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 www.mcinnisandholloway.com.
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.Print This Obituary & Condolences