January 28, 1921 – August 18, 2015
It is with great sorrow that Ed’s family announces his death at Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops, BC at the age of 94. He was predeceased by Bonnie, his best friend and wife of 70 years. He is survived by his children Marilyn (Harold) Gordon of Kamloops, Donna (Derek) Cox of Black Creek, Kathy (Clayton) Martin of Cowichan Bay, Gerry (Rosa, deceased) Ellis of Kamloops, and Jack (Claire) Ellis of Crofton, foster children Richard and Jeannie Hanuse and their families, along with 16 grandchildren, 19 great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandson. Ed was born John Oliver Gossel in Winnipeg, MB and at the age of seven months was adopted by the Ellis family of Shellbrook, SK. He graduated from high school at Macdowall, SK in 1939 and enlisted in the RCAF. After completing basic training at the Manning Depot in Toronto, he went to flying school in Trenton hoping to become a bomber pilot. But because of air sickness, he went back to Toronto where he trained in mechanics and motor transport. While stationed at No. 5 Bombing & Gunnery School at Dafoe, SK, he met Bonnie who was a cook in the officers’ mess and they were married there in 1943. They were the first RCAF couple in Canada to receive permission to marry while both were in uniform.
After being posted to Prince Rupert and Prince George, Ed left the RCAF in 1946 and the family moved to Campbell River where he began his career in the trucking industry, driving for General Construction during the building of John Hart dam. In 1947 he, Bonnie and their 2 daughters moved to the Comox Valley where he drove for Island Freight until it was bought by CP Transport at which time he quit driving to become terminal manager. In 1959, Ed was transferred to Port Alberni for a year then to Campbell River. After leaving CP Transport in the late 1960s, he went back driving, first for Orecan Mine, then for Kelsey Bay Freight and finally for Westmin (now Nyrstar Myra Falls) eventually becoming manager at the Tyee Spit loading dock and weekend supervisor at the mine. Retiring in 1985, Ed and Bonnie moved to Kamloops to join their son Gerry in his trucking business.
Dad was very well liked and respected by everyone he knew and worked with, and he was very devoted to his family. He loved us unconditionally, and by example taught his children the importance of dedication, honesty and loyalty in whatever we did without looking for special recognition. We are so grateful that he passed suddenly and peacefully and is now reunited with Mom. He missed her every day since her death 15 months ago, and they are both now with God.
The family thanks Dr. Andrew Wynne and the staff at The Hamlets at Westsyde for their compassion and care, and Personal Alternative Funeral Services for final arrangements.
Ed and Bonnie will be commemorated on a plaque at the Maritime Heritage Centre in Campbell River, and their ashes will be interred at Hillside Cemetery in Kamloops in May 2016.