Dean Drysdale, the former Langley Township councillor and federal Conservative candidate in 2015, has died following a battle with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).
Raised in Langley, Drysdale served two terms on Langley Township council from 1996 to 2002, under mayors John Scholtens and Kurt Alberts. Drysdale was a member of the Langley Leadership Team, which briefly held a majority on the council in the late 1990s.
Some key decisions taken during his time on the council included the development of the Walnut Grove Recreation Centre and the 208th Street overpass.
“He believed in growing this community to meet the needs of the new people who were starting out,” said Coun. Kim Richter, who was elected in 1998 and sat on council with Drysdale.
Before he became involved in local politics, Drysdale had been active in the Young Progressive Conservatives as a teen in the 1970s and 1980s, and he worked in Ottawa during the Brian Mulroney era.
In 2000, he offered to run as a member of the then-new Canadian Alliance party, parachuting in to a Quebec riding as he spoke French.
Following his time on council, Drysdale was largely absent from local politics until 2015, when he ran for the Conservatives in the new riding of Cloverdale-Langley City. Liberal John Aldag would be successful in winning the new seat for the Liberal party.
Drysdale was active in business, education, and public service beyond his time in politics.
He was president of Chartwell Strategies, a financial advisory firm that raised money for growing small businesses, from 1996. Drysdale was also director or board member of multiple other firms, including local start ups such as CubicFarm Systems, a vertical farming concern.
For more than 25 years, he was also a professor of business management at Kwantlen Polytechnic University.
One of his other passions was the Canadian Army Reserve. Drysdale joined the Reserves in 1981 and rose to the rank of lieutenant-colonel. He was also involved with local cadets organizations around the Langley area.
The Vancouver Artillery Association posted tributes to Drysdale on the organization’s website while Drysdale was battling ALS, with dozens of his comrades and friends commenting.
A memorial service and celebration of life for Drysdale will be held on Saturday, Sept. 14 at 1 p.m. at the Langley Events Centre Banquet Hall, located at 7888 200 St.