Hugh Sutherland of Grand Forks, B.C., passed away peacefully in his sleep on July 9, 2010, with his family by his side.
Born in Whitehorse, Yukon, on May 20, 1929 to Hugh and Edna Sutherland (nee Purvis), he is the only brother of Jean Pfeiffer of Missoula, Montana, USA.
Dad is survived by his devoted wife of 43 years Valerie Sutherland (nee Tedrake); six children and 15 grandchildren: Chris Lane and her husband Mark, and their children Stephen, Theresa, and Heather; Hugh Sutherland and his wife Margaret, and their children Alistair, Rory and Mairi; Jean Smith and her husband Brad, and their children Cameron and Erin; Iain Sutherland and his wife Carrie, and their children Stewart, Mathew and Katie; Colin Sutherland and his wife Tara, and their children Jamie and Drew; Moira Dickson and her husband Jeff, and their children Kelsi and Riley. His extended family is huge and extends throughout Canada, the U.S.A. and Britain.
In 1954, Dad married Edna Stewart and together they had four children. Edna passed away in 1966. Dad married Valerie Tedrake in Portsmouth, England, in 1966 and together they had two more children. Mum and Dad’s amazing love and determination have allowed our family of six children to thrive for the past 43 years.
Dad spent most of his life in Grand Forks. While he was growing up he was a member of the Anglican Youth Choir, an avid Boy Scout under the mentorship of Wally Beech, and played piano in his own dance band that performed at Christina Lake during the summers. He graduated in 1948, attended UBC, obtaining his education degree with a major in English and minor in Physical Education, and returned to Grand Forks to begin his teaching career that continued for over 30 years.
Dad was passionate about living and sharing his Scottish heritage. The experience of being an exchange teacher in Aberdeen, Scotland in 1958-59 sparked his fascination for his cultural heritage that continued for a lifetime. Not only did he meet many relatives, but he also traced his family history back to the late 1700’s. During his time in Scotland, he acquired and began to play his first set of bagpipes. Later, he was instrumental in starting the Grand Forks Pipes and Drums and was Pipe Major for a number of years. He also hosted numerous “Burns Nights”, complete with haggis and “all the trimmings”. Dad encouraged and supported our study of Highland Dance, while he and Mum enjoyed Scottish Country Dancing.
Throughout his life, Dad strove to strengthen his community. His decisions throughout his life were based on his Christian convictions. He received the St. John First Aid Award for having trained 120 students in First Aid and was fond of reminiscing about how “Grand Forks Secondary School was the safest place to have an accident”. He was presented with the BC Arts Council 25th Anniversary Honour in the Arts Award for his work in starting the Grand Forks Pipes and Drums and his support of the arts in the area, and other awards in honour of his commitment to the community. For many years, Dad was involved with Boy Scouts of Canada, both as a leader and as District Commissioner. He was also an active member of the Gyro Club.
Our family extends a special thanks to the staff and volunteers at Vernon Hospice House, and Dr. Picken, for their care and support over the past weeks.
We also appreciate cousin Sandy Sutherland’s many expressions of love, guidance and wisdom. Sandy, you are our seventh sibling. Dr. Irwin Stewart, brother-in-law and lifelong friend, is the brother that Dad never had.
In lieu of flowers, a donation to support the “Hugh Sutherland Memorial Bursary” would be gratefully appreciated. This bursary will be presented annually to a graduate of Grand Forks Secondary School. Donations can be made at the Grand Forks CIBC. As an alternative, donations to the B.C. Cancer Foundation in memory of Dad would also be appreciated.
A celebration of Dad’s life will be held on Friday, July 23, 2010, at 2 pm at Holy Trinity Anglican Church, 7252 – 7th Street, Grand Forks, B.C.
Arrangements in the care of Personal Alternative Funeral Services, Armstrong.