Service station pioneer passes

Walter Barron, of the Barron & Son service station in downtown Langley, died on Dec. 27 in Langley Memorial Hospital. He was 87.

Several generations of Langley drivers knew the Barron family’s gas station and garage, which was located in the heart of downtown on Fraser Highway, just of 203rd Street.

Walter worked there, first with his father Bill and later with his brother Del.

The station was established in 1938, and Walt started working there in 1943, part time after school.

His most famous patron stopped by looking for directions in 1946. Humphrey Bogart was trying to find his way to Hope.

In 1957, Del and Walter bought the station from their father, who retired.

The brothers operated the station until 1997, when the pumps finally came down. It had started out pumping gas under the Signal Oil brand, which was taken over by Standard Oil, which eventually became Chevron Canada.

It was Chevron’s first 24-hour service station.

Walter loved golf, curling, and traveling through the province. He was also an avid member of the Elks Lodge from 1955, and served as the BC Elks Club president in 1979.

He and wife Naomi were married for 60 years, until she passed away in 2010. Walter is survived by his children, Ramona and Mark.

A memorial service for Walt Barron will be held on Friday, Jan. 9 at 1 p.m. at the George Preston Recreation Centre. The family has asked that, in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Elks Camp for Children.

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