Dennis Jeffery Thistlewaite was born August 29, 1953 in Milton, ON, the son of Jack and Betty Thistlewaite. He died July 5, 2017 in Summerland, BC. Left to mourn are his wife Lynne Booth of Summerland, BC, son Derek Thistlewaite of Vancouver, BC, brother Glen, sisters Robin, Jill, and Cindy and cousin Marilee in Ontario, and many friends and colleagues around British Columbia.
After graduating from high school in Toronto, Dennis headed west where, for a few years, he fulfilled one of his dreams and worked as a logger on the rugged West Coast. His next dream fulfilled was to become a professional Red Seal chef, feeding thousands of hungry construction workers, loggers, and miners in remote locations around British Columbia.
Later, he was motivated to apply his extraordinary culinary and people skills to teaching new generations of cooks and chefs in his long career as a Culinary Chef Instructor, beginning in Mission Secondary School, Mission, BC. Chef Thistlewaite, aka Mr. T., had an innate ability to relate to a wide range of students and to share with them his passion for food and cooking. He influenced hundreds of students during his many years there and was a well respected member not only of the faculty but also of the wider community of Mission.
After leaving Mission, Dennis taught for PTI/Ekati Services (Diavik Diamond mine site) in Northwest Territories. He also instructed in northern First Nations communities, Lutsel Ke Dene School, NWT, and Lax Kw’alaams Academy in Port Simpson, BC. Dennis then went on to join the faculty of the Northwest Community College in Terrace, BC. He retired from this position after 10 years and moved to Summerland, BC where he continued teaching Food Safe courses and providing wine and culinary services as a consultant, including work with the Osoyoos Indian Band.
Dennis was much loved and will be remembered by many. His love of life and food touched the lives of all who knew him and he will always be remembered for his sense of humour and a generous spirit filled with compassion and thoughtfulness.
Memorial tributes may be made to BC Cancer Foundation,
150-686 Broadway W., Vancouver, BC V5Z 9Z9.
Condolences may be directed to the family through