Valley mourns loss of Neil Muth

People throughout the Columbia Valley join the family of Neil Muth as they mourn the loss of the ColumbiaBasin Trust CEO.

People throughout the Columbia Valley join the family of Neil Muth as they mourn the loss of the ColumbiaBasin Trust CEO, husband and father who passed away at the age of 57, last week.

“I’d like to express my sincere condolences to Neil’s wife Cathy and the children,” said Minister of Energy and Mines Bill Bennett in a press release. “As a long-time resident of the Columbia Basin and as the Minister responsible for Columbia Basin Trust, I will be forever grateful for the knowledge, wisdom and vision Neil shared with me on many, many occasions. Neil has been taken from us far too soon, but his contributions to the growth of the Trust and to the people of the Basin will live on forever.”

Born and raised in Trail B.C, Neil joined the Trust in 2005, excited to return to the region from Victoria where he served as vice-president of Private Placements, the British Columbia Investment Management Corporation. His excitement in the position manifest his passion for an interest in virtually all aspects of the Basin communities which included their projects and aspiration in addition to the local highlights for places to ski, eat and grab a cup of coffee.

“His passion for the Basin came partly from his youth in Trail but largely from his appreciation for the natural beauty of the region and his respect for rural residents,” Greg Deck, former chair of the RDEK and ColumbiaBasin Trust, said.

Deck, who was a director on the Trust board and part of the search committee that hired Neil, said he enjoyed the growth of their relationship over the years, starting and finishing as both colleagues and friends.

“I already miss Neil very much,” he said. “He was a skilled executive who was both very professional and very approachable. He was as comfortable in a corporate board room as he was in a community meeting. He was devoted to his family and distinguished as both a father and executive by his unwavering integrity and personal charm.”

Over the past 11 years, Muth has accrued an array of accomplishments as president and CEO of the Basin Trust,but will be remembered for his appreciation and respect for the Trust’s mission statement which focuses on ensuring the Trust work closely with communities to meet their needs on an ongoing basis.

“While he left us much too early, we will do our best to honour Neil by continuing to work closely with communities and people just like he did,” Trust Chair Rick Jensen said.

“His biggest legacy will be the team of young staffers whom he recruited and then mentored,” Deck continued. “I will remember both his many corporate achievements and how much fun he was to be around.”

Neil is survived by his wife Cathy and three children, John, Emily and Hilary, who will hold a private service and will also be establishing a scholarship fund in his name. Donations can be made to: CIBC account 05070/45-51311 c/o Columbia Basin Trust. Any stories, memories or messages can be sent to or theTrust office at 300, 445 13th Avenue, Castlegar, BC V1N 1GN.