B.C. couple identified by family as two victims in Gabriola plane crash

B.C. couple identified by family as two victims in Gabriola plane crash

“They taught us to be selfless, compassionate giving people…to treat everyone with love and respect”

  • Dec. 16, 2019 9:58 a.m.

Derek Kilbourn

Sounder News

The children of the couple who died in the plane crash on Gabriola Island on Dec. 10 have come forward and identified the couple as Allan and Katheryn Boudreau (both aged 53) of Saltair, on Vancouver Island.

Jeffrey (28), Rae (23), and Bridget (25), contacted the Gabriola Sounder newspaper on Saturday, Dec. 14 to provide a statement regarding the tragedy in which their parents died — and who their parents were as they lived out their lives in the Cowichan Valley. Jeffrey currently lives in Lake Louise, Alberta; Rae in Victoria, and Bridget in Kelowna.

Allan and Katheryn grew up, met, and were married in North Bay, Ont.

Twenty-eight years ago they moved out to Vancouver Island, settling into the Cowichan Valley. In 2004, they became owners of Island Hothouse, a two-acre hothouse in Saltair which supplied most of Vancouver Island with sweet bell peppers, as well as farmer’s markets. They retired in 2018 and were able to spend their time enjoying all the hobbies and activities they loved.

They had just enjoyed a great trip to Mexico, and were on their return trip home after a stop in San Diego when their plane crashed on Gabriola Island.

Jeffrey, Bridget, and Rae were in touch with their parents throughout Allan and Katheryn’s trip to Mexico, talking with them, while their parents sent them photos.

Bridget said when they heard the news, she and her siblings were, “heartbroken, shocked, absolutely devastated, broken, and lost.”

As the news of the crash started to break on the night of Dec. 10, Jeffrey said he and his siblings knew it was their parents. Bridget describes it as being, “just a really really horrible nightmare that we cannot wake up from.”

While the various authorities have not released the Boudreaus’ names as victims of the crash, Jeffrey said, “it’s safe to say those in the Cowichan Valley are aware of it. They can put two and two together. We’ve had a lot of support.”

Gabriolans have stepped forward, asking how they can support the families of those who died in the crash. Questions of whether a memorial at the crash site, or donations to a particular cause in the Boudreau’s memory would be appropriate have been broached.

Rae said that will be a discussion they would love to have at a later date, “when it’s not so fresh. “

Bridget said, “We really appreciate the people on Gabriola being so supportive — showing love towards people that they don’t even know.

“That must have been really horrifying to see and experience — we appreciate all the support.”

Jeffrey said, “it really speaks to the community islanders share wherever we are. We’re all on the same island.”

Jeffrey described his mother Katheryn as a lovely person, very caring, who would do anything for anyone.

Both Jeffrey and Rae spoke of Katheryn being a huge part of the St. Joseph’s community, a lover of art, and her family.

Bridget said, “she was a devoted mother and daughter, selfless to anyone she met, compassionate.”

They said Allan would wake up and say “it’s a brand new day.”

Jeffrey said, “he was very optimistic, and loved anything that was difficult.”

Rae said, “he was very smart. He loved challenges, so he took on woodworking and created various pieces for his children, he loved flying, sailing, and dirt biking.”

Jeffrey said Allan was friends with Alex Bahlsen, the owner and pilot of the plane that crashed. Allan had his non-commercial pilot licence, and had owned two planes of his own. Jeffrey said Bahlsen had been working to prepare Allan for his commercial pilot licence — a goal Allan was very close to achieving when he died.

Jeffrey said his dad had his hand in everything.

“He had a lot of hobbies, and he loved talking to people.”

Bridget said her father, “once told me his passion was learning.”

Rae said, “my dad was really funny. He had really good jokes. Our mom had a secret humour, it was very hilarious.”

Bridget said her parents, “supported their children and all of their academic and non-academic adventures.”

“When we went away they would always check up on us. My mom and dad would always call to make sure we were doing OK, living away, they were really proud of their children.”

