Andrew Harry Coltart Yeoman, the youngest son of Helen and Philip, was born in Yorkshire, England on December 24, 1933 and died peacefully on the morning of January 5, 2014 in Saanichton, BC. As a young child, Andrew moved with his family to Canada where his father was in the RAF during WW II. The family returned to England after the war and Andrew was educated there, attending Gresham's School followed by Clare College, Cambridge, where he received a degree in Geology. Armed with his degree and fond memories of Canada, he settled in Calgary to work briefly for Chevron, until a collapse in the oil industry put new geologists out of work. In the late '50s he attended university in Calgary, earned a teaching degree, and taught Social Studies in the Calgary school system. At this time he met his first wife, Gail Anderson. For most of the '60s, Andrew continued teaching but took extended and adventurous travels in Europe and the Middle East. On one trip he crossed the Sahara, travelling from oasis to oasis. In 1964, Andrew represented Canada as a member of its field hockey team at the summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan. In the late '60s he again returned to University, this time to obtain a Master's degree in history specializing in the Pilgrimage of Grace, one of the rebellions against Henry VIII. In 1970, he joined Touche Vintcent, later Touche Thomson & Yeoman Investment Consultants in Calgary and for the next ten years worked as an oil analyst/investment consultant. Andrew co-founded one of the first Canadian oil and gas drilling partnerships which participated in the discovery of the Liege gas field. In 1979, together with Noel Richardson, his second wife, and two tarragon plants, Andrew exchanged the cityscape of Calgary for ten acres of south-sloping hillside overlooking sea and valley on the Saanich Peninsula of Vancouver Island and established Ravenhill Herb Farm. Thus began his love affair with gardening which he fully embraced by researching, collecting and growing a variety of plants. The farm and garden served as a community resource and was open to the public during the growing season. Andrew supplied local chefs with fresh herbs and shared his extensive gardening knowledge with others in the publication of "A West Coast Kitchen Garden" in 1995. With Noel writing cookbooks and food reviews and Andrew as gardener, they were full participants in the food revolution of the last twenty years which saw farmer markets and local produce come to the fore. At Ravenhill, they hosted the first celebration of Feast of Fields on Vancouver Island.
All of his life he was a keen bird watcher, sportsman and reader. He enjoyed squash, hiking and x-country skiing as well as identifying wild flowers and plants as he walked. Andrew was an avid supporter of the arts; his tastes ranged from Victoria's Limner group of artists to First Nation and Inuit sculpture. He also had an artistic side inherited from his father with interests in photography, calligraphy, sketching and oil painting. His quiet disposition, kindness, wry British wit, generous hospitality and positive spirit toward life will be sadly missed by all whose lives he touched. Predeceased by his loving wife Noel in 2011, he is survived by his brother John (Susan), his step-daughters Sarah and Jenny (David), his step-grandchildren Nina and Eli, who adored their "Andman", his nephews Timothy (Angela), Peter (Sarah), Robin (Noeleen) and Matthew (Diane) and their children (Kate, Tom, Archie, Josephine, James, Aisling, Rory, Jasmine and William).
Andrew relied on his strengths of dedication and perseverance, and his commitment to good mental and physical health in his fight against Parkinson's disease which occurred later in life. The family sincerely thank the professional health care workers at the Saanichton Peninsula Hospital for their compassionate care for Andrew. According to his wishes there will be no funeral service. A celebration of Andrew's life will take place during bluebell season and will be announced at a later date. In lieu of flowers please consider a donation to a charity engaged in the research and fight against Parkinson's disease.
Published in The Times Colonist on Jan. 11, 2014