Paul Kelpin died in his home in Castlegar on November 22, 2013 with his immediate family by his side. He declined rapidly after being unexpectedly diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia in October.
Paul was born in Winnipeg on December 8, 1924 to Paul and Vera (nee Wright) Kelpin. He grew up in St. Vital and then Tuxedo in the home his grandfather built at One Frank Street. He was an active equestrian with the Winnipeg Horseman’s Club, of which his father Paul was a founding Charter Member. He also both instructed and competed with the Puffin Ski Club. He left Kelvin High School in 1943 to join the Royal Canadian Air Force, where he served at Watson Lake in the Yukon supporting the Lend-Lease program with the USSR. After the war he attended the Winnipeg Art School. In 1947 he married Merry Zeibin of Verigin, and immediately started their family. He joined the Hudson’s Bay Company in 1949 for an 18-year fur-buying career that had him posted in Cumberland House, Montreal, Fort Wrigley, Arctic Red River (Tsiigehtchic), Fort Providence, Fort Norman, Fort Rae (Behchokó), and Fort Chipewyan. His time with The Bay ended after a debilitating back injury that laid him low for two years of recovery from surgery. He then joined the Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development as an agent in John D’Or Prairie, Gleichen, High Level, Fort Vermilion and Fort McMurray. He retired from public service in 1989, moving to his home in Castlegar in 1991. In his last years he focused on family activities, photography, videography, gardening, and enjoying nature from his view over the Columbia River. He had a long adventurous life, lived well.
Paul is survived by his devoted wife Merry, son Brault (Vangie), son-in-law Dave, grandson Sem (Beth), granddaughter Siri (Ian), grandson Dana (Jessica), granddaughter Moriah, and great grandchildren Shae, Niya, Eli, Emmett, and Piper. He is predeceased by his brother Bob, sister Joyce and daughter Tania.
Paul’s family is very grateful for the outstanding support provided by Anita Thomson and the staff of Castlegar’s Home Care Nursing and Home Support Services, and for the long-term medical care
Paul received from Dr. Keith Merritt.