Karl Rohn was born in Leader, Saskatchewan on January 16, 1919 and passed away in the early hours of April 22, 2005 in G.R. Baker Memorial Hospital in Quesnel after a brief illness.
In 1926, the close-knit Rohn family, Mattias and Barbara with their four sons and one daughter left Leader, Saskatchewan and traveled west to settle on a farm on the shores of the Arrow Lakes in the little West Kootenay village of Renata. Carl’s father became the town’s blacksmith and everyone worked the farm until their village was submerged in Arrow Lakes as water rose due to construction of BC Hydro dams and folks were relocated in neighboring communities.
Carl volunteered to serve time during WWII in the Royal Canadian Air Force as a Lancaster aeroplane mechanic in both Canada and England. (See Quesnel Cariboo Observer article on Nov. 10, 2002 titled “WWII saw families fighting on many fronts.”) Carl returned to civilian life in the Kootenay district and began his career with the BC Forestry in 1950. The first major posting as Ranger was to Penny (Prince George) in 1959 and Carl is often mentioned in the book “Grizzly Mountain” by Boudreau. He was transferred as Ranger to District 13 (later known at RD 17) in Quesnel in 1962. Everyone west of the Fraser River up to Tweedsmuir Park knew and respected Ranger Carl Rohn – a quiet man who required all the facts before he made a fair and reasonable assessment of any given situation. After the ‘reorganization’ of the Forestry Department in 1979, Carl remained with the Quesnel District Forestry as Office Manager until his retirement from service in 1982.
In August 1970 in Kamloops, B.C., Carl married Helga Watrin Sewell, a widowed mother of two young boys. They established their home on Grosz Road in the South Hills area of Quesnel and Carl wholeheartedly accepted the dual role of loyal husband and involved father to the boys.
Carl lived in Quesnel for the last 44 of his 86 years and considered the district one of the most beautiful in the world. He took time to explore, play golf and to fish. He enjoyed travel but loved the coming home part best.
Carl was an active member of the Quesnel Volunteer Firefighters from 1963 to 1970. He was proud to be a ‘Life Member’ of the Quesnel Volunteer Firefighters Assn. and would always quietly encourage others to participate. Monday meetings were especially important for him. Carl supported the aims and was an active Life Member of the Quesnel Branch of the Royal Canadian Legion. He gave time generously to many committees and attended most functions. He was a man of strong loyalties, a caring nature, astute mind and quick wit.
Carl was pre-deceased by his parents Mattias and Barbara Rohn, brothers Matt and John of Castlegar, youngest stepson Gary Robert Sewell and wife Helga Sewell Rohn.
Many people will celebrate Carl’s life and value having known him, including his loving companion June Symenuk, brother Warren (Ev), sister Anne (Jack) Young, Rose (widow of John) Rohn, stepson Gordon Edward (Ellen Sambirsky) Sewell, grandchildren Meghan Elaine (Daniel) Pontius, James William Andrew, Alexander Robert, their mother Judith Sewell, family friend Maureen Young, sister-in-law Kathy McArthur and all the many well-beloved nephews, nieces and their families. He will be sorely missed by his loving family and many friends in the communities of Quesnel, Castlegar and Trail.
Our grateful thanks go to all the doctors and staff at G.R. Baker Memorial Hospital in Quesnel for their care of Carl and for their support for the family during this difficult time.
Cremation by Clayton’s followed by interment at Prince George Cemetery. By Carl’s request no services will be held. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the charity of your choice.