Nick Bevanda, an award-winning architect whose career was profiled in a Globe and Mail feature, died after a 10-month battle with cancer.
He was three days short of his 55th birthday.
Bevanda passed away Sunday at Moog & Friends Hospice House, a building he designed. He was also on the board of directors.
Born in Vancouver, he moved to Penticton in 1976 and attended Penticton Secondary School. He graduated from Washington State University and after relocating briefly to Vancouver returned to Penticton in 1992 and started his own company, Bevanda Architecture, which would later morph into CEI Architecture and then HDR Architecture.
"Nick as an architect was amazing. He was world class and a genius who was so far ahead of his time," said long-time friend David Prystay, general manager of the Penticton Lakeside Resort.
Bevanda's work included the Hooded Merganser restaurant and the new hotel expansion at the Lakeside which is scheduled to open in June.
"Nick as a friend was a gentle giant," Prystay said. "He never had a bad word to say about anybody, even his competitors. He was a fabulous family man who loved his family very much."
Bevanda won the Lieutenant Governor of B.C.'s Award in 2008 for his design of Black Hills Winery. He was also an honourary fellow of B.C.'s architect's society.
Other high-profile projects include the new Penticton Secondary School, Southern Okanagan Secondary School in Oliver, Terravista Vineyards, and a church in Summerland.
"Nick loved design," said long-time friend and business associate Doug Kenyon. "He had a real appreciation for Le Corbusier and Mies van der Rohe. What was neat about Nick was he understood the need to compromise, that good design didn't always require you to spend a lot of money. He understood the needs of Penticton well.
"He was a very classy man with a high degree of integrity. His staff loved him and the contractors worked well with him because he treated everyone so fairly. Penticton is a better place because of Nick."
Bevanda was a Rotarian. His hobbies included art, playing guitar and traveling.
He's survived by his wife Sandy and children Branko, 22; Luka, 19; Carolina, 17; and Domenic, 6.
Funeral services will be held Saturday, May 20 at St. Anne Church in Penticton at 10 a.m. Memorial donations may be made to Moog & Friends Hospice House.