A Lake Country firefighter taken too soon has left his young children and wife not just heartbroken but struggling to make ends meet.
Karl Featherstone suffered an assumed cardiac event at home Oct. 11, 2020, at 47 years old.
The community is coming together to honour the local man and support his grieving family.
“Karl Featherstone was a well-respected Lake Country citizen, entrepreneur and served the community he lived in as a paid-on-call firefighter for 11 years,” the District of Lake Country said. “His unexpected passing on Oct. 11 has impacted many in the community.”
Featherstone’s colleagues at the Lake Country Fire Department will honour him in a procession of emergency vehicles in Okanagan Centre to escort his family to a private celebration of life Sunday, Nov. 8.
Residents can plan to watch as firefighters assemble emergency vehicles along Tyndall Road (south of Nighthawk Road) at 9 a.m. Sunday and drive slowly south along Tyndall to Okanagan Centre Road West, then north past Lakestone Waterside and loop around Maddock Avenue.
Meanwhile, support is sought to help Featherstone’s wife Bryanna Lemiski, three-year-old son James and two-year-old daughter Natalie. Since Featherstone was the sole provider of the family, Bryanna is left to care for and support her children on her own. She also has multiple sclerosis and in 2018 suffered a massive heart attack, just 11 days after Natalie was born.
Colleague Robert Lussier has set up a GoFundMe fundraiser to assist the family at https://gf.me/u/y62k6d.
“Bryanna, James and Natalie would really appreciate and benefit from any donations you can contribute during this difficult time as all funds raised will contribute to memorial expenses and setting up educational funds for both James and Natalie,” Lussier said.
Featherstone received the Station 71 Firefighter of the Year award in 2018, best attendance to emergency call out and practices in 2014 and a 10-year service pin in 2019.
“For 11 years Karl gave to his community and, hopefully, you can find it in your hearts to help the family Karl leaves behind,” Lussier said.
A second GoFundMe has also been set up as a kids college fund and has already raised more than $8,000.
High-school friend Dwayne Phaure established the fundraiser at https://ca.gf.me/v/c/djnw/karl-featherstone-kids-college-fund.
Phaure grew up in Ontario and Bill Featherstone was his baseball coach for 10 years. When the Featherstone family moved to Revelstoke, Bill began a program called the Revelstoke Cougars.
“I moved across the country and lived with them for my last two years of high school and Karl, Ben and I became brothers,” said Phaure, who went on to play college ball in the U.S. and remained in the states.
”Karl Featherstone was not only an incredible man in general but he was also a loving father and husband. In addition to being a dedicated firefighter, he was an extremely talented woodworker who had just completed his own wood shop which he built entirely himself.”