March 21, 2023
In Loving Memory ~
Peter Josephy passed away on March 21, 2023 at age 100, in Oaxaca, Mexico, being lovingly cared for by his wife, Guadalupe.
Peter spent his early childhood as a privileged child, leading up to WW2. This was followed by unimaginably difficult experiences throughout the war years, the effect of which took years for him to overcome.
His desire to come to Canada was in response to his disrespect of government and to the nationalism which had fueled the Nazi regime.
He was an incredibly hard worker, and he and his first wife, Barendina, took on a lot. He worked full-time at the local mill in Quesnel, they built their first house, then a second on what is now the Richbar Nursery site, started a farm, and raised 8 children.
Peter and Barendina managed to build a successful nursery business with the hard work of staff and family that continues to this day. He and Barendina contributed to the beautification of the Cariboo, bringing in hardy plants, encouraging gardeners, and being involved in the early gardening clubs of the area.
He was renowned for his drive, determination, and a quick wit. Many felt the bite of his acerbic nature; the only antidote being a thick skin and sense of humour.
Recently when asked how old he was, he replied: "99 and I don't recommend it." His view was that it was "sad to die poor, but stupid to die rich." He was never interested in material wealth and suggested that "the answer to happiness was lessening one's desires."
While he suffered no fools, he was always proud of his children. With time, he even saw the humour of having to collect three of his sons, one Halloween night, from the local police detachment.
Once the next generation stepped into the family business, he mellowed. He started to travel to Mexico in the winter, where he met Guadalupe, who was to become his second wife.
This led to more than 40 happy years wintering in Mexico, where he enjoyed Lupe's music and company, concerts in the Zocalo, and many friendships. He continued to enjoy the summers in Canada, with him and Lupe travelling back and forth between Canada and his newly adopted Mexico.
During his early years in Mexico, he studied and became fluent in his 4th language—Spanish.
Peter was very social, and his highlights were family functions and visits with many of his long-term friends. On special occasions like Christmas and Easter, he took great pleasure in cooking the turkey and his special gravy for his loved ones.
Peter was very fortunate that he and Lupe had so many years together and Lupe was able to provide care for him during his last months in the sun. We are thankful to extended family in Mexico and to long-term helper and friend Fidel. Thanks as well to Peter's many home care nurses and doctors.
Peter was predeceased by his parents Gustav Josephy (1895-1944) and Johanna Nieske Josephy (1899-1970), his brother Gerhard (1946), his first wife Barendina (Bartje), his son Peter Rudolph Josephy, his daughter-in-law Heather Robertson, and his son-in-law William 'Toby' Carifelle.
Peter is survived by children Mark (Maureen), Vince (Eve), Walter (Susan), Albert (Laurie), Anne, Roy (Jean), and Beatrix (Robert), and stepchild Hector (Karen).
Peter was Opa to grandchildren Rebecca, Tatiana, Leonard, Eric, Vance, Carrie, Tara, Carli, Joel, Bonni, Brian, Lori, Robin, Kara, Erin, Alex, Taylor, Samantha, and Grace.
And will be remembered by Lupe's grandchildren Valeria, Tony, Greg, Ben and Alex
He is also survived by many great grandchildren and had friends and relatives from around the world including those in Canada, Netherlands, Costa Rica, Switzerland, Mexico, and the United States.
A private service for Peter was held in Oaxaca, Mexico on March 23. A celebration of life will be held this summer in Quesnel, with date and location to be announced shortly.
For those who wish to commemorate Peter, please consider a gift to the Quesnel Community Foundation.