February 2, 1954 – August 5, 2021
Denis Alfred Nessman passed away at home in the arms of his wife, Elaine, on August 5, 2021, after living with cancer for three years. He was surrounded by those who loved him most.
Denis was born on February 2, 1954. He spent his life in the Cowichan Valley where he fell in love with Elaine at the age of 15. They married in 1974 and began their life together with the first of many trips to Europe, purchasing a VW van and travelling for five months.
They started a family a few years later and Denis apprenticed to become a Journeyman Carpenter. He built many homes all over the valley and then worked as a carpenter for School District 79 for 24 years. He used his skills to build three beautiful family homes as his children grew.
He and Elaine shared a passion for travel. Experiencing the world was a priority for them and they made treasured memories during several trips to Europe, Southeast Asia, Central America, Mexico and Hawaii. They spent many happy days on their boat exploring the Gulf Islands.
Denis was a loving, dedicated family man and best friend to Elaine for over 50 years. His family came first in his life. His children and his grandchildren were his greatest joy and he was incredibly proud of them all. Denis showed his love by helping others. He was always ready to lend a hand to help family, friends and neighbours with building, renovations and repairs.
His patience, kindness and quick sense of humour endeared him to everyone he knew. He faced adversity with strength and courage right until his final moments.
Denis is survived by his wife Elaine; daughters: Andrea (Trevor), Laura (Matty); son Graham (Chantal); grandchildren: Alexa, Halle, Ethan and Evelyn; sister Patricia; and brothers: Peter (Betty) and Richard (Candace).
He is also remembered by his many nieces and nephews and by his cherished brothers-and-sisters-in-law, David and Susan Gillingham and Don and Eileen Gillingham. He was predeceased by his father, Alfred in 1994; sister Sheri, in 2018; and his mother, Theresa in 2020.
Special thanks to Dr. Zia Poonja from the BCCA, Dr. Rikst Attema, ND and Dr. Jenna Waddy, ND and the Cowichan Palliative Care Team for extending his life and providing comfort at the end.
We will be holding a family gathering instead of a service, by request. If you feel moved to do so, donations in his name to Nourish Cowichan would be gratefully accepted. Denis adored children and would be happy to know that the children on the playgrounds of the schools where he worked were well fed.
Condolences may be offered online at www.sandsduncan.ca
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