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It is with deep sadness the family announces Mel (Sonny) peacefully passed away the evening of May 3, in Prince George, BC, after a short illness that he faced with courage.
Mel is survived by his partner in life, his wife of 49 years Barbara; his son and best friend Darren (Diana); and his grandson, Dustin.
Mel was born in Val David, Quebec, and raised in Eagle River, ON moving to Dryden, ON at 12 years of age where he attended St. Joseph’s Catholic School and Dryden High School. On leaving school he worked at Reed paper in Dryden for nine years before transferring as a Head Operator to Canfor’s Prince George Pulp and Paper mill for its start-up in February, 1966. After 44 years of employment, Mel retired in 2000 from his position as Manager of Intercontinental Pulp Mill.
Through his job requirements and his own leisure travel, Mel saw a large part of the world. However, his favourite place was always BC where he loved to hunt, fish and fly. His last airplane, a float equipped R-STOL Cessna 185 took him on many trips into the high lakes and mountains all over BC where the fishing and hunting was great.
During his flying years Mel accumulated many flying hours, and having a good knowledge of the mountainous terrain in this area he volunteered himself and his plane to aid in Search and Rescue operations whenever necessary.
After retirement to his home at Tabor Lake in 2000, Mel served as a director on the Tabor Lake Society. As a committed member he volunteered many hours operating and maintaining a weed harvester during the summer months to ensure Tabor Lake was kept as weed free as possible. One of his hobbies was working with iron, and when he wasn’t working on a project he had the next one in mind. He enjoyed fabricating and welding, and having a beer with friends who dropped by.
Mel always tried to spend time with his son, Darren, ski-dooing, ATVing, jet boating on the fast rivers, hunting and fishing the lakes, and the salmon rivers. These were some of his happiest times spent with Darren, enjoying the outdoors. He was looking forward to the day his grandson, Dustin would be joining them in their adventures.
Mel was predeceased by his parents, Ernest and Freda Hampe, and mother -in-law and father-in-law Charles and Gertrude Latimer.
Mel leaves to remember him, his brother Norman (Pat) of Fort St. James, BC; sisters Margaret (Ernie) Richardson of Edmonton, AB and Donna Dumont of Eagle River, ON.
Also missing him will be brothers and sisters-in-law, Lewis and Renee Hamilton of Castlegar, BC; Blake and Debbra Latimer of Dryden, ON; and Marcey Taggart of Caledon, ON.
Cremation has taken place and there will be no service as per Mel’s request. His ashes will be scattered over one of his favourite lakes.
If friends so desire, donations can be made to Rotary Hospice House, 3089 Clapperton St., Prince George, B.C. V2L 5N4.