October 27, 2019
Wes died October 27 in Mesa, Arizona at the age of 81. He came from very humble beginnings in Armstrong, British Columbia. Wes grew up in East Vancouver and graduated from high school in 1956.
As a child, he lived in and witnessed poverty that taught him the value of a dollar and gave him incredible determination to succeed. Because his parents died in their early 50s, he never expected to live a long life and considered the past 30 years a bonus. Wes would describe himself as frugal. As a young man he didn’t see any reason to go out for coffee when you could make perfectly good coffee at home. He and his first wife Dawn had three children (Pat, Tracey and Gary). They moved from Richmond to Peachland in 1969 for his job as the original purchasing agent at the new Brenda Mines site. His work led him and his second wife Marg to Dublin, Toronto, Calgary, and Vancouver before they returned to the Okanagan and became entrepreneurs. They owned several different businesses, ultimately finding great success with A&W and Orange Julius franchises. They began spending part of the year in Arizona in the 1980s.
Wes and Marg traveled extensively around the globe, indulging their own interests like a baseball tour of the U.S. Northeast and visiting family members who were living overseas. Wes loved tennis. He was actively involved in the Leisure World Tennis Club, holding leadership positions for many years. Wes loved to read. Earlier this year he agreed to let someone teach him how to download e-books so that he could travel without taking a suitcase full of books. Wes was looking forward to going to Asia this winter when he found out he had cancer, the same disease that took Marg from him two years ago. He had successfully beaten prostate cancer and skin cancer in his lifetime but this one was not a battle he could win.
Wes was a good man. He enjoyed being the patriarch of a big blended family. He is survived by 3 children, 5 stepchildren, 4 sons-in-law, 2 daughters-in-law, along with too many grandchildren and great-grandchildren to count.
No formal service is planned. An open house was held at his home in Mesa shortly after his death.
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