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November 18, 1929 – Imperial, Saskatchewan
October 17, 2014 – Calgary, Alberta

Herbert Fichtner passed away surrounded by his loving family on Friday, October 17, 2014 at the age of 84 years.

Herbert Warner Fichtner was born on November 18, 1929 in Imperial, Saskatchewan. He was the second child and only son of Henry and Winnifred. He has three sisters, Edythe (Mel), Avis (Don) and Gladys (Walt).

Besides attending school, he had his daily chores to do at home as well as at his father’s blacksmith shop. Every Saturday he had to sweep out the shop and help out when a horse needed shoeing. The family also had a North Star fuel agency and he delivered gas and hauled wheat back to town. He had to drive truck during the war years as there were very few men around. He had an underage permit which allowed him to drive at the age of thirteen. In 1944-45 Herb had a part-time business selling apples, oranges and chocolate bars on the CN train which travelled a circuit from noon to 3:00 p.m. This job earned him the nickname “Apple Mary”. Herb finished school in 1946 and in 1947 he headed south to Amarillo, Texas to combine the wheat crops. He worked his way north through Kansas and South Dakota, eventually ending up at the Canadian border. In 1948, his parents and sisters moved to Calgary. Herb moved to Saskatoon and worked on a survey crew as a rodman for Phillips Stewart and Phillips. In 1950, he moved to Calgary and got a job as a parts man for Renfrew Motors. In 1951, Herb started working for Western Geophysical. During his three or four years with the company he worked a lot in the Three Hills area of Alberta. He had a brand new 1952 Ford which he crashed on the icy roads travelling home from work one night.
In 1954, he started with Sherritt Gordon at their plant in Ft. Saskatchewan. On March 10, 1956 he married Phyllis Spurko and on June 5, 1957 he began a long and successful career at Sperry Sun. His first order of business was training on EC tools and singleshots. His first job was in Esterhazy, SK Yarbo #1 and it was a 300 ft freeze hole (potash mine). In September of 1959, their first daughter Lori Winnifred was born in Calgary, Carey Ann was born in December 1961 in Calgary, and Warner Michael was born in August of 1969 in Calgary. In October of 1970, Herb worked on the world’s most northerly blowout on King Christianson Island. Herb and his friend Ted Anderson surveyed the relief well as it was being drilled. They survived mainly on peanut butter sandwiches and not much else. Through the years up to 1971 he worked in many locations throughout Western Canada. He surveyed many of the Shell gas wells in the Jumpingpound, Pincher Creek and Waterton fields. In 1971, Herb travelled to South Africa and ran gyro surveys on many diamond drilling properties. In 1972, he travelled back to South Africa to set up a Sperry-Sun agency in Johannesburg. In 1973, he was involved in a very serious motor vehicle accident in South Africa. Herb suffered many broken bones and a dislocated hip and as a result, spent forty-five days in the hospital. His friends there helped to look after him. They would usually come and visit him every other day, however his friend’s wife had to skip a few days as she was busy giving birth to her son. Almost immediately after having her baby she was back at the hospital taking care of Herb. Herb continued to work in many locations in Canada and around the world until 1985. He retired but consulted for Sperry-Sun for another ten years.

Herb was the proud grandfather of four: Carolyn Silvestro, Jessie and Easton Bodeux and Katherine Fichtner and great-grandfather of two: Carmela and Isabella Silvestro. He enjoyed watching the little ones colour and play with dolls and toys.

In 2002, he married Addie Greenfield. Together they enjoyed travelling, camping in the motorhome with their three dogs, Benji, Oreo and Mac and going to the Legion. Herb’s interests also included puttering in his garage, and spending time with family and friends, but his main passion was salmon fishing on the west coast. He was very fortunate to enjoy a few fishing trips to the coast this year.

Family and Friends are invited to a Celebration of Herb’s Life at the Royal Canadian Legion Centennial Branch #285 (9202 Horton Road S.W., Calgary, AB) on Saturday, November 8, 2014 from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. Forward condolences and view Herb’s biography at

In living memory of Herbert Fichtner, a tree will be planted at Fish Creek Provincial Park by McINNIS & HOLLOWAY FUNERAL HOMES, Fish Creek, 14441 BANNISTER ROAD S.E. Telephone: 403-256-9575.

