April 29, 1963 – October 14, 2017
Peter was born and raised in Vancouver, BC to a father who loved building model train sets and a non hearing mother who loved to cook. Peter had many fond memories of hours spent in the basement with his father designing model train layouts, building and shaping the buildings and the landscape the trains would run through. The electrical and building skills he learned served him well as he grew older and worked mainly in construction, shifting to light and sound engineer for rock bands, a few years as a tow truck operator, and then eventually operating his own home renovation company.
Being the son of a non hearing mother also shaped Peter’s life and character. He grew up learning compassion and kindness for people in society who were not the same as others. He learned early how to communicate without words, and spent many years providing care for his mother after his father died.
Peter was a man with a kind and gentle soul and a terrific sense of humour. He loved to tease and make jokes, and his favourite place to be in church was the kitchen, helping the United Church women with vegetable preparation and heavy pots of food. He always offered to mash the potatoes for large church dinners, usually bringing his drill and what was supposed to be the paint spinner attachment which he adapted as a potato masher. Peter made the best, creamiest mashed potatoes ever, and the church ladies had no problem putting him to work in the kitchen.
Peter and Paula met in 1999, and have been together ever since. Peter’s construction skills served him well as a clergy spouse, as he was able to set up shop in each town where Paula was called to serve. Peter’s decks, sheds, landscaped terraces, fences, roofs and renovated kitchens and bathrooms mark the homes of many across British Columbia and Alberta, leaving much to remember him by. As word spread of Peter’s death, Paula received many messages from people saying how much they continued to enjoy the fruits of Peter’s labour, and how the spaces he built for them had taken on new and special meaning in light of his passing.
Peter was also an avid motorcyclist, he and his harley were rarely far apart. He rode in all weather, and it was his great delight to share his loving of riding with others. He usually rode his bike to church on Sunday mornings, and would park it on the lawn in front of the church. After worship, the ladies of the congregation would line up for rides, joking about being “biker chicks”.
Peter is pre deceased by his parents: Peter William and Joyce Sowicki; and is survived by his wife of 18 years Rev. Paula Ashby, his brother Ray, sister in law Trudy, nieces, nephews and his adult step children Alex and Megan as well as numerous grandchildren. He has asked that a portion of his cremated remains be placed in Trinity United’s new memorial garden when it is completed, as well as sprinkled in Disneyland and at the Sooke potholes and the Galloping Goose trail where Peter and Paula hiked with their dogs.
Paula would like to thank friends and colleagues across the country and here in Kootenay Presbytery for their prayers and messages of support during this fragile and sacred time. Heartfelt thanks also to the people of Trinity United for their prayers, support, and food for body and soul over the past few weeks. Gratitude also goes to the care and support provided to Peter in his last days by the nursing staff of Creston Valley Hospital
Peter’s service will be held Friday, November 3rd, 11:00 am in the Anglican Christ Church with Rev. Leon Rogers presiding. Friends wishing to make a memorial contribution are invited to do so to the Trinity United Church building fund, Box 87, 136 10th Ave N., Creston, BC, V0B 1G0
Click the link below for the order of service