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Posted: December 4, 2021

Obituary of Carmen Claude Purdy


AUGUST 7, 1940 – NOVEMBER 24, 2021

Born in Emerald Lake, Saskatchewan the middle child of seven children, family was the most important thing in Carmen’s life. It shaped who he was, and the husband and father he would become.  He and his family moved to Fruitvale in 1944.

Carmen met his future wife Carol when they were teenagers.  They married in 1963 and soon after, started a family of their own. They were blessed with two sons and a daughter and this year, they celebrated their 58th wedding anniversary. Carol was his rock, and his family was his life.  His greatest joy was time spent with his wife, children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.  Whether it was hiking on a mountain in search of morel mushrooms; spending an afternoon with them in his favourite huckleberry patch; heading out in the mist of dawn on their next hunting adventure; dancing in the kitchen; or sitting around the table enjoying conversation, good food, and dessert, Carmen’s best days and best memories were rooted in family.

Carmen and Carol moved from Fruitvale to Pine Point, Northwest Territories in 1967 where he took a job as a Safety Officer.  In 1968, they relocated to Kimberley, and it was here they set their roots to raise their family.

A storyteller at heart, the only thing he loved more than hearing a story was telling one.  He had an infectious joy for life, and infinite capacity for caring, and it was impossible to be in his presence without being impacted by his positivity, humour and kindness. He was loyal, deeply faithful, and a trusted friend.

He innately brought people together and cared deeply about supporting others.  From the simple acts like shovelling driveways for those in need, to volunteering for the BC Ambulance when he first moved to Kimberley or spending a career working in safety and Human Resources for Crestbrook, he devoted his life to serving and supporting others.

Carmen was dedicated to the Fellowship Baptist Church where he served as a Deacon for 25 years. Up until 2020, he hosted a delicious monthly breakfast for any men who wished to attend. When the church family had a barbecue, he was the one shopping for supplies, and cooking the meat. He always said a prayer before all family meals and loved sharing his faith with others.

He saw life as an adventure and he lived it to the fullest.  A man of strong conviction, he was a passionate advocate for what he believed in and a tireless champion.

To say he had a passion for the outdoors and for wildlife would be an understatement.  Whether it was serving as President of the BC Wildlife Federation, helping establish the Habitat Conservation Trust or establishing the Kootenay Wildlife Heritage Fund, Carmen was actively involved in wildlife and land-use issues that contributed to the conservation of BC’s wildlife resources. He was declared Conservation Champion by the Nature Trust of BC and awarded the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal for Conservation in 2013.

Carmen leaves to mourn his wife Carol; son James, his partner Deb, and their children Corinthia, Kate-Lynn (Sean), Tessa, Rachel, Katie (Kaylee) and Tristan, and grandchildren Savannah, Hunter, McKayla, Parker,  Farrah, Felicity, and Freya; son Curtis, his wife Ann, their children Cameron and Lucas (Kelly); daughter Jodi, her husband Lee, their children Kelsey (Jeff), Drew (Christel); Gage (Tori) and Angus (Makenna), and grandchildren Adina, Toren and Kaden, and a precious baby girl due in February; brothers Oscar, Lorne and Blaine; sisters Kathleen and Sharon; and, his in-laws Will and Merle Wagner, Dave and Doreen Heidt, and Len and Shèrri Gordon.

He was predeceased by his parents David and Gertrude, Carol’s parents Frank and Fran Gordon, brother Austin, adopted brother Pat, and granddaughter Hannah.

A celebration of life will be held December 11, 2021 at 10:30am at the Cranbrook Alliance Church.

He was a protector, a provider, a champion.

He was one in a billion. He was our “Pa”.

In Lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Kootenay Wildlife Heritage Fund, PO Box 100, Kimberley, BC  V1A 2Y5


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