In Loving Memory (1929-2023) ~
Survived by his wife Lois. Predeceased by father Matthew and mother Elle.
Randy’s father Matthew worked as a federal agent settling and funding immigrants on agricultural land allotments. Also, Matthew owned and operated Crystal Lake Resort near Yorktown, Saskatchewan.
Randy’s mother competed on the German national swim team and after moving to Canada had roles in Tarzan movies. Randy fondly remembered his friendship with an RCMP dog handler, whose police dog Randy eventually inherited.
He proudly remembered saving up from after-school jobs to buy an outboard motor, borrowing his father’s rowboat and charging resort guests 25 cents for cruises on Crystal Lake.
Randy joined the RCMP when old enough. Favourite memories with the Mounties included the Musical Ride, security detail for Princess Elizabeth, security detail for Prime Minister Trudeau and dog handler duties.
After a full RCMP career, Randy started a security business. He met Lois at a dance he secured. They had much in common. They both came from families with side business resorts, and they grew up helping run the resorts. Also, they both had a thirst for adventure.
And so, they married. They bought a Cadillac convertible and headed generally West touring parks and points of interest in the U.S. and Canada. They ran low on money and out of road heading west at Vancouver.
Randy and Lois started their security business in the lower mainland. Randy offered consequential security. One hardware store owner reported break-in problems completely solved by the Sterzer Security Company but was slightly terrified by Randy’s police-like manner and his purpose-bred, purpose trained and less than cuddly police dog.
With Lois involved, the security business really took off beyond the world of small businesses. Simon Fraser University started up. Randy and Lois got the security contract. Plane hijackings became a thing and governments required airport security. Randy and Lois got the PWA contract. They owned a large home in Tsawwassen. Life was very good, and it involved boats with motors for fun and dogs to work with.
One sunny Sunday, while reading the paper, Randy noticed an ad for a fishing resort with clients signed up and all for sale located on the Babine River. On a whim, they bought the resort sight unseen. They knew how to run a resort as a sideline, the fishing was fantastic, the client’s lots of fun and the wilderness was captivating.
The Pacific Western Airline affiliation fit in well with bringing in clients economically. They started an outdoor store at Chicken Creek on the outskirts of Smithers, then bought a storefront in town and finally a location which came with a log home to live in, on Highway 16 near the road to Babine.
The Babine fishing resort and Randy’s Marine store eventually became their main interests, so they moved permanently to Smithers.
Randy did his own security with his police dog Zoro and surrounded himself with boats and outboard motors to his heart’s content. Lois manned the till and handled the business end of things. Randy and Lois never retired, or possibly it was all just for enjoyment and not work to retire from. They operated “Randy’s Marine” until no longer able to physically walk the short distance from home to the store.
Randy spent his last conscious moment in this spot surrounded by the boats, outboard motors, and outdoor gear he loved and with a dog by his side.
Randy did not live a risk-averse life. When with the RCMP he survived two either potentially or truly fatal incidents involving firearms and a deadly high-speed cruiser pile-up.
At Babine, he liked to play rough and tumble with a grizzly bear. Eventually, he survived several potentially fatal illnesses. When asked how he managed to live so long, and through hazardous circumstances, Randy replied “Eat enough good food, get lots of sleep, do not work too hard and instead, do what you love.”
Randy wished to be remembered as Constable Randolph Sterzer RCMP retired. We thank Randy’s doctors, Kawerninski and Strauss, the excellent home care / nursing system in Smithers and members of the community who stepped up to help when needed.
All of these contributed to his long and happy life. No flowers, no memorial, and ashes to Crystal Lake.
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