Obituary of Captain Thorbjorn Roald Bordevik
Surrounded by his loving family, Captain Thorbjorn Roald Bordevik died quietly on Dec. 18 at Bobby’s Hospice, after a short battle with ALS. Thor (Tor) was born in 1943 in Bogen Tysfjord in the Northern part of Norway, during the German occupation. He was the second son of Mathilde (Hansen) and Hans Bordewich.
At the age of 15, he left home and went to sea, and worked his way from a Deck Boy up to a Captain with a world-wide license. In his mid 30’s he decided he was tired of being a ‘truck driver’ in the North Atlantic, and came ashore, working with the Norwegian shipping company Star Shipping, as a Port Captain up and down the US Gulf and Atlantic Seaboard. Here he was known as either Hagar the Horrible or Tuborg Bordevik. In this position, he eventually came to Eastport, Maine, and Saint John, where he met his wife to be, Jane Madsen. They married in 1987 and Thor became a Canadian landed immigrant. Upon retirement from Star Shipping, he operated his own company, Maritime Cargo Consultants, for another 10 years.
Thor is survived in Norway by his siblings: brother, Hans, sisters Unn and Siv, and many nieces and nephews; by his son, Hans Jorgen Haapnes and partner Margaret, his two Norwegian granddaughters, Julie and Cecilie; in Halifax, Elizabeth Madsen Higgins (Andrew) and grandkids Hannah and Cole Highfield and Benjamin and Madeleine Higgins; in Westfield, his wife, Jane Madsen, Alison Calder (Stephen) and grandkids Olivia, Lena, and Graeme Calder. His grandkids were the most important people in his life, and he adored them all equally. He wrote a book about his life for his grandchildren, titled ‘Letters from Bestefar’ (‘Letters from Grampie’) of which he was very proud.
Thor was a member of the Canadian Company of Master Mariners, and for a period of 6 years, was on the board of the Atlantic Pilotage Association. He served on the board of the Saint John Newcomers Association, and after retirement, was a member of Probus.
Thor always said that he had lived at least three normal lifetimes, and he has absolutely no regrets about leaving this earth after a wonderful life. However, a large presence is now gone, and it will be very quiet in Westfield without his booming voice, and sharp intellect. And we will all miss his cold-smoked salmon. Big man, big voice, big convictions, huge heart.
The family would like to extend sincere thanks to all the wonderful people involved with the Extra Mural organization in our area, and to the staff at Bobby’s Hospice.
If desired, donations could be made to the Canadian Down Syndrome Society, Inclusion NB, Bobby’s Hospice or a charity of your choice.
There will be no funeral. A celebration of Thor’s life will take place from 2-4pm at the Plank Restaurant at Reversing Falls, 200 Bridge Road, Saint John, NB on Friday, January 12, 2024.