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David George Holmberg, with his family at his side, passed away in the early morning hours of January 23, 2017 after a five-year battle with cancer. Dave was a successful businessman, entrepreneur and philanthropist and one of Abbotsford's most prominent citizens. Dave and his wife Leona (Lee) dedicated themselves to the community, and there is barely a cause or charity that hasn't been touched by their generosity and heartfelt desire to give back.
Dave was born July 27, 1941 in Glentworth, Saskatchewan, moving with his family to Victoria in 1953. In 1960 Dave moved to Calgary where he was first a security clerk with Canada Trust, followed by employment in mining and industrial equipment service and sales. By 1965, with two partners, he began A-1 Equipment Rentals and by 1969 signed a dealer agreement with Bobcat Company to sell and rent construction equipment. Not only was he successful in this enterprise, the company was presented the 'top dealer award' every year.
In 1975 Dave sold his share of that business and, with wife Lee and their children moved to Abbotsford to establish the highly successful Bobcat Country Inc., selling and servicing Bobcat loaders and excavators along with a variety of other agricultural and construction/industrial equipment. His mantra was, and the business was built on, relationships with staff, customers and suppliers.
Following the death of his eldest son David to cancer in 2011, Dave sold the very profitable business.
For many years prior, and increasingly following Dave's retirement from business, he and Lee were devoted to philanthropy and community involvement
Also among his many achievements of coordinating and developing, with equipment contributions, financial donations and dozens of hours of personal hands-on work, the first phases of Abbotsford's renowned Discovery Trail which extends across the city from east to west. Dave also was a director and vice-chair of the City of Abbotsford's Economic Development Board and up until December 31, 2016 served as Chairperson of Abbotsford Airport Authority through the international airport's greatest growth period. Dave joined the Authority in 2008 and became Chair in 2011. During that time more than $30 million was invested in infrastructure improvements. In 2014 Dave and the Authority board oversaw one of the most competitive airport business platforms in Canada based on fees charged to airlines and aerospace companies. In 2016 Abbotsford Airport (YXX) processed 530,000 passengers with three national airlines: Westjet, NewLeaf Travel and Air Canada Rouge.
Since his son David's death, and while undergoing treatment himself, Dave, Lee and family have been huge financial contributors to cancer research, providing support for the upgrade of radiation units at the Abbotsford Regional Hospital and Cancer Centre.
He and the family also personally contributed more than $1.3 million to the construction of Holmberg House hospice, which opened last year.
Dave is survived by wife Lee, son Phil (Michelle), stepson Michael Hardie (Marina), stepdaughter Dee Gorrell, daughter-in-law Wanda Holmberg; grandsons Christopher, Phillip, Nicholas and Jonathan; granddaughters Maddison (Paul Nipkow) and Meredith; great-grandchildren Maverick and Scarlett; sisters Joan Bertrand (Henry), Carole Waters and Lil Morrison.
Dave was predeceased by son David, his parents Dave and Marvel Holmberg, sister Selma Gale and brothers-in-law Frank Waters and Chuck Morrison.
The family expresses deepest thanks to the medical staff on the oncology and palliative care wards of Abbotsford Regional Hospital who helped make Dave's last few days comfortable.
Celebration of Life for Dave Holmberg will be held at 11 a.m. February 6 at Tradex, Abbotsford Airport.
In lieu of flowers, please donate to Holmberg House: abbotsfordhospice.org.

Published in Vancouver Sun and/or The Province from Jan. 28 to Jan. 29, 2017
Arrangements under the direction of:
Henderson's Fraser Valley Funeral Home
34537 Marshall Road | Abbotsford, BC V2S1M1 | (604) 854-5534
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