September 22, 1913 – May 3, 2011
Bennet Hove passed away very peacefully on Tuesday, May 3, 2011, at 3 p.m., attended by his wife of 40 years Doll, and her daughter Linda and husband Ron.
Ben was predeceased by his parents; his siblings: Ruth, Phyllis, Hobert and Phora; and his first wife, Helen. He will be greatly missed by his wife, Doll; and his sons: Rioh, Hoberly, Rhico and Philo (now Pavaro Bhikku); as well as his daughters-in-law: Lillian, Maureen and Penny; nine grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren. He will also be missed by Doll’s children, John (Sharlene) Froese, Linda (Ron) Clifton and Daryl (Vicky) Froese and their children.
He grew up in the farming community of Volga, South Dakota, studied agriculture at the University of South Dakota, and worked in the dairy sector in California before venturing to Canada with a buddy to pan gold. He fell in love with British Columbia and never looked back.
Ben moved his family to Grand Forks in 1948 from Penticton, where he worked for the Oliver
Chemical Company. He quickly acquired farm land and established his sprinkler irrigation business.
In the 1950s and 60s, Ben became the leading irrigation businessman in southern B.C., with operations from the Okanagan valley to the Alberta border. He specialized in the agri-business, as well as government and golf course irrigation design. In his later years, he reflected with satisfaction on having designed and installed systems for virtually every sizable farm in southern B.C. He was a true entrepreneur and his innovative ideas, energy and leadership abilities were an inspiration to many people he worked with in the Kootenays and the Okanagan.
For many years, he was a director and board chair on the Interior Vegetable Marketing Board. This was a natural extension of his love of the land and farming. He was always ready to try new methods and farm equipment. Ben’s irrigation expertise lead to him being appointed a Vice President of Alcan Canada, directing their aluminum products fabrication plant, which served the Pacific Northwest from its location in Vernon. When he retired from Alcan, he and Doll returned to Grand Forks and to his love of farming and the irrigation business. After selling his farm acreage, well into normal retirement age, Ben turned to trucking and had as many as five trucks hauling chips for DC Chambers to the Castlegar Mill. He retired from this last business venture at the age of 84.
In retirement years Ben and Doll finally found time for travel … to Alaska, Hawaii, New Orleans, Branson and various other destinations. When not travelling, Ben could be found golfing at the Christina Lake Golf and Country Club with his many friends and his wife, Doll. Ben, along with other community-minded leaders, built the Christina Lake Golf course in 1962. Ben was responsible for designing and installing the irrigation system, and preparing and seeding the fairways with special Marion Blue grass that he sourced personally from Edmonton.
Ben was happiest building his farming and irrigation business, working with his partners Hans and Tony Lodder and John Ogloff as well as with his four sons, with many Sunshine Valley employees helping out. His one personal regret was that he could not control potato prices!
In Grand Forks he was active in contributing to his community. He served as Chairman of the Board of the Regional Grand Forks Hospital, as a Director of Regional District D, was a member of the Gyros and in his later years sang with the Grand Forks Choral Society community choir with his beautiful baritone voice.
Arrangements are entrusted to the Grand Forks Funeral Home. The Celebration of Life will be held at 11 a.m., Saturday, May 14, 2011, at the Gospel Chapel, 7048 Donaldson Drive, Grand Forks. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the charity of your choice.