With sadness we announce the passing of Kenneth Harden Collier. Ken worked for the BC Fire Marshal’s office from 1953-1986 and was Commissioner of Fire Safety 1979-1986.
Born in Kamloops and growing up in Vancouver, Ken was a natural athlete who excelled at lacrosse and soccer, perhaps inspired by his maternal grandfather who was captain of the Glasgow Celtics. Ken developed a lifelong love of music, learning trumpet and later playing in the Westminster Regiment marching band in many PNE parades.
In the Second World War Ken volunteered for overseas service and was a machinist in the army, a trade he had learned at Hastings Brass. He joined the Fire Marshal’s office on the provincial hydrant standardization project and then as inspector. He completed a degree in Public Administration and later achieved his Fire Engineering credentials (IFE). He became Deputy Fire Marshal and later Commissioner of Fire Safety.
Over the years Ken evolved from a man of quiet reserve to an entertaining speaker and story-teller. His many interests included salmon fishing with friend Mike Sheldon, and golfing with his fire service friends and Burnaby Mountain Seniors’ Golf Club.
Ken married Anne Skrypnyk of Revelstoke in 1949 and they enjoyed 40 years together raising daughters Sharon and Maureen, enjoying their home and beautiful garden and many adored dogs. Sadly, Anne passed away in 1989. Older brother Bill also predeceased him.
Ken will be remembered as a kind, warm-hearted, generous person who valued his many enduring friendships. He deeply loved his family and received in return our great respect for his integrity and compassion. He was a truly honourable man. Ken is survived by Marjorie King, his dear partner for twenty years, his daughters Sharon (Peter) and Maureen (Jim) and his beloved granddaughter, Lauren (Arend). A special thank you to staff of Burnaby Hospital ward 3C for the excellent care Dad received.
A celebration of Ken’s life will be held Thursday, June 21 at 1 pm in the Firefighters Conference Centre, 6515 Bonsor Ave, Burnaby. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the SPCA or the Heart and Stroke Foundation.