Herbert Harry Breckenridge

Herbert Harry


Herbert Harry (Breck) Breckenridge 84, passed away peacefully on Tuesday July 22nd in

Vernon BC.

Born on July 21, 1924 in High River Alberta, to Charlotte Marion and Garret Alonson

Breckenridge, Herb lived a full and varied life. He was the older brother to his sister

Jeanine and a younger combatant for his brother Bob. Due to his father’s penchance for

moving around, the family lived in many parts of western Canada prior to settling on a

ranch in 1935 outside of Lumby, in BC’s northern Okanagan Valley. He often mentioned

that his best childhood memories were on the Harris Creek Ranch. It was here that

Breck spent his early teen years attending to school and perfecting his skills as a horseman

and rancher.

Like so many of his brethren he heeded the call to war and in 1943 he signed up to

join the Canadian Forces to fi ght the Axis Powers. He immediately took a liking to the

Air Force and requested to be air crew, however, by 1945 a wonky ear had grounded

him. Rather than accept a medical discharge he persuaded his superiors to allow him to

continue to serve in the RCAF as ground crew. His natural ability and love of teaching led

him to become a rear gunner instructor in the British Commonwealth Air Training Program

and he spent the remainder of the war primarily based in Mossbank Saskatchewan.

When the war ended he decided to try civilian life so he was honourably discharged and

he headed to Trail in the eastern Kootenay region of British Columbia. After short stints

doing several different types of jobs he landed a position as a fi reman at the local fi re

department. For the next four years he worked and prospered at the Tadinac Fire

Department but he missed the military life and decided to re-enlist in 1950.

For the next 18 years Breck enjoyed a second successful stint in the RCAF by parlaying

his experience in fi re fi ghting to become an instructor at the RCAF Fire Fighting School

in Camp Borden Ontario. His career also took him to postings at bases in Goose Bay

Labrador, Claresholm AB and Summerside PEI.

In 1968 Sergeant Breckenridge was offered the opportunity to join the federal civil service

and consequently he accepted a position with Transport Canada in Moncton NB. He

bought a house in Riverview and moved his wife and four children to start afresh in the

growing community. In 1982 he retired as the Regional Supervisor of Airport Emergency

Services. Other than his work and family commitments Breck was active in a number of

pursuits including serving as Club President of the Country Meadows Golf Club during

a critical time in the club’s development. During his retirement years he also was very

active in the Laubach Literacy organization and personally tutored a vast number of

students. He found that sharing his passion for reading with individuals who were

experiencing it for the fi rst time was one of the most rewarding experiences in his life.

He could also often be found at the Riverview Arena assisting in his children’s hockey


Similar to his father he had an insatiable curiosity and appetite for travel and enjoyed

several trips during his retirement to Europe, Africa and South America.

In 1990 he returned to BC and his beloved Okanagan Valley, settling in Vernon only a

short distance from the Harris Creek Ranch in which he spent several of his childhood


He is survived by his wife Jennie, daughters Lea (Forbes), Lynda (Malcolm) and son Bill.

He is also survived by his sister Jeanine (Summerland BC) grandchildren Becky

(Fredericton), and Mike Forbes (Riverview) , Gina, Rachael, and Denis Malcolm

(Mississauga) and Liam and Jack Breckenridge (Rothesay NB). He was pre-deceased by

his fi rst born son Robert in 1976.

In keeping with Herb’s wishes there will be a private family service. Memorials to

Laubach Literacy NB or the charity of your choice would be appreciated.

Arrangements are in the care of Vernon Funeral Home, 250-542-0155.

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