July 3, 1944 – March 11, 2019
His bass guitar is silent, the Scrabble game is done. After a short battle with cancer, Walter “Rex” Markin passed away in the Boundary Hospital in Grand Forks on March 11, 2019. Mercifully he didn’t suffer long.
Rex was a jovial man with many interests. He had a great love of music, which began when he played bass for the Invaders, a popular rock ‘n roll band in the Kootenays in the 50s and 60s, continuing to play with his Grand Forks buddies until recently when his illness took over his life. He was especially fond of classic country music.
He loved animals, and was happy to nurture strays when they came to his door. Barney, his Jack Russell, gave him a lot of pleasure, and even after Rex passed a stray cat continues to come to his door and sit patiently waiting to be fed.
Rex enjoyed boating and spending time with his family fishing on Kootenay Lake. In the winter he took his family skiing on Red Mountain. When he moved to Vancouver Island he spent many hours trolling for salmon with considerable success.
He enjoyed fine cars; he was a proud owner of a vintage Ford Thunderbird and, later, a beautiful Mercedes Benz convertible. In his younger days he tried to build a stock car but reluctantly gave up the challenge when he realized that the project was too labor intensive. He rarely gave up on anything.
But his life was not just fun and games. He built a fine career in the trades as a heavy duty mechanic and welder. He was very proud of his work as a boiler maker, working all over Western Canada, in the United States, and even on cruise ships. He also taught welding at Malaspina College in Nanaimo, and considered this role to be a very special accomplishment.
Rex was a complex man with many attributes and characteristics just below the surface of his seemingly casual demeanor. He had a sharp intelligence. He was principled and could be quite philosophical, with a well- developed moral centre. Above all he was witty, with a strong sense of humor. He could be quite the jokester when the spirit moved him.
Rex is survived by his sons Todd and Bradley, and grandson Braden, a great joy in his life. Also left with many special memories are his brothers Allan and Frank, and sister Marlene, as well as several nieces and nephews.
Very special thanks to Marlene for the dedicated assistance she provided Rex during his illness. Rex’s family is deeply appreciative of the compassionate care extended to Rex by the medical staff at the Boundary Hospital.
Rex has been cremated. There will be a celebration of his life in Slocan Park this summer; date, time, and location to be announced. In lieu of flowers, donations to the SPCA or the Canadian Cancer Society would be appreciated.
Rex will be missed. May he rest in peace.