February 19, 1961 – December 23, 2018
Philip, Roy Heuckendorff ( born February 19, 1961) passed away in the Nanaimo General Hospital on December 23, 2018.
Grieving his passing are his mother Marion and stepfather Norm Thiessen; his special love, Nancy; his sons Erik (Jordan) and James and their mother Carmen; and family and friends across the country and around the world.
Roy was an outstanding athlete at Magee Secondary School, where as “The Incredible Hulkindorff”, he achieved legendary success in basketball and rugby, while also enjoying success in community baseball, soccer, and hockey. The highlight of his graduation year was a rugby trip to Wales and an opportunity to experience life on the British Isles.
After graduation and a number of post secondary jobs, Roy purchased the night half of a yellow cab. After several years in the taxi business, he decided to return to University. He met Carmen, married , and welcomed their first son, Erik. The new family responsibilities prompted him to sell his cab busness, postpone university, and become a driver for VIP Courier. Promoted to area dispatcher, he was instrumental in the development of high standards of efficient delivery service for the company. When health issues began to plague him in busy Vancouver, he accepted an opportunity to move his family to Nelson. The pristine mountain air in this historic city was a welcome new happy, healthy environment for his family. It was here that his second son James was born. Roy enjoyed coaching his sons in minor league hockey and soccer; idyllic family camping trips in the Kootenays, and golfing local courses; while honing his skills in journalism and marketing. He bought an advertising weekly, wrote a regular column for the Nelson Daily News called “On Your Mark”, became socially and politically active in his new community, and was hired to be the Executive Director of the Chamber of Commerce. In this role, he managed the development of a website called “Discover Nelson”, enhancing the city as a destination for tourists. He played a key role in facilitating Nelson’s Hockey Day in Canada with Don Cherry and Don McLean and actively participated in the development of the new community recreational centre for the region.
An opportunity to join a former colleague in Calgary propelled Roy into the world of advanced technology. He helped develop a system designed to more effectively track and monitor product deliveries by courier companies worldwide. The work took him to China, a trip that connected him to his roots as his great grandfather, who had lived there during the Boxer Revolution, served as the Chairman of the Board of the Imperial Tobacco in China. Climbing the historic Great Wall of China was a personal highlight for Roy. Returning to Canada, health issues and the timing of a major economic downturn thwarted his efforts at starting his own company in container shipping.
Having faced several harrowing and near death experiences in his life, Roy described himself as a cat with nine lives. Several serious car accidents, concussion injuries, broken bones, ulcerative colitis, diabetes, and significant heart issues constantly impacted his life. Despite these often traumatic events, Roy continued to be positive and optimistic, enjoying life. However, on Sunday, December 23, he no longer could defy the health odds against him. His heart just stopped.
Roy loved fishing, a passion instilled in him by his father Colin when he was child. It began in Pender Harbour, Pt. Roberts and took him to many B.C interior lakes. While in the Kootenays, he shared his passion with his sons by teaching them to fish on the pristine waters of that region. During his short stay in Bayfield, Ontario, he fished in Lake Huron, enjoying sharing fish stories with the locals. Upon his return to Metchosin, he would often be found trolling for salmon on the salt waters off of Pedder Bay.
His love of all sports and sports figures was balanced by his interest in all things philosophical. He read the Bible cover to cover twice, studied philosophy, wrote poetry, prose, opinion pieces and even had an unpublished screen play in his files. Roy was always a welcoming host and an accomplished chef, gaining a great reputation with his Caesar salad and seafood chowder. He was passionate about the world of politics, using Facebook to share his insights, opinions and philosophical positions.
His latter life in Metchosin with his talented and artistic Nancy, accompanied by their energetic German Shepherd, Beau was an idyllic time. Roy will be missed for his humour, love of political and philosophical discourse, sports, family, friends, and most of all, his pride in, and love for, his sons. As sung by Frank Sinatra, he lived his life “My Way”.
He is predeceased by his father Colin, his Aunt Sylvia, his Uncle George Sarich, his grandmother Eileen, his grandfather Roy and his dida Philip Sarich and babas Franjka and Julie.
A celebration of his life will be scheduled and announced at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations to any of the Crohns and Ulcerative Colitis, Diabetes or Heart and Stroke foundations will be appreciated.
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Our most sincere sympathies to the family and friends of Roy Heuckendorff 2018..