George Calliou, a resident of Hythe, Alberta, formerly of Kelly Lake, BC, passed away on Wednesday, August 7, 2019 in Hythe at the age of 72 years.
George grew up in Kelly Lake, British Columbia. Johnny (his father) was an avid outdoorsman who worked very hard to support his family. His mom Eva raised the children in a very traditional way of life. George grew up on the homestead doing the required chores, feeding and watering the horses/cows amongst the required duties shared with his brothers and sisters. Their father Johnny instilled a sense of purpose and strong work ethic. George maintain these values throughout his life. As a youth, one of George's favorite past times was having a rodeo. All the children would gather from the community and ride the calves. George often joked and teased during the event, bringing a sense of fun to the activity.
George did help in the family business. Johnny had a guiding business. It was a very prosperous business often guiding hunters on horseback from around the world for the chance at big game hunting. George was mainly tasked with wrangling the horses, hunting moose and making the dry meat with his ex-wife (Margaret). George’s first moose kill was interesting to say the least, 19 shots later he finally downed the moose. This was not George’s passion though. He would soon leave to venture life on his own and find his passion in life.
We were fortunate to grew up in a close tight knit family where George acted as a mentor; someone you could look up to, like a second dad. He would often bring treats for the kids or take them to one of his favorite past times: hockey games. George loved his children and grandchildren with all his heart. Ensuring his favorites were well cared for throughout his life. Every spring George would often take Derrick and Derwin for the yearly buzz cut at the barber shop in Beaverlodge, once he was finished logging for spring break up. Derwin especially hated the 50’s style buzz cut. With Derwin's dark rimmed glasses and buzz cut, people would often refer to him as Doctor Lee, the local doctor in town. Margaret cooked Chinese food one day and someone had asked who cooked this food. Derwin piped up, I did. Thus, ensuring the nickname to stick to this day. Now Derwin is referred to as DOC.
George did have one love in his life and never remarried once they had separated. George did have many opportunities to have other relationships but would often prefer to stay single.
He loved the Edmonton Oilers so much. He usually made a drive to Edmonton on his days off just to catch the Oilers game. He was patient and loving. George was one of the most giving people. He always gave whenever he could, never asked questions nor ever asked to be paid back. Rarely did George ask for anything in return
George left at a young age to work in a sawmill near Kinuseo Falls, then to Chetwynd to start his logging career (turned into his passion) and continued to work hard throughout his life. George was a hard-working dedicated employee. George was a man whom would give the shirt off his back. He worked for many years for both George Day and Ray Isley. He spent the majority of his working life as a skidder operator for Isley and Sons. He thoroughly loved his job and the company he worked for. George was forced into retirement at the young age of 70 upon learning his illness. He shared many stories and his family loved hearing every one of them. Those whom encountered George will be forever grateful and miss his presence.
He will be greatly missed by his family whom he has given so much of his life for. It breaks our hearts to know George suffered greatly in his last few years. George courageously and successfully battled cancer. He was always positive and optimistic even after his cancer diagnosis. He continued working hard and living his life to the fullest. Unfortunately, a few years ago, he was diagnosed with Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis. (IPF). The doctors told him it was too late to receive life-saving double lung transplant. Even with this diagnosis he stayed positive and looked for ways to defeat this disease. There was nothing we could have done to help him. George was a proud man whom rarely asked for help or support. He was often short of breath and needed an oxygen tank to continue his last days.
What hurts the most? He didn’t have the medical support necessary to maintain a necessary quality of life. We love you uncle! You knew it, we told you endlessly. You knew there was nothing we wouldn’t do to try and support you through this disease.
Our family’s heart is broken by his passing.
George is survived by son Derwyn; son Derrick (Jody); grandchildren: Christopher, Denee (Mike), Kelsey (Todd), Heaven, Asten, Dalton, Brooklyn, Christian, Joshua; great-grandchildren: Zander, Tyler and Jaxon; his sister Elizabeth; brother Clifford (Margaret) and numerous family, friends and loved ones.
George is predeceased by daughter Deanna, parents Johnny and Eva, brothers and sisters Galena, Charlie, Joseph, Florence, Laurence, and Irene.
A Wake was held on Friday, August 16, 2019 at 7:00 PM at the Kelly Lake Community Centre. Father Michael Diaz officiated. A Funeral Service was held on Saturday, August 17, 2019 at 11:00 AM at the Kelly Lake Community Centre. George was laid to rest in the Kelly Lake Cemetery following the service.
Very Respectfully Reynars Funeral Home & Crematorium