Walter Robert Badun
January 2, 1930 - April 20, 2016
With great sadness and love we say goodbye to Walter Robert Badun. Born January 2, 1930 in Gierczony, Poland, Walter passed away in his sleep with his family by his side on Wednesday, April 20, 2016 at St. Paul’s Hospital, Vancouver, BC. He was predeceased by his parents Aleksandr (1987) and Marja (1970) and his older brother Stefan (2006), all of Edmonton, Alberta. The Badun family emigrated from Poland in 1930 and homesteaded in Rich Valley, Alberta.
Walter was a wonderful husband, father, and “Gramps”. Family was always Walter’s greatest love and priority. Survived by his loving wife of 61 years, Jean Louise (neé Barton), their five children, fourteen grandchildren and two great-grandchildren; Rob and Eileen of Toronto (Meghan & Mark [Leah & Cole], David, Amy & Sarah), Maryanne and James of Vancouver (Simon & Stewart), Carol and Andrew of Vancouver (Peter, Timothy & Robyn) and “the twins”, Monique and Michael of Vancouver (Audrey & Ryan) and just 10 minutes younger, Graham and Carolyn of Toronto (Tess, Elise & Madeleine) and Walter’s younger brother Michael and his wife Marli of Calgary.
After completing High School in Sangudo, Alberta, Walter graduated from the University of Alberta in 1952 in Electrical Engineering and proudly wore his iron ring for life. Following marriage to Jean in Red Deer, Alberta in 1954, Walter completed his education at the University of Western Ontario and graduated with his MBA, class of ‘57. Walter and Jean believed that education was one of the pillars of a happy, successful life. They instilled this in their children and grandchildren. Following the birth of their first child, Rob, Walter’s career in real estate took them to Edmonton, Calgary and finally Vancouver culminating with the founding of Penreal Advisors in 1982. Walter served as Chair and CEO of Penreal as it grew to become a significant investor in Canadian real estate, acting on behalf of some of Canada’s largest pension funds. In addition to his “day job”, Walter was Chair of BC Buildings Corp., a Director of Expo ‘86 where he served as Chair of the Construction Committee, and a director of BC Development Corp. Walter was a trailblazer, a leader and the man with a slide-rule. Throughout his career he left a string of major accomplishments.
Walter was a memorable man with his short crew cut and glasses. People around the world would approach him to say hello, reminding him of when they may have worked, traveled or met. Walter was known for his big smiles and even bigger hugs. He was a big, imposing man with a caring heart and made everyone feel part of his family.
When Walter and Jean’s children were young, Walter introduced them to a variety of sports, including tennis, golf and skiing. There were the camping trips, learning to fish - including how to gut the fish for dinner, and summer cottages where water skiing, barbeques and friends enjoyed the outdoors with them. Winters in Edmonton included a backyard skating rink. Walter travelled extensively for his work, but was always home on weekends to take the kids somewhere, giving Jean a well deserved break.
Walter loved to travel with his family. With the children still young there were many holidays to places including Hawaii, Disneyland, Europe and Alaska. As the family grew there were Christmas holidays in Jamaica, Florida, St. Lucia and Mexico. But Walter and Jean’s travels did not end there. They ventured out around the globe on ocean cruises, river cruises, African safaris, England, Europe, China, the Middle East, SE Asia, Australia and New Zealand. In 2001, Walter and Jean visited Walter’s birthplace, Gierczony, Poland now Belarus.
In 1990, Walter and Jean began to spend their winter holidays in California. After Walter’s retirement, they spent their winters at their home in Arizona, where many family members joined them for holidays. The desert sun allowed Walter to spend many hours golfing. In Vancouver, he was a member of the Shaughnessy Golf and Country Club where, every May, the family gathered to celebrate Mother’s Day.
Walter / Dad / Gramps is remembered with love, friendship and respect. He lived a life worth celebrating. His soul is with God, in our hearts he lives forever.
In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to the charity of your choice. A private family service will be held later today in Vancouver.