February 16, 1941 – March 2, 2023
In loving memory ~
It is with profound sadness that we announce the passing of Owen Albert Ree on March 2nd, 2023 at the age of 82 years. Owen passed away peacefully, surrounded by his loving family at the Vernon Jubilee Hospital, under the excellent care of the staff on Level 6.
He will be deeply missed by his loving wife, Patricia, children Todd (Sandra), Karen, and Brent (Mary-Sue), his seven devoted grandchildren, Sam, Annika, Rane, Caleb, Pedar, Rowan and Heidi, as well as many dear friends and extended family.
Owen was born on February 16th, 1941 in Bentley, Alberta to Hans and Shirley (Nyborg) Ree and grew up on the family farm with four brothers and two sisters. His early days spent on the farm doing chores gave him lots of stories to tell his grandkids. After graduating from high school, he left the farm to pursue a B.Sc. in Agriculture at the University of Alberta. He joined Shur-Gain in 1962 in the animal feed division. During his years at Shur-Gain he spent time in Lethbridge, Red Deer and Edmonton. In 1967 Owen applied to the School of Dentistry at the University of Alberta. He graduated in 1971. While at school he had an opportunity to visit the Okanagan and in the spring of 1971, he packed up his young family and moved to Vernon to start his practice. Owen loved dentistry and retired after practicing for over thirty years.
Over the years, Owen was fortunate to develop many lasting friendships. Many of these friends were involved in activities that were so special to him. Whether you joined him for no-cook Fridays, fishing, Wednesday morning ping pong, early morning coffee, summer time at the beach house, or the old boys’ ski group, he truly cherished the time he spent with you.
Owen truly loved life, and his family was everything to him. He taught his grandchildren to fish, grow tomatoes, hold a hammer properly, and tell stories, and was happiest sitting around a big campfire. Because of his Norwegian ancestry and indomitable farm boy spirit, he was extraordinarily thrifty and enjoyed finding innovative ways to make broken things work and last. His workshop was a treasure-trove of everyday items, kept “just in case”. It was the place where you could find him tinkering, inventing, and improving all kinds of household items; long live his plywood snow shovel!
His wife of 59 years, with whom he fell in love in his mid-teens, loved to travel and Owen was a happy travel companion, especially on trips to Alberta, Alaska, Norway, New Zealand, and beyond. He loved all kinds of sports. As a youth he especially loved playing football and baseball, and he continued to play hockey and slow pitch as an adult. He also enjoyed golf, ping pong and downhill skiing. He was skiing with his friends and grandson just weeks before his passing and kept an eye on the hockey scores and the curling right into his last hours. His enthusiasm for life was palpable and will live on in his family and friends.
In respecting Owen’s wishes, he was cremated and his Celebration of Life will be held on Monday, March 27th, 2023 at 2:00 P.M. at the Vernon Golf and Country Club. A Memorial Service and interment will take place in Bentley, Alberta on May 20th, 2023.
As an expression of sympathy, those who wish to do so may send donations in memory of Owen to the Vernon Jubilee Hospital Foundation, North Okanagan Hospice Society or a charity of their choice.
Cremation arrangements were made with BETHEL FUNERAL CHAPEL LTD., 5605-27th Street, Vernon, B.C. V1T 8Z5, 250-542-1187.
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