James A. (Joe) Fennell, born January 1921, left us on December 28, 2005, to be reunited with his wife, Margaret, who died in 1997. Joe is also predeceased by his sister Peggy, brother Bob, and both parents. Joe leaves behind his daughters, Kathy Williamson of Coldstream and Patty Fennell of Victoria; grandaughters Patricia of Lytton and Jaime of Victoria, as well as great-granddaughters Jessy Marie and McKeana of Lytton. He is also survived by sister Margaret (Jock) Purdy, and brothers George and Ken in Ontario, Jack (Shirley) of Vancouver, sister-in-law Margaret Lynne Senkler of West Vancouver, nieces, nephews and extended family members, Peter Mackillop; very special friends Boone and Donna Strother, and lifelong friend Irene Roach of Barrie, Ontario.
Born in Toronto and growing up during the depression, Joe often said that things were so bad even the dog left home. Joe volunteered for the Canadian Army, but sustained a knee injury that prevented him from going overseas; something he always regretted. Joe married the love of his life, Margaret, in 1944. Moving back to B.C. with their daughters, Kathy and Patty; they settled in West Vancouver, where Joe drove taxi for Yellow Cab at night, and Margarete drove during the day. They bought their first farm in Richmond in the fifties, and began to breed and race JB racehorses, and Joe was employed on the waterfront. After many years in Richmond they relocated to Lytton, where they owned ond operated a cow-calf-hay ranch while continuing to breed and race numerous horses. Now in his late fifties, Joe became a pretty fair cowboy. In 1990, after sixteen years of ranching, they moved to Vernon and purchased a small acreage in Coldstream, continuing to breed and race horses on a modest scale until Margaret’s passing. Although Joe excelled in many sports professionally, hockey was his greatest passion, playing wherever and whenever he could. With his love of training and racing horses, Joe was deeply involved with Kin Park racetrack. As a Director and volunteer for the Vernon and District Agricultural Society, he worked tirelessly to keep horse racing alive in the Interior. He was also a Director of the B.C. Breeders Association for many years. A hard worker all his life, he truly loved his family, and the highlight of this year was the introduction of his second great-granddaughter, McKeana. He was also the toughest man I ever knew. A Memorial Service will be announced in the Spring. Friends wishing to do so may make donations to a charity of their choice in memory of Joe, or to Minor Hockey. A beloved father, grandfather, and great-grandfather is now free from pain and suffering, and will be able to play hockey and train horses forever. We will miss him terribly.
It broke our hearts to lose you, the day God called you home…
Always remember father, You never went alone.
Always in our hearts