Herbert Alexander Blakley, Sr.
May 29, 1921 – January 22, 2014
Herb Blakley was born May 29, 1921. He came into the world at the old hospital on 10th Street in Invermere, delivered by Dr. Coy. Herb passed away January 22, 2014 at Columbia House after a long illness, having had wonderful care while there. He was 92.
Herb’s first home was Blakley’s Radium Hot Springs Hotel, in the original village adjacent to the Hot Springs Pool in Kootenay National Park. The hotel was built by his parents, valley pioneers Captain John and Jessie Blakley. Herb had two brothers, Jock and Blair.
Herb attended school in Radium Hot Springs, Invermere and UBC. His time at UBC was interrupted by World War II, in which Herb served as an Air Force radar technician. While stationed in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Herb met Peggy Holland.After his return from overseas, they married and returned to Radium Hot Springs, followed by two years in Vancouver where Herb completed his Commerce degree. Herb and Peggy owned and operated Blakley’s Bungalows at Radium Hot Springs from 1946 to 1976. They had six children.
During off-seasons, Herb worked various jobs, including a winter in the Bahamas, one at Sunshine Ski Resort, and selling real estate in Calgary for two winters. Herb also ran the grocery store at the Springs for a number of years. Herb was one of the founding members and first president of the Radium Hot Springs Tourist Association and an active member of the Rocky Mountain Tourist Association. After they sold the bungalows, Herb operated his own real estate company.
Herb was an avid sailor. He and Peggy spent many happy hours sailing on Lake Windermere and in the Gulf Islands. He loved to travel and they enjoyed many trips overseas and in their motorhome. A gold mining adventure in the Yukon was an interesting experience, where Herb’s ability to fix anything was put to full use.
Herb was predeceased by his brothers Jock and Blair. He is survived by his wife Peggy; their six children; John (Monita), Buffy, David, Carol (Steve Coombes), Brian and Herb Jr.; ten grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. We will always have fond memories of his great storytelling, sense of humour and love of fun.
Instead of a funeral we plan to have a celebration of Herb’s life at a later date to be announced.