We Remember

GONSALVEZ, George Lawrence “Laurie”

December 13, 1917 — January 24, 2022

George “Laurie” Lawrence Gonsalvez went to be with the Lord and his beloved bride Eva, on January 24, 2022, in Lake Country, BC.

George was born in Thangassery, Kerala State, India on December 13, 1917, and was the fourth of nine children from his beloved parents, Benjamin and Caroline Gonsalvez. George grew up in a very poor but loving family that believed and trusted in the Most High God, and he often pleaded with the Lord in earnest, heartfelt prayer for any necessary help needed throughout his life. God faithfully heard those cries and bestowed many blessings upon George in very tangible ways that not only met his immediate needs but also overtook him abundantly in life. One such instance was at the age of 23 when he bravely seized an opportunity to join the British Army in 1940 after WW2 had broken out, and the medical officer then inspecting George’s athletic body for fitness patted him with pride on his back and said, “We need men like you!’  God kept George safe throughout the six years of brutal warfare experienced during Britain’s Africa Campaign in Egypt and the surrounding desert areas where he served as a first class craftsman with the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME). During this time he very thoughtfully arranged for the majority of the monthly stipend received for his military service to be given instead to his impoverished parents back in India to help sustain them.

Later, after marrying Evelyn Quental (a virtuous, biblical Woman of Valor trained as a Registered Nurse and midwife) in 1947 back in Golden Rock, India, they had their first three children there before George ardently sought out God’s help yet again, this time in meeting his growing family’s financial needs.  Again God answered George in mysterious ways and he seized an opportunity to work overseas for British Shell Petroleum in Brunei which offered its mechanics far superior wages.  Their fourth child was born there and God further protected the family when they later got ensnared by an armed, regional rebellion that suddenly erupted in the country in December 1962.  After escaping Brunei, George brought his family safely back to India where he began to ponder and pray about their future.  Yet again our faithful God gave George favor and presented him with multiple options to secure a better life for his family overseas in either Britain, Australia, the United States, or Canada.

George discussed these options with his godly wife Evelyn and they decided to emigrate with their children to Canada in 1964 where they settled in Fernie, BC.  There they built their first family home and found mechanical work at Kaiser Coal in Sparwood along with nursing work at the Fernie General Hospital.  Their fifth and last child was later born there. George and Evelyn faithfully attended church and always called upon God for help in being good parents to their children which resulted in Him establishing a very loving and harmonious relationship amongst them to this very day. Upon retirement, George and Evelyn first moved to Westbank BC and then later to Kelowna and Lake Country as they sought independent and finally assisted care living.

George was a humble, sacrificial, kind, and honorable man all his life and cared for his wife, children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and friends as only one inspired and empowered by God can do. He was also very generous to many others in need and gladly shared the growing wealth God had brought him over the years. However, George could not accomplish all of this by himself but relied on his beloved wife Evelyn whose price was far above rubies, who did good and not evil to her husband all the days of her life, whose husband had no lack of gain, whose children rose up and called her blessed, and whose husband deservedly praised her to others by the gates of the city.  Among George’s last words to his concerned children gathered by his bedside was his stated desire that when he leaves this world he wishes to seek out his beloved bride Evelyn in Heaven so he could lovingly hold her hand once again and continue to look after her.

Dear God, we as the greatly privileged and honored children of George and Evelyn ask that You once again kindly hear and grant our beloved Dad’s last prayerful request earnestly made to You, our Lord and Savior, before he departed this earth.  We are forever indebted to You for personally fashioning with loving Hands over time a simple, poor young boy with very humble beginnings and a pure trust in You into the dashing hero of our family that he became, and his adoring children now proudly salute him farewell for his faithful and devoted service to God, his country, and to his family.

George is held dear in the hearts of his children Eustace Gonsalvez (Lynn), Ralph Gonsalvez (Betty), Louella Litowski (Jerry), Melvin Gonsalvez (Tahereh), and Sheila White (Harley); 15 grandchildren, Dana, Shannon, Nicholas, Jayda, Melissa, Sean, Christopher, Lisa, Jamie, Nikki, Salimeh, Janelle, Morgan, Josiah, and Courtney; 17 great-grandchildren, Josh, Zak, Emily, Zoe, Amiya, Avaya, Dominic, Gabriel,  Seth, Rhett, Amaya, Hallie, Evelyn, Elijah, Melana, Kiara, and Laelynn; and siblings Stanley, Edie, and Cyril; and many extended family members too numerous to list here but who also loved Dad for the honorable, loving man he was to everyone.

Those who went before him include his wife of 72 years, Evelyn; his parents Benjamin and Caroline; his siblings Petty, Wilfred, Rosie, Maxie, and Godfrey, and his parents-in-law Anthony and Francisca Quental.

As an expression of sympathy, flowers may be sent.

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Friday, January 28, 2022, at 1:00 pm (PST)

St. Pius X

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