Seven months after losing his wife to breast cancer, a Williams Lake business owner decided she should be added to the mural she commissioned for his birthday two years ago.
Chester Mortensen lost his wife Sheila to breast cancer in March.
“She had the mural made up for my 75th birthday, but I did not know I would be in the mural,” Mortensen said of the mural painted on the outside of their business. “Dwayne Davis was out there painting and all of a sudden, there I was on the mural looking away from my old car.”
Recently he asked Davis if it was possible to paint Sheila into the mural.
“He came back with a photograph of her and asked if it would be good. He added her in last week. It was worth every nickel.”
They were together 53 years and he said he misses her.
“I miss having someone to talk to. We were compatible — other than when we were fighting — but, you know, we got along then too.”
Originally from New Brunswick, he moved to Burnaby, B.C. to live with his dad at the age of 14.
When he was about 17 or 18 he saw an ad for a job in the Chilcotin and ended up cowboying for a couple of years at Chilco Ranch.
“I was there the last year John Wade owned it and the first year John Minor owned it.”
Later he returned to Vancouver and began his career as a glazier, working for Western Glass.
He met Sheila through her aunt — she belonged to the Langley Riders Club which he was a member of.
His work as a glazier brought him to Williams Lake often, doing windows for places such as the first Safeway, a drug store, the RCMP station and the old Tribune building on Oliver Street.
In the fall of 1971 the Mortensens moved to Williams Lake because he wanted to start his own glass business.
They had four children — Clayton, Byron, Andrea and Jennifer, nine grandchildren and so far, one great grandchild.
Sheila was very involved in the community as a volunteer.