Former Comox mayor Russ Arnott has lost his battle with cancer.
Arnott passed away on Nov. 11.
Arnott lived in Comox for 26 years where he raised his family and served as a member of town council in 2008, and again in 2014. He was elected mayor in 2018 and spent a total of 11 years on council volunteering his time and efforts towards the enhanced livability of the town of Comox.
He also served 35 years with the federal public service, with 26 years supporting the safety of the mariners in Canadian waters and the protection of marine environment with the Canadian Coast Guard. The last nine years have been with the Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Comox Housing Agency, where he managed housing solutions for military members and their families.
Arnott had announced his intention to run for re-election in the spring, but health issues forced him to withdraw from his re-election bid just one day prior to the closing of nominations.
“I’ve had a great run these past four years (11 altogether as councillor) and cherished every moment serving you but life has very recently thrown me a curve ball that I did not see coming,” he posted to his Facebook page, on Sept. 8. “So now Yolonda and my family look after me… I hate goodbyes but there’s not much else to say…”
Arnott leaves behind his partner, Yolonda, five children and seven grandchildren.
“Russ was such an influential person to not only us his family, but the entire community, it’s heartbreaking,” said his step-daughter, Hope Lewis.
Comox Mayor Nicole Minions offered condolences on behalf of the Town of Comox.
“On behalf of Town of Comox council and staff (past and present) we send our sincere condolences to Russ’s family; Yolonda, Ben and Jessica, family, friends and co-workers. We send strength to those who have taken care of our colleague and friend in these past months.
“Russ has been a community pillar for decades, being awarded Freedom of the Town last month. We give thanks for the 11 plus years of community service Russ served most recently as our mayor. His legacy will continue in the lessons he taught and the positive change brought into Comox. Rest in peace.”
Courtenay-Comox MLA Ronna-Rae Leonard passed along her condolences.
“Through the decades, Russ was at the ready to serve the community he so clearly loved,” she said. “He never hesitated to advocate for his town’s priorities and Comox has benefitted from his leadership. His vision for an enduring quality of life that is the magic of Comox today and tomorrow is his legacy. Condolences to Yolonda and his whole family and gratitude to them for sharing him with the whole community.”
More to come…