BARCHET, Helmut Robert Melmuth "Mel " . Passed away in the West Coast General Hospital in Port Alberni, BC on Monday, November 25, 2013 at 93 years of age. Predeceased by his wife Aileen, 3 brothers and 1 sister, he is survived by his two daughters Carla Stephens (Dale) and Gay Metcalfe (Ron), grandchildren: Dawn-Marie Jempson, Robert Metcalfe, Melissa Lawrence and Crystal Metcalfe as well as 7 great grandchildren, 1 great-great grandson and numerous nieces and nephews. Immigrating to Canada in 1925 from Russia with his parents and 3 brothers and a sister, he was raised on a farm in Herbert, SK. At age 14 he struck out on his own travelling the country on the rails then enlisting in the Armed Forces in 1941 where he served in England during WW2. Returning to Canada in 1944 after the war he married in 1948 in Winnipeg, MB then opened his own barbershop in Pilot Mound, MB. He re-enlisted in the Armed Forces in the early 1950's and was stationed in Esquimalt, BC then transferred to Camp Shilo, MB while living in Brandon, until his retirement after 35 years of service in the Forces. Following his retirement he took his final posting to Chilliwack BC and started his own business doing estimates and repair work for insurance companies related to storm and wind damaged houses. Following the passing of his wife, Aileen, in 1989 he relocated to the Island living in Port Alberni, BC until his passing. Mel loved rock hounding and he was good at unearthing treasures. He was particularly proud of some of the Indian artifacts that he had found which were donated and are on exhibit with the Royal Alberta Museum in Edmonton. He was a member of the Port Alberni Rock and Gem Club and was a true craftsman, which showed through in his jewelry, carvings and in the houses he built and renovated. Mel also loved animals and while living in Manitoba, he raised and trained retrievers, developing a number of champion bird dogs. As per Mel's request, there will be no service and cremation has taken place. Stories and condolences may be forwarded to the family by visiting www.chapelofmemories.ca. In lieu of flowers the family would like donations made in Mel's memory to the Heart and Stroke Foundation. Chapel of Memories Funeral Directors (250) 723-3633
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Published in Alberni Valley Times from Nov. 29 to Nov. 30, 2013