Two Kelowna councillors fondly remembered their friend Jeff Simla at Monday’s (June 5) council meeting.
Coun. Luke Stack paid tribute to Simla who died suddenly on May 27.
“Jeff was one of my closest friends. He was a Kelowna community builder. He stepped up when the need was there.”
Stack added that Simla served the community in two important areas that are also council priorities.
Simla worked with Stack at the Society of Hope, starting as a director and eventually becoming president. He later became the executive pastor of Metro Community Church (MCC) and helped establish the metro hub downtown.
The Society of Hope provides affordable housing in the Central Okanagan, and the MCC offers programs and services to people experiencing homelessness.
“He was right on the front line,” added Stack. “He was working with people, he was fundraising, delivering the programs. People loved him.”
Coun. Ron Cannan, who spoke at Simla’s celebration of life, knew him for more than 30 years.
“He called me the day before (May 26), we talked for about half an hour and the next morning he went for a bike ride and had a heart attack and passed away.”
Coun. Stack added Simla made the Kelowna community a better place.
“Jeff was a man of faith. He was sensitive. He was very kind and a loving husband and father to his grandchildren.”
Simla is survived by his wife of 35 years, his two daughters and four grandchildren.