Family of slain patriarch steps up to keep decades-old appliance business afloat

Derek McIver, 39, is usually dressed in a suit and tie for his work as a financial adviser, but on Tuesday morning, he was in coveralls instead.

He was helping his dad's cousin deliver a washing machine to one of his father's old customers in East Vancouver.

It's work that has taken on a whole new meaning for him since his father's death in June.

"It's kind of like going back to where I used to be when I was in my twenties," he said over the phone during the delivery.

McIver's dad, John — better known as Jack — was a well-known businessman who operated McIver's Appliance Sales and Service in South Vancouver for more than 50 years.

The 78-year old was found dead inside his shop on June 26. Former employee Brian Roger Holt has been charged with second-degree murder in his death.

Holt is scheduled to appear Wednesday morning in a Vancouver courtroom to set a date for the next step in the legal process.

Derek McIver says he will be there, along with one of his sisters, to represent their family.

'Amazing' dad

He says focusing on family has helped him and his mother and sisters over the past two months.

"Remembering the great things about my dad and great moments ... that's helping me and all my family members get through these tough times."

He says his father was a businessman who was committed to customer service and integrity.

At home, he was an "amazing" dad and an even better grandfather who "lit up" around his grandchildren.

"His way of love was to show you, to teach you," he recalled.

Derek McIver

Now he and his family are putting in extra hours to maintain his father's legacy. He says it's gone "quite well" considering the circumstances.

"We're together a lot more as family, so that's been nice."

Despite their best efforts though, the loss of the elder McIver has had an impact on the business.

Derek says they've had to cut back on opening hours and they don't know what might happen to the store in a year.

But, for now, they're focused on making sure the store continues to be a place that would have made their father proud.