Donald Gemmell Garlick

Donald Gemmell Garlick

Donald Gemmell Garlick passed away peacefully on October 4, 2011 at the Polson Special Care Unit. Don was the youngest of five siblings born to Annie and George Garlick. He lived all but one of his 87 years in Coldstream.

Don grew up loving to fish, hunt and hike in the Kalamalka Park area and the mountain lakes beyond. He started working at a young age picking, pruning, custom spraying and hauling in the many orchards in the area. He met his wife, Gwen Clarke, and they married in 1950. He then began work as an equipment operator with R.E Postill and Sons when the orchard industry fell on hard times. During this employment with Postills, Don worked on many construction projects throughout the BC interior and had three children with Gwen.

His one year spent out of Coldstream came when he left to work as a shop foreman at Rollins Machinery in Vancouver. However, this move away came to an end with a phone call asking if he would like to work for the District of Coldstream. This led to a position as the works superintendent for the District where he ran a tight ship for 23 years. Don loved the challenge of building and maintaining his community. Building water, road and sewer infrastructure on small budgets required a level of creativity and resourcefulness that is hard to find today.

After retirement, Don spent his time doing what he loved; farming, spitting wood, helping neighbours with projects, snow plowing the neighbourhood driveways, traveling overseas and into the north, and napping. Over the years, he was a dictionary of knowledge on the area until his memory gradually started to fail him. He spent the last four months of his life in Vernon Hospital and Polson Special Care Unit where he received loving care.

Don is survived by his wife of 61 years, Gwen, his three children, Janet Steel of Blackie, Alberta, Donna (Ralph) Johnson of Vernon, and Jim Garlick (Karen Thoresen) of Coldstream, eight grandchildren, and nine great-grandchildren, sisters, Lilly Davison of Coldstream and Dorothy Colbank of Ashcroft, plus numerous nieces and nephews. Don was predeceased by his brother, George Garlick, and his sister, Joan Brown.

The family would like to express a special thanks to Don’s and Gwen’s neighbours, Don’s family physician, Dr de Beer, and all of the nurses and staff at the Vernon Hospital and Polson Special Care Unit.

As an expression of sympathy, those who wish to do so, may send donations in memory of Don to the Building a Tower of Care Campaign by calling (250) 558-1362 or online at

There will be a tea in memory of Don on Friday, October 21 between 2 and 4 p.m. at the Coldstream Women’s Institute Hall, 9909 Kalamalka Lake Road, Coldstream.

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