Brian Watkin

August 7, 1942 ~ February 1, 2024 (age 81) 81 Years Old
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Brian Watkin Obituary

Brian Watkin, beloved husband of Doreen of Calgary AB, passed away on February 1, 2024, at the age of 81.

Brian was born in the potteries of Stoke-On-Trent England on August 7, 1942, to William, known as Bill and May. He had a challenging post-war upbringing including losing his dad at an early age. He would fondly recall, that he was always outside: playing soccer in the farmer’s field, occasionally enjoying ill-gotten carrots and turnips, and getting into antics with his brother Alan and his lifelong friend Alan E. His dad was a Potteries fireman, and Brian would traverse the bottle kilns to fetch him his dinner during the long firings. At the age of 18, he began working at the Chatterley Whitfield underground Coal Mine on the outskirts of Chell. Years later, he moved with his two children to Burslem, where he worked in the brickyards. Through his neighbour’s kitchen window, he first glimpsed his soon-to-be wife Doreen as she washed the dinner dishes.

Brian and Doreen were married in 1973. A year later with 3 kids in tow, $1500 in their pocket, and two trunks, one of which was mostly full with kids toys, they emigrated to British Columbia Canada, and soon settled in Fernie. Brian loved Fernie. He loved the scenery, the clean air, the quiet, the golf club, and the room to stretch and grow. Brian loved the idea of a cowboy life and for many years sported a cowboy hat and buckle and watched many a John Wayne movie. However, the cowboy life was not to be and he continued to mine underground coal, this time with Kaiser Res. 

Brian became a fire boss and joined the mine rescue team, competing in and winning many competitions across the country. Sadly, mine rescue is not all about competitions; the team used their training in dangerous and heartbreaking situations. After the mine closed Brian worked at the surface mines in Sparwood and later Greenhills driving 200-ton trucks. After both those mines went bankrupt, Brian and Doreen followed the black gold to Grande Cache. A few years later they moved to Claresholm, where he retired. In 2023 Brian and Doreen moved to Calgary.

Brian was extremely talented with his hands. With no formal education, Brian added a carport and a large two-bedroom extension onto their first tiny house in Fernie. He could make anything out of wood. He would take a picture of something he found interesting (usually trucks and mining equipment) and make amazingly detailed models. Later he used his creative talents to fill the basement with an amazing, model railway, featuring the grain elevators from around Claresholm, mountains, lakes, soccer fields (his favorite sport), and of course a coal mine.

Besides his loving and devoted wife, Brian is survived by his daughters Debbie and Tina (David), son Mark (Lorna), daughter-in-law -law Lisa, grandchildren Brendan, Victoria, Maria, Nicolas and Toria, and his sisters Cynthia and Pam. He is predeceased by his son David, his brother Alan, and sisters Margaret, Doreen, and Eileen. 

We love you and will miss you dearly.

As were Brian's wishes, a funeral will not be held.

If friends so desire, donations can be made to the Salvation Army at https://donate.salvationarmy.ca/

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