1931 ~ 2017
It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our much loved father, grandfather, great-grandfather and friend, Sven Haglund. He is survived by his four children, Donna (Arnie), Sondra (John), Geoff and Dean (Patricia), four grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.
Born in Stockholm, Sweden in 1931, he immigrated to Canada in 1952 arriving in Halifax. He worked in forestry just long enough to buy a second-hand car with the plan to drive to Vancouver. The car broke down in Winnipeg, where he met his future wife Marie, thus he decided to stay. His 35 year career at the Canadian National Railway spanned from the position of apprentice Machinist to Senior Manager.
The CNR so appreciated the vast knowledge that he acquired of the diesel shop floor that they enrolled him for an additional 2 year computer programming course so that he could develop a data base for future employees.
In 1995, Sven and Marie, his wife of 52 years, went to Dhaka, Bangladesh on a 3 year employment contract with CIDA to train Bangladesh railway workers on diesel repair, maintenance and the work flow of a diesel machinist shop. They loved Bangladesh, made many friends and learned to speak basic Bangladeshi. During the 3 years Marie and Sven travelled extensively in and outside of Bangladesh. Upon returning to Canada in 1998, Sven had a brief stint in Kosovo to aid in post-conflict rail infrastructure restoration.
As an award-winning ToastMaster, Sven often spoke and MC’d many weddings and retirement parties, always with a quick wit and hilarious turn of phrase. He was so adept at this skill that when it came time for his own retirement he hosted that event as well.
As an outdoor enthusiast, he and Marie camped often, starting with their own honeymoon in 1956. Later, with four children in tow, tenting around Canada and the US. Upon their 25th anniversary, they began frequent wilderness canoeing and camping adventures ranging all the way from British Columbia to Ontario, with the grown-up Donna in tow to help ward off the bears.
Road trips to visit family around North America was a common event. Whether it was a quick dash to Vancouver or a long haul to Los Angeles, Sven thought nothing of driving vast distances to pick up a used motorhome in the middle of nowhere, give someone a ride across the country to catch a flight, or to celebrate Christmas with family in far off places.
He taught us to drive, fix a car, to swim and dive, to be honest, and to be true to oneself. He demonstrated that love and family was more important than anything. He had huge capacity for compassion, a charm and wit that could captivate. He was an admirable model of grace and consideration of others that we will always aspire to.
His funeral will be held at the Oakbank United Church on Friday June 9th at 1:00 p.m. and he will be buried beside his loving wife at the Sunnyside Cemetery.
The family wishes to thank the compassionate staff at Beausejour Hospital.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to H.E.A.R.T. Search & Rescue Team www.hearteam.ca
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