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Waldemar Bellon

September 18, 1930 ~ April 16, 2023

Waldemar Bellon

Waldemar Bellon, Walter, to his friends, Boompa, to his grandkids, Dad, left us this year on April 16th. Having reached the age of 92, Waldemar landed himself in the hospital on March 24th, due to a fall. He was in great care and shown such great love in the last three weeks of his life in WGH. He had time for family and friends to visit and he instructed, “don’t be sad when I die, I had a great life”, and he was still confident that his tungsten stock would hit.

Born in Simferopol, Crimea, September 18, 1930, Waldemar was born into a time of war. By the age of seven he had lost his father, Wilhelm, to Stalin’s executions. By fourteen he was conscripted as a child soldier. Luckily in the spring of 1945, the war was over, and he didn’t see any combat action. His uncle Robert, a doctor and lung specialist, knew of the political rumblings and got him and his mother, Amelia, to West Germany before the Iron Curtain fell.

Waldemar lived and studied at a technical school for four years. He often spoke of his Master and the precision he expected. When he was done, his Master was leaving for America saying, “I’m going to work with the Americans to put a man on the moon.”  With all the American military in West Germany at the time, Waldemar was able to join up for a two-year stint. With his drive and unlimited ammunition available, he practiced till he became a top marksman.

Waldemar was planning to immigrate to the United States but with some obstacles going there, he was told Canada needs mechanics, and he got in right away. In 1953, like so many others, he took a boat to Halifax, to Pier 21. Dad was always happy to have come to Canada. He was sent to Colonsay, a town in Saskatchewan, for his first job. Winter winds blowing across the prairie, and work slowing down and now being a Canadian, he was free to move. The logging camps in BC needed mechanics and there was no shortage of work. He told stories of the many problems he solved from electrical to hydraulics. He became rated Master Mechanic within a couple years, with top pay. In Germany he would have had to work eight years after the four years trade school to become a Master. He called home and told his Mom, “They made me Master Mechanic!”

Dad had already been to the Yukon in 1956 and worked as a mechanic/welder on the dam in 1958. He bought the biggest “shack” in Whiskey Flats, cash, from a guy who was leaving the north, and didn’t want to rent, he wanted to sell. How much? $800. Dad pulled out his wad of cash and paid him on the spot. He now had riverfront property.  Wintering on Vancouver Island, in Duncan, Waldemar met Gisela, Christmas 1959. They were smitten right away. A girl that lives in a cabin with no power or running water and has straw for a bed, that’s the gal for me! In the spring of 1960, Dad said,” I’m going back to the Yukon” and Mom said,” I’m going with you!” Once back in Whiskey Flats, he built a dock and Mom swam across the river and back everyday naked; oh, those German girls. Dad would run down the riverbank with a blanket for her to coverup on the walk back.

Of course, Waldemar and Gisela didn’t own the land in Whiskey Flats, just the largest building there. With talk of moving the squatters out to build the future Rotary Park, Dad went looking for land. YTG had just developed the new Crestview subdivision in 1961. Crestview, at the time, was out of city limits on the, still winding, Alaska Highway. Dad bought highway frontage, and the clerk wrote ‘Waldemar’s Welding and Repair’ on the lot purchase. With the highway straightened, city limits expanded and residential zoning, Dad ended up in court with the city over his use of the land. The clerk’s handwritten note won the day and the judge ruled in his favour. Mom and Dad were industrious beyond belief, as well as raising five kids, they were building/development contractors and property managers; involved with over fifty properties at the height of their heyday. The building they left in Whiskey Flats was moved to Lodgepole Lane in West Porter Creek, just past Rabbit’s Foot Canyon. They continued to glance at it, to and from town for the remainder of their days, fond memories of their year by the river.

Waldemar leaves behind, his beloved Gisela, his loving wife of 63 years, who now resides in the Thomson Centre living with the fate of Dementia. Fortunately, she is happy and with children Robert, Michael, Waldemar Jr., Catarina and Gila, grandchildren Brody, Selena, Lara, Brandon, and Anya and extended families, she is well loved. She gets to look out on the river she swam so long ago, with her “schatzi”, Waldemar, watching out for her on the shore. One of the funny stories Dad liked to tell, was of a little boy who came and pulled on his pant leg and asked, “My Daddy wants to know when your wife goes swimming?” We’ll miss you Dad!

Please share any memories you have of Waldemar and Gisela with us; we would love to hear your stories


   Dad’s Poem

Dad You Taught Us

     Work Ethic

 To The Nth Degree

Principled To A Fault


   You Didn’t Teach Us

Hunting, Fishing Or Sports

      To Be With You

  We Plumbed & Wired

     Poured Concrete


  Freezing In The Bush

    You Made A Deal

     With The Moose

     You Stay Out Of

     My Living Room

  I’ll Stay Out Of Yours


Sometimes It Seemed

    You Taught Us

   What Not To Do

    Going Too Big

Too Heavy Too Much

  But You Did It With

   Unmatched Drive


  Real Estate Magnate

Some Thought You Were

 Trying To Buy The Town


Our Friends Thought We Were Rich

          We Laughed

    Our Clothes Came From

     Woolworths Bargain Bin


     But We Were Rich

     Dad You Gave Us

           So Much

  You Were Always There

 Whenever We Needed You



Comments (2)
  • 31 May 2023
    Maxine Lindsay

    Goodbye Mr. Bellon. I’m not sure if you remembered me, all those times I said hello to you and your gal. There were always smiles shared between us. Thank you so much for sharing your story. What a treat! All the best to the family.

    • 10 June 2023
      Gila Bellon

      Hello Maxine! I remember you clearly… nice to see your words.

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