Obituary of Harvey Wendall Peters
Sad news after a year-long adventure with vascular dementia, our dad Harvey Wendell Peters, age 89, of Gullivers Cove, Digby Co., a great father, skilled dozer operator, welder, deep-sea diver, mariner, lumberjack, fisherman, backyard mechanic, gardener, comic, storyteller, orator, songwriter, singer, and fire breathing dragon (Yes, fire breathing dragon, it’s something he learnt as a teenager when he traveled with the circus), died quietly Thursday morning, October 10, 2019 at Mountain Lea Lodge in Bridgetown.
Born at home in Gullivers Cove on Feb. 3, 1930, he’s the 4th child of 7 brought into this world by the late Pte Kenneth Harvey and Clytie Mae (Banks) Peters.
Predeceased by his parents; brother Pte Ralph S. Peters; sisters Ann M. Macumber, Alice R. Cook and Lila M. Sweeney; brothers-in-law Murray Macumber, Hugh Cook and Vernon Sweeney; sister-in-law Isabelle (Landry) Peters; and special mention double-cousin and lifelong friend Keith Banks, who’s death dad never got over.
His spirit will carry on in the memory of his brother Reg Peters of Wayland, Mass.; sister Leah Hirtle of Yarmouth; wife Barbara J. ‘Dolly’ (Gidney); daughters Judy K. (Gary Carty) of Gullivers Cove, Evelyn L. (Mike Cochran) of Lisbon, Ohio, Jean F. (Sean Brown) of Digby; son Barry K. (Susan Feader) of Bridgewater; eleven grandchildren, thirteen great-grandchildren, eight great-great-grandchildren; plus an uncountable amount of cousins, nieces and nephews.
Dad grew up on his grandfather’s farm in Gullivers Cove and almost finished grade six at a one-room schoolhouse, where he walked uphill both ways in snow over his knees just to get to school (So, he said). His first job started at Speight’s Lumber Mill, earning $1.50 per day. He also picked apples in the valley; worked in the woods in Springfield, set trawl and lobster fished out of Gullivers. At age 17, he and a friend joined a circus, traveling all across our great country last stop Burnaby, BC. The circus folk taught him how to breathe fire and also how to ride three horses abreast while standing on their backs. After the circus, he spent several months working in Squamish, BC, where he learnt to climb trees with spurs and flipline. At age 18, he went to sea aboard the freighter Gypsum King out of Deep Brook, sailing as far south as Kingston, Jamaica. That’s when he got his tattoos that we all admired. He met our mother in Centreville at a charity pie sale. They were married in 1951, and she baked pies for him ever since. Throughout the 50s he continued working on the Gypsum boats and in the late 50s, he traveled to the states in the summers to pick apples. In 1961, he moved mom and us kids to Waseeka Farm in Ashland, Mass. There he learnt the science of pomology (Fruit Trees). In his backyard in Gullivers, there’s an apple tree with nine different varieties of apples. The assortment of twigs grafted to this tree, he collected from old and forgotten trees around Digby County. In 1966, we moved to Framingham, Mass., and dad began working for a drilling and blasting outfit as a jackhammer operator. Two years later, we moved back to Gullivers Cove, and dad returned to fishing and working in the woods. In 1970, we moved back to the states to Saxonville, Mass., that’s when dad started his career as a bulldozer operator, a job he loved and stayed with until his retirement in 1995. He and mom then returned to Gullivers Cove for the final time. Dad enjoyed the remainder of his days tramping through the woods, gardening and teasing every gullible soul that came his way. His favourite pastimes were teasing kids and convincing American tourists there were freshwater lobsters in Lake Midway. Dad was a natural comic and storyteller. It’s one of the main things about him that we’re going to miss. We’ll always remember those family get-togethers and hearing a room full of people laughing hysterically at one of dad’s outrageous stories. The story he told about the dog peeing on the electric fence made his nephew Steven laugh so hard that it caused his gums to bleed around his braces. And we’ve seen ladies leave the room because one of dad’s stories had caused them to lose control of their bladder. Dad had a booming personality, that’s for sure, but he also had principles, ethics, and an unwavering moral compass. He was honest and trustworthy and above all, could never be late for work. There was no sleeping in at our house when it came time to go to work or you’d be rudely awakened by a cold bucket of water with dad standing over you, yelling and half laughing, « Get up! It’s time to go to work! » Finally, our dad had a great taste for fine drink and exotic food. Yes, he consumed his fair share of peppermint schnapps and Schlitz beer, but what disgusted us kids was his hunger for foods like pickled pig knuckles and chicken gizzards. « Oh, come on, just try one bite, » he’d say. It’s one of the few things about him that we’re not going to miss. Actually, we’ll miss that part of him, too. These were the last words I heard my dad say, « I love you, too… »
A very special thank you to the fine staff at Mountain Lea Lodge, Digby General Hospital and Yarmouth Regional Hospital, their patience and kindness were greatly appreciated.
Funeral will be held at 2:00 pm, Saturday, October 19, 2019 at the Digby County Funeral Chapel, next to Guy’s Frenchys in Conway, Digby County. In place of flowers, donations may be made to the Rossway Baptist Church or Greenland Bible Chapel. Arrangements have been entrusted to Serenity Funeral Home, Digby County Funeral Chapel, 367 Highway #303, Digby, B0V 1A0 (902-245-2444).
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Nos plus sincères sympathies à la famille et aux amis de Harvey
Peters 1930 2019..
Décès pour la Ville: Coldbrook, Province: Nova Scotia