Jimmy Gonczol was on his way to visit his wife in a care home on Feb. 12 when he was hit by a van and killed. (Contributed)

Funeral for Maple Ridge senior killed while walking snow-covered roadway to be held April 13

Jimmy Gonczol was killed walking in a vehicle lane of 228th Street on Feb. 12 following the worst snowfall of the season

The funeral for an 85-year-old man who was killed while en route to visit his wife in a care home will be held on April 13.

Jimmy Gonczol, fondly known as ‘Papa Jimmy’ was walking along 228th Street on Feb. 12 when he was hit by a van and killed.

He was on his way to the New Westminster care home where his wife, Tula, lived ever since suffering a stroke 14 years prior, followed by a dementia diagnosis.

Gonczol had made the journey every day, rain or shine, for 12 years.

“He was determined to be there – I think the word is ‘driven.’” said Dave Forstved about his late stepfather shortly after the accident.

“He was driven to be there every day,” he said.

At first, he was able to drive. But failing eyesight made him surrender his driver’s licence about six years ago. So he would trek up 228th St., walking about a kilometre to Haney Place bus loop.

Lately, he needed a cane or walker, to steady himself.

On a good day, the trip to New West would take him about 90 minutes to two hours each way.

In the past two years, Papa Jimmy took a HandyDART – a door-to-door service provided by TransLink – on weekdays. But it wasn’t available that day because of the weather.

So, due to snow on the sidewalks following one of the worst storms of the year, Gonczol was walking in the vehicle lane of 228th Street when he was hit just before he reached Dewdney Trunk Road.

Witnesses told police it was a slow-speed collision and the Ridge Meadows RCMP said speed and alcohol were ruled out factors.

A funeral service for Jimmy Gonczol will take place at 11 a.m. on Apr. 13 at High Way Church, 21746 Lougheed Highway in Maple Ridge, with a reception to follow the service.

A graveside service will take place the same day at 2:30 p.m at Forest Lawn Cemetery at 3789 Royal Oak Ave. in Burnaby.

For any additional information contact Lorena Littke, funeral director at Henderson’s Fraser Valley Funeral Home at 604-854-5534.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Hungry bear takes snack from Maple Ridge kitchen

Family left back deck door open during heat.

Search crews rescue kids, 6 and 7, stranded overnight on Coquitlam mountain

Father and two youngsters fall down a steep, treacherous cliff while hiking Burke Mountain

Maple Ridge stop for African Children’s Choir

Concert date is Sunday at Maple Ridge Christian Reformed Church

Jazz vespers to feature Red Velvet in Maple Ridge

Red Velvet band to perform May 26

Two-car crash on road to Golden Ears park

Female driver taken by ambulance; traffic diverted on route to provincial park in Maple Ridge.

QUIZ: Test your knowledge of Victoria Day

How much do you know about the monarch whose day we celebrate each May?

Take-home drug testing kits latest pilot to help curb B.C.’s overdose crisis

Researchers look to see if fentanyl testing could be a useful tool for those who use drugs alone

UPDATE: Multi-vehicle crash on Highway 1 east of Chilliwack

First responders on scene with multiple patients from four vehicles involved in westbound lanes

Police watchdog investigating motorcycle crash in Kamloops

A Kamloops Mountie had stopped the driver for speeding, but they raced off from the 0fficer

Facebook takes down anti-vaxxer page that used image of late Canadian girl

Facebook said that the social media company has disabled the anti-vaccination page

Raptors beat Bucks 118-112 in 2OT thriller

Leonard has 36 points as Toronto cuts Milwaukee’s series lead to 2-1

‘Teams that win are tight’: B.C. Lions search for chemistry at training camp

The Lions added more than 50 new faces over the off-season, from coaching staff to key players

Rescue crews suspend search for Okanagan kayaker missing for three days

71-year-old Zygmunt Janiewicz was reported missing Friday

B.C. VIEWS: Reality of our plastic recycling routine exposed

Turns out dear old China wasn’t doing such a great job

Most Read