Robert "Lyall" MAHAN

August 28, 1935 ~ June 27, 2023 (age 87) 87 Years Old


Lyall Mahan passed away peacefully on June 27, 2023 at the Elk Valley Hospital in Fernie, B.C. at the age of 87. Lyall was born on August 28, 1935 in Melfort, Saskatchewan to Bob and Verna Mahan. He grew up on the Saskatchewan prairies before enlisting in the Canadian Armed Forces in 1955. He trained as an instrumentation technician and became a key member of the maintenance personnel on fighter jets and other aircraft. He was stationed out of Cold Lake Air Force Base, except for a three-year period when he was stationed in Germany. During his time in Germany, he traveled around Europe seeing many other countries. After returning to Cold Lake, Lyall met the love of his life, Joan, and they were married on December 19, 1964. In 1965, Lyall retired from the Armed Forces and they moved to Hinton, Alberta where Lyall began working as an instrumentation technician at the local Pulp and Paper Mill. Not long after, he was offered a position at the Cardinal River Coal Mine in Hinton as plant manager and worked there for many years. Lyall and Joan began their family with the arrival of Rob in 1968 and Scott in 1969. Lyall loved spending time with his family, particularly taking them on outdoor adventures including backcountry camping, motorbiking, fishing, canoeing, and snowmobiling. In 1981, Lyall and Joan further expanded their sense of adventure and moved their family to Fernie, British Columbia. There, Lyall began working at Line Creek Coal Mine during its startup as plant foreman, and then as plant supervisor. He remained in this position until he retired in the early 1990s.

Lyall loved to curl (playing competitively for many years) and was an avid baseball player, and later in life, skier. In his retirement, he and Joan spent their time skiing in the winter and biking/hiking/camping/berry-picking in the summer, embracing all that Fernie had to offer. Lyall also enjoyed his retirement working at the Griz Inn at the ski hill coordinating hotel maintenance while getting to know the regular patrons over the years. He then began working as a mountain ski host sharing the hill’s local secrets with visitors. Lyall had a great sense of humor and loved to tease his grandsons. He adored his grandsons and cherished all the time he spent with them. Lyall will be deeply missed by his loving wife Joan, his sons Rob (Wendy) and Scott (Sasha), and grandsons Tyler, Lachlan, Jarrett, and Cadan all of Calgary. He is also survived by his sisters Norma (Jim) Clegg and Jean McMahon of Manitoba, and numerous nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his parents Bob and Verna as well as his sister Ellen. Lyall will be missed by many special friends and neighbours. Our family would like to express our sincere gratitude to the exceptional medical staff at the Elk Valley Hospital including Drs. Stimson, Ma, and Trebble as well as the compassionate nursing staff and hospital aides. As per Lyall’s wishes, a formal funeral service will not be held. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in honor of Lyall to the Elk Valley Hospital Foundation or Angel Flight East Kootenay.

Forever in Our Hearts

Those we love don’t go away,

They walk beside us everyday.

Unseen, unheard,

But always near,

Still loved, still missed

And very dear.


Author: Unknown

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