February 27, 1972 – October 27, 2021
Mark Bell, beloved husband of Justine Crawford and father of Nicolas and son of Arlene and Warren (d. 2017) Bell passed away on October 27, 2021 after a heroic, long, and painful struggle with cancer. Mark was much loved by all who ever met him. His good-heartedness and love of people affected everyone around him.
Mark grew up in North Vancouver, graduated from Handsworth Secondary School, became Canadian kick-boxing champion at 21, and spent a number of fun years in the service industry while honing his wood-working skills and applying them to the art of boat building, repair, and finishing. Plying his trade at a number of Lower-Mainland marinas, his skills were highly transferrable to the restoration of the Cassiar Cannery, when he and Justine became the latest stewards in 2006. Together, Mark and Justine restored the this remarkable place to one of Canada’s leading niche tourist destinations. Mark could do everything – build, repair, plumb, wire, and make the iconic furniture that fills the Guest Houses at Cassiar Cannery.
Mark was very much a “people person”, and easily integrated into Prince Rupert and Port Edward, including the local Metis organizations. He was always quick with a smile or a helping hand. As much as he was willing to support others, the most important thing to him was his family, most of whom were able to visit or be with him when he passed. He was especially fond of Justine, and proud of his young son Nicolas.
Mark gave everything he had in his battle with cancer. Wanting to control his own destiny to the extent possible, and wanting to depart with dignity, Mark chose to leave us with the assistance of a doctor and nurse. He passed peacefully while in view of the restored Cannery, looking up the mighty Skeena River. The sun came out for the start of his next journey.
Mark is survived by his in-laws Peter and Jennifer Crawford, brother Peter (Lindsay), sister-in-law Eryn (Dean), brother-in-law Mike (Lucy), and his nieces/nephews Christine, Maya, Anastasia, Miley-Marie, Rouben, Shale, Saje, and Cole. A celebration of life will be held at Cassiar Cannery on Sunday, December 5, 2021 at 1 pm.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the BC Children’s Hospital, a charity important to Mark or the Indian Residential School Survivor’s Society.
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