Just two days after he receiving the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal, Hal Singleton, a longtime stalwart of the local federal Liberal party, died Wednesday at the age of 70.
Singleton ran twice for the party in federal elections and was honoured last November in a special celebration marked by the attendance by Justin Trudeau.
At that event, Trudeau hailed Singleton, and other party members, as one of those who "dare to call themselves Liberal in Chilliwack."
Singleton squared off against Chuck Strahl in 1993. Although he lost, he garnered 15,672 votes, more than any second-place candidate in the last 45 years. He also again in 2000, but again lost to Strahl.
Singleton served in the Canadian Forces for 33 years and retired as a lieutenant-colonel. He also served as the Canadian Forces Fire Marshal, was a president of the Royal Canadian Air Force Association, and chaired a NATO Working Group.
Singleton had been facing terminal colon cancer, a dark specter about which he spoke publicly in November, when he said flaws in the medical system had seen a highly treatable disease go undetected until, for him, it was too late.
Tributes from across the political spectrum began pouring in as new of his death spread Tuesday.
Chilliwack-Fraser Canyon MP Mark Strahl wrote on Twitter: "Sorry to hear about the passing of long time Chilliwack resident, veteran and politico Hal Singleton. Condolences to his family and friends."
NDP MLA Gwen O'Mahony and Chilliwack Coun. Jason Lum also sent tributes by Twitter.
A funeral will be held Monday at 11 a.m. at Cooke's Presbyterian Church. It will be followed by receptions afterwards at the church and then, following that, at the legion. The family is suggesting donations to the Chilliwack Hospice Society in lieu of flowers.