Lake

Floyd Dorvin Pickett

May 25, 2021

Obituary

It is with great sadness we mark the passing of FLOYD DORVIN PICKETT to heaven. Originally a proud and long time farmer from the big-bend area near Taber, Floyd retired with Dorothy in Hillcrest. Floyd was a man who never lost his youthful exuberance for life - even at 95. He laughed easily and was always up for mischief. He was a dedicated family man who enjoyed time with family and friends, especially if it was on the water with a fishing rod in his hand. Floyd was deeply wise, yet humble, and possessed a charismatic charm that attracted people and made them feel at home in his presence. He was a social butterfly who never turned down a cup of coffee with at least 4 spoonfuls of sugar, or the opportunity to dance with the ladies. We will miss him greatly, but are comforted knowing that Floyd finally has gotten his wish to be with Dorothy. Many thanks to the angels (staff) at Vista-Village in Pincher Creek.

Private Family Service will be held at a later date.

A passing is not a day in a lifetime but a lifetime in a day: It is with great sadness we mark the passing of Floyd Pickett to heaven.  Floyd was  a son, a brother, a husband, a father, an uncle, a grandfather, a great grandfather, and a great-great-grandfather. Floyd loved his people, and made everyone feel welcome.  Here are some stories from some of his people, specifically his grandchildren.

Story 1:  Floyd loved Dorothy.   

Story 2:  Floyd had joyful mischief in his soul.  At his 90th birthday party he set a goal to dance with every girl at the party, and put deeds to words, flirting, dancing, and laughing the day away. His joy was infectious and everyone who was there smiles when they talk about it. Floyd was relentlessly positive.

Story 3:  Out on the lake teaching his grandchildren to waterski his patience was legendary. When the rest of the adults were ready to throw in the towel, or maybe throw us kids back in the lake, he would just laugh and say we’ll take one more pass.

Story 4:  Floyd made being strong look effortless.  Once he drove to Whitehorse to help out one of his daughters, and years later at a family reunion a cousin was asking about it. Floyd didn’t seem to think that a parent helping his children was noteworthy, even if that help involved literally driving to the arctic circle. He knew what was right and just did it.

Story 5:  Floyd loved music. He had a large music collection and loved to sing and play harmonica. Even after his dementia robbed him of much of his memory, he could still be counted on to remember the words to favourite songs and would sing them with visitors or play them on his harmonica.

Story 6:  Floyd was a man of action and a super cool Grandpa.  In addition to his success as a farmer, he was also a paratrooper in WWII, and a professional hockey player.  As well, when he was 85 and 86, he hiked the entire Macchu Pichu site in the Peruvian Andes at an altitude of about 8000 feet for the entire day, keeping up with other hikers who were half, or in some cases,  a quarter of his age! 

Story 7:  Once Mandi and Suki went fishing with Floyd.  They wanted to suntan on the boat, and asked him to wake them in 30 minutes so that they could roll over.  He did not wake them.  When the two cousins woke up, they discovered that they were lobsters!  Aggravated the girls said, “Grandpa you didn’t wake us up!”  He looked at them and with a silly grin said, “Hey girls, roll over!  You’re a little red!” (Did we mention that he was mischievous?)

We were all grateful to have had him in our lives and to have been influenced by him.  Knowing him made us all better people. 

 

Hi, this is Suki - one of the kids lucky enough to have had Floyd as a grandfather. When we came together to share memories of grandpa, I found it difficult. SO many swirling memories, it was like trying to share drops of water from an ocean. Grandpa was big, loving, ocean.

If you knew Floyd, you probably heard the number of times Dorothy, ("Mother", as he affectionately called her) would say "FLOYD PICKET, you get over here and clean this mess up RIGHT NOW!".

You probably heard him say (after being a relentless flirt) that even if he "CAUGHT a lass" at some point.. “I wouldn’t know what to do with her! I’d just RUN!” And we’d all laugh.

He had so many amazing stories that left us rolling... Like the day that Floyd and "Mother" were in the field working. A small Garter Snake appeared, so Floyd picked it up with a stick to show Dorothy. She screamed, "And WHOOP! Her skirt went up over her head and she started running to beat the band!"

There were tales of an infamous family card game between the boys and the girls. Floyd was particularly unimpressed with the outcome of one game.. “They were cheating! So he swept up all the damn cards and tossed 'em out the window!"

You might remember how furious granny was on their wedding day. Grandpa and his best man/friend, Aurel Buta, had gone out drinking the night before (which turned into the next day). “I was so mad! There your Grandfather was.. walking down the aisle drunk as a SKUNK!”

As my family mentioned, grandpa was a proud paratrooper in the Second World War. At one point he was a prison guard and because of his uncanny ability to befriend everyone he met, Floyd grew close to one of the German soldiers he was guarding. The soldier even gave him a hand-made lighter - crafted from a bolt, with two 1944 German Farthings on either side to contain the lighter fluid.

He loved music and to sing… one time, making a hard situation better by singing with his daughter and granddaughter all the way from White Horse to Taber. I am that granddaughter and (as all of us), was gifted with “Grumpy".

I remember playing a solitaire game on the old Tandy TRS-80 computer. I was busy taking every card that popped up which was playable. He said, "Now hold on, sweetheart... Don’t take ALL the cards. If you pass up on a few, you will win the game." And he was right! Not only did I start winning at Solitaire, he gave me an invaluable life lesson that has stuck to this day. If I pass on some things I think I “need" (in the moment), it can make room for the possibility of something even greater.

Armed with a good cup of coffee and a friend, Grandpa could talk endlessly about the meaning of life and the Universe... politics… education... science... you name it! Grandpa loved cereal and knew the best ways to introduce milk to delicately stacked Shredded Wheat. And when to add the brown sugar to his favorite: Cream of Wheat. I remember one time when I was a kid, grandpa said, "Come here! I want to show you something." He put me up on the table and brought two spoons. Handed me one, then took the lid off the sugar jar and proceeded to take a teaspoon full of sugar. Winked and said, "Don’t tell your grandmother!" then put it in his mouth.

Grampa was a carpenter/master-craftsman. He love to build! ..And to camp! Like my family has mentioned, grandpa and gran’s favorite years were probably those spent on lakes throughout British Colombia and Alberta, in their beautiful fifth-wheel RV. Floyd was friends with everyone. He made a point of stopping at every camper in the morning, calling through the window, “Is the coffee on?!” and then spend the perfect amount of time relaxing and enjoying meaningful conversations. I had to laugh when grandpa got his new camcorder in the 80's! Instead of filming regular things, you would often find him filming family pictures and narrating about them. Who the people were and stories. It was hilarious to me that he did that with a VIDEO camera, but it was because the most important part of life to him was his family and friends.

And his "Back 40". An ever-expanding, deeply loved garden, which Floyd spent endless hours tending to and dreaming up ways to improve.

He would often say that music is another form of laughter... that laughter is the best medicine... and wanted us to always feel at home. Like everyone who knew our magical grandpa, I miss him with all my heart. But I know we will dance and sing again!

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