GILBERT DEAN WYSE

On the morning of Vernon’s first fall frost, Gilbert Dean Wyse passed away just as the last harvest had been gathered and the fields put to rest for the winter. Born in Midland, Michigan, Gil was the eldest son of Willard and Erma Wyse. He has one brother, Leland, who resides in Midland. Gil married Ardys Joanne Stoll, daughter of a Mennonite minister from Casselton, North Dakota on August 23rd, 1959. They were married 56 years. Gil and Ardy had 5 children: Jeff, Kevin, Jay, Heidi and Brad. Gil started his adult life as a teacher in Michigan. His pioneering spirit took him to Chipewyan Lakes in Northern Alberta in 1967 to teach kindergarten through grade eight in a one room school. While there he fell in love with moose hunting, fishing and driving a dog-sled team. After 3 years in this stretching environment, Gil and Ardy bought a large property in Lac La Biche, Alberta. Making use of his wife’s cheap farm labor, Gil and Ardy realized their dream to farm and make their own food. During this time, Gil and Ardy headed up the local Pony Club, accommodating large camps where many kids learned to care for and ride horses. Gil continued his career as a teacher and eventually moved the family to the promised land of the Okanagan, where he continued to work in education and putter on his farms. Gil finished his teaching career at the Open Door School in Vernon. Throughout Gil and Ardy’s marriage, they have taken in foster children and provided and shared housing with several families, opening their hearts and sharing their resources to offer a helping hand. In this way, their “family” is extensive and spans friendships of all ages. Gil was a seeker and a philosopher and through the years he grew tremendously in his love for farming responsibly with respect for the environment and the people who benefited from the farm provisions. Gil’s lifelong search of relationship with God and his garden was creative and ever-growing. His children remember him as a man who was accepting and supportive of their choices and was always seeking a philosophical connection with others. His friends remember him as a man who invited debate, challenged their thinking and welcomed them always. Papa Gil is survived by his wife Ardy, his brother Leland (Nancy), 4 of his children – Kevin, Jay, Heidi (Jim) and Brad (Julie) – and 13 grandchildren. A Celebration of Life will be held at 1pm Thursday December 31st, 2015 at Vernon Christian Fellowship. Those wishing to do so may make a memorial donation in Gil’s memory to Najenga Congo, c/o VCF, 4506 29th Street, Vernon, BC V1T 5C1. A special thank you to the North Okanagan Hospice Society for their extraordinary end of life care for Gil. Cremation arrangements entrusted to Bethel Funeral Home.


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