March 17, 1924 – November 3, 2020
Sadly, we announce the passing of Victor Savitsky on November 3rd, 2020. Vic is survived by his sister Sonia Collins, his five loving children: Vicki (Neil) Coutts, Gail (Neil) Abrahamson, Debra (Gary) Roach, Cory (Tony), and Dan (Linda); eight grandchildren: Nick (Kate), Josh (Kristi), Kylee (Dave), Jennifer (Kevin), Ryan (Erin), Lauren (Andrew), Kaitlyn and Sydney; and seven great grandchildren: Rylin, Bennett, Allie-Lynn, Charlotte, Laikyn, Wynnlee and Averlee. He is predeceased by his parents, George & Casimira, his wife, Lavina (Vi), sister, Irene, (Tom) and brother-in-law, Tom Collins.
As a result of the Russian Revolution of 1917, Victor’s parents fled from Russia, to safety in China. He was born in 1924 on St. Patrick’s Day, in Tientsin, China. With his parents and two sisters, Victor immigrated to Canada in 1927; the family settled on a small farm in Mt. Lehman, BC. While growing up, Vic was known for his youthful high jinx and his skill at catching trout for the family.
After high school he got a job at Boeing Aircraft, and in 1943, Victor joined the Royal Canadian Airforce. He received training as an aircraft mechanic and was stationed in England. Back in Canada, after the war, he started a degree at UBC in mechanical engineering. While working summers in Caycuse camp for BC Forest Products, he found the pay was so good he left university to work full time.
In 1950, he met and married Lavina (Vi) Waugh, a marriage that lasted 68 years. While raising and expanding their family, Vic’s career took them to other logging camps including Bear Creek, Harris Creek and Port Renfrew. So his children would not have a daily four hour bus commute to high school, in 1966, Vic accepted a job in Port Alberni working for MacMillan & Bloedel’s Cameron Division as Shop Foreman. A second promotion saw Vic transfer to Sproat Lake Division.
Port Alberni was the perfect choice as it provided many educational and recreational activities. It was here that Vic and Vi became home owners for the first time. Vic enjoyed the outdoors and spent many hours hunting, fishing and gardening to provide for his family. There are fond memories of road trips with Dad leading the singing of Alouette and Frere Jacques. Other favourite family activities were swimming, smelting, camping and getting the perfect Christmas tree. If Mother nature didn’t make it perfect, Vic would!
In 1981, Vic was offered a job overseeing the closure of the Chemainus Mill. He and Vi bought an acreage near Duncan where Vic was able to reconnect with his childhood memories of Mt. Lehman. Upon retirement, a lakeside lot and new home brought them full circle to their beloved Lake Cowichan, which was the site of many wonderful family gatherings.
Vic was an original DIY guy, which highlighted his creative intellect and love of problem solving. These skills were recognized and admired by employers and many others. He could find a way to fix anything and would leave you shaking your head at the inventiveness. Along with this skill went little quirks such as cooking a can of pork and beans sitting in a pot of boiling water on the stove with the top half peeled back, and sharpening kitchen knives so the blades were unique shapes and razor sharp. One such knife was the only one he’d use. We kids liked to call this “Vic’s Way”!
Vic was very self-sufficient, never a complainer, and was determined to stay in his own home. He leaves behind him a legacy through his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren, part of which will surely be, problem solving and gardening!
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