BARRHEAD - Barrhead residents are in mourning after learning about the passing of long-time municipal councillor Darrell Troock.
Troock passed away Sunday, Sept. 10 in the Barrhead Healthcare Centre, surrounded by family and loved ones. He was 66.
Troock is survived by his wife, Tara; his children, Nathan and Tessa; brothers, Don, Brian, Norman and Wayne; mother-in-law Carol; father-in-law, Ben; sister-in-law Debbie; and several nieces, nephews, and cousins.
A celebration of life will be held on Oct. 1 at the Barrhead Seniors' Drop-in Centre starting at 1:30 p.m.
Troock was a County of Barrhead councillor for Division 5 for 16 years.
Troock and his wife came to Barrhead in about 2000, where he got involved in the real estate industry and his wife, Tara, took a job with the Alberta Distance Learning Centre.
He was first elected to office in a 2005 by-election when Coun. Roy Ulmer moved out of the division.
In a July 2021 Barrhead Leader interview, Troock said he was drawn into municipal politics because the county was considering amending its Land-use Bylaw to make it easier to subdivide farmland to increase its tax base.
"I was concerned they might open it up and let it go wild. We had moved from the Stony Plain/Spruce Grove area, where they allowed massive amounts of subdividing properties for years. The result was the loss of a lot of good farmland," he said.
Shortly after being elected, the county reviewed its Land-Use Bylaw (LUB) and changed the rules governing the subdividing of properties.
Although council did amend the LUB rules governing the subdividing of properties, making it easier to subdivide, they limited it to one undeveloped parcel at a time.
"We felt the best people that should profit from the land should be the farmers, not developers," he said.
Other projects or council initiatives Troock said he was particularly proud of included the extension of the water line to Neerlandia and the creation of the Barrhead Water Regional Water Commission (BRWC), the "Lasso the Sun" project in 2008, which saw the county install a two-kilowatt grid-connected solar system on the municipal building and the re-establishment of an economic development committee (EDC) in about 2012. The latter, he said, was instrumental in the creation of the county's Kiel Industrial Park.
Troock also said he was proud of his work as part of the Barrhead and District Social Housing Association (BDSHA).
The association manages four long-term seniors' facilities in Barrhead, including Hillcrest Lodge, Klondike Place, Golden Crest Manor, and Jubilee Manor. The association covers Barrhead, Fort Assiniboine, Swan Hills and Big Lakes County.
"It was in pretty dire straits when I started, but through a good CAO and some good boards, we brought it back to a very positive feature in the community," he said.
County of Barrhead reeve Doug Drozd learned about Troock's passing late in the evening on Sept. 13 via a message by county manager Debbie Oyarzun.
"Losing Darrell is sad. He was a good friend. My and I am sure the rest of council's prayers go out to his family. We are definitely going to miss not having him around," he said.
Drozd added that although Troock retired from council in 2021, he was still an active member of the community, noting he was still a member of the water commission at the time of his passing.
Although Drozd said he knew Troock casually through his wife as they had mutual friends, he really only had the opportunity to get to know him once he joined him on council in 2010.
"What I will remember about Darrell, in addition to our friendship, is his commitment to the community and his frankness," he said. "He was a very strong advocate for county residents, and he never was afraid to speak his peace, which is rare and refreshing nowadays. His presence will by surely missed."