July 16, 1944 – September 14, 2020
Passed away peacefully in his family home on September 14th, surrounded by the love of his children. Bud’s memory will be kept alive by his children, Shani (Paul), Desiree (Rich), Jarred, Kayla (Mike) and Kelsey; grandchildren Brett, Ronald, Kaleigh and Delaney; sisters Leona and Sharon (Chris); In-laws Glen and Elizabeth Dinsmore, selected son, Brian Dinsmore and a very large extended family of many nieces, nephews and cousins.
Bud was born in Richmond, BC and lived his young, formative years in communities along the mouths of Fraser and Skeena river. He then had the privilege of raising two beautifully melded families in the close-knit communities of Tsawwassen and Ladner. He was a kind, warm, dedicated and loving father, who could always put a smile on his children’s faces with his teasing, quick wit and good humour. His home was a gathering place where everyone was welcome and countless memories have been shared with family, friends and acquaintances. He forged lifelong and cherished friendships in all the places he has lived and during his many journeys up and down the coast of BC. Bud was a humble, stoic, generous man with a giant heart, he was a true friend to many people. As an avid hunter for birds and big game, he made annual trips to Penticton, Medicine Hat and Cypress Hills with close friends and family.
His nickname “Bud” was unwittingly bestowed upon him by his little sister Sharon. As a toddler, she tried to say brother but it came out “brudder”, shortened to “buddy”, and eventually evolved into his long-standing name, Bud. He had the ambition to become a fisherman from the young age of 2. While the family was visiting Musqueam, he would run off and go fish in the creek. Bud learned his invaluable fishing and hunting skills from his father, grandfather and uncles throughout the years, while obtaining his cultural education along the way. Bud ran his first gillnetter at the young age of 13 on his own in the Fraser and afterwards travelled north with his uncles, beginning his prestigious career as a commercial fisherman. He purchased his first seine boat, the Bruce Luck, at the age of 24. He then went on to build his own seine boats, the Shani Lynne and Shani Lynne No 2, named after his first daughter and subsequently to include the next two daughters carrying the middle name Lynne. As he became an independent fisherman, he included the skills of his sister Leona to keep his business affairs on track. With his remarkable memory, knowledge of migration patterns, and skill built over the decades he became one of the best and most respected high-liners on the pacific coast and is considered a legend. His passion for being on the water has been passed down generationally and continues to live on through his son Jarred. He had an exceptional and accomplished 61 year fishing career, which included being a long-standing member of the Musqueam Fisheries Commission, fishing herring in Newfoundland, owning and operating his thriving business (Sthakwy Fishing Co. Ltd.), as well as providing for the community members and elders at Musqueam and for other first nations communities. His courage and determination on the Fraser River and during the “Sparrow Case” paved way for the advancement of Indigenous fishing rights across Canada and around the world. His legacy will be felt for years to come and continue to effect change for Indigenous rights.
Bud spent the last year and a half being surrounded by the love and support of his family, especially his children always at his side. He hosted many family dinners and celebrations, filling his home with joy, laughter and good times. His family would like to thank and raise their hands to the nurses and home support workers at South Delta Home Health. They always provided Bud with professional and compassionate care and truly supported the family throughout his journey.
Bud is continuing his journey and is now with his parents Ron & Vi Sparrow, wife Linda Sparrow, daughter Lonni “LaLa” Sparrow, Grandparents Ed & Rose Sparrow and sister in law Deborah McClellan. They will have welcomed him with open arms.
May calm seas and fair winds guide you home.
Due to Covid-19 restrictions, funeral services will be restricted to family and close friends. The funeral service will be live streamed at 9am on September 18, 2020, the link is http://vimeo.com/musqueam (will be the top video, click to live feed). There will be a celebration of life once it is safe to do so. If you would like to send flowers, please send to Musqueam Community Centre (6735 Salish Drive, Vancouver BC V6N 4C6). In lieu of flowers please consider donating to the BC Lung Association.