Roy “Rocky” Beattie, 90 — long time Nakusp resident — passed away on October 10 in the Arrow Lakes Hospital due to complications from pneumonia. Many have used the term gentleman to describe this confirmed bachelor, who was known for his light-hearted demeanor and warm smile.
Crossley and Sandi Coates were good friends of Beattie, who was very modest. Sandi said in an interview with the paper, “He was the kindest gentleman, and very humble. Rocky could never understand why people bothered with him.” For example, someone who might be bringing him food, ”He was happy to accept it but would be baffled that people really cared that much about him.”
Born in February 1924 in Banff, Alberta, Rocky joined the Calgary branch of the RCAF (Royal Canadian Air Force) serving in Air Armament overseas during WWII. After his discharge in 1946, Beattie spent the next 33 years in Banff and Milk River, Alberta, serving in the Legion there. Because of his love of cars, he also started the “Legion Taxi,” a taxi service in Banff which is still in operation.
He eventually turned to carpentry, building houses in Banff, Canmore, Milk River and eventually two in Nakusp after relocating to B.C. in 1979. He continued working as a carpenter until retirement.
Rocky made a lot of friends doing his morning coffee run to the K2 Rotor Lodge, and was frequently in great spirits. Restaurant Manager Gillian Heagy remembers Beattie fondly, “He had a nickname for all of us. I think it helped him remember our names. Mine was Jack and Jill, and he called the morning staff Bright Eyes or Sunshine, which they loved. He was quite the charmer.”
Having no children of his own, his niece Sandy Beattie is in Nakusp this week to take care of his affairs and was kind enough to loan the Arrow Lakes News the photos for this story. She knew Rocky as Uncle Roy and recounted how he was even frugal as a child in Banff. This is evidenced by the story of him and his brothers hitching along with adult skiers going to Sunshine so they could also enjoy the slopes, sleeping on the coal pile under the kitchen at the lodge to stay warm at night.
Throughout his life where Beattie went, the fun followed. His niece says that back in Canmore days he could often be found at festive dinners “with my brother and several of his friends, the girls doing the cooking of course.” In recent years, Beattie had a regular route he followed for afternoon cocktails with friends on good days, and will be sadly missed by all of those who knew him.