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Art Fors
01-07-06, 23:00
FORSMAN _ Elis Alexander Born 9 April 1918 Korsholm, Finland, died peacefully at St. Michael's Hospice in Burnaby of leukemia 24 June 2006. Elis was born to Hugo Johannes and Anna Olivia (nee Ahlskog) as a third son. He and his brothers were raised by their grandparents in a rural farming community. Adept in the use of tools, he developed a strong work ethic, became comfortable with life outdoors, and discovered pleasure in fishing and hunting. Stimulated by tales of life in North America from emmigrant letters and occasional returnees he ventured to Canada in 1935. First employed on his uncle Uno's farm in the Courtney district, he acquired hand falling abilities during the Comox Valley fire of 1938. Elis enjoyed working as a logger until the use of chain saws became widespread. In 1943 he married Leah Elisabeth (nee Antell), later began a family, and moved to Vancouver in 1948. He was employed briefly in the concrete products industry, worked as a hardwood floor layer, and was a skilled tradesman in several shipyards until his retirement in 1981. Skeptical of religion, his philosophy consisted of respect for humanity and the environment. He maintained an interest in reading and reflection that served him well throughout his life. Elis was a kind and gentle man who was always ready to lend a helping hand. Resourceful and independent in action and abilities, he was also social and compassionate. His ability as a storyteller in recalling events, places, names, characters, dates and actions was enlivening. His death marks the loss of a remarkable store of family and social history. Predeceased by his beloved wife Leah, an elder brother, Harald, and a younger half-brother. Survived by his brother Ture, son Michael, daughter-in-law Sheila, granddaughters Elaine and Karen, and other numerous relatives and friends in Canada, Finland, Sweden and the United States. He is deeply missed by all. A celebration of his life will be held at a later date. Thanks to the staff and volunteers of St. Michael's Hospice for making his final six weeks as comfortable as possible. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to a charity of one's choice.
Published in the Vancouver Sun from 6/30/2006 - 7/1/2006.