Tributes to Mark Taylor, whose body was recovered Tuesday afternoon from a crevasse in Yoho National Park, have poured in from the community.
Taylor was the city of Abbotsford’s general manager of parks, recreation and culture.
Mike de Jong, Abbotsford West MLA and minister of finance, issued the following written statement:
“It was with great sorrow that I learned of the tragic death of Mark Taylor while on a backcountry skiing excursion last week in British Columbia’s Rocky Mountains.
“So much of the recreational infrastructure we enjoy today in Abbotsford is the result of Mark’s vision and passion for improving the lives of families in our community.
“The legacy of projects that were created through his dedication to enhancing health, fitness, life and culture in our city, particularly the development of Discovery Trail, will be enjoyed and appreciated for generations.
“My prayers and thoughts go out to his family, close friends, and to those who Mark worked with and led in his role as director of parks, recreation and culture.”
Abbotsford MP Ed Fast said he became good friends with Taylor during the years that Fast served as an Abbotsford city councillor.
“I had the pleasure of joining Mark on some of his climbs of Mt. Baker, Mt. Rainier and Mt. Adams, He was always a stickler for safety, ensuring that participants in his adventures spent numerous evenings and weekends training and preparing for these challenging treks.”
Fast said Taylor leaves behind “a legacy of excellence.”
“His commitment went beyond simply the projects he spearheaded, and included countless hours of volunteer support to various charitable organizations. His contributions to Abbotsford will be dearly missed, but forever remembered.”
Abbotsford Mayor Bruce Banman said the city is “deeply saddened” by the loss.
“The city of Abbotsford has lost a dedicated and loyal public servant. Mark Taylor has provided passionate and dynamic leadership in his role as general manager of parks and recreation and culture for the city of Abbotsford for the past 12 years,” he said.
Banman said that in addition to the many projects that Taylor spearheaded in the city, he provided volunteer support to several organizations, including the Special Olympics, the Scouts, and the United Way of the Fraser Valley.
He also founded the Abbotsford employees’ hiking club, through which he organized and participated in outdoor adventures with staff, their families and friends.
“He always had a joke to share, provided encouragement for challenges and rewards for even the smallest of successes,” Banman said.
Mark Duyns, vice chair of PacificSport Fraser Valley, said Taylor was an “enthusiastic advocate of community sport and recreation.”
“He will be dearly missed by his friends and colleagues in the community and his contributions will be forever remembered,” he said.
PacificSport general manager Linda Palm said Taylor was an “exemplary leader.”
“He was always focused on how to better the community and how to do that collaboratively.”
Duyns and Palm said that, through Taylor’s efforts in December 2010, a new home for PacificSport Fraser Valley operations was established at the Abbotsford Recreation Centre.
Meanwhile, people have been posting their messages to the family on the Abbotsford News Facebook page. Here is a sampling: