Capt. Walter Joseph Lundrigan
June 5, 1923 – November 28, 2008
It is with great sadness to announce the passing of Walter J. Lundrigan. Walter passed away in Chilliwack Hospital suddenly from kidney failure. He was 85 years of age.
Born in St. Lawrence Newfoundland, to parents Patrick and Sarah Lundrigan, Walter was the fourth of six children. Growing up through the depression years, Walter learned at a young age what hard work was all about. He built his very first house when he was just 16 years old. Walter worked in the Iron Springs Fluorspar mine as a young man. He was among the first rescuers on that ill fated February morning in 1942, when US navy destroyer the USS Truxtun ran aground in a fierce storm at Chambers cove near St. Lawrence Nfld. Walter with others, went over the 300 foot cliffs on ropes to rescue the sailors from the turbulent seas. Their heroism is still talked about to this day.
Walter left St.Lawrence in 1946 and went to Halifax NS. He worked there in a fish plant for a year. He then moved to Prince Rupert BC to work on a Seine boat for his older brother. After a season of working on the fish boats, the company offered Walter his own boat to run. Walter got his Captain’s papers and started his commercial fishing career that spanned over four decades. He skippered several Seine boats over the years, but finished his career with the boat he ran the longest, the “Elva-M”. Fishing was Walter’s passion, and he was one of the best at it. Walter met his bride to be, Hope Laidlaw in Prince Rupert and they married in October 1950. They had three children together, Sandra, Howard, and Patrick. Hope, Walter and family moved to the Bulkley Valley in the late 60’s. He continued to fish until the late 70’s, when he retired from commercial fishing.
Walter then took up log home building and built numerous homes around the Bulkley Valley, as well as cabins for area guide outfitters. The Lundrigans again moved, this time to Burns Lake BC. Walter loved to hunt and fish, and the Lakes District offered some of the finest hunting and fishing around. After a few more years of working, both Hope and Walter retired. Walter would often be off hunting or fishing with friends or family. When it came to fishing the “Old Newfie” always seemed to catch the biggest or the most all the time. Walter would often talk of his days as a commercial fisherman, with many an interesting story. Walter was a man who cherished his family and friends very much.
The Lundrigan’s final move was to Rosedale BC to be near their Daughter. The milder climate made their remaining years easier, with no wood to chop or snow to shovel. Although, he missed the wood heat, and never stopped wearing the wool long johns. Walter also managed to shovel any bit of snow that fell before it could melt. Walter was beloved and respected by his family and friends. He will be forever missed.
Walter was preceded by his Parents Patrick and Sarah (Slaney) Lundrigan, brothers Howard, Laurence, Jack, Rupert, and sister Clara (Lundrigan) Giovannini. Wife of 53 years Hope (Laidlaw) Lundrigan, Granddaughter Kimberly Lundrigan. Left to mourn his passing are daughter Sandra (Terry) Strand of Rosedale BC, sons Howard (Christine) Lundrigan of Surrey BC, Patrick (Susan) Lundrigan of Houston BC, Grandchildren Donna, Kathy, Peter, Kelly, Walter, Logan, along with several great grandchildren. Brother-in-laws, John (Marie) Laidlaw, Bob (Lori) Laidlaw both of Smithers BC, Walter Giovannini of PEI. Sister-in-laws, Clara Lundrigan of St.Lawrence Nfld, and Margaret Lundrigan of Nanaimo BC. Along with many nieces and nephews through out BC, Alberta, and Newfoundland.
Cremation took place in Chilliwack with Personal Alternative Funeral Services in care of arrangements. Family gathering at the Prince Rupert Harbour at a later date.