Recent History – 2003-2005
By Gary Rusak, 8 April 2005
Pouce Coupe’s mayor, Doyle McNabb, died in his sleep in the early
morning hours Thursday.
The 70-year-old long-time resident of the village was described in glowing terms as both a friend and a noble leader by colleagues from across the Peace country.
“Doyle was an extremely gentle man,” said Pouce Coupe councillor Sandy Hull. “He was an excellent leader and I learned an awful lot from him. I think the biggest thing (I will remember) is his gentleness and his caring.”
Hull said that the $839,000 Fair Share cheque that McNabb accepted as one of his last acts as mayor will be just a part of his legacy.
“We just received the cheque (Wednesday) and some of the work that will come out of that is a legacy of Doyle,” said Hull. “He is a part of everything that is going on in Pouce.”
The village office closed its doors on Thursday out of respect for the mayor, but was open today.
Hull cited McNabb’s ability to bring together different points of views as his greatest political attribute.
Village councillor Lyman Clark echoed Hull’s portrait of McNabb as a dedicated and levelheaded leader.
“Our council has always got along very well, but occasionally we will have an irate citizen and I always admired his ability to talk them off the ceiling, so to speak,” said Clark on Thursday afternoon. “He also always wanted to get all of our facts straight before he made a decision.”
Clark said that McNabb had struggled with some health problems since his wife passed away last year, but that he seemed to be on the mend.
“Like the rest of us he had his good days and bad days,” said Clark, who last saw McNabb on Wednesday at the Village office. “He was so chipper. We were just all shocked.”
McNabb is survived by his son Greg McNabb and daughter Christine Coers, and nine grandchildren.
McNabb started his political career as a village councillor. He served in that capacity for one term before winning the mayoral seat on Nov. 16, 2002. In that election he easily won with 99 votes.
After his election, he displayed his characteristic modesty in an interview with the PRBN.
“I have been here for so many years that most people know me and I guess they have been fairly satisfied or they wouldn’t have voted for me,” he said.
Mayor Wayne Dahlen, in Prince George for a rail conference, said he was shocked when he received the news of McNabb’s death.
“I think one of the things that I will always hold Doyle in high esteem with is that he recognized the fact that they are a smaller community and he worked diligently to gain a pretty good partnership with Dawson Creek,” said Dahlen. “He was a down to earth, common sense kind of a guy.”
Peace River South MLA Blair Lekstrom said that the mayor’s love of his community was evident in all he did.
“He was a friend of mine,” said Lekstrom. “It is hard to find a person more dedicated to the Peace area and more dedicated to his community than Doyle McNabb was.”
Lekstrom added that in addition to being a kind and generous man, McNabb was also a successful promoter of Pouce Coupe.
“He was quiet and always brought thoughtful dialogue,” said Lekstrom. “Quiet is a way to express how he came across, but effective, very effective.”
McNabb’s funeral will be held Tuesday at 2 p.m. at South Peace United Church. There will be open visitation at Bergeron’s Funeral Chapel Monday evening starting at 7 p.m. Donations can be made to the Peace River Haven Gatekeepers as expressions of sympathy.