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HAROLD (TORCHY) PECHET (published on October 16, 2010)

HAROLD (TORCHY) PECHET Torchy Pechet passed peacefully on October 10, 2010 at St. Michael's Hospice in Burnaby, BC surrounded by his loving family. Born June 20, 1929 in Regina, SK to William and Sophie (Triller) Pechet, Torchy was the youngest of six boys. As a child on his tricycle his mother nicknamed him after the well known cyclist Torchy Peden and he made the lifelong moniker famous in his own right. As a youth his family migrated to Carberry MB, then Fort Frances ON and finally to Winnipeg as his father pursued various interests in the hotel trade. In the fashion of his older brothers Torchy was a great athlete and excelled in football, hockey and baseball throughout his high school years at St. John's Ravenscourt and St. John's College in Winnipeg. He played major junior hockey for the Moose Jaw Canucks and survived a pro exhibition season with the Chicago Blackhawks. On his return to Winnipeg to continue the courtship of the love of his life, Orla Bjornson, he worked for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, (even playing in a game for them) and for a time promoted musical acts like Duke Ellington and Louis Armstrong across the Prairies. In 1952 he and Orla celebrated a Jewish wedding and made their home in Winnipeg where children Kris and Kim were welcomed in 1954 and 1956 respectively. Torchy pursued a variety of business opportunities in Winnipeg and Edmonton and remained active in sports as a football Head Coach at St. Paul's and Churchill high schools and an assistant coach at Tec Voc and Kelvin all in Winnipeg. In 1967 he, Orla and the family welcomed 7 year old Bill as an adopted son, and in 1968 they all migrated west to North Vancouver, British Columbia. Torchy quickly established himself on the North Shore operating with Orla the Pro Shop, a store specializing in new and used hockey equipment and skate sharpening at the many winter clubs and ice rinks. He coached hockey and the North Shore Cougars junior football team and the children attended local schools. Never shrinking from a challenge, he and Orla opened and operated the popular restaurant Torchy's in the Edgemont Village section of North Van as well. In 1982 Torchy began the vocational highlight of his life when he went to work for Stu Kehoe and later Brent Imlach at the Vancouver Canadians Baseball Club. For the next 17 years every day he attended Nat Bailey Stadium to work was an experience of pure joy for him. He travelled to the mid-winter Major League meetings for a number of years as part of the Canadians team and there he came to know many major league executives and ball players. He loved every minute of it and considered it one of the great honours of his life to throw the first pitch of the Canadians final regular season game ever in Vancouver in 1999. Their departure effectively marked his retirement. The years that followed were filled with loving devotion to Orla and great pride at the accomplishments of his children and extended family. He was once called the man with the smiling eyes and that soulfulness permeated his encounters with friends and strangers alike. His beloved wife Orla passed in October 2009 and he missed her terribly. He is now survived by sons Kris (Blue) and Bill, daughter Kim (David), grandchildren Ahren, Katrina, Danielle and Zach, brother-in-law and best friend Harrill Bjornson, all of British Columbia. The family will be holding a private memorial service. Messages for the family can be sent to:

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