Thomas Lindsay Speechly

Tom passed away at the Vernon Hospice House on January 31, 2010 at the age of 83. A memorial service and reception will be held at the Coldstream Women’s Institute Hall, 9909 Kalamalka Road at 2 p.m. on Friday, February 12th. He is survived by his cousins Lynn, Gordon & Lyall Webster and Lindsay & Brian Webster.

Tom was born in Vernon and attended school at Coldstream Elementary and Vernon High. He joined the RCAF in 1944, qualifying as a wireless / gunner just as the war ended in 1945 and afterwards took flying lessons at Vernon Airport while training as an aircraft mechanic. As a commercial pilot he flew many hours for Pacific Western Airlines in B.C. eventually giving up this work to train and work as a helicopter mechanic. He retired to Coldstream to live in the house inherited from his parents and worked many years as a school bus driver, part time work he liked as it gave ample time for golf, a game he loved.

He never married but had many varied interests including collecting cars, boating and music. As the proud owner of a 1950 wooden Peterborough motor boat he spent many happy hours on the local lakes, Mable Lake being his favourite. He played the piano and accordion and in later years was a member of a band who often entertained at nursing homes and country dances. Also active in the North Okanagan Naturalists’ Club, (the bug club as he called it), he led some of the trips and served as driver for extended tours of the states. For some years he would spend many months in the winter in Arizona and Mexico often getting around on his mountain bike.

Always cheerful and helpful in disposition he had many friends and lived a happy and active life on his own terms. He was able to look after his aunt’s affairs in her later years and was generous with help for other elderly family friends. We will miss his cheery presence and remember him with great affection.

We would like to thank Dr. Allan Meyers, the staff of Vernon Jubilee Hospital, Community Care and Hospice House for the compassionate care given to Tom at the last stages of his illness.

Donations may be made to the North Okanagan Hospice House in lieu of flowers.