Dave Fearon (1936 – 2023)

Dave was born in Edmonton, Alberta on July 1, 1936. He was his parents’ 5th child and arrived on their 10th wedding anniversary. Dave was raised on a farm in Sangudo in northern Alberta during the Great Depression years. He rode his horse (Pal) to school. When he graduated, he went Vermillion School of Agriculture. There he learned about land stewardship. It was also there where he met his life-long friend, Dennis Anderson.

In 1958, Dave moved to northern British Columbia as his brother Bob lived there. Dave went into a partnership with his brother John who lived in Regina, Saskatchewan. Dave and John owned a heavy duty construction business called Barton’s Ltd. Dave made the decision to have his own company and formed Fearon Holdings Ltd.

When Dave moved to Wonowon, BC, he was the skip on a curling team. There he met his future wife, a city girl by the name of Kit. She had just moved there from Vancouver, BC. They courted and married on April 6, 1959 and soon started their family. Their first born was David, born in December 1959. Jane soon followed in 1961; Kenn in 1963; Teusdae in 1966; Laura in 1967; Tim in 1972 and Jennifer in 1974. He raised his family in Dawson Creek, British Columbia.

In 1962, Dave, his wife, and children David and Jane lived in a mobile home. The furnace caught fire, and they were lucky to escape unharmed. They lost all belongings in the fire. Dave relocated his family to Gainford, Alberta where they rented a house. Dave continued to work in oilfield.

In 1963, Dave was awarded a contract to build 24 miles of the BA Road in the Bay Tree area. Dave started to look for homestead land and bought his first quarter in 1963 in the Bay Tree, Alberta area where he eventually grew his holdings to 8 quarter sections where much of it was bush land that he cleared into farming land.

In 1964, Dave was hit by a truck. Dave was in the hospital in Fort St. John, BC and Edmonton, Alberta for approximately one year with spinal injuries and he also had a broken jaw. He wore spinal cast for approximately 10 months and his jaw was wired for approximately six weeks. Dave recovered and went back to work. The spinal surgery shortened his height by over one inch.

In 1967, Dave bought a house for his family in Dawson Creek, BC. His family lived in this house, and Dave mostly worked away in the north in the oil field. He would be gone working for months at a time. When he was home, he would take his family to the farm land where the kids picked rocks and roots. His father-in-law built a two-room house on skids, which they attached to an 8’ x 36’ trailer.

There was no running water, no power and no phone. Light was by gas lantern. Running for the outhouse in the middle of the night was no fun. Dave used his machinery to dig a dugout, which is where the water source came from.

In 1976, Dave moved full time onto the farm with his son, Kenn, to help him. He started building a house in 1977. It burned to the ground due a faulty furnace the month the family was to move in. Nothing could be salvaged from the fire. He rebuilt the house in the same spot. David and Jane remained in the Dawson Creek house to finish off their high school. The rest of the family relocated to the farm as soon as school year finished in 1977. There was no house to live in. Dave and his family lived in the skid house and trailer while the house was being built. The family moved into the new house in 1978. At this time, they also sold their house in Dawson Creek.

Dave purchased his first 50 cows in 1979; however, he had no fences at the time and they were getting delivered. Dave and his kids built a corral out of rough lumber to hold as the cows were arriving the next day. All of the cows were pregnant and were due to have calves within weeks and they were all first time calvers. They were all Hereford bred to Semmintal so big calves were expected. He actually thought he would lose some of the cows while giving birth and as it worked out he brought in a vet to do multiple c-sections and had terrific results and only lost a few calves and no cows. He eventually grew his herd to 1,000 head and his favorite breed of cow was a Charlois crossed with Red Angus. Most of them came out as red baldies which were his favorite.

Dave was generous to community developments, including the Gordondale Hall and Bonanza Hall.
Dave loved country music and always was singing to his children. He loved silly songs. His love for music led to his love of dance. Dave and Kit attended dances all through their marriage and anytime Dave returned from work they went dancing that weekend. In Dave’s later years, he took every lesson he could in ballroom dancing, square dancing and round dancing. He told one of his daughters that his only fear of his mortality would be a missed dance. When at a dance, Dave never missed a dance and would dance to every song ever played at dances. Dave also played the button accordion and the harmonica. In his home, Dave always had music playing.

In June 1972, Dave took his wife and six children on a trip from Mile 0 Alaska Highway (Dawson Creek) to Fairbanks, Alaska. The vehicle was a two-door Ford pickup truck with a canopy pulling a 12 foot holiday trailer. The youngest child was Tim who was a baby. Each kid got to sit in the front seat with Dave and Kit for 50 miles so the kids counted mile markers. On route the rearend went on the pick up, so Dave had all of his kids chew gum to plug the leak and the vehicle made it into Dawson City, Yukon.

In 1982, Dave took his family to his daughter Jane’s place in Victoria, BC. The route he took was to Prince Rupert, BC and took a 48-hour ferry trip to Port Hardy, BC (the top of Vancouver Island) and then drove from northern Vancouver Island to Victoria on the southern tip.

In 1984, Dave again drove with the kids who were still at home to visit his daughter, Jane, in Victoria. The family attended Expo 1984. In his later years, Dave and Kit drove every year to Victoria and as they aged, they started flying to Victoria as it was too long a drive for them to sit in a vehicle.

Dave and Kit loved cruises and annually traveled to various Carribean destinations. They would fly to Texas or Florida and take a cruise from there. Dave loved to travel.

Dave loved nature and animals – especially dogs. The family always has a dog, and the dog always adored Dave. His preferred breed was Border Collie because he felt everything had to have a use. He used the dogs to herd cows. In later years, he started to use quads with his dogs which was much easier than what his kids had to do, which was running after cows on foot with the dogs to herd them to different pastures.

Dave was an avid hunter and fed his family with moose, deer and bear. He also shot partridges for white meat. He relied on this wild game meat to feed his large family. Meat was served at every supper. Some of the special animals he hunted, he had a taxidermist mount such as a Timber Wolf, Lynx, Raven, and the Fox. The pelts hung on the family room walls for many years.

Dave was very generous and forgiving and searched for the good in all animals, including people. He never gave up on anyone. He loved to laugh and was always cheerful. People and animals were attracted to Dave as his gentle nature was apparent to all.

Dave’s health started to decline in approximately 2016 and he was diagnosed with congestive heart failure. Dave loved life and had an extreme will to live. He never lost hope and always kept a positive spirit and could make people happy just to be near him. Dave had an extraordinary personality.

Every day he showed love to his children. It was a different ball game when the grandchildren started arriving – these kids he absolutely adored. His favourite events were the holidays where his entire family would gather for a meal. He liked nothing better than having his kids, grandkids and great-grandkids all together. Dave was a family man.

Dave’s passing has left a huge hole in many lives and he will be dearly missed.