Offer Condolence for the family of FICHTNER, Herbert

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Condolence Messages

  1. Gord & Bev Morasch :

    We send our heart felt sympathy to Herb and his family,his wife Addie as well as their many friends. Herb had a full and very interesting life and we are sure that he is now resting peacefully with family and friends in heaven. “some things you hold in your hands — others forever in your heart”. Herb.. I’m sure the fish are biting where you are.

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  2. Gordon and Bev Jaremko :

    Thanks for the memories of a wonderful man. I will always treasure the teacher’s bell he gave me.

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  3. stu egglestone :

    Sincerest condolences to all family and friends who knew Herb. I worked with him in 1950 and remember him saying there was no future here. So, I was more than pleased to see that he did find and succeed in an occupation that suited him and his employer. Remember him telling me about his father who constructed a bldg. two blocks down from where I live,-it was on solid ground , whereas neighboring bldgs. were on fill. HAPPY FISHING HERB !!

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  4. Gibson & Bonnie Scott :

    To Addie & the entire family. We cannot express how saddened we are with Herb’s passing. The time I got to spend with him fishing a short while ago will be a most cherished memory of a true friend. But there are many. Herb found a way to give something of himself to the very end. His laughter and the fun we had are everyday memories. He will be missed dearly. Our most sincere condolences to you all.
    Gibson & Bonie Scott

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  5. I too was born in Imperial, Sk in 1942. I would have been six years old when the Fichtner family moved away. The one person in your family that I remember is Gladys and my sister Evelyn (Anhorn) Hardee has mentioned the girls names on occasions. My thoughts and prayers are for the family.

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  6. Garry & Gerry Riggs :

    To Addie and families, we have been thinking of you and Herb through these
    difficult days and remembering the many happy occasions that we have enjoyed with

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  7. Garry & Gerry Riggs :

    To Addie and families; We have thought of you often through this difficult time and
    want you to know that our hearts have been with you.

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  8. So sorry to hear of Herb’s passing. He will be missed by many.

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  9. Tom and Christine Ford, Mallorca, Spain :

    A fifty four year friendship – a true friend to me and my family. You will not be forgotten Herb. Deepest sympathies to you Addie and all the family.

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  10. Larry & Beverly Comeau :

    Our thoughts and prayers are with you Addie, and families. Herb was the ultimate mentor and friend to me. If every person could begin their working life with such and example, how lucky we’d be. He taught me not only about the oil industry, but so much about what it means to be a man. Herb will always be part of who I am.

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  11. Evelyn Hardee (Anhorn) :

    Deepest Sympathy to the Fichtner family . I remember Herb as the teenage brother to my friend Gladys when we hung out to gether during our younger school years in Imperial also Sisters Edith and Avis.I know the sadness of loosing a family member. Condolences to all the families.

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  12. Sheila & Morgan Parry :

    We are so sorry to hear about Uncle Herbs passing……….He was such a big part of our family growing up. He taught us all so much……..With sadness in our hearts we say “Good-by” to a man who was loved and cherished by us all………..I am glad that I got to spend some time with him this summer when I was home. He always had his special smile on no matter how he felt. He always had a welcome mat out for those who wished to visit. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all……..
    Always and forever in our Hearts

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  13. Gladys Anderson :

    On behalf of the family of Mary Emma Kyler (Smith, Calloway) we would like to offer our sincere sympathy to the Fichtner family. Although I met my cousin Herbert only a few times, he was always kind and thoughtful.

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  14. Cam, Melody, Connor & Tara Mclennan :

    Addie, Lori, Carey & Warner
    Our thoughts and prayers are with you at this difficult time. I can recall many visits when Uncle Herb passed through Vancouver on his way to the west coast for his fishing trips.

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  15. John, Grant, Sandy and Agnes Aitken :

    Sincere condolences to Addie, Lori, Carrie, and Warner. We have so many wonderful memories of vacations with your family. Herb (Button) was a very good friend to George in Imperial so many years ago. Ag recalls stories from when Button would drive George and Huddy home from the local dance because he was the best driver who was too young to drink! George and Ag enjoyed fishing with Herb and the family. So many happy memories! We were very sad that we could not get to Calgary this weekend to join Herbs family and friends. Our thoughts and prayers our with you.

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  16. Gregory Neil Reimer :

    I have a lot of great memories growing up with Uncle Herb, Aunt Phyllis, Lori, Carrie & Warner.
    From both the Reimer & Spurko sides of the relations, please accept our sincere and warmest wishes.

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