Born to a farming family in Vernon, BC, Reuben quit his brother’s dairy farm in the same community and joined the force at the age of 20. He was quickly posted to Yorkton, Saskatchewan —five months short of finishing his training in Regina—because the RCMP in 1950 was so desperate for patrolmen. Reuben applied immediately for Northern Service and was transferred a year later to Whitehorse, a place Reuben and other northern servicemen saw as a bustling metropolis compared to the other communities they served, and where he eventually retired.
Reuben worked briefly in Fort Smith, NWT, and then Cambridge Bay, where he worked for a year as an agent of government and where he patrolled the landscape by dog team. He developed snow blindness during the course of this and still receives a special RCMP pension for it. While living in Cambridge Bay a second time, Reuben navigated the M.V. Spalding and became close friends with Bill Pringle, who was serving at the Spence Bay detachment. In the arctic, the two men hunted seal together to feed their dog teams.
It was while working in Westaskiwin, Alta., patrolling the five Indian reservations of Hobbema, that Reuben met Rena (Maki) and married her in 1955. His last transfer was out of Inuvik, NWT, to Whitehorse in 1965. His young kids Robert and Debra went “ballistic” at the news they were moving somewhere with more hours of winter daylight. Reuben retired in 1979. The entire Fendrick family remains in Whitehorse.
After retirement, Reuben worked out of Dawson City as a guide to big game hunters, sold real-estate and placer gold mined east of Lake Laberge. He is an active member of the Whitehorse Rotary Club, which he co-founded, and was instrumental in the development of Whitehorse’s cherished waterfront attraction, Rotary Peace Park.