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In Loving Memory Of

Jerry Dika

 

Jerry was born June 9, 1924 on the family homestead, Riverlot #29, in Silverwood, AB and passed away peacefully in Grande Prairie, AB on Sunday, February 21, 2016.

Jerry attended public school in Silverwood until he was fifteen, when in 1940, he left to work at the Buffalo Lakes Sawmill. A short time later, Jerry went to work for a survey crew during the construction of the Alaska Highway.

With WWII ravaging Europe, Jerry enlisted in the Royal Canadian Air Force (“RCAF”) in 1943 and a short time thereafter was stationed in England where he would remain to complete thirty bombing tours over Germany. In 1946 Jerry was discharged from the RCAF and returned home to the Silverwood area to begin farming on the original family homestead.

In April, 1950, Jerry married Hilda Dreger and soon began to raise a family together on their farm in Silverwood.

The entrepreneurial spirit of Jerry was ever present and in 1952, he proceeded to start his own sawmill. A few short years later, Jerry, along with older brother Mike Dika, formed Dika Construction in Rycroft. The brothers successfully cleared and broke some 70,000 acres of land which today is some of the finest farming land in all of Alberta. In addition to the physical work of clearing and breaking the region, Dika Construction designed and built land clearing equipment which would be used by hundreds of others to clear and break the fertile land throughout the Peace River Country.

Jerry and Hilda moved to Penticton, British Columbia in 1979, but continued to travel back and forth to work the farm in Rycroft for many more years before retirement became final many years later. In 2007, Jerry and Hilda decided to move back to Rycroft to be closer to family, friends and the family farm. It is in Rycroft and the farm where Jerry enjoyed his final years the most.

Jerry and Hilda raised five wonderful children with twelve grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Darlene (Greg) Wallace of Chilliwack, BC; Caroline Dika of Oliver, BC; Wendy (Rick) Kozuback of Chelan, Washington; Calvin (Lisi) Dika of Rycroft, AB and Jerrlee (Richard) Szabo of Penticton, BC.

Jerry was always a welcoming host to anyone who dropped in to the family’s home, whether that was on the farm, in Penticton or in Rycroft. He was extremely proud of his Croatian culture and history. Hilda and Jerry made three trips to Europe to spend time touring the “old country” and visiting with family members.

Jerry was jovial, always smiling, and a practical joker to all who knew him. His work ethic was extraordinary and a positive trait he passed on to all of his children and grandchildren. He held to the belief that you can do anything you want providing you put your mind into it and then see it through to the end. He practiced the edict of “doing the right thing” and as such, was respected by those he interacted with and appreciated by employees.

Jerry loved the family farm and was proud that he was able to have his son by his side to learn the family business. Later, as Calvin took over operations on the farm, Jerry was equally proud to stand by Calvin’s side to learn from his son the intricacies of farming in the 21st Century.

His most fond memories will always be those shared with his family. He continued throughout his 91 years to do all he could to help each of them in any and every way that he could. He loved to golf and continued to enjoy the game well into his 80’s. Hunting, an early necessity, was always something he enjoyed and he shared that passion with his son.

Jerry was an avid curler and continued to enjoy the sport throughout the years in Rycroft and in Penticton, and he was a regular at the Merry Pioneer Center in Rycroft.

The family thanks everyone for their kind thoughts on Jerry’s passing.

 

In Loving Memory of

Jerry Dika
 

 
 

 
 Print Funeral Service Details
 

Funeral Service Details

Memorial Service
Friday, February 26, 2016
2:00 PM
Rycroft Community Hall

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