Charlie Varalta, who was a friend to all, died unexpectedly in Revelstoke, BC, on April 18, 2013.
Charlie is survived by his sister Miki of Revelstoke; children Maria of Perth, Australia, Theresa (Paul) of Calgary, Joe of Vancouver, Dan of Winfield, Jason (Miv) of Qualicum Beach and grandson Joe. He was pre-deceased by his parents Augusto and Maria, and his sister Vi.
Charlie was born at home on the farm in Naples, Alberta where he lived through childhood. He played hockey, softball and was champion bantam-weight boxer in 1951.
Charlie began his career as a journeyman mechanic in Calgary, and he was a very good one. He was “old-school”; able to diagnose by listening, using a solid metal bar pressed against the engine block. Over the years he worked at various mechanic jobs until 1983 when he was hired on with the Golden School District. His duties widened to include driving the school bus on the Golden to Field run. He was very popular with his passengers. His retirement in 1993 was only partial; he had purchased the Pinewood Motel a few years earlier, and this was his final job. The vacancy rate was low, and his backyard was the neighbourhood gathering place.
Total retirement came after relocating to Revelstoke to join his long-time partner Elaine. He purchased property in Trout Lake where he could be in his boat in minutes to pursue his favourite pastime; fishing. Despite never being able to catch “the big one” during any of the local fishing derbies, Charlie would have declared each and every day a grand success. The fire pit beside his trailer at Trout Lake with the veranda over the Lardeau River was where the day’s stories were shared, especially with good friends Jim and Fred.
A funeral was held at St Francis of Assisi Church in Revelstoke on April 27. If desired, in lieu of flowers, a charitable donation may be made to the BC Heart and Stroke Foundation.