H.W. Wallace Cremation & Burial Centre

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Mark Warren Traer

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Mark Warren Traer

March 25, 1964 - March 11, 2022


Born:  March 25, 1964 at the Kings Daughters Hospital in Duncan, BC

Found Peace for his Soul: Friday, March 11th, 2022 at Cowichan District Hospital

The Man, The Myth, The Legend!

His journey may have been cut short but his adventures were many and varied along the way.

Mark was always a precocious child with a passion for adventure.  At the age of 4 he tried to protect his family from a grizzle bear in Toba Inlet, using his little orange pop gun and if not for another mother on site that grabbed him by the scruff of his jacket, would have been a bear snack.  Another time while helping his grandparents paint the house trim in Cowichan Bay, he fell off the ladder, covering himself with red paint, leaving everyone thinking he was bleeding profusely. Then on a fishing / hunting adventure up north canoeing down river in a blizzard he and his friend tipped the canoe and spent a freezing night on a sand bar and some how made it safely home.  Also let’s not forget the friendships developed with the Northern RCMP, one night he was found lying on the ground beside his motor cycle after attempting to start it, they just put him the car and drove him home.

The stories that Mark could tell at anytime about everything would either enthrall or induce sleep, depending on the listener.  Even after having his voice (among other things) amputated when the trach was put in March 2021, he would engage medical personnel in the ambulances, ER rooms or during treatments, with amazing stories and community insights.

Mark’s passions were highly known “if it wasn’t hunting season, fishing season, hockey or golf season, it was prep for the next season time.”  His dedication to the outdoors and in particular to his Valley Fish & Game club was unrivalled.  To spend hours or days helping keep the club and grounds ready for the next shoot or family event was not unheard of.  Since becoming involved after his dad and a few other loggers and hunters helped build the club, it him allowed him a continued connection to his dad.  As trap chair for so many years it gave him the responsibilities to improve, grow and educate new members.  Just to “go out into the bush” was his happy place, whether he shot anything or not.  His hunting buddies were a second family to him and always kidded him about the amount of gear he would bring but it would always come in handy.

Hockey was his other main focus.  From playing with the Lake Cowichan Express, to in recent years the more local “old timers” teams or noon hour hockey – he was always ready to suit up and put on the skates.  “Keeping the stick on the ice and the puck out of your own net” was the main goal.  Sitting watching the NHL games or any hockey games for that matter, gave him hours of shouting at the TV, analyzing what his favourite team the Canucks were doing right or more often wrong.  Even this past year without a voice, you still knew when his team was doing well or were really messing up big time.

To introduce family and friends to the outdoors brought him immense joy.  If he shared his many secret spots from adventures with his dad and grampa it showed that you were important to him.

In recent years the father & daughter time spent gold panning at Yukon Dan’s Gold Panning Competition allowed for yet more stories.

Mark was so very proud of his families place in history in the Cowichan Valley.   A descendent of John Newell Evans (former mayor/ reeve of North Cowichan and one of the first member representatives to the BC Legislature for the Cowichan Valley) he would often pull out one of the milking journals and show the council minutes written in the back.  His grampa Warren Savage, who ran Cowichan Joinery on Festubert, lived on St.Julian and made most of the windows etc. at Cowichan High School.  Poppa Lem Sr. – manager of the woods for Hillcrest in Mesachie Lake was so memorable that Mark and his mother continue to attend the annual reunions (Covid ones postponed).   But it was his dad, Lemuel Jr that he missed the most and tried to emulate.

There are so many stories and so many important and influential people in his life that we may hear about but first and foremost his mom, Marilyn (Bolton), he knew always had his back whether he wanted it or not and his sister, Susan (Avram), constantly the butt of his wry humour, but the brother and sister bond was unbreakable.

His work as a tow truck driver for over two years, was extremely hard and dangerous, but I think he secretly liked being the knight with the great white charger (truck) coming to the rescue of many locals.

Before the discovery of cancer in 2019, he was working for REVY RV and could be found in the yard or on the road delivering RV’s up and down the island.

Mark’s cancer was found in March 2019 and it was decided he’d “hit it with both barrels” doing chemo and radiation that summer and boy did he commit to the treatments (nay torture of it all).

The cancer returned in the winter of that year, just as Covid 19 arrived as well.  Numerous options were investigated and it was settled on 25 more radiation treatments that spring.  With all the treatments, it took a toll on his teeth, so in December of 2020 there was a surgery and recovery period over Christmas so that dentures could be created.  Poor Mark has his new chompers for about a month when an “airway assessment” some how lead to a tracheostomy and G tube surgeries during March and April.  To say that this past year was hard, is an understatement, put he kept putting in the work every day while going through immunotherapy for ten months.    This January it was found that the treatments were not working and the cancer was growing.  He had the choice of more chemo but it would not be a curative process.