Jeffrey said, “they taught us to be selfless, compassionate giving people, and to treat everyone with love and respect.”

The family appreciates the support and love from the community and also requests that they are given privacy during this difficult time.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Tracy Owen-Best with her husband, Larry Best. Tracy runs both the Nechako Barbershop and Hair Essentials Salon in Kitimat. Diagnosed with cancer in March 2020, she’s kept a positive mindset with the help from a supportive family. (Photo supplied)
In Our Valley: Tracy Owen-Best

Barbershop owner and cancer fighter keeps it positive

The Quesnel RCMP Detachment is one of seven northern police buildings which can now connect directly to Prince George for daily bail hearings. (Observer File Photo)
Bail hearings going virtual in B.C.’s north

A court pilot project will see virtual courtroom cameras set up in seven RCMP detatchments

FILE – Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs have agreed to sign a memorandum on rights and title with B.C. and Ottawa, but elected chiefs are demanding it be called off over lack of consultation. (Thom Barker photo)
Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs, Lake Babine Nation get provincial funding for land, title rights

Government says it’s a new, flexible model for future agreements between Canada, B.C. and First Nations.

The fence option chosen for the 461 Quatsino Boulevard development is the red lines that border the site plan. The fence will be roughly six feet high with the exception of the fence bordering Cranberry Street which will be eight feet high. (Boni Maddison Architects photo)
Fence to be erected between housing project and Kitimat homeowners

Residents of the Cranberry Street area are finally getting the fence they want

Rising demand for police to perform well-being checks and field calls for people struggling with domestic violence cases is driving the city to formulate a ‘situation table’ to connect vulnerable people with the services they need. (News Bulletin file photo)
Situation Table comes to Kitimat to support vulnerable people

Situation Tables identify and help vulnerable people in need.

In this image from NASA, NASA’s experimental Mars helicopter Ingenuity lands on the surface of Mars Monday, April 19, 2021. The little 4-pound helicopter rose from the dusty red surface into the thin Martian air Monday, achieving the first powered, controlled flight on another planet. (NASA via AP)
VIDEO: NASA’s Mars helicopter takes flight, 1st for another planet

The $85 million helicopter demo was considered high risk, yet high reward

Carver Ken Sheen had almost finished work on a large cowboy carving commissioned by the City of Williams Lake to replace the original overlooking the Stampede Grounds when fire broke out Friday, April 18 at his property between Williams Lake and Quesnel. (Pine River Carving Facebook photos)
Cow boss statue destined for Williams Lake Stampede Grounds goes up in flames

Carver Ken Sheen lost the statue, all his tools and his shop in the blaze

B.C. Labour Minister Harry Bains. (Hansard TV)
B.C. moves to protect employee pay for COVID-19 vaccination

Most won’t need to take time off work, labour minister says

New figures show Canadian housing prices outpacing those in other developed countries. (Black Press Media file photo)
Canadian housing prices fastest rising in the world

Relative to 2000, housing prices have risen by a factor of more than 2.5

Russ Ball (left) and some of the team show off the specimen after they were able to remove it Friday. Photo supplied
80-million-year-old turtle find on B.C. river exciting fossil hunters

Remains of two-foot creature of undetermined species will now make its home at the Royal BC Museum

Joudelie King wants to get out and live life to the fullest, but there are places she can’t go because they don’t meet her accessibility needs. (submitted photo)
New online tool provides accessibility map for people with disabilities

The myCommunity BC map provides accessibility info for nearly 1,000 locations in the province

British Columbia’s provincial flag flies in Ottawa, Friday July 3, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Wildfire fanned by winds near Merritt prompts evacuation alert

BC Wildfire Service says the suspected human-caused blaze was fanned by winds

The Rogers logo is photographed in Toronto on Monday, September 30, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Tijana Martin
Rogers investigating after wireless customers complain of widespread outage

According to Down Detector, problems are being reported in most major Canadian cities

Most Read