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Harry Mathias

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Harry Edwin Mathias

January 19, 1930 - June 16, 2014


Harry Edwin Mathias passed away peacefully at home with his family by his side on Monday, June 16, 2014 at the age of 84.  Harry was born on January 19, 1930 in Weyburn, Saskatchewan though his family soon moved so he spent most of his youth in various locations in British Columbia.  He graduated from UBC in 1954 and became a teacher, starting teaching in 1955 in the West Kootenays. He married his love, Evelyn Hawkins, on July 7, 1956. Harry and Evelyn settled in Cranbrook and Harry spent the next 31 professional years at Mount Baker Secondary School. Harry retired from teaching in 1987.

Evelyn and Harry raised three children: Grant, who predeceased them in 1980, Lynne (Steve) Newhouse and Leslie (Mark) Molnar. Harry has four grandchildren: Jake Molnar, Daniel Zimmer, Marissa Molnar and Jocelyn Molnar.

Harry was an active person in the community, always willing to help others.  He was particularly involved with the Cranbrook and District Teachers’ Association, several charities and the CCF (later known as the NDP). Harry ran for MLA for the BC NDP party in 1983.  Harry and Evelyn became honorary life members of the NDP in 1996.

Harry and Evelyn both loved to garden. Harry loved to travel. Before retirement, he took his family, mostly camping, to many places in Canada and the US. After he retired, he and Evelyn took 38 major trips, to places including Cuba, Venezuela, China, Europe and Great Britain.

Harry believed in pursuing social issues, and was a positive, loving individual with a strong devotion to family. He will be missed.

A funeral service will be held on Saturday, June 21st at 2:00 PM at the Cranbrook United Church. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Canadian Cancer Society.  Condolences may be left for the family at


Send a condolence, light a candle and/or share a memory, click "Send Condolence". Once your message has been approved by the moderator it will be posted to the website.

Pages: 12

From: Mark Memorial Funeral Services Staff

Mark Memorial Funeral Services Staff send our condolences to family and friends.

From: Marilyn Burden
Relation: Uncle

Thoughts, prayers, and hugs to Aunt Evelyn, my cousins Lynn, Leslie and their families. Wish I could be there, but do know we will be with you in spirit this weekend. Uncle Harry will certainly be missed, and definitely never forgotten. Love to you all,
Dave, Marilyn and family.

From: connie and dan madsen
Relation: friend of lynne and steve

Sad day for your family. Our thoughts and prayers go out for you all.

From: Jamie Gripich
Relation: He was my History 12 teacher

I loved that such a straight guy like Mr. Matthias allowed us to call him “Harry”, I believe he knew those of us who meant it with great respect. Such a solid mind, with a magnificent grasp of history, how it plays itself out and how it seems to replicate itself. I was such a busy student, involved in extra curriculars, and one day Harry threw my B+ paper down on my desk and said to me: “it’s frustrating to me, I wish you would try and see what you really could do.” No note of anger – simply, sincerity – an educator trying to make a young person “wake up”. It stuck with me – and I’ve told the story countless times. When we left for University in 1982 we were drawn to the “I’m just Wild About Harry” campaign slogan when he ran in the 1983 provincial election – not an easy thing to go against an incumbent, but Harry did it for the Party,and he always had my admiration for that. I am fortunate to know, not well, his wonderful children, and that doesn’t happen by accident. My, and my family’s, sympathies go out to Harry’s family and friends at this difficult time. An educator has such an indelible impression on so many, and I am sure there are many more just like me that just can’t think of anything but good thoughts of the impression Harry left on all of us.

From: Doreen
Relation: Student

Mr. Mathias was one of my favorite teachers. He will forever be a part of my growing up memories.

From: Dan Melody
Relation: Student

I never had Mr. Mathias as one of my Teachers at Mt, Baker, but I had lots of contact with him in the halls and always enjoyed his quick wit and wise humor!
Sad to lose such a wonderful man and I hope the Family gathers strength from all the years of fine Memories.

From: Susan Killam Fisher
Relation: He was my history teacher in Mount Baker

My gratitude and a life lived as well as my enduring love of social studies and history is owed in part to Mr. Mathias. When all else seemed dark he never wavered in his faith or enthusiasm which was a stepping stone to the next joyful move. Safe journey my teacher and may your stride take you every where. To his family from mine, thank you for sharing him with us and may his memory ease his passing.

From: Shawn Mendes
Relation: school and the NDP

What to say about “Harry”. Although I never had him as a teacher he certainly made a good impression at high school so long ago. I did, however, have the privilege of getting to know him through our common cause for social justice.

A better, kinder, more decent man would be very hard to find. Harry, you led an exemplary life and were an inspiration for many. You will be missed, even by those of us who haven’t seen you for many years. The light will remain on in all the minds you touched over the decades. Cheers to you Harry, from Malin and I, for a life well led!

From: Crystal & Brad Thompson
Relation: Relationship - How did you know the deceased?

Lynn, Steve and Danial…
Sending you all our condolences. Your dad was an awesome teacher and was very respected in the community. He always had a smile for everyone he met. He truly will be missed. Hugs to all of you.

From: John Hudak
Relation: History Teacher

“Harry” as he was affectionately known to his students was a professional in his vocation. He demonstrated a passion for his craft which made his classes all the more interesting. I always looked upon him as a man that knew where his compass was set and he lived true to his principles. Harry may you take comfort in the fact your approach to your career and life did not go unnoticed. To his family may you take comfort in knowing your husband and father gave each of his students an equal opportunity to succeed in his classes. He certainly was a teacher that made a difference for me. Rest easy Harry may your reward be in Heaven.

Pages: 12

Service Schedule

  Funeral Service

Date & Time:
June 21, 2014
Beginning at 2:00pm

Cranbrook United Church
2 - 12th Avenue South
Cranbrook, BC Canada

2 - 12th Avenue South
Cranbrook, BC Canada

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The family has not designated a preferred charity at this time.

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