This past week he finally had had enough of the pain, the tremendous losses so great and so he found courage to gather his “ducks in a row” and be released to find peace.

He will be reunited with his dear father, Lemuel Traer Jr killed in 1977, his uncle Cal & Aunty Eva Traer (my inspiration and valuable ally in understanding the male Traer’s) as well as many others he missed greatly.

So vividly remembered by his many friends/ ally’s/ partners in crime, to numerous to mention. Hockey pals and team mates, hunting buddies especially Ian who took him on his last hunting trip.

Mark leaves behind his wife, Elizabeth (nee Provan), daughter Samantha and Pippin (the cat). His mother Marilyn (nee Savage) and stepfather Lorne Bolton.  Sister Susan Avram, step sisters Lisa (Todd) Dea and Rochelle (Terry) Chan.  Nieces and nephews: Phillip, Kristofer, Anna Maria, Madeline, Emma, Josh and Tynan. In Laws Robert and Leslie Provan, Janice Higgins, Peter and Lisa Provan, Janice and Franz Hernandez, David and Robyn Provan and nieces and nephews: Amanda, Kory, Annabelle and Lily Haanen, Alex and Charlotte and Sarah and Tori

There are so many to thank for so much, especially this past year:

Dr. J Burger – for always making things happen and promptly

Dr Valorie Masuda and Dr. Kim Adzich and the immunotherapy nurses and palliative team members. Coordinating ninja Melaine who took so much more on than her role dictated.  The amazing Respiratory Therapists at CDH (and Val in Nanaimo) whose on the spot training gave me the skills to keep Mark alive.  Our new community RT Brett and Mark’s defence partner Dave gave so much of their knowledge to us.  The community nursing team:  Cathy, Bonnie, Kate and many others that came since his discharge last April to provide what supports to could.  Dr. Clarke an amazing ENT who understood Mark so well.   The staff and pharmacists of Thrifty’s Pharmacy for the many years of guidance and support.  Many good friends helped along the way such as Clay & Michele Cherneff, Fred McGuiness, Amee, Amanda Marchand from the Cowichan Caregivers Society, Tracy, Jennifer, Robyn, Bobbie, Ian and so many others.  To the nurses of 3 South thank you for caring for him the last few days and supporting us through the last moments so compassionately.

Samantha and I truly are blessed to have so many people that love us and are holding space for us, sending love and support and will be there through the next while.  May you all continue to keep Mark in your memories and hopefully thoughts of him will bring smiles to your face from time to time.

Thank you seems not enough but – Thank You All!

A memorial service will be held at a later date.  In lieu of flowers please feel free to make a donation in Mark’s name to the Cowichan Caregivers Support Society (www.familycaregiverssupport.org) the Hearts for Cancer (heartsforcancer.ca) or the Cowichan Palliative Team through the Cowichan Hospice Society.


Send a condolence, light a candle and/or share a memory, click "Send Condolence". Once your message has been approved by the moderator it will be posted to the website.

From: H.W. Wallace Cremation & Burial Centre

H.W. Wallace Cremation & Burial Centre staff send our condolences to family and friends.

From: Carol-Ann Rolls

Liz and Sam, With my deepest sympathy. There are special moments and memories that are yours alone, and yet many share your loss and care deeply about your sorrow. Mark has physically left this earth but will always be beside you. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

From: Barbara Aitken

A life well lived and a family well loved. May your beautiful memories sustain you.

From: Richard Harnish
Relation: Friend

Our condolences on your loss….Mark was a good friend and Flyer teammate, playing hockey with us for as long as he did…riding together to hockey, listening to and analyzing the Canuck game, was a ritual we shared a lot ….we all truly felt that he’d manage to make it back playing at some point…he was always in our thoughts…his sense of commitment, his sly humour and distinctive laugh are and will be sorely missed….

From: Pat Fiddis
Relation: Friend


From: Pat Fiddis
Relation: Friend

My sincere condolences, Liz and Sam. Thinking of you at this time .

From: Brenda Dhaene
Relation: through many years of Elizabeth printing our programs and her generosity to the Anglican Women . God bless

Dear Elizabeth and family. On behalf of the Anglican Women Diocese Retreat Group please accept our sincere condolences in the passing of Mark. St. John’s Anglican Duncan also in our prayers. blessings and peace. Brenda (Dhaene)

From: Tia K Chester

Dear Liz and Sam, Mike and I are so sorry for your loss. We are praying you will be filled with happy memories and surrounded by love. We will be celebrating a beautiful life.

From: Andre & Margaret St Cyr
Relation: friend

Our deepest condolences to Liz, Sam and extended family. Mark was a long time friend from early days in Lake Cowichan. In later years we didn’t see each other often but when we did, we always had a lot to talk about. Mark will be remembered for his laughter, friendly personality and stories about hockey, fishing, hunting and whatever health product he was interested in. His enthusiasm was always infectious.

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