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Derrik Harrison

Derrik Harrison

Sunday, September 6th, 1953 Friday, May 15th, 2020

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Obituary

Obituary for Derrik Roy Harrison

It is with great sadness that the Harrison and Lahoda families say goodbye to their loved one Derrik (Deke) Harrison after a long courageous battle with cancer. He passed away at home with family at his side holding his hands.

Deke was born in Dryden, Ontario, one of six children. He was predeceased by his parents Frank and Doreen Harrison. Survived by his beloved wife of many years Brenda Lahoda, his son Christopher Cartman of Winnipeg; step- daughters Amy and Nicole, his Mother-in-law Olive (Mom); five siblings, David (Pixie) Harrison, Jo-Anne Harrison, Frank Harrison Jr., Karen (John) Hewitson and Darcy (Donna) Harrison, his Aunt and Uncle, Roy and Barb Van Haesendonck, several cousins, nieces, one nephew, several grand nephews and nieces, four grandchildren and grandpuppies. 

Deke worked at KFC and then the local paper mill in Dryden until he decided it was time to move on. He left in his early twenties to reside in the cities of Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg and then finally settled in Vancouver where he met the love of his life. He spent his entire career working for one company, Anachemia Science (VWR), that went through many ownerships and name changes climbing his way to Export Manager until his retirement in June 2019. 

He grew up playing sports; hockey, baseball, both hardball and softball. He carried this love of sports and the outdoors with him throughout his life. He played fastball with the Richmond Braves at Steveston Park, took part in the “Sun Run” for many years, played golf, hiked, jogged and rode bike along the Fraser River at Foreshore Park. 

He will be forever missed by his hiking team and co-workers that took him up the trails of North Vancouver and into the high mountain country around Canmore, Alberta for their Annual Fall Hike, which was a highly treasured time, business meetings and trade shows. His favorite business trip was to Spokane and a chance to dine at Clinkerdaggers Restaurant. Derrik's Paddlewheeler Pub family in New Westminster B.C. Will also miss his presence at their many celebrations and golf tournaments, where he was always an enthusiastic active member. These friendships were a bond that will never be forgotten. 

He was a caring, loving soul who always had a smile on his face. A committed partner, brother, father, friend, employee and companion. He will be forever missed. 

A memorial service or Celebration of Life will be held at a later date. If family and friends wish to make donations, in his name, they can be made to The Alpine Club of Canada (Facilities Division), who maintain the mountain huts used for the fall hikes, to the Canadian Cancer Society, or to a charity of your choice.

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Sean Murry

I have known Deke for over 40 years.
I first met Deke when he came to work for us in our Calgary office. Deke then moved onto our offices in Edmonton and Winnipeg. When I approached him to see if he would be interested in moving to Vancouver, he was immediately enthusiastic. However I told them there was one condition...he had to join us on our annual fall hike in the Rockies. Deke had never hiked before so I don't think he knew what he was getting in for. Some of those hikes were hard physically, but the fun we had staying at the various Alpine Club of Canada Huts made it all worthwhile. Those excursions into the mountains were something that Deke always looked forward to.

Deke also joined myself and a couple of other Dad's taking our kids camping each summer. He fit in like a glove. All the chaos of kids running around didn't bother him in the least. Apart from the odd time of falling off his bicycle, he came away from those camping trips completely unscathed.

Before Deke met Brenda, he used to join my family for Christmas. He was like an uncle to my kids, and they always looked forward to Deke coming over and enjoying Christmas dinner with the family.

There are so many things we did together that just won't be the same without him. Our CMA conferences where we used to get dressed up to suit a theme we had concocted, our trips to Spokane and dining out at Clinkerdaggers and so many more experiences.
The picture attached was from the 2018 CMA Conference in Trail. Our efforts paid off with VWR winning the best booth award for about 25 years in a row.

I will miss Deke immensely.
Sean
Comment | Posted at 12:53pm via Condolence
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Brenda Lahoda

Sometimes a treasure comes into your life and you don't realize how precious it is until time comes to an end. Derrik was that treasure. A special person who always accepted you as you are, lent an ear when you needed to talk and only gave advice if you asked for it. He would try to guide you but never pressure you into following that advice. He loved life and took part in whatever came his way as long as it didn't spin, drop, flip or involve snakes. The stomach was a sensitive thing when it came to such things. He was a loving, caring man who I was priviledged to share a great deal of time with. When I first met him he was very set in his ways. Same restaurants, routes, times for certain things to happen, everything in its place, neat, tidy, organized. Quite a stickler for these things. Then I came along with my disorganized ways, last minute decisions, grandkids, grand-animals and a big family with big family issues. What a culture shock that was for him and for me to try and calm things down a bit. Eventually we found a middle ground but it certainly did take its time. Derrik made me a better person and I gave him constant experiences. He continued with his Sun Runs, Hikes, Camping, Golf trips and Business Trips to keep himself sane and smiled through it all. I'm sure many of you heard stories in the early days about this transition. Within a month he had myself, my daughter, a bird and an iguana living with him. Quite the whirlwind and still he smiled, however, there did seem to be a lot more necessary trips to the Paddlewheeler for one reason or another. The grandchildren loved his outdoor enthusiasm and Derrik found out there were a lot more parks in the Lower Mainland then he anticipated. Our trips back to Dryden to visit his family also took on quite a change. It was no longer get in the car and drive drive drive. It was “Oh let's stop there” and “Lets stop here” to investigate different sites and get some pictures. Another learning curve for him and from then on we would look ahead for places we could see during our drive. It was an adventure for both of us.

Derriks (Deke's) favourite music was ACDC (Thunderstruck) and the Rolling Stones. He always said he didn't like country but if you put on a country rock song he would be tapping his toes or fingers almost immediately. He loved meeting his Paddlewheeler Pub family for his various sports pools, which included Football, Hockey and Golf. There was always great anticipation on who was going to get the next big payout, but of course, don't forget those meat draws and the mega basket for the final draw or playing Keno, Poker and other Lotteries. There was also a “Boo” or a “Cheer” depending on who won and how many times. Deke also took part in the Paddlewheeler Annual Golf Tournament, the guys Golf weekend away to the Okanagan, Sun Runs, watching Sports and any other event that may be happening. He was open and ready to have a laugh, a drink and a cheer with all. He played fastball with the Richmond Braves at Steveston Park, took part in the “Sun Run” for many years, played golf, hiked, jogged and rode bike along the Fraser River at Foreshore Park.

Derrik's first work experience was for KFC (or Dinty's Chicken Shack) in Dryden, Ontario, then in the Dryden Paper Mill for 3-4 years, then off he went in his early 20's where he landed a job with a company he would stay with for the next 40+ years until his retirement in June 2019. Through this employment he worked in Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg and the Lower Mainland. The co-workers and friends he made through this association became his family away from home. They worked together, they shared stories and their lives, hiked on weekends on the North Shore and had a very special summer camp trip every year. Many of his associates and friends met every year for their Annual, long weekend, hikes into the mountains around Canmore Alberta. This was a trip he always looked forward to with great anticipation along with the business trip to Spokane and a chance to dine at Clinkerdaggers Restaurant. True loves of his life (besides me).

He was a committed partner, friend, employee, father, brother and companion. He had great integrity, was full of life's spirit and spending time with him made me a better person. He had a caring loving soul and will be greatly missed and loved for the rest of my life. RIP Derrik - Forever in my heart Brenda
Comment | Posted at 01:13pm via Condolence
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