Eileen and Paul Dwillies at the Haney Farmers Market they helped to build. (Contributed)

Haney Farmer’s Market founder dies suddenly

Paul Dwillies was ‘always looking to make things better’

Paul Dwillies, best known for his work organizing the Haney’s Farmers Market, died suddenly on Sunday.

Dwillies, 84, had generally enjoyed good health, said his wife Eileen.

He had diabetes, and when he took medication for an eye issue, it lowered his immune system. A common virus he had been carrying was no longer in check, and attacked his brain, causing fatal damage.

They were married for 62 years. Paul had run a business as a commercial illustrator.

The retired couple moved to Maple Ridge from Vancouver to be closer to their two daughters and grandchildren in 2003.

In 2004, they were part of the group that started the farmer’s market and it has grown to become a downtown event in Memorial Peace Park every Saturday during fair weather months.

The Dwillies were vendors who sold bread, and Eileen became the executive director. Paul, also a market coordinator, was a familiar sight there each week. He would do a variety of jobs, hooking up water and power for the vendor stalls, and chatting with the merchants.

They made a lot of friends in their new city through the market, said Eileen.

“We loved it. We were there a total of 15 years,” she said. “The people we met were very like-minded, which helps a lot.”

One of those people was Ineke Boekhorst of the Downtown Maple Ridge Business Improvement Association, who became a close friend. She said Paul was always helpful and positive.

“He was always looking to help, always looking to make things better. It’s a big loss to the community,” said Boekhorst.

“The market would never have been there without the two of them.”

Eileen said her husband was creative and talented, with a curious mind. He designed and built microscopes and telescopes. He built a model train and re-created the landscapes and villages in the area of Provence, France, where they lived for 13 years.

“We always called him a Renaissance man, because he would do anything from nailing a nail to threading a needle,” said Eileen.

Details about funeral services are pending.


 

@NeilCorbett18
ncorbett@mapleridgenews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Being Young: ‘I promise it’s relevant’

What would happen to Canada if Iran and the United States went to war?

Maple Ridge concert to feature “pop” music of the Middle Ages to the Renaissance

Candlelight Concert Series takes place at Westacres in Maple Ridge

Meadowridge students unleash their robotic talents

FIRST LEGO League competition took place at Meadowridge School

Pitt Meadows ball hockey goalie gets call up to Team Canada

Matteo Petrelli will mind net for U20 team at world championships in Switzerland this summer

Huawei exec’s extradition hearing begins in Canada

China’s foreign ministry complained the United States and Canada were violating Meng’s rights

Prince Harry: ‘Powerful media’ is why he’s stepping away

Prince Harry and Megan have stepped away from their royal commitments

VIDEO: SPCA and RCMP remove several animals, including pig, at private animal rescue in Langley

Home at 5500 block of 216th Street has undergone multiple seizures over the past five years

How to beat Blue Monday, the most depressing day of the year

Multiple factors can play a role in seasonal depression, says Fraser Health psychiatrist

B.C. VIEWS: Few clouds on Horgan’s horizon

Horgan’s biggest challenge in the remainder of his term will be to keep the economy humming along

Victoria family focuses on ‘letting go, enjoying time together’ after dad gets dementia

Walter Strauss has developed an interest in music and now takes line dancing classes

B.C. forest industry grasps for hope amid seven-month strike, shutdowns, changes

Some experts say this could be worse for forestry than the 2008 financial crisis

Most Read