Dick Ardill was born September 3, 1926 in Pouce Coupe, BC. He was the third child of Jack and Betty Ardill, Peace River Pioneers. Dick and his brothers and sister grew upon a family ranch located west of Fort St. John, BC. At the age of 12 Dick was actively taking part in the fieldwork with a 4 horse team. When he turned 13 he graduated to a team of 6 horses, consisting of 2 broke horses and 4 young unbroken ones. During his early years he worked with cattle and horses, branding, roping, breaking horses, clearing and breaking land, haying and binding and doing general ranch work. On October 25, 1952 Dick married Irene Ambrose. Dick and Irene remained on the ranch and raised a family of 4 children. Dick was known for his skills as a rider and roper. Out of his love for the cowboy way of life he along with 2 of his friends joined together to bring rodeo to Hudson’s Hope in 1958. From this community rodeo the present day Double H Saddle Club was developed. Dick and Irene had been awarded honorary lifetime memberships to the Double H Saddle club. Dick was also an active sponsor and helper for the BC High School Rodeo Association. When he was made aware that there were some boys in Hudson’s Hope who wanted to become rough stock riders he took a truck load of dry cows to the rodeo grounds and spent every evening for a few weeks giving the boys ‘steer’ riding practice. Dick was a dedicated cattleman and joined the BC Cattlemen’s Association where he held the post of director for 25 years. During those years he served terms on the executive committee, and spent 10 years as the president for the local and reginal associations, wherever his credentials were required. He was also interested in introducing people to ranch life and assisting anyone who demonstrated an interest in ranching. Dick had sponsored high school work experience students, introducing them to daily ranch life and work. He has the distinction of being the first trainer to work with a BC high school student for Green Certificate Training in Cow/Calf Operation through the Fairview Regional College. He was also known throughout the area as a person who could be depended on by anyone in time of need. When Dick asked a local teenager why he always stopped at the ranch when he had a flat tire or had run out of gas even though he lived 10 miles up the road, the boy replied “There is no point in going home, because here there is always someone who will help me”. Dick was happy to support youth and sport groups in the surrounding areas. In May of 2020 Ardill’s Ranch celebrated 100 years of family ranching in the Peace River Country.
Dick was predeceased by his parents, sister and brothers and wife, Irene. He leaves to mourn his 3 daughters 1 son and their families, 4 grandsons their wives and 9 great grandchildren, a very large extended family and many friends.
May you be riding in stirrup high grass, Dad…we will carry memories with us wherever we go.
Memorial service for Dick will be held Wednesday, September 8 at 2:00 pm from the St. Peter's Church in Hudson's Hope with graveside service and memorial tea to follow. In lieu of flowers expressions of sympathy can be made in memory of Dick to the Fort St. John Hospital Foundation - Cancer Treatment Fund.
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