Cecil Warren Reynolds was born January 12, 1912 in Delisle, Saskatchewan, the seventh of James and Elizabeth Reynolds’ twelve children. When Cecil was five, the family moved to Chilco, north of Vanderhoof.
Life in Chilco was very difficult, but the family persevered. James died of cancer on March 27, 1925, leaving Elizabeth with seven children still at home. Her only income was $7.50 per child per month, until each reached the age of 16. This forced Cecil to leave school after the seventh grade to find work to help out at home.
In the 1930’s Cecil worked at several different jobs. As a ranch hand on the Mandalay Ranch on the Stuart River he made $30 per month, including room and board. He also was a ranch hand at the Cotton Ranch in the Cariboo for eleven months. When he came home, brother John Reynolds took his place. Cecil once hiked all the way to Manson Creek, cut camp firewood for three days, and hiked home because there was no work, 120 miles each way. Cecil and John worked for Bob Adams on a placer mine, where they flew in and out.
In 1939 the family moved to Fort St. James, where they became lifelong friends of the Lopier, Reid and Timms families, to name a few. Cecil farmed at Sowchea Bay for Earl Buck and did some guiding with Skook Davidson. He was watchman on a flume that brought water to the Germansen mine. When brothers Walter, John and Percy went off to war, Cecil stayed home to take care of their mother.
One June 1, 1943, Cecil left Fort St. James on a survey party and returned October 1. It was that summer that Cecil met Dave Hanson. They were reunited at the Lakes District Fall Fair in 2000, and spent the next day reminiscing at Walter and Audrey Read’s.
In February, 1945, Cecil came to Forestdale to work for brother George. Since that time, all Cecil’s work was in logging, lumbering and farming. He worked at Star Planer, Omineca Lumber, Pearson’s and Decker Lake Forest Products, from where he retired.
Tired of his own cooking, in the spring of 1949 he met Jean Long. Problem solved! He married one of the best cooks anywhere on September 24, 1949, and moved to the former Wessel place in Palling (now owned by Steve and Evelyn Siegner). This was the first property the Longs had moved to in 1924 when they came to Palling.
Daughter Mary was on on July 26, 1950. Fifteen months later, double trouble twins Marleen and Colleen arrived, adding to the excitement. In 1954, the family moved, house and all, to the main old Long place, where Jean had grown up. On June 26, 1964, son Jack was born into a family of proud parents and doting sisters. The Palling community became a large, extended family for Cecil and his crew.
Cecil worked hard at the kind of honourable jobs that are done with your hands. He was always working, but never built up a huge bank balance. He became rich in more important ways. Cec’s love for music, dancing, reading, cards, children, family and friends gave him a lifetime of pleasure, which he enjoyed until the very end. Cec danced with his girls held high above the floor in his strong arms and taught them old-time dances long before they went to school. “No one could cut a mean rug like Dad!”
Sandy Long’s reminiscence about working for Uncle Cec.
Cecil was blessed to be able to watch his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren grow into good, happy, honest and hardworking people. The love that he and Jean showered on all their family and community continues to flow back to them through their descendents and friends. How many can claim that success? A wise writer once asked “What is the measure of a man?” What we can say about Cecil Warren Reynolds is that to measure him is going to take a tall yardstick.
A celebration of Cecil’s life was held Saturday, may 24, 2003 at the Island Gospel Fellowship.
Old Time Fiddle Music played softly prior to the service presented by Susan Scott (Reynolds) niece.
The eulogy was read by Sandy Long (nephew). Fond memories of Cecil from former employer Larry Hope and friends Archie Smith and Bob Saul were read by Susan and Sandy.
Hymns, The Old Rugged Cross and How Great Thou Art were accompanied by Margaret Long (sister-in-law).
Musical tribute “Rise Again” was played and sung by the Long family and a musical tribute by Russ Caplette and Jan Morgan “Sweet Journey’s Waltz”, “Cowboys Last Wish”.
Cecil was loved and cherished by family and many friends.
Wife: Jean. Family: Mary (Bernard) Johnson, Michael, Tara, Carla, Marleen (Tom) Hiebert, Rick, Kari-Anne, Cheryl (Jarrett) Anderson, Devin, Brooke, Colleen (Ian) Anderson, Curtis, Crystal (Nolan) Miller, Jack. Brother: John. Sisters: Pearl Reynolds and Muriel Peters. Many nieces and nephews.
Predeceased by: Parents: James 1926, Elizabeth 1966. Brothers: Milton 1909, Archie 1920, William 1961, Edward 1969, Walter 1987, George 1989, Percy 1990. Sister: Alva 1987. Grandson: Ronald Alan Hiebert 1971.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in memory of Cecil at CIBC to the B.C. Children’s Hospital.
Cecil will always be remembered as loving, gentle, kind, a hard worker, reliable and honest.
He was a wonderful hus-band, father, grandfather, great grandfather and friend.