Born in Virden, MB, on February 22, 1924, Dick passed away on January 30, 2012, at 87 years of age.
The Hadland family moved to Baldonnel, BC, where Dick grew up working on the farm, going to school and playing hockey. In 1938, he attended high school in Fort St. John and in 1942 attended Craigdarroch Castle (predecessor of UVic) for Senior Matriculation. That summer he worked as a chainman for Duncan Cran BC Land Surveyors as they surveyed the road to the Beaton River Airport, which was on the Northwest Staging Route during WWII. In 1943, he enrolled at the Royal Roads Naval Officers Training School in Victoria and was discharged due to a damaged eye and an old knee injury. While attending UBC, he continued to play hockey – this time for the UBC Thunderbirds.
Dick loved farming and, with his father’s Army Surplus TD 14 cat and a WD9 tractor,
he embarked on a lifelong venture to farm “across the Beaton.” Many enduring friendships were made during the development of the farm. In 1947 he met Arla, and they married in 1948. Together they had three children: Terry, Randy, and Marion.
Dick’s love of quality farm machinery led to his involvement and part-ownership of Wepsan Sales. Dick was president of the South Peace Seed Cleaning Co-op, served on the Canadian Grain Commission, and won first place for the best grain sheaves at the Dawson Creek Fall
Fair. He was active in supporting minor hockey in his roles as a coach and a commissioner.
He also helped with the first speed skating oval in Dawson Creek during the days when ice preparation and snow clearing was all done by hand. Dick’s sons, Terry and Randy, participated in this sport.
Dick and Arla raised their family and developed a successful farm. After the passing of Arla in 1984, Dick began phasing into retirement.
He met Luella at a Groundhog Day Singles Dance in Fort St. John and they married in 1986. Together they travelled and visited with relatives both old and new. They went on cruises to the South Pacific and the Panama Canal, and, with Luella’s encouragement, Dick was actively engaged in the blending of his and her families.
Both of Luella’s sons, Geoff and Steve, were employed in the family farm and formed an attachment with Dick. In Luella’s words, Dick restored their faith in mankind by being a role model. In particular, he formed a strong attachment with both Jenny and Megan. Grandchildren plus great grandchildren were now happening and he enjoyed them all. Dick and Luella took an active interest in Tim and Arlo’s hockey careers. In the past year-and-a half, Dick had a life struggle in which he was lovingly supported by Luella and the whole of his blended family.
One of Dick’s last pleasures was having Luella drive him in the van to see the country. Dick had a long life well lived and was lovingly supported by his family. In family circles, it has been said that Dick was lucky to have been married to two wonderful women.