In loving memory of an Eccentric English Gentleman
It is with great sadness that the family of Michael Halsall announces his passing, on January 3, 2013 at the age of 87 years.
Born June 30, 1925 in Bridgetown, Barbados, British West Indies of English parents, ten minutes before his identical twin brother Tony (Miles Antony, predeceased).
Michael’s school years were spent in Britain. Despite being underage, Mickey and Tony joined the Royal Air Force (RAF) during the war hoping to become aircrew, pilots-observers or air gunners. The twins were not successful in becoming pilots during the war but Michael always maintained his keen interest in aviation and in 1960 earned his pilot’s licence. Later he even began building a two seat side-by-side aircraft in his living room and at age 69 went parachuting!
Mickey immigrated to Canada in 1955 moving initially to Vancouver. In 1957 he and a friend went prospecting for minerals in the Yukon for four months. He finally settled in Williams Lake where he had a varied career, first working at the newspaper, then sharing ownership of Progressive Printers and later working in a planer mill until his retirement.
Remembered in his community for his volunteer work with the Tetra Society, Michael used his creative talents and skills to make life easier for people with disabilities by custom designing and building assistive devices to improve their quality of life.
One of his first projects was building a frame to hold electronic drums for a woman who could only move her right leg and couldn’t speak, ”I got a bunch of samples and asked her what colour she wanted. She smiled at the colour she wanted and her eyes lit up. Now she’s bashing away on those drums every chance she gets.”
Mickey would never accept money for the cost of materials, “Many of these people are on fixed incomes and they just can’t afford it. My reward is the challenge of designing and building the projects and the satisfaction of helping others.”
An endearing eccentric Mickey will be remembered for his unorthodox views, “I do not believe in a biblical God but I do believe in U.F.O’s” as well as his love of old English pubs and animals but most of all Mickey will be remembered for his kind, kind heart and his generous child like spirit.
Michael will be lovingly remembered by his children, Christopher (Linda) and Georgina (Bernard), Myrna, his grandchildren Tess and Sandrine, his sister-in-law Anne and her children Pam (Gordon) and Barry (Helen), his great niece Sarah, his numerous nieces, nephews, extended family and his countless, “damn fine friends.”
A visitation will be held Saturday, January 12, 2013 at 1:00p.m. at Foster and McGarvey Sherwood Park Mill Woods Chapel, Edmonton.
Those who desire may make memorial donations in memory of Mickey to the SPCA.