July 12, 1932 – February 18, 2019
Well-loved and well-known Bryce Meausette, long term resident of Vernon, passed away peacefully this Family Day with his loved ones by his side. He was vibrant, full of smiles, and still taking long walks and drives. Bryce was born in Vancouver but grew up in the historic mining town of Wells, British Columbia. He moved to Vancouver to study at UBC, and eventually settled in Vernon in1959. Bryce had many passions from the outdoors and teaching, to building, travel and moving-machines. At the age of five he was winning ski races. Life in the Caribou was about ski- jumping, climbing local hills to build cabins and hiking with his dog; throughout life he continued to go up mountains walking, and down slopes skiing, to build buildings and befriend dogs… although he slowed down on the jumping. He skied with a gracious Jean-Claude Killy style, knew Silver Star from the early days, and got all his family up on skis shortly after they could walk; skiing was not a sport for him, it was a part of life (“feel the mountain” was one of his favourite phrases). Bryce loved geography, history and maps and as his past students and associates can attest, he was a natural teacher and youth mentor. He graduated from UBC in the 50’s, taught first in a school-house in Canal Flats with his wife Miki, and then many years of high school at Fulton and VSS in Vernon, mostly in industrial arts, shop, drafting and as a career counsellor. He also taught a year in Australia and metric-to-the-trades through Okanagan College. He built his own house and its many additions on Old Stamp Mill Road on Okanagan Lake. There was little he couldn’t build or fix. He loved design and roof-lines, could sketch anything to plan or in elevation, and taught AutoCAD before most people knew what that was. Travel was another passion, travelling to Mexico many times, family in tow, before it became popular and easy to get to, countless camping trips that could last weeks, a year- long tour of Europe, and many trips far afield to Australia, the Pacific and Asia. His last major journey was a dream realised: a month long cruise through the Panama Canal. Bryce had a thing for moving- machines: a motorcycle biker of sorts, a Land Rover enthusiast, and an amateur co-pilot with Norm Harley; he was most comfortable exploring backroads and long road-trips. He liked the good life but things didn’t have to be fancy or expensive for him, just interesting. Life was not complete without dogs and cats around along with a changing menagerie of other animals from donkeys, to horses, to chickens. His other great interests included good-design, mining, wine, story-telling, music and tunes of all kinds, reading thick books, debating, the lake, his home shop and watching his children and their children grow up.
Bryce was predeceased by his parents Eric and Evangeline. The Henry Brown in his name is a handed- down tradition from 17th century Ireland that was symbolised by a wooden carpentry plane which represented the family trade. Bryce was pater familias of a large and extended family that he was proud to see ever-growing….his last cognitive gesture was pointing and beaming with a crazy-big smile at recognising some of his grandkids at his bedside.
He is survived by his wife of 61 years Miki (Margaret-Ann) nee Maybank, who he was devoted to and his love for her was an inspiration. He is also survived by his children: Patrick and friend Rob, Cory and his wife Cecily, Jonathan and his wife Pam, and daughter, Monique, his two brothers Steven and Jerry, and his foster-daughter Margie. He was proud of his grandchildren: Cory’s April, Koben and Kiel, Jonathan’s Chase, Carlee and namesake Bryce, and Monique’s Brittany and Patrick, great- grandchildren Caleb, Hunter and Phoenix, his cousin Fern of Naramata, as well as numerous other relatives, nieces and nephews.
Hans Zickmantel was his best man and Ted North his friend since primary school. He had swathes of friends he was close to including the Downings, Foords, Buggeys, Bartletts, Heskeths, Sladens, Strothers, Brysons, Ogasawaras, Bamfords, Rabochs, Atkins, Pringles, Saunders, Pilfolds, Harleys and his friends at Squire’s Four social group; some names are not included in this list because Bryce is no longer here to remind us. Many thanks to the attention given by Judy and Vivian, the Careaides from Interior Health, everyone at Coldstream Meadows and the staff of Vernon Jubilee Hospital.
A Celebration of Life will be in the afternoon of April 20th at Paddlewheel Park. All friends, family and past-students are welcome. More information can be obtained through his children, on the funeral home website (www.vernonfuneralhome.com), and on his Facebook page (‘Bryce Meausette Vernon’). In lieu of flowers please donate to a charity of your choice in his name or The Alzheimer’s Society of BC.