The Rev. Geoff Archer
August 18, 2004
It is with sorrow, but with joy, that the Archer family announce that their beloved Geoffrey was called home by his Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, on July 2, 2004. Survived by Margaret Rae, his love and wife of 48 years, children; Douglas & Rona, Carolyn & John, Brenda & David, grandchildren, Lydia, Hannah, Ruth, Julia, Luke & Andrew and brother, William Archer (Toronto) and many nieces and nephews.
|The Rev. Geoff Archer|
Geoff was born in Hamilton, Ontario and raised in the Niagara and Toronto areas. He attended Brown, Ridley and Upper Canada Colleges. He signed up with 30th LAA Battery, serving from December 1941 until July 1944 when he received the Commendation for Gallantry in the Field from Field Marshal Montgomery in Normandy, when he was wounded. He was discharged October 1945.
Geoff worked 3 years with the Indian Schools in Brantford, Ont. and Lytton, B.C. Following his grandfather and father's footsteps, Geoff was ordained in December 1953, while he was at St. Mark's Church in Vancouver. In 1954 he served at the original St. Luke's on S.E. Marine Drive. At this time he built the rectory and planted the parish of St. Timothy's in the Fraserview area. It was here that he worked with street gangs. He met Rae Millard at Camp Artaban, marrying her in June 1956 and starting their family soon after. In 1958, Geoff built the new St. Luke's church at 61st and Prince Edward. He returned to school, graduating with his LTh in May 1962 while helping at St. Faith's.
Upon graduation Geoff served at St. George's (1962-1967) where his young people's group, DALAS, held dances for over 200 kids. For 5 years he was the "on call" relief chaplain at Vancouver General Hospital. He left St. George's for 7 years while he took his ministry to the marketplace as a community center director with Vancouver Parks and Recreation. During this time Geoff was a volunteer chaplain for the New Haven Correctional Centre and a relief Chaplain at the Lower Mainland Correctional Centre (Oakalla). Geoff returned to St. George's in 1974 to 1978 and retired from St. Chad's in 1987. All of the parishes Geoff served were mission ones but became self supporting under his leadership. After retiring Geoff became Honourary Assistant at St. John's Shaughnessy.
Geoff was Chairman of the Diocesan Board of Mission for 2 years and a founding member of the Editorial Board of the Diocesan paper "Anglican News". He helped initiate and was in charge of the design, execution and staffing of the Diocesan Anglican Church Booth at the Pacific National Exhibition for 5 years. Geoff and Rae were well known for their leadership in the Marriage Preparation Course in the diocese and at St. John's Shaughnessy. Geoff was a Director of the Diocesan Vancouver Marriage Preparation Program for many years. It is estimated that between the two programs over 900 couples participated in the course.
Geoff was always very interested in youth work. He was assistant director at the Y.M.C.A. Camp Thunderbird on Vancouver Island. Being a Chaplain and Camp Director at Camp Artaban he proudly wore the Sapphire, Ruby and Pearl award. He was on staff at Pioneer Pacific for two years. Many of the campers remember his overnight longboat adventures. For 2 years he was Director at Camp Puntchesecut in the heartland of the Caribou wilderness. He challenged counselors to ask "Why not" rather than answer "No" when asked by campers if they could do something. Geoff made it possible for many campers to experience the outdoors.
Geoff gave freely of his time to others even after "retirement. He was a decent - cataloguer for over 14 years at the Vancouver Museum. He and Rae were educators with the Arthritis Society. Combining his love of books and joy for people, he worked in the Delta Library coffee shop. He loved antiques and collectibles.
Known for his zest for life, Geoff loved to explore and share God's creation with all. He was always ready for adventure, from parasailing in Greece at 63, to camel riding in Australia at 77 and jet skiing at 80 years of age. He had a quirky sense of humor and was always ready with a piece of trivia. Family and friends were a very important part of his life. The Archer home was full of people, laughter and fun. He was available with a listening ear and a bowl of ice cream or popcorn to share. His grandchildren were a great joy to Geoff. He loved to get down on the floor and play at their level. He enjoyed dressing up, reading stories or playing speedy cars. He also prayed with and for them on a regular basis.
Geoff will be remembered for his unfailing service to God, his everlasting faith in Jesus Christ, his vitality, love of life, and laughter. He did his best to live his life so that others would see Christ in him. We are confident that he was greeted in heaven by his Lord, with the words,
... Well done, good and faithful servant! ...