Eric Archibald Strimbold, at the age of 72 passed away peacefully on November 8, 2002, after a courageous battle with ill health.
Archie was born in Smithers, the first child of Eric and Ivy Strimbold. He began his young life in Topley, as quoted by Archie in his book “My whole world lay between North Bulkley and Forestdale for the first 10 to 12 years of my life.” In 1944 Archie began his career as a logger at the tender age of 14. He never looked back at that choice as an error. He loved the bush.
Archie’s first venture at business was being a partner in Strimbold Sawmill and Planning Company with his parents and brother-in-law Lee Bremner.
In 1954 he married his devoted wife, Viola Johnson, who stood by his side for 48 years. They lived in Topley for the first few years of their marriage, from there they moved to Decker Lake. In 1976 they moved to Forestdale where they ventured into cattle ranching running 7-S Ranch. While ranching, Archie was able to acquire one of the first woodlots in the area, keeping his interest in the forest industry. Later on, Archie and Viola resided on the shores of Elwin Lake and then due to a down turn in Archie’s health they left the lake and moved into their home at Decker Lake.
Archie and Viola started their own company, E.A. Strimbold Ltd. in 1965 and had many hardships and successes as business owners. Archie worked wherever he could find work, from Hazelton to McBride. This was the beginning of his venture into becoming a logging and road-building contractor. One of the first jobs was out at Andrew Bay where they spent six years. From there they broke ground for the site of Babine Forest Products Sawmill and became Babine’s first logging contractor.
Archie was never content to sit back and let things happen. He was always one to get involved. He was an active member in the Central Interior Loggers Association; Bulkley Valley Cattlemen’s Association; Omineca Ski Club; B.C. Woodlot Federation and Woodlot Product Development Council to name a few of the organizations that he took part in. Part of what Marvin read at the Celebration of Archie’s life, on behalf of all the children sums this up: “Dad would say if you want change, get involved, make it happen, don’t stand back. He led by example.”
He is survived by his loving wife, Viola, five children and 10 grandchildren: Paul (Liane) Eric, Bjorn; Karen (Peter) Lars, Jonas; Marvin, Karl, Derek, Erika, Luke; Max (Laurel) Kurt, Amanda; Carolyn (Jim). Sister and brother-in-law: Linda and Lee Bremner. Brother and sister-in-law: Frank and Dianne Strimbold. Brother-in-law and wife: Rolf and Sherry Johnson. Numerous nieces, nephews, great nieces and nephews and other family.
Archie will be sadly missed by all but we can find comfort in knowing he is now set free.