It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of George Moore Fennell. George was born in Kamloops, B.C., on September 8, 1939, the eldest son of Marston and Ellen Fennell of Chu Chua, B.C. He was also the eldest grandson of George and Margaret Fennell, ranching pioneers in the North Thompson valley. George passed away at Laurel Place in Surrey, B.C., on April 2, 2014 with his wife Carol by his side. He leaves to mourn in passing his wife Carol; Kathy (the mother of his sons); sons Darryl (Chantal), daughter-in-law Lisa and son Geordie; his grandchildren Joey, Jennifer and Jessica and numerous nieces and nephews. George is also survived by his sister Frances (Arthur); brother Jim (Margaret); and brother Robert (Joanne). George was predeceased by his sister Peggy and his son Tim.
George grew up in Chu Chua and went to high school in Barriere, B.C. He recorded one of the highest IQ test scores in the region and graduated from high school when he was 15. He enjoyed participating in athletic activities, and once set a record in high jump that lasted several years. The small school was an ideal place for him to develop the many friendships that have lasted to this day.
After graduation George entered the workplace as a field hand on the Genier ranch, just outside of Barriere. Soon after that, with the help of his uncle Sandy, he went to work for Dawson and Wade construction on a rock crusher across the river from Little Fort. From crushing, he followed the company to a series of road building jobs on the Big Bend highway. It was there that George began his proficiency at driving trucks of all sizes and became a part of the teamsters union. He worked at various jobs in logging and construction until he went to work on the Mica Dam project. With a small airport nearby, he was able to utilize his spare time by getting his private pilot’s license. During the winter shut-down, he sometimes worked as a bartender and bouncer in a Kamloops pub.
With work at Mica winding down, George moved to the Vancouver area in 1971 and continued a solid association with the Teamsters’ organization. He was a strong trade unionist and promoted workers’ rights at every opportunity. In the late 70s and early 80s, he travelled the province as part of a group of activists advocating on behalf of fair treatment for women and all truck drivers, both within the union and throughout the industry.
After various jobs in the transportation sector, George became involved in the movie industry which he enjoyed greatly. He got to work around people like Rodney Dangerfield, Cybil Shepherd and Gene Hackman, who became a personal friend. One of his fondest memories was joking around with John Byner, who is a real clown both on and off camera. George worked in that industry for many years beyond retirement age, saying “why should I sit at home when I can work with so many nice people all day long.”
George loved to play sports – any sports….slo-pitch, golfing, curling, billiards, and coaching sports such as hockey. He has several trophies that attest to his prowess. George often played a leadership role in the sports leagues he was involved in. He was a loyal team player and was front and center in anything that was happening. He was often called upon to be “the organizer” for many events.
In later years, George took the most enjoyment from his grandchildren; #1 Grandson Joey, Princess Jennifer and future Olympian Jessica. He took every opportunity to go places and spend time with them. His other major interests were curling and golf. George and Carol were avid golfers and enjoyed their golfing holidays in Hemet, California. One of the things that he enjoyed most about visiting “back home” in Kamloops, were the great golf courses and the people that he was able to share them with.
George will be sorely missed by his family and friends.
There will be a celebration of life on Saturday April 26, from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. in the Cloverdale Legion Hall, at 17567-57th Ave., Cloverdale, B.C.
Any friends or family wishing to make some brief remarks in tribute to George should contact the family ahead of time for scheduling purposes. Humorous anecdotes are welcome as long as they are within the bounds of good taste.