Richard (Dick) Albert Fyles, P.Eng., 78, of Armstrong, BC died unexpectedly on Sept. 1, 2008 in Quesnel, BC, following a heart attack. Born in Hull, Quebec on February 21, 1930 to Eileen Jennie Yeats and Ernest Noel Halton Fyles, he was predeceased by both parents, and his two sisters: Anne Elizabeth Fyles (PHD, Harvard), Shirley Maude Graham (MD, McGill). Dick grew up in Montreal, Quebec, graduated from the High School of Montreal in 1947, and received his Bachelor of Engineering (Mining) from McGill University in 1955. He married Shirley J. Swan on June 16, 1956 in Verdun, Quebec.
Dick began his engineering career at COMINCO mines in Kimberley and Tulsequah, BC. Subsequent career moves took the family to three mine sites in Mexico; Elliot Lake, Ontario; St. Lawrence, Newfoundland; then Dobie and Toronto, Ontario. In 1971 Dick, Shirley and three children relocated to Quesnel, BC where he became General Manager and Research Director of Crownite Industrial Minerals (Dome Petroleum). Later, he became President of Microsil Operating Company Ltd., leading to NewPac, offering Consulting services in Minerals Project Development, evolving into Dialite. In 1986 he joined the BC Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources. As chief regulator of mining operations in BC, he represented Canada in Geneva at the 13th session of the tri-partite Coal Mines committee of the International Labour Organization. He retired from the BC Ministry of Mines in 1995. At his death, Dick was pursuing his dream, the culmination of 30 years of research and development: bringing into production the Dialite project – a mobile diatomite plant.
Dick was actively involved in community activities. He was instrumental in the establishment of the first non-denominational high school in Marystown, Newfoundland. He was a member of the Lions Club, and a member and subsequently president of the Rotary Club in Quesnel, BC. His recreational initiatives in Quesnel included: membership in the “lunatic fringe” on the Block 31 project in Quesnel, and volunteering with the Sea Lion’s Swim Club in it’s early days. On Pender Island, BC, he was a Mt. Norman volunteer and a member of the Area Planning Committee. He was a Life Member of the Professional Mining Engineers Association and Canadian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy.
Dick will be remembered for his intellect, his sense of humour, and his love of literature, as well as his dedication, loyalty, frugality and loving nature.
He is survived by his wife of 52 years, Shirley J. Fyles of Armstrong; three children: Karen Elizabeth Fyles of Quesnel, Leslie Ann Reid of Revelstoke, and David Halton Fyles (Laura) of Salmon Arm; four grandchildren: Ashley and Kaylee Reid, Brandi-Lea Fyles-Russell, and Sean Fyles-Duggan; and nephew Richard Halton Graham.
At his request, Dick was cremated. A private family gathering, and scattering of his ashes, will take place. Donations to the Heart and Stroke Foundation, or a charity of your choice, may be made in his honour.
He lived life well.