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

Tania Campfield donated one of her kidneys to her fiancé John Kalinich. (Tania Campfield/Special to The News)
Pitt Meadows woman donates kidney to fiancé

They plan to be married in 2021

Legion president Al Casswell hands a poppy to Pitt Meadows Mayor Bill Dingwall. (Special to The News)
Legion poppy campaign will start Nov. 1

Maple Ridge’s Legion branch has been raising more than $72,000

Mario Palcich sits atop his 161 pound pumpkin and enjoys a glass of wine. (Special to THE NEWS)
88-year-old Pitt Meadows farmer grows 161-pound pumpkin

Granddaughter goaded Mario Palcich into growing giant gourds

One of the options city council is looking at to reduce greenhouse gases is strengthening development requirements for electric vehicle charging infrastructure. (The News files)
New net zero greenhouse gas emission target for Maple Ridge

City voted to change the target on Oct. 20

There is a case of COVID-19 at Baillie House, located on the grounds of Ridge Meadows Hospital. (Image courtesy CDC)
COVID-19 case at Baillie House in Maple Ridge

Seniors facility at Ridge Meadows Hospital one of five with new cases in region

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry presents modelling of COVID-19 spread in B.C., March 25, 2020. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. sets another COVID-19 record with 203 new cases

up to 1,766 active cases in B.C., two more deaths

More and more electric cars are on the road, but one Chevy Bolt owner was shocked to see how much his BC Hydro bill skyrocketed once he started charging the vehicle. (Black Press file photo)
Lower Mainland man sees significant spike in BC Hydro bill after buying electrical vehicle

An increase should be expected, but Brian Chwiendacz experienced a 200-plus per cent hike

The Anonymous YVR is an Instagram page that reviews restaurants and other establishments around B.C. based on how well they adhere to COVID-19 rules. (Instagram)
Anonymous Instagram page reviews COVID-19 safety measures at B.C. businesses

There are a number of public health orders various types of establishments must follow to slow virus’s spread

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

The Vancouver Canucks and Abbotsford’s Jake Virtanen have agreed to a two-year deal with an average annual salary of $2.55 million. (@Canucks Twitter photo)
Abbotsford’s Jake Virtanen, Vancouver Canucks agree to two-year deal

Two sides avoid arbitration, Virtanen will receive average annual salary of $2.55 million

Jordan Naterer, an electrical engineer from Vancouver, was last seen Saturday Oct. 10. (Facebook photo)
Search efforts to resume for missing Manning Park hiker; Trudeau speaks on case

PM says he’ll do what he can to ‘nudge’ efforts to find Jordan Naterer, yet has little leverage locally

Most Read