Allan Wesley Britton, born on November 1, 1931 in Cutknife Saskatchewan, passed away on June 3, 2021 at 89 years of age in the North Island Hospital in Comox, British Columbia. He is predeceased by his parents, George Wesley Britton and Mary Margaret Schueck, his siblings, Ken and Margaret and also his adored wife, Beth Emma Hardy.
He will be missed by his three sons and one daughter, Edwin (Elise), John (Angie), Susan (Neal) and Kenneth (Nadia) and many grandchildren and great grandchildren. He resided in Galivan (Sask.), Maymont (Sask.), Campbell River (B.C.), Courtenay (B.C.), Cumberland (B.C.) and finally, Royston (B.C). He worked as a surveyor, draftsman and elementary school teacher.
Allan’s ashes were placed at Cumberland Cemetery on June 18, 2021 .
Allan wrote the following forward for his photo-history, 'Odyssey.' -
Odyssey: mystery, exploration, pursuit, adventure, struggle, discovery, achievement.
Once, when asked by a young student what was the most important quality it life, I replied, "To live with enthusiasm." Enthusiasm comes from a Greek word meaning, 'to have god within.' That divine spark ignites life itself. I choose to live with the kind of enthusiasm that creates a life-long odyssey…
I have had many adventures, from the depths of the ocean in scuba diving explorations to the tops of mountains in hiking expeditions; intellectual studies in universities and spiritual pursuits in temples; the competition of sports and the challenges of raising a family.
While my life is rich and varied, there are some clear themes. Close on the heels of enthusiasm for life is the love of learning. I am an avid reader of all subjects and have a love for conversation. I relish the undertaking of a challenge and I am fascinated with the natural world, expressed in hiking, canoeing and scuba diving. I enjoy building and creating things, and so have built sailboats, and renovated and built new homes. I feel independence and security in self-reliance, pursued through our family farming projects. Another of my life's themes is charitable service, and we seem to be always involved in community and church service, including two church missions, first to Fiji and then to the Philippines.
When I studied graphic art, I learned the importance of perspective. Perspective is considering the subject from different points of view, each revealing something more about the subject and yielding a fuller and richer understanding. Perspective applies to life. Living and learning in different ways deepens insight and makes the experience profound. I have appreciated, even relished, experiencing life from the different perspectives of child-like wonder, exploration, building and creating, philosophy, science, spirituality and religion. Each is a different view of the same thing. They cannot be in conflict with each other because they are, ultimately, the same. All that is different is our perspective. And the fruit of understanding is harmony.
My life is my gift to the future.
Eulogy for Allan Wesley Britton
Written by Ed Britton. Read by Andy Britton
My Dad was asked by one of his elementary school students, “What is the most important thing to be in your life?” My Dad felt an instant sense of gravity and responsibility, but said the answer was immediately on his tongue, “To live life with enthusiasm!”
He was so true to his word, diving into whatever seemed exciting and adventurous – hiking, salmon fishing, dancing, skiing, scuba diving, canoeing, building model airplanes, boats and sailing. It was wonderful to grow up and to be a part of his zest for life. When I served my two-year mission in southern Africa, my mission companions were amazed with all that I had done, opening my eyes to how fortunate I had been to grow up with him.
He also loved learning and never shrank from buying volumes of books. He loved thinking and debating about all kinds of things – especially politics.
He argued for small ‘c’ conservative ideas but called himself a dyed in the wool socialist, leading me to decide the political spectrum was more like a circle than a line. He certainly seemed to go ‘round and ‘round about it!
He had a survivalist streak in him. He loved the idea of food storage and serious gardening. He liked do-it-yourself about everything. He built a cabin in the Beaufort Mountains where we could all live if Canada was ever occupied by a hostile foreign power. I’m pretty sure he secretly hoped it would happen so that we could try it out.
Dad liked to talk with people. I remember being in the car when he would stop to pick up some little thing at a store and be gone for 20 minutes. “Dad’s talking again!” was a common refrain. He was fun to talk to, because he had a sense about what a person would like to talk about. He was effective at being interested and asking questions that kept them going. He liked to learn what others thought about just about anything.
He loved people and served them like that was his whole purpose in life. If someone needed a home, they would probably end up living in our house – young or old, man or woman, family or stranger. None of it mattered – just if a person needed a place and a friend.
His giving and adventurous spirit made him a favorite among his many young students. He loved teaching, generously sharing his love of sports, dancing and the outdoors with them.
He had a competitive spirit that manifest itself in the board games he loved to play. A visit to our house meant dinner and games. He was pretty good at winning. He believed that games were good for the brain, encouraged strategic thinking and promoted sociality. He wasn’t shy about clowning and joking around, to the embarrassment of my Mom and the delight of everyone else.
He final big project was to build his dream sailboat. A 31 foot Brandylmeyer sloop. He was very close to finished when he was no longer able to do the work because of the loss of function in his legs, and so didn’t get to sail in it. However, I think he enjoyed the building more than the sailing, so there was little loss.
A few years ago, I wrote a photo-history of his life and published it using archival quality materials. His life is an inspiration to me, and I hope some of that inspiration will seep through the pages of his book for generations to come.
‘Rest in peace’ is a common refrain at times like this but rest really isn’t his style. Even when confined to a wheelchair he was a common site on the roads around the Comox Valley, exploring even up and down the Inland Island Highway to the limits of his battery! Now that he is free of the constraints of immobility, I expect that he will not be resting but making up for lost time. And based on his unconventional approach to just about everything, I also doubt that his activity will necessarily be accompanied with an aura of peace.
So, Dad, I won’t send you off with that particular blessing. Rather, this: “Enjoy yourself! Have fun. Keep loving and serving. Get in a little trouble – just make sure you can get yourself back out of it!”
Lots of love from you family and many friends.