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Bud Hoover

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Bud Hoover

May 8, 1923 - November 6, 2018


It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of Norman John (Bud) Hoover on November 6th, 2018 at the amazing age of 95 ½ years.  The last of Oliver’s old-time cowboys.

From Nakusp BC, where Bud and his sister Jean were born, the family moved to Oliver, BC. In 1931.  He was known to his Oliver Elementary School classmates as Little Buddy Hoogenworf (the actual family name).   The nickname stuck.  Bud was known, even then, to be a gifted singer, and was mentored by Rudy Guidi, himself a fine tenor, and a teacher at the school.

But the Second World War called, and in 1941, as soon as he turned 18, Bud enlisted in the Royal Canadian Navy.   The Navy was searching its ranks for potential specialists.  Out of a selection pool of thousands, Bud placed first, as a potential Morse coder.  He was immediately sent to the Royal Naval Academy in Halifax, where he studied Morse code in all its forms, from telegraphy to directional and non-directional light signalling and semaphore.  The speed at which a coder could receive or transmit messages was integral to the safety of his ship.

Bud served aboard HMCS Georgian, a minesweeper commissioned in 1941 to provide protection to convoys during the perilous Battle of the Atlantic crossings.  Georgian was assigned to a British Navy minesweeping flotilla, and saw action clearing the way for American landings at Omaha Beach on D-day, June 6th, 1944.

When decommissioned the ship’s ensign fell to shipmate Robert MacFadden, also from Oliver.   On his passing the family gave the flag to Bud, and he later presented it to the Alberta Naval Museum, in Calgary.

Demobbed in 1945 Bud moved back to the Okanagan.  In Penticton BC he got married, started his family, and worked as a brakeman for the CPR.  This was the heyday of train travel in Canada.  Steam locomotives ran daily on the old Kettle Valley Railroad line, through the Myra Canyon trestles into Penticton then up through Summerland to the Coquihalla and down the Fraser Valley to the port of Vancouver.  There were tons of coal to load, avalanches to dig through, the ‘nobs’ to watch at the fine CPR Incola Hotel in Penticton.  But the age of steam came to an end.  The introduction of diesel locomotives—which all the trainmen looked forward to, as the newer engines would relieve them of a lot of physical work—permanently relieved thousands of men of any work, at all.

Seeking new employment Bud moved his family to Vancouver in 1957.  While working there he took up singing as a profession.  Gifted with a naturally operatic voice and range, his audition with the Vancouver Opera Society was guaranteed to be successful.  He performed in many VOS productions including Pagliacci, Faust, Aida, Cavalleria Rusticana.  At one point he was the first understudy to the renowned baritone Robert Merrill.

In 1967 Bud’s life long dream–or at least since age 9 when he got his first horse— his dream of living the cowboy life finally materialized.  Bud and Monica bought a part of the historic Brown Ranch at Road 18.  And Bud finally became a cowboy.  Under the B – H brand he raised Hereford cattle, grazed the herd on cattle leases in the Beaverdell area, baled hay, watched over the calving, protected his animals from predators, and….best of all, got to ride a horse.  Every day.  His love of horses was profound.

At one time he was thrown, and broke his hip.  Doctors told him he would never ride again.  Within three months he proved them wrong.  He rode often until he was 85, when he gave his horses to a friend, with the promise that he might just drop in for a bit of a ride, now and then.  His final ride was on the famous Jane Stelkia 80th Birthday Ride.  He was proud to participate.

Bud is survived by his loving family;  Monica, his wife of 68 years, his children Sheran King (Doug) of Vernon, Michael Hoover of Oliver, and Marion Hoover of Vernon.  He was predeceased by his son Daniel.  His grandchildren are Charity (Brian) Calder, Judah Stephens of Kelowna, Juhelle Stephens of Tofino, Achsah Stephens of Vancouver and Tamarah Stephens of Vernon, Derek (Jodi) King, Christie King and Michael (Jelena) King of Vernon. He was predeceased by grandson Jesse Stephens. Missed also by his great-grandchildren Ethan, Ben and Isabella King, Liam and Megan Calder,  Sofia and Kobe Bruhwiler, Abigail,  Lily and Alliyah King.

A memorial service will be held at 2:00 pm, Thursday, November 15, 2018 at the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 97 Hall, Oliver followed by a reception at the Legion.

“Ride into the sunset with joy.  You were a real cowboy.”

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From: Nunes-Pottinger Funeral Service & Crematorium

Nunes-Pottinger Funeral Service Staff send our condolences to family and friends.

From: Pamela Somerville Minor
Relation: Aquaintance

My condolences to Monika and all the family on the loss of Bud. The World is running out of Cowboys.

From: Lorna Rissling

Bud was no ordinary personHe lived well and was truly loved. He will be deeply missed. My condolences to Monica and family .

From: Dave Hockin
Relation: Pool Hall kid

I am writing to express my condolences to the friends and family of Bud Hoover. I realize that it was over two years ago that Bud rode into the sunset but I just recently read his obituary when I thought to type his name into my computer.
I met Bud sixty years ago when he owned and operated Kerrisdale Billiards, first on West Blvd., then on 41st Ave. in Vancouver. I wasn’t alone. Hundreds of predominantly teen age boys went to “the hall” to hang out, shoot pool, drink pop and learn to get along.
Bud’s presence cannot be understated. He was in charge, friendly, welcoming (if you were over 16) and he expected a pool hall full of teen age hooligans to be respectful and polite or you could leave and not come back. Also, as everyone knew, God help the man who uttered a swear word when Mrs. Hoover was in the hall. Frequently Mrs. Hoover ran the hall, on her own, and the same rules applied, and if anyone even thought about bending those rules, their future was decidedly bleak.
Most of us regulars knew that Bud was an opera singer, although the pool hall radio only played early 60’s rock n’ roll from CKLG and CFUN, but that only added to Bud’s larger than life persona. When I was about 16 and a half I told Bud I thought I was “getting pretty good” at pool. He said “let’s see your shoe soles, no holes yet? You’ve got a ways to go.” Obviously that has stayed with me and the lesson imparted in those few words.
In finding Bud’s obit I have been sharing memories of Bud in the hall with friends from that era and they all have had great stories of his generosity and strong presence that had a positive influence at that time and place in our lives. One mentioned his “IOU Book.” He carried short on change would be pool sharks until they paid up or got lost.
There are just so many stories around the pool hall characters and Bud’s time there and literally hundreds of young guys from that time still carry them. What is really great is Bud went to the wide open spaces and lived the life he wanted, and for a long time. He is truly inspiring, and a lot of those pool hall kids went out chasing their dreams too. Many of us were surprised his pool hall days weren’t mentioned, considering their impact, but in a life long and well lived he rode many a winding trail. I hope this letter reaches his children and grand children and they know what Bud and the pool hall meant to hundreds of kids, all those years ago. Sincerely, Dave Hockin New Hazelton BC.

Service Schedule

  Memorial Service

Date & Time:
November 15, 2018
Beginning at 2:00pm

Royal Canadian Legion Legion Branch 97
6417 Main Street
Oliver, BC Canada

A memorial service will be held at the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 97, Oliver BC at 2:00 pm, Thursday November 15, 2018 followed by a reception in the church hall.

6417 Main Street
Oliver, BC Canada

Memorial Gifts

The family has not designated a preferred charity at this time.

Thank You Notice

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