Long-time Slave Lake and Kinuso resident Brian Wilton passed away on Nov. 6. A resident of Sylvan Lake in his retirement, Wilton spent 30 years in Slave Lake in the funeral home business, after growing up in Kinuso and Grande Prairie. He was 68 years old.
According to information provided by the family, Brian Ronald Wilton was born in Edmonton in 1951. He was adopted by Donald and Dorothy Wilton and raised in Kinuso, where he “enjoyed working with his father in the garage, puttering around on cars, riding his dirt bike, sports, hunting, fishing and swimming.”
In 1968 the family moved to Grande Prairie, where he finished his schooling. Joining the military, he trained as an EMT and was stationed on Vancouver Island. After discharge, he worked as an EMT in High Prairie, also helping out at the local funeral home. It was there, says the eulogy read out at his funeral, “he developed a love for the funeral home business and for helping people in their most vulnerable times.”
It was in Grande Prairie that Brian met Melodie Reid. They were married and moved to Fort Saskatchewan. He worked for Corod in Nisku, but on the side studied to become a funeral director. The family moved to Slave Lake, where Brian worked for Amoco. In 1982 his dream of opening his own funeral home became a reality, when he converted a building into ‘Wilton’s Funeral Home.’ He worked hard at making it a success, often missing family events and going “days with little or no sleep.”
In 1985 he opened a second funeral home in Grande Prairie, and the family moved there. It was less successful, lasting only a few years. He would go back and forth between GP and Slave Lake for the next couple of decades – living there and doing business here. It started to take its toll, and in 2003 he sold the business in Slave Lake.
Brian and Melodie found a retirement place on Moyie Lake in B.C.
“They hosted many family gatherings there,” says the eulogy.
Brian lost Melodie to a short battle with cancer after 37 years of marriage. One week after the funeral, he suffered a stroke. But he refused to let that slow him down and started helping out at a funeral home in Edson. In 2012 he met and married Roseanne.
“They spent the last precious years of his life together at their home at Eagles Nest, Moyie B.C. and finally in Sylvan Lake.”
Brian Wilton leaves to mourn his passing his wife Rosanne, daughter Kacey (Don) Harris, son Tyler (Charmaine) Wilton, stepchildren Crystal (Rob) Crane, Sean (Tracy) Stelfox, Tracey (Scott) Bohnet, 12 grandchildren, brother Allan (Carol) Wilton, nieces, nephews, cousins and many friends.