Cornelius D Harder was born in Hauge, Saskatchewan April 8th 1925. He was the third eldest in a family of 21. Growing up on the prairies in the 30's was difficult, and often there was not enough food to feed such a large family. It became necessary for Dad to go work on a neighboring farm to help support the family thus only completing grade 3. He was not treated well by a lot of the farmers he worked for and it was a hard way to grow. All the money he made was giving to support the family till he turned 21. This was the family's culture at the time.
As he grew so did his desire to make a better life for himself and decided to head west by hitching a ride on freight train to Vancouver where he met Hilda at a party. As she tells it she saw this handsome guy across the room looking out of place and uncomfortable and was immediately drawn to him.
There were married in 1948 when he was 23 and Mom was 21. He was required at that time to choose a name on his wedding certificate and he chose Delano and was called Del the rest of his life. Linda was born 9 months and two weeks later.
Dad tried his hand at many occupations and in Vancouver he worked at Schlage lock as a handyman and then went on to being a brakeman for CP rail.
This did not satisfy his adventuresome nature and once again he decided to strike out into the unknown - this time to the remote and harsh location of Uncha Lake in central BC. Dad bought a sawmill and starting logging and milling lumber. To say that conditions were difficult would be an understatement. Everything was a struggle from getting water to food and everything in between and yet here they had Clifford, Randy and Cindy.
Dad eventually made another career change and bought a welding shop. Dad had never welded in his life before but got a quick lesson and managed to do a good job at it. Mom opened a cafe to help make ends meet - becoming famous for her pies there. In 1959 Dad and Mom went to revival meeting and there they became born again Christians.
Dad moved the family to Prince George where he worked at a mill. The family lived close by in a deserted gas station and these conditions were no better than the ones they left. The last two kids were born here, Matthew and Rachel.
Dad worked hard and built a simple structure for the family to live in and added to it as he made money. He then purchased another lot on Caribou road to build an improved version of the first house. He went to work for Northern Dairy as a milkman then drove school bus as well as drove cab and worked at a lumber store. Us kids would often joke about who our Dad was, the milkman, the cabbie etc..
The family briefly moved to Saskatoon where Dad worked with his bother Dave.
At this time he had some experience building and went to work as a contractor for Larson Homes back in Prince George. He developed a crew of guys that traveled the province doing jobs from Chetwynd to Fraser lake and Houston and Mackenzie.
Dad never really recovered from the loss of Randy in 1980. And it left a mark on him for his remaining days.
Dad and mom moved from Prince George in 1981 to Matsqui BC then onto Valemount, and then on to a 1/4 section in Dunster. The Grandkids all have very fond memories of "the Dunster Days" after selling that property, they bought 40 acres in Cluculz Lake where, at 80, dad built a house mostly entirely in his own.
They lived at the lake as well as in their apartment in Abbotsford.
After Mom broke her leg it became necessary for them to move where there was more care and family nearby.
They moved to Fort St John and lived in their own place for the first few years before moving into an assisted living facility where Dad passed away in his sleep April 30 2018.
While not always an easy man, he was a true original and people did not soon forget him after meeting him. While only having a grade three education, he never let it limit him or hold him back. If an opportunity arose he took it, fully confident that he was up for the challenge and as qualified as anyone else. Dad had common sense in spades and did not have patience for those who lacked it.
He was a strong Christian and wanted everyone to hear the gospel message and was not afraid to share - often making others squirm but it did not matter to him.
He worked hard for his family whatever the cost to his health and body. He did not seem to tire and could outwork and outlast others many years his junior. It was perhaps because of this strength, we were all a bit surprised to lose him.
In lieu of flowers expressions of sympathy can be made in memory of Del to the Fort St. John Salvation Army.
Celebration of Life
MAY 22. 02:00 PM
10040 - 101 Ave
Fort St. John, BC, CA, V1J 3Y4