Norman James Rolston OBC, MSC, CD

    • Norman James Rolston OBC, MSC, CD
    • RCE EIIR Badge
    • Norman James Rolston OBC, MSC, CD

    We regret to advise of the death of Norman James Rolston, OBC, MSC, CD on 6 October 2017 at the age of 85.

    Norman was born in Willowbunch SK but the family moved to Quill Lake, SK from the "Dust Bowl" of the southern parts of the province. Norm left home at the age of 17 to work in the mining industry in the Northwest Territories. He then moved to BC's coast and joined the Canadian Army. Norm served 13 years with the Royal Canadian Engineers (RCE). He performed with the 40-piece brass marching band across the province.

    Upon the completion of his army service, Norm moved to the Peace River Country in northern Alberta to begin homesteading. At that time he managed Canadian Propane in Valleyview, AB. He became band leader - first for the town band and then the Navy League band. Norm next moved back to the BC coast where he started Rolston Crane and Freight and contributed to the construction of highways, Sky Train and Expo 86.

    Norm invented the Able Walker and started Able Walkers Ltd that introduced wheeled walkers to the world. His Able Walker has helped millions of people gain a new mobility and restored their independence improved their quality of life. The Los Angeles Times voted the Able Walker one of the “Top Ten International Inventions of the 1990s.” Norman gifted his invention to the world by not patenting it. For this he won the first Humanitarian of the Year Award presented by the International Society of Inventors.  For his invention and generosity, Norm was awarded Order of BC and the Meritorious Service Cross.

    A memorial Service to celebrate his life will be held at Sharon United Church (5 corners in Murrayville) 21562 Old Yale Rd, Langley on Wednesday October 25, 2017 at 11:30 a.m. Online condolences can be left at the family's online obituary. {kh22Oct17}