February 8, 1961 – March 25, 2012
It is with profound sadness that we announce the passing of Wes Hollings at the all too young age of 51. Wes fought an intense four year battle with cancer with incredible determination and optimism. His courage and spirit were unparalleled; but for once the man who could fix absolutely anything, just couldn’t fix this.
Wes was raised in Stettler, Alberta by his loving parents Barbara and Bob. He enjoyed a wonderful childhood camping and fishing at their cabin in Pine Lake. After graduating from high school, Wes was involved in the home building industry which included founding his own company. During a trip to Europe, Wes realized his passion for history and decided to return to school to become a social studies teacher. It was at a university methodology class that his life was changed forever when he sat next to the future love of his life, Darlene. They married in July 1992 and Wes began a 21 year teaching career at Foothills Composite High School in Okotoks, Alberta.
Wes was a passionate educator who easily won the admiration of his students. So many of his former students simply state that Mr. Hollings was the best teacher they ever had. Wes loved the little things in teaching, blowing bubbles down the hall on the last day of classes, providing coffee every morning to get everyone in on time, decorating his classroom with artifacts from all around the world, and dressing up as a Samurai for Halloween. Wes was committed to providing the very best education for his students. To that end, Wes was able to persuade the likes of Premier Ralph Klein and Assembly of First Nations National Chief Phil Fontaine to speak directly with his classes. He was a proud supporter of the FCHS / AHSFA Movember campaigns, volunteered with Habitat for Humanity, and until his illness, was a devoted blood donor. Wes didn’t just talk about social responsibility, he modelled it.
After a few years, Wes and Darlene became proud parents of Marina followed by Jasper and finally little Sawyer. Family meant everything to Wes. He loved rounding up the family on a Friday afternoon and heading out to the mountains with the fifth wheel hitched to the back of his truck. The family was able to travel extensively and took wonderful memory-filled vacations. Wes took great pride in maintaining the family home. He was a meticulous carpenter (he hated the word “handyman”) and spent hours building fences, decks and perfecting the sprinkler system. Despite undergoing radiation treatments, Wes renovated the home to accommodate a bedroom for baby Sawyer. He was Marina’s best snuggler, Jasper’s favourite chess partner and Sawyers constant Hot Wheels playmate. He and Darlene were best friends and they loved their daily long chats after the kids had gone to bed. His death has left an immense void but we know that his spirit lives on in the thousands of memories he created with his family.
The family would like to thank everyone for their incredible support during Wes’ illness. In particular, Lyndsi Irwin, Bambi Bradley and Darlene’s family Liz, Ed, Alex and Elizabeth for providing strength and care of the children during Wes’ hospital stay. Thank you to the Bender, Cottle, Swift and Whitney families for their continuous support over the last four years. And finally, the amazing staff at the Foothills Composite High School. The entire school community rallied around our family this past December providing us with the most lavish Christmas possible. Our children’s eyes grew wider every day as more and more gifts from the heart arrived at our door. You truly created memories for life.
Wes was an ardent believer in post secondary education for his children. Therefore, in lieu of flowers, if any friends so desire, donations may be made to the Wes Hollings Children’s Education Fund payable at any TD Canada Trust location.
Wes is survived by Darlene, his beloved wife of 20 years; his cherished children Marina, Jasper and Sawyer, his mother Barbara; sisters Linda Stanyer and Lora (Rick) Wilford, brother David (Charmaine) Hollings and numerous cousins, nephews and nieces. He is also survived by Darlene’s family Jeanette and Alex Marczi, Liz Marczi (Ed Stacey), Alexander (Elizabeth) Marczi.
He was predeceased by his father Robert Hollings.
Funeral Services will be held at McINNIS & HOLLOWAY’S Fish Creek Chapel (14441 Bannister Road S.E.) on Saturday, March 31, 2012 at 10:00 a.m. Forward condolences through www.mcinnisandholloway.com.
In living memory of Wes Hollings, a tree will be planted at Fish Creek Provincial Park by McINNIS & HOLLOWAY FUNERAL HOMES, Fish Creek Chapel, 14441 BANNISTER ROAD S.E. Telephone: (403) 256-9575.Print This Obituary & Condolences