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WAKEMAN, Kenneth (Ken) John

January 13, 1940 – Victoria, British Columbia
January 30, 2015 – Calgary, Alberta

Ken Wakeman, beloved husband of Coleen Wakeman (nee Lambert) of Calgary, AB, passed away on January 30, 2015 at the age of 75 years.

Ken was born January 13, 1940 in Victoria, BC. Ken was the eldest son of Morris and Ivy Wakeman. Ken has 8 other brothers and sisters: Phyllis, Ruth, Linda, Jim, Candy, Raymond, Nola and Clifford. Ken attended Belmont High. He left school to work for his uncle Len and his father with Wakeman and Trimble trucking.

In 1964 he became a member of the International Union Operating Engineers, local 115. In 1967 he married Coleen Joan Lambert and together they bought their first home in Victoria. They have 2 children; daughter Christina and son Bradley. Around 1970 the family moved to Campbell River where ken went to work with Emil Anderson Construction working on the highway to Gold River, Tahsis Connection, the pulp mill, the highway connection from Campbell River to Sayward and then the last connection was on the highway road building to Port Hardy. The next move was to Sicamous, BC and road building began out of Revelstoke on the Revelstoke Dam project to mica dam. Emil Anderson kept him on and he then began working on the double tracking of the rail lines out of Revelstoke. The next big Emil Anderson Construction project was the famous Coquahalla highway. EAC then moved to the town of tumbler ridge in Northern BC. Coleen and kids stayed behind as Brad and Christina were in high school. Ken was housed up in the 4,000 man camp. EAC had the Bullmoose and Quintette mines to be excavated and then the roads to Chetwynd and Dawson Creek had to be built and paved. Once finished, EAC was contracted to do the double tracking of the rail bed for the 2 mines in tumbler ridge. Once finished, he headed back to Sicamous. Ken was now classed as a heavy equipment operator and licensed to run d6, d9, packer, grader, front-end loader and bus.

The family moved to Calgary when their daughter married and Ken was injured in an industrial accident. As a result of the accident he was no longer able to work and was on permanent disability at the age of 47 years. It was shortly after that Ken developed diabetes. Ken, at the time, had been experiencing many mood changes and around 2006 he found out he had fronto-temperal lobe dementia. Coleen and Ken heard of the home real estate sales going on in Tumbler Ridge, BC and bought a house in early 2000. Ken loved to spend the fall and winter up there at the house. He would spend many a day with his neighbours collecting fire wood for the winter, fishing in the lakes, searching for fossils and gardening. In the spring and summer, Ken would go back to Calgary where Coleen worked for OAS/ZEDI.

Ken was hospitalized in Calgary in November 2013 and February 2014 he was moved to the Holy Cross Manor in Evanston and into memory care. He so enjoyed having his own room and loved to go walking with Coleen and also going over to the ranch for lunches or to the casino for breakfasts.

Ken has been cremated and his urn will be driven to some of his road building sites before his voyage to his final resting place in Victoria, BC in late July/early August. This will end with a bonfire on a beach and smoked salmon.

Ken is survived by his wife of 47 years, Coleen; daughter, Christina Leanne and grand daughters Daina and Megan; his son, Bradley James, and Michelle and their children Nathan, Emily, Sarah, Katie and Reid; his siblings, Phyllis (Bob), Ruth, Linda (Bill), Candy (Chris), Jim (Penny), Raymond (Marg), Nola (Alex) and Clifford (Teija); with many nieces and nephews are left to mourn his passing. He was predeceased by his parents, Morris John and Gwendolyn Ivy; and his brother-in-law, Charlie Poirie.

Services will be held in Victoria, BC at a later date. Condolences may be forwarded through

In living memory of Ken Wakeman, a tree will be planted at Fish Creek Provincial Park by McINNIS & HOLLOWAY FUNERAL HOMES, Crowfoot, 82 CROWFOOT CIRCLE N.W. Telephone: 403-241-0044.

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Condolence Messages

  1. Caroline Ferris :

    To Coleen, Christina and Bradley,
    I am saddened to hear of Uncle Ken’s passing. My memories of his gentle nature, twinkling blue eyes and wonderful sense of humor will be with me always.

    You are in my thoughts,

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  2. Dear Coleen, Christina and Brad. My heart goes out to you at this loss. I look forward to celebrating Ken’s life with you in Victoria. Love you all.

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  3. I always remember Ken and Colleen’s wedding with happiness as it was the very first wedding of a young relative in our family. That is how I shall always picture Ken….as a somewhat shy young man with a nice smile. My deepest condolences to Colleen and his family.

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