TARASEWICH, Edward Anthony
October 22, 1938 — November 27, 2022
After many attempts to write this obituary, we are heartbroken to announce the peaceful passing of Edward Anthony Tarasewich on November 27, 2022, at Kelowna General Hospital. Dad was surrounded by his loving family in his last days and hours. Finding the words to truly express our feelings for Dad is nearly impossible as it is so difficult to encompass all that he meant in a life so full and rewarding into a few simple paragraphs. There are really no words to express our love for a one-of-a-kind man.
Dad was born in Nelson, B.C. in 1938 to parents Anthony and Mary Tarasewich and moved to the North Glenmore area of Kelowna in the following few years. His siblings Bernie, Ilene, and Frank were born in the years after and grew up on the family orchard on Scenic Road. This is where they learned great values from their hardworking parents. During these years Dad found a love of growing fruit and the reward of working the land. Orcharding came naturally to Dad, and he could grow anything with much love and attention. Not only did he enjoy orcharding, but Dad had a love of nature, the outdoors and photography. He would often go up to the bush above Oyama, Ellison, and the Kelowna area with his dad Tony who was an accomplished lumberjack. This is where his love of logging, road building, and running equipment began. Many of the tree stumps cut by his dad are still visible amongst the current viable forest as well as the many roads they put in and built up towards the Oyama Lake area. Little did they know that this would be the beginning of a four-generation sawmilling and logging business that is still continued by the Tarasewich family today.
After graduating from Kelowna Secondary School Dad worked for the Serwa family in Kelowna running a bulldozer and an excavator. He was a “natural” when it came to running equipment and he could operate and fix anything mechanical. While working back and forth from Kelowna to Lillooet in 1960 Dad met a sweet young lady named Wendy Curtis who also grew up and lived in the Reid’s Corner area of Kelowna on their expansive Curtis Farm. They were basically a hop, skip, and a jump away from each other growing up and had many of the same acquaintances such as the Snowsell, Hume, and Ritchie families. They were a perfect match, and it was the start of a 61-1/2-year love story. Mom and Dad were married in Kelowna on May 27, 1961, and worked together in logging camps for a couple of years where Mom was a fantastic cook feeding many men, and Dad was involved with the logging. Soon after they settled in Oyama and bought a small sawmill and property from the Ellison family. Thus came the name “Sawmill Rd.” Many memories were made in a quaint little house surrounded by willow trees just down the road where the three of us little rascals lived after we were born. Mark, Terry, and Wanda kept our parents very busy, and Dad found his calling. He was a teacher of life, mentor, and friend to us, and he taught us about his love of wood and nature.
Soon after Mom and Dad moved our young family back to North Glenmore to continue orcharding on his childhood property still while running the sawmill in Oyama. Dad would drive the 30 minutes to and from Oyama every day as well as to various other logging sites in the Okanagan for 50+ years and loved every minute of it as it was his time to reflect on the day’s adventure. Mom and Dad had a vision and bought 26 acres of the mountainside above the homestead Dad grew up on. A road was built, pine trees were cleared, and many many rocks were picked. A custom-built home made of all wood from the sawmill was built and an orchard was planted with many friends and neighbors helping. It was a labor of love and where our family home and mountain retreat are still located.
Between caring for his parent’s orchard, our own growing orchard, and the sawmill, Mom and Dad made sure we were never bored. Dad was always an extremely hard worker whether it was -30 degrees or +30 degrees he’d be either in the orchard, the sawmill, or under some machine fixing it. Dad worked every day showing us how to persevere and be successful. He always provided and supported our family with everything we could ever want or need. We never lacked for anything whether it was for his love or his devotion. Mark and Terry worked at the sawmill along with Dad and continued with their own logging, trucking, and sawmilling ends of the business. Later I (Wanda) eventually worked and helped run the mill and office for many years and our spouses and children also helped towards the end of the mill operations. It was a real family effort and we all loved working together.
All while running the mill through those years, the home orchard and the acreage were coming to fruition. Dad was a fixture at the local Farmer’s markets with Mom, us kids, and grandchildren all helping out. Dad was in his glory giving samples of his tree-ripened fruit and interacting with people. Rarely did someone walk by without trying a sample and coming back to buy more fruit. The exposure of the property where the orchard was and is situated is a perfect combination to grow the sweetest tree-ripened fruit in the Okanagan. People remembered and knew Dad and would always look forward to seeing him at the next market. There was such a following that we even were selling fruit at Granville Island and Bridgeport Market at the coast as well as to Calgary and everywhere in between. There were many many trips of driving in the early morning hours to these markets and even staying down at the coast on the weekends.
Dad was proud of his family and proud of whatever we could attain or accomplish. At the sawmill, Dad had a plethora of the usual local customers as well as many distant ones. He always knew where he could find that “perfect” piece of wood out in the yard and would personally take a little jaunt to accompany the individual to make sure they were satisfied with their product. Every person who walked through the office door was greeted with a smile and Dad would say “come on in and have a cup of coffee and a treat.” He loved his social interactions and was always up for a conversation no matter how busy he’d be. Everyone was greeted as though they were family. Dad had a heart of gold and wasn’t afraid to show it. He would give a helping hand to anyone whether family, employees, friends, or strangers.
Although Dad was restricted in later years with Parkinson’s Disease, he still enjoyed taking day trips and attending special occasions with family. Unfortunately, in the last two years of his life, he had to reside comfortably in a local long-term care home. Wherever we look we will have memories and be reminded of things that Dad touched, built, or even accomplished for there were many. Dad made the best of every situation and was an eternal optimist. We are truly blessed to have such a loving, caring, kind, and devoted husband, father, grand, and great-grandfather. They don’t make them like him anymore and although he will not physically be here with us, we know he will be here in spirit and will be guiding all of us on our own journeys. We will miss you more than we can even bare to admit Dad. You were a big man with such a gentle heart and you were and always will be our HERO. See you in heaven,,, Dad, we will be looking for you in the little nuances of our daily lives.
Lovingly remembered by his wife Wendy, children Mark (Inge), Terry (Kim), Wanda ( Todd Roberts), grandchildren Dean (Mikayla), Cody (Katie), Tyler (Serena), Meagan, Lauren, Lucas, and great-grandchildren Ark and little Emmett.
No service or funeral arrangements have been made at this time. Please remember Dad in your own special interactions as he would love that.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Parkinson Society of BC, www.parkinson.bc.ca
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