August 4, 1944 – January 15, 2023
In Loving Memory ~
I have now said my final goodbye to my best friend. He was a loving husband, father, son and nephew. He seemed to be always on call for his parents, his in-laws and the Aunts and Uncles and he always went.
He also was an incredible worker on the farm. He loved hard work and was good at it. He rebuilt the barn, the fences and the outbuildings. He thoroughly enjoyed working with nature and livestock. As his health failed, he loved to have his kitties on his lap. (Cats were then allowed in the house.)
Peter was born to Ben and Betty Pears on August 4, 1944, and passed away early in the morning of January 15, 2023. He attended school at Crestomere until he was in high school and had to go to Ponoka for school.
He then moved to Werner and Helen Neilson’s home where he had to give up his sport and work to afford room and board as well as his car. He boarded through his school years and stayed on until he was married. He passed away in the early morning on January 15, 2023.
He married Betty Crooker on September 3, 1966. Peter worked for Cec Shantz the following winter while Betty attended the U of A in the Faculty of Education. That spring, they moved to Betty’s mother’s farm which had been horribly neglected by bad renters. Renters had drained the kitchen sink into the dirt cellar and dumped their garbage on the south side of the yard. Everything on the farm was a mess and the house was small, cold and had no running water. The kitchen stove used wood and coal.
In the spring, Peter was able to put a crop in with the help of John Hutchison, who was just retiring from farming. Peter and Betty lived with her folks while Peter worked to make the house habitable.
Betty interned and taught in the spring, then waitressed at the Juniper Lodge during the summer, before beginning her teaching position in the fall.
Peter continued working in the winter months. He worked on construction with Tom Hutchison and learned how to erect buildings and how to properly finish them, skills that Peter never lost. Tom was not only a master craftsman, but he was also a great teacher.
Peter and Betty had two children, Bradley (Robbie) and Jennifer (Garth) and two grandsons, Brendon (Ashley) and Ben. Peter’s greatest joy in life was having children and he was extremely proud of both of them.
Peter loved farming and eventually did very well at it. Following motherhood, Betty went back to teaching while leaving Jennifer, who was three, with Peter who was then building them a new house that winter.
Peter enjoyed sports and was good at them. He played ball even after marriage until farming became too busy.
Peter was very musical and loved playing the button accordion or mouth organ for enjoyment, as well as for his children and later on, his grandchildren who were regular overnight visitors at Pears’ farm. The children’s friends often joined them.
After retirement, Peter and Betty travelled extensively and camped and hiked in the summers, activities that they both loved. They walked on the Great Wall, stayed in a rustic lodge on the Amazon, took a gondola ride in Venice, and attended theatre in London to touch on a few trips. In the summer of 2002, they pulled a fifth wheel across Canada to NFLD and came home loving that trip and this beautiful country.
Travel was no longer possible when Peter’s health began to fail several years ago. Betty cared for him until she became unwell, at which time Jennifer came and took her dad home with her.
Peter survived a diagnosis of terminal cancer, but couldn’t overcome Alzheimer’s, mini-strokes and several brain bleeds. Jen eventually placed him in a home in Camrose.
He was predeceased by his sister, Carol, and his brother, Gerry.
He is survived by his wife, Betty, his children, his grandsons and his remaining siblings along with many cousins.
His memory is beyond precious and will live always in our hearts. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Lacombe FCSS or St Andrew’s United Church, Lacombe.
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