Maurie Albin Alexander Nord, well finished his race here on earth and went to receive his reward from the Father in heaven June 7, 2016, just 5 days before his 66th birthday, in Vanderhoof BC.
Maurie was born in the ‘Home of Champions’, Trail BC on June 12, 1950 to his parents, Alexander ‘Sandy’ Gustaf Peter Nord and Audry Alma Wilson. He is a descendant of Johan Johansson Nord (1795) of Norsjo, Sweden. Johan’s great grandson, Gustaf Albin Nord, born 1892, immigrated to Kaslo, British Columbia, Canada, in 1911, where Maurie’s father, Alexander (Sandy) Nord, was born in 1917. Later, Maurie found out through genealogical research that he was the sixth generation first born son of the Johan Johansson Nord line which he was very proud of.
Maurie’s passion for music began in ‘earnest’ when he quietly and secretly tried strumming his step-father’s 1946 Martin guitar at the age of 11. Later, at Maurie’s request, his stepfather, Ernest Franklin McQuary, taught him three chords on this 1946 Martin guitar and insisted that he learn them fluently before proceeding to anything more. This, Maurie eagerly did in the privacy of his bedroom, and much to the relief of listeners. At a young age, Maurie began to experiment with writing poetry, but was determined to be a guitar player and STRONGLY declined to sing. However, involvement in church ministry led him to sing “loud” for “old folks” at retirement homes, and this was due to the STRONG prompting of Rev Art Zapparozan, pastor of the Trail Pentecostal Church. Maurie was raised with the musical influences of his stepfather: Hank Snow, Jimmy Rodgers, Merle Haggard, Marty Robbins and Jim Reeves. He soon added to those artists: Chet Atkins, Brian Wilson, The Stamps Quartet, Elvis, Carlos Montoya, Barbershop Quartets, Jerry Lee Lewis, Jimmy Swaggart, Alan Jackson, Johnny Cash, Steve Earle and Bob Dylan to mention a few.
In time, Maurie taught himself country, classical and blues guitar, rhythm style piano, accordion, blues harp, five string and tenor banjo. In 1987, he submitted a demo tape to Comstock Records of Shawnee, Kansas and found to his surprise, that they liked his songs. It was at this time that Maurie sang in a duo act called “Moe and the Catfish”, where he discovered that he had a talent for entertaining in comedy as well as song. This he did in the pubs, restaurants, golf courses and ski hills of the Okanagan Valley, British Columbia. In July of 1999, Comstock’s Patty Parker produced Maurie’s two songs: “Redneck Feelin’ Blue”, and “Wanderin’ Kind”. This was done in Chelsea Studio, Nashville, Tennessee.
At age 21, Maurie trained under Kent Bastien as a barber in Vancouver BC and supported himself at various stages throughout his life in this trade. In addition to his barbering and music skills, Maurie earned a Bachelor degree in Theology at Western Pentecostal Bible College in Clayburn BC. In Bible College he was trained in voice, music theory and had experiences in writing, arranging and performing in choirs (WPBC’s Harmonaires), mixed and male quartets. He was ordained with the Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada in Quebec where he did Home Missions for three years with his wife Ruth Buchner. This is where his eldest daughter, Rachelle, was born in 1981. Maurie became fluent in French during his ministry and it never left him as he took any opportunity to speak with French speakers everywhere he met them. On his return home to BC, Maurie became assistant pastor under Eugene Kraft at Cannaught Heights church in New Westminster. During this time his son Justin was born in 1983. When Eugene moved on from Cannaught Heights Maurie moved on as well and became an itinerant Evangelist traveling BC and the states of Washington and Oregon. He was used powerfully in the many churches he ministered at, however, it was very difficult to raise a family in this type of ministry. Maurie decided he needed a different career so he sadly gave up his evangelistic ministry which broke his heart. He then decided to train for a career in Life insurance with Empire life while the family lived in Surrey. Robynn was born there in 1986.
Maurie married second, his wife Darcy Austin, in 1990 in Penticton where he opened his barber shop, ‘Happy Days Hair’. Maurie and Darcy bought a house in Naramata where they lived for eight years and had many wonderful times together with the children. In 2001 Maurie and Darcy left for Korea to pursue a career in teaching English. They spent 10 years altogether in Korea and grew to love this country as their own. Together they attended a Korean language course and with his gift with languages Maurie enjoyed speaking Korean very much. Maurie loved Korea so much with the upbeat Asian culture, as well as, the Korean people sharing similar loves to him: music, soju and humour. They say Koreans are the ‘Irish of the Orient’. Maurie and Darcy were also fortunate to have traveled in: Sweden to visit his family and roots there; Switzerland to visit Darcy’s brother, Todd and family; Malaga, Spain to learn Spanish; France and Britain where more ancestral roots are and Italy.
Maurie had many other hobbies besides music and languages: fishing, history and genealogy, making knives, building boats and even long boards. He loved skateboarding and in fact said that for his birthday this year he wanted a long board. Always a kid at heart, he’s probably riding a long board in heaven right now!
His greatest love though was preaching and sharing the gospel of God. He always said ‘I’m not ashamed of the gospel’ for he knew it was the power of God for salvation for everyone who believes, for ‘the righteous shall live by faith’ (Romans 1: 16, 17). He never stopped sharing what God did for him since the day He touched him at the early age of 11 at the Full Gospel church in Fruitvale while attending with his grandparents, Ross and Eleanor Wilson. Maurie persevered through many difficult trials and sufferings and prefaces his autobiography, ‘Tried by Fire’, with 1 Peter 1: 7, ‘These trials have come, so that your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though tested (or tried) by fire—may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed’. No wonder Maurie was born in a town with the moto: Home of Champions and with a town seal: ‘Gold must be tried by fire’. It is also appropriate that he should depart this world in Vanderhoof as this is where the only funeral home in the province is named ‘Grace’ memorial. Grace was one of Maurie’s favorite words because he knew how very much God’s grace in his life made him the champion he is.
He leaves behind those who rejoice in his reward: his best friend Darcy; children: daughter, Rachelle (Mihai) of Belleville Ontario; son, Justin (Amanda) of Vernon, BC; daughter, Robynn of Italy; his sisters: Vivien Moores (Bud) of Trail BC, Sherry Kowalchuk (Robert) of Kaleden BC, Pamela Nord-Krueger (Randy) of Seattle WA; his brothers: Gilbert McQuary (Barbara) of Kelowna BC and Mark Nord of Castlegar BC; and his Uncle Morley Wilson (Elsie) of Ladysmith BC, many nieces, nephews, cousins, friends and Korean students.
Maurie, the world was not worthy of you as you wandered your meandering path here on earth. We miss you and can’t wait for the day we will be reunited with you once again. Until then, we hold you in our hearts and in our memories. You lost your life to gain it! You are a champion and we are proud to have been a part of your life here on earth. Have fun with your loved ones there and we here will be comforted by the thought that you have joined that great cloud of witnesses who cheer us on as we throw off every hindrance and sin that so easily entangles us in order to persevere in the race marked out for each of us until we meet again (Hebrews 11,12)
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