January 5, 1929 – January 15, 2021
Sam Olynyk passed away suddenly at Moberly Manor on Friday, January 15, 2021 at the age of 92. Sam was born on the family farm at Mount Cartier to Mike and Ustina Olynyk on January 5, 1929. He resided in Revelstoke for his entire life. In 1952 He married Betty-Lou and together they were fixtures of the Revelstoke community.
At 12 years old Sam completed 6 years of education at Mount Cartier School. His family couldn’t afford to pay his room and board in Revelstoke to attend high school, so he went to work at the Riverside Sawmill washing logs. While there he learned to scale logs.
In 1944 Sam was recruited by Revelstoke Lumber and Shingle and at 17 years of age became a mill supervisor. In 1949, Victor Camozzi and Walter Scheleski invited Sam to invest in their sawmill operation and the purchase of 4 acres at the current Downie Street Sawmill location.
He was a partner in Downie Street Sawmill from 1950 to 1969 where they managed to expand the mill to 25 acres and employ 40 residents. In 1969, due to a lack of timber supply, the decision was made to sell the mill. Sam moved on to another partnership with John Renaud in Twin River Contracting Ltd. to undertake debris control and land works associated with the construction of Mica Dam.
In 1979, Sam was hired by the City of Revelstoke as Superintendent of Public Works until retirement in 1994 at age 65. Still full of energy, he continued working as a project supervisor on various construction projects in Revelstoke over the next 15 years.
Sam was dedicated to his community and participated on several community boards and committees throughout the years. He was a long standing member of the Revelstoke Rotary Club. He was a Revelstoke School Board Trustee for 12 years from 1961 to 1973. He was appointed as a Judge of the Provincial Court of British Columbia in 1968 until 1975, and served as the community’s coroner for twenty five years.
Sam enjoyed sports. He played with the Golden Spikes Baseball team, spent time curling in the winter and on the golf course in summer. He loved to go fishing and always knew where to find the best huckleberries.
Sam became an avid gardener taking pride in growing his own fruits and vegetables. He also maintained a beautiful flower garden to keep Betty-Lou in fresh bouquets.
Sam was predeceased by his wife Betty-Lou, youngest son Derrick and three brothers, Fred, Stephen and Harry.
He is survived by his sister Alice Cooper of Vernon, sister-in-law Mary Olynyk of Burnaby, brother-in-law Doug (Barb) Strand of Merritt; three daughters: Debra (Ed) Wozniak of Revelstoke, Brenda Olynyk of Kamloops, Susan (Doug) Kyle of Salmon Arm; two sons: Gary Olynyk of Revelstoke, Christopher (Jenelin) Olynyk of Revelstoke; Grandchildren: Dimitro (Rachael), Mykol (Sarah), Ryan (Markie), Tysyn (Sarah), Kevin, Nikki and Erin; Great-Grandchildren: Emma, Hunter, Hendrix and Sawyer.
The Olynyk Family wishes to thank the staff at Moberly Manor for their kindness and care of Sam over the past year. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Revelstoke Community Foundation or the Rotary Foundation.
Messages of sympathy may be sent to Sam’s family by viewing his obituary at: www.brandonbowersfuneralhome.com
Cremation arrangements are in the care of Brandon Bowers Funeral Home, Revelstoke.
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