregon and England. He had many close friends who will miss his caring and sympathetic ear. He is predeceased by first wife, Marie and infant son, Mark. Jack was born in Nanaimo, November 4th, 1929. Proud of his early pioneer heritage – his maternal great grandfather and family were the first settlers in Cedar District in 1863. His fathers family were early coal miners in the Nanaimo/ Ladysmith area, arriving on the Island in 1906 from Derbyshire, England. Jack’s interests were many and varied and his life a litany of successes. He attended high school in Ladysmith where his interest in sports began. The school baseball team he played on won the B.C. Championship in 1946.
His family moved to Vancouver in 1948 and he played football for the Vancouver Blue Bombers winning the Western Canadian Championship in 1950. He played a season with the B.C. Lions when they were first organized and with the Edmonton Eskimos until knee injuries side-lined him. But any outdoor sport was Jack’s forte’ – he began trap shooting in the 1950’s and excelled in this sport for almost 40 years; winning the B.C. Championship twice, as well as titles in the United States. He was an
outstanding hunter, sport fisherman and nature lover. Jack worked 20 years for Swift’s Meats in Vancouver. Always aware of the welfare of working people, he accepted a position with the IWA, then went on to become a representative for the Canadian Labour Congress. This led him to an interest in politics. He ran in Vancouver South for the NDP in 1972, winning a seat in the B.C. Legislature, then was appointed Minister of Recreation and Conservation. For the next three years Jack devoted himself to improving the conservation of wildlife, providing parks, recreation centers and green space for the people of B.C. He was one of the early proponents of what is now the Galloping Goose Trail. Always an avid sports fan at any level, he rarely missed his children’s or grandchildren’s ball
After Jack left politics he became a partner in the Vista Social Club in Victoria for a few years. Then, with Shirley, he began to travel, visiting many countries and enjoying his retirement.
He was eager to discover his family roots and spent many hours in the Archives of Victoria and Nanaimo, also donating documents and articles left to him by his family.
Jack’s happiest time was camping in one of B.C.’s many parks. With a campfire, a beach and an ancient forest nearby he was truly content.
And when like the Ancient Ones
Time called his name and he fell, unafraid to his knees,
the dust of his body replenished the earth
While his Spirit went home to the trees.
At Jack’s request there will be no funeral or memorial. His wish was to be remembered as the loving and happy man he was.
Our thanks to Victoria Hospice for their loving care. In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to Victoria Hospice, BC Cancer Clinic, Diabetes Association or Hearth and Stroke Foundation.
Cremation by First Memorial Society.