ALLAN ABRAHAM SPRINGMAN
Feb. 20,1935 – May 28, 2007
It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Allan Springman on Monday, May 28 after a long and difficult struggle with heart problems and diabetes. He died peacefully after a short stay at the Christine Morrison Hospice in Mission surrounded by family and compassionate caregivers.
Allan is survived by his wife of 46 years, Neva, and their two children – Leah (Piers) and Dave. He lived long enough to share many wonderful years with his treasured granddaughter Riley. Family were his life.
Born in Saskatoon, Sask. On Feb. 20, 1935, Allan studied Engineering at the
University of Saskatchewan, although anyone who knew him would know he was NOT cut out to be an engineer. After seeing the light (and his rather abysmal marks), he moved to Vancouver and switched to Education at UBC where he
Allan was the sports editor of the Ubyssey student newspaper, and it was there that he came to know his future wife Neva, a sometime-reporter. During his time at U of S and UBC he played both football and basketball – and had the ruined knees and back to remind him of those glory days.
He taught for several years and was a school librarian, before taking a job with Harry Smith and Sons, booksellers. Subsequently, he and Neva also ran their own business – supplying shelf-ready books to schools and libraries. The last 20-some years of his working life were spent as a realtor in Maple Ridge and Mission.
His specialty in real estate was small acreages, of which he had first-hand knowledge, his wife having convinced him that the children should grow up with horses. A former city boy, Allan was not a horseperson, but he became an incredibly supportive horse-husband and father. The small acreage in Whonnock rapidly became home to a menagerie that included horses, dogs, cats and rabbits.
He became very involved in the community of Whonnock, serving as the first
president of the newly-formed Whonnock Community Association. And he was one of the dedicated volunteers who were instrumental in the financing and construction of Whonnock Lake Centre, a project dear to his heart. He was also a supporter of various environmental causes.
Allan was a gentle giant of a man. Though gruff in demeanor, he had the soul of a poet. And the gentleness of a teddy bear. Those who knew him treasured his dry sense of humour, his selective and interesting sense of hearing, and his supportive nature. He will be terribly missed.
A celebration of his life is planned for late June or early July – date to be confirmed later. In lieu of flowers, if so desired, donations can be made to the Whonnock Foundation, Box 134, Whonnock V2X 8X8 or the Christine Morrison Hospice 7494B Mary St. Mission BC, V2V 6Y9