August 24, 1916 – April 21, 2019
Gene Bryan Clever passed away April 21, 2019 at Vernon, B.C. at the age of 102 years, 4 months short of his 103rd birthday. He was born at Rutland, B.C. on August 24, 1916, the only child of Ira Earl Clever and Edna Pearl Penn Clever. He left Rutland in 1917 for Tyvan, Sask where he lived until 1921 attending Francis Public School for the first six grades.
His family then moved to Sardis, B.C. where he completed his schooling at Chilliwack High School. Gene worked on the family farm until 1937 when he caught the flu and pneumonia. He decided the climate of the valley was not good for his health and with a friend, Herb Wright, decided to go to Yukon to work in a mine. They travelled by boat (“Prince George”) to Skagway from Vancouver in the hold for $30.00 each.
They took the train from Skagway to Bennett and then walked the 28 miles to Carcross. They were met by the R.C.M.P who were checking to see if they had enough money to enter the Yukon. Everyone was supposed to have $50.00 but they had only $10.00 between them.
The R.C.M.P. took them in for five days and arranged a job with White Pass working on the railroad at Cowley. They were laid off at the end of the season but remained in an abandoned cabin at Cowley. In January White Pass needed a man at Log Cabin so Gene went and stayed there until 1942. He married Catherine Wawro, the head waitress at Bennett, in 1941.
Gene and Kay moved back to Sardis in 1942 where they rented a dairy farm until 1945 and during this time they made improvements to the home place so it could be sold. They moved back to Log Cabin in 1945, Gene as foreman, where they remained for the next year. They then moved to Bennett until 1951, on to Carcross in 1952 and back to Bennett for 4 more years. Whitehorse was the next stop before Mayo, Dawson City, back to Mayo until 1965 and lastly Whitehorse in 1977. Gene & Kay sold their home in Whitehorse and moved to Vernon, B.C.
Gene was predeceased by his wife Kay, who passed away at Vernon in 1992 where Gene remained until his passing.
Gene was a long-time member of the Masonic Fraternity having joined Yukon Lodge No. 45 at Dawson City in 1959. He joined the Royal Arch Masons at Whitehorse in 1968, Okanagan Preceptory in 1985, became a member of the Shrine in 1992, and joined Okanagan Conclave in 1994. During this time, he affiliated with many Lodges & Chapters depending on where he resided.
Donations in lieu of flowers may be made to Masonic Cancer Car Program, 8555 Government St, Burnaby, B.C., V3N 4S9
At Gene’s request there will be no service. A private service will take place later at Whitehorse and his ashes will be interred with Kay at Grey Mountain Cemetery.
Special thanks to the care givers at Gateby Place at Vernon and to Wayne Kyle at Alternate Funeral and Cremation at Armstrong, B.C.