In Memoriam – Ari Sala (1936 – 2016)

We are most saddened to announce the passing of very a devoted Citroënvie member from Vancouver Island.  Ary (Arij) Sala, died peacefully in his home at Fanny Bay, BC on January 27, 2016 at the age of 79.  Ari had owned a Citroën 2CV in The Netherlands and although the didn’t own one over here, he loved to read news about Citroëns and send us stories that he came across.  When visiting Europe he would go out of his way to find old Citroëns and send us photos of his discoveries.

Ari Sala & H Van  Old 2CV photo from Ari Sala
Ari was a true Citroën enthusiast.  In fact last summer, while George Dyke and Roland Voegele were touring across the country in their 2CVs and on Vancouver Island, Ari and Charlette spotted them as they were driving by and made a point of stopping to say hello!  Ari was thrilled to see the 2CVs and they gave him and Charlette a ride down to Fanny Bay and back.  It truly made is day!

Ary & Charlette Sala - Union Bay BC

Ary was predeceased by his 1st wife, Maria Borsboom, in 1982.  He is survived by his wife, Charlette, who gave him loving care during his battle with esophageal cancer; his sister, Jeanne; his eight children, Orlean Muirhead, Yra Binstead, Andrei Sala, Gabriella Burnham, Alexander Sala, Eldon Sala, Patricia Cross, and Monty Sala and their spouses; his three step-children, Steve Clarke, Shannon Lawrence, and Cathy Runquist and their spouses and forty-six delightful grandchildren.

Ary was born on May 13, 1936 to Adrianus Sala and Hilletje van den Akker in Rotterdam, Netherlands.  Though he lived through WWII, he has many happy memories of growing up in a loving home and having grand adventures on the streets of Rotterdam.  He met and married his first sweetheart Maria Borsboom on June 10, 1965 in Vlaardingen, Netherlands.  At first, their plans were to not have children for at least five years but after watching The Sound of Music, the couple decided to have at least twelve and their first daughter, Orlean was born in 1968.  Seven other children followed; Yra, Andrei, Gabriella, Alexander, Eldon, Patricia and Monty.

The couple were introduced to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints by a pair of sister missionaries and in 1967 they were baptized into the church.  Ary felt that the gospel of Jesus Christ truly changed his life and gave him comfort and peace.  Ary always dreamed of immigrating and in 1971, he and Maria immigrated to Canada with their three eldest children and settled in Calgary, AB.  There they had five other children.  One night after listening to his eldest daughter sing a song with her mother, an idea was born; they would become a singing family.  This dream was realized and the family became The Sala Family Singers, mostly singing in retirement centres to lift the hearts of the elderly.  Ary’s profession was as a Real Estate Agent.  This profession afforded him much flexibility and the family often left the cold Calgary winters to travel in a motorhome to places such as California, Utah, Arizona, Texas or Florida performing in retirement centres as they travelled.  Ary loved his motorhomes!  He loved the freedom of driving on the highway and exploring new places all in the comfort of a traveling home.

When Maria passed away in 1982 from cancer, Ary was left to care for their eight children, who were between the ages of 2 and 13.  Ary sacrificed much throughout his life to ensure that his children received his love and devotion.  He continued the tradition of singing as a family for seniors and this helped bond the family together despite the tragedy of losing their wife and mother.  When his children were mostly raised and pursuing their own lives, Ary met Charlette Clarke and on July 1997, they were married in Surrey, BC and eventually moved to Fanny Bay on Vancouver Island.  He loved their ocean front property and called it “Paradise”.

In the past twenty years, Ary discovered a passion for writing.  He has written a book on parenting titled “The Heartbeat Of All Nations”, his personal history, and was proud of his newspaper editorials that have been published locally and nationally.  Ary loved singing, reading, automobiles, deliberating politics, having big dreams and engaging in family fun.

In June 2015, Ary and Charlette received the news that Ary had esophageal cancer and was given a prognosis of six to twelve months.  Though this was difficult to hear, Ary decided to fight this cancer and did so bravely for six months.  As a retired nurse, Charlette, was his rock and strength.  She did everything possible to help him fight the cancer.  In early January 2016, Ary felt that his fight was over and that it was his time to go home.  His last few weeks were filled with visits from his children and grandchildren lovingly saying goodbye and receiving his love.  His ability to love and say just what each of us needed to hear at this difficult time was truly amazing.  Ary’s legacy to his family is his firm faith in Heavely Father and Jesus Christ and his commitment to his family.  We will miss him dearly but will always remember his legacy of love.

A funeral service will be held on Saturday, February 6th, 2016 at 1 pm at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Qualicum Beach, BC.  He will then be buried at Queen’s Park Cemetery in Calgary, AB February 12th @ 2 pm.


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