We Remember

SIMKINS, Roy Thomas

August 2, 1929 — October 8, 2021

With sad hearts we announce the passing of Roy Thomas Simkins on October 8, 2021.

Born to the late Thomas Simkins & Elizabeth Rose Worman Simkins on August 2, 1929, the year of the “Crash”,  in Maidstone, SK (which is mentioned in Joni Mitchell’s song, titled “Song for Sharon”, the 7th verse begins “When we were kids in Maidstone”), Roy was the 6th child of six children. He played hockey in Maidstone and attended Maidstone School.

Roy’s father, Tom, moved the family out to Kelowna, BC in the mid-forties. In Kelowna, Tom taught Roy carpentry while he built two family homes. They stayed with close family friends while their first family home was under construction. One house at 1874 Ethel St. which the family resided in until their final home was built next door, at 1878 Ethel Street.

Roy met the love of his life, Donna Mae Marlene Robertson, and they were married on August 15, 1953. Roy then built his family a home on Morrison Ave, where he and Donna raised their three children and resided for the next 67 years.

Owner of Roy Simkins And Son Construction Ltd. for over fifty years, Roy worked in construction well into his 80s. In that time, Roy taught many people his trade: his son James Roy; honorary son Paul Murtagh; son-in-law Gordie; friends Murray Black and Willie Wilson; and others.

Roy was a man of his word and often said “That is all you have in this life, your word”.

The door was always open to Roy’s friends and family, there was always an extra plate, no matter how many came. He and Donna loved entertaining in their home, and around the pool. Roy’s passion was skiing, he taught his first two children, Laurena at age 8 and James at age 6, to ski in 1962 at big white. There was only a rope tow, it was moved from Black Knight Mountain to the Big White bunny hill. In 1963, Cliff Serwa and Doug Mervyn had started Big White, and Roy had his youngest, Leah-anne, on skis at age 3; by age 8 she was asked to be on the Nancy Green Team. Roy taught his grandchildren to ski at young ages as well. By the time Cliff and Doug introduced ski passes, Roy had one every year and skied well into his 80s; his last ski pass was from 2013-14. Brian James once commented that he was one of the most perfect skiers he had ever seen and wanted him to teach. Roy skied in Europe and did a little heli-skiing with the boys.

Roy also loved mountain biking and in later years golfing with (as Donna would say) “the boys” (you know who you are).  Roy loved to travel, he and Donna travelled Europe extensively. They loved all the different cultures: they rode camels, sat on dirt floors, ate couscous with their hands, where ever they went they fit in, and they loved everyone they met.  Spain was a favourite, they returned many times over the years, while there they would visit their good friend Juan Toro Sanchez. They also travelled to many parts of Mexico, Manzanilla was a great experience – it was where the 1979 film “10” was filmed. They had so many stories of their adventures, they kept everyone entertained for hours-on-end with the retelling of their escapades.

With an extraordinary love for his dogs, there was never a time in Roy’s life he didn’t have one, until he went into a rest home 10 months ago, after an unfortunate accident.

Sadly, Roy was predeceased by his beloved wife Donna Mae Marlene Robertson Simkins; his daughter Leah-anne Michelle Simkins Raynard; his brothers Jack, Cecil, Lloyd, and Harold Simkins; his sister Gwendolyn Simkins Johnson; his parents as mentioned above, and many other relatives.

Roy will be dearly missed by his daughter Laurena and son James Roy; his honorary sons Paul and Leroy; granddaughter Nevada Rose Svisdanl Belisle; great-grandchildren Fallon, Declan, Siri & Gunnar Belisle; his beloved Vic & Helen Ehmann; as well as his other family members and friends.

A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date.

A memorial donation in Roy’s name can be made to a charity of your choice.

If you wish to send a condolence, post photos, or share a memory, please scroll down the page to the area called “Condolences”.

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