Beloved husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather, Earl passed away suddenly in Campbell River on February 2, 2013 in his 88th year. Predeceased by his parents, Harold and Selina Hilsden, brother John, and sisters Kay Blott and Jean Houston.
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He is survived by his loving wife, Marilyn (Selkirk), sharing nearly 56 wonderful years together, his son Norm (Grande Prairie) daughters, Shannon (John) Anderson (Campbell River) and Devon Hilsden (John Jepson), (Campbell River); his six grandchildren, Victor Hilsden, Siobhan Hilsden, Derek Anderson, Kylie Anderson, Marisa Baikie (Clint), Joel Dick and great grandchildren, Rylan and Bowen Baikie. Earl also leaves to mourn many nieces and nephews, as well as a recently discovered half brother, Jim McWhirter of Wainwright, Alberta.
Born in Regina, Saskatchewan on August 27, 1925 to Isabella Lennie Campbell Glover Randalls (deceased) he was adopted by Harold and Selina Hilsden. He was raised in Regina, often recounting many adventures with family and friends. During WWII, he joined the air force then transferred to the army, hoping to get overseas faster. After peace was declared Earl attended UBC on DVA credits, while working at any odd jobs he could get to help with expenses. He even dug an entire swimming pool by hand on a property too narrow for an excavator, remaining firm friends with the family.
Earl received his BA (and later his M Ed), then went to Victoria Normal School to obtain his teaching certification, and where he first met Marilyn. His first teaching position was a one room school at Deserted Bay, Jervis Inlet, next going to Gibsons Elementary, then over to Vancouver Island to take on the position of principal at Nanoose Elementary. During that time he again met Marilyn, and they were married August 17, 1957, in Victoria. They immediately moved to Campbell River where Earl became the first principal of the newly constructed Cedar Elementary School. He continued on as a supervisory principal and after 20 years he retired from the administrative role and returned to enjoy full time teaching at Maple Elementary until taking an early retirement.
Earl loved travelling, read voraciously, enjoyed politics, as well as hunting and fishing, sailing and exploring the back roads on his motorbike. Camping with the children and dogs, and later RVing with Marilyn, always provided memories and adventures highlighted over the years.
He loved children, loved teaching and learning. Earl cherished his family, and was immensely proud of any and all their accomplishments.
We very much appreciate all the invaluable support provided by many family friends. Thank you to all the wonderful caring workers that made both Earl's life and his family's easier over the past few years, including Monique, the community at Altrusa, and the compassionate staff at New Horizons.
A celebration of Earl's life will be held on Saturday February 9th from 1-3pm at the Maritime Heritage Centre, 621 Island Hwy, Campbell River. In lieu of flowers donations to the Campbell River Hospital Foundation would be appreciated.
`A life well lived'.
This obituary was originally published in the Campbell River Courier Islander (Campbell River, BC).
Published online on Feb. 6, 2013 courtesy of Campbell River Courier Islander.