November 28, 2019
Allan Duncan Pritchard, 91 died on Thursday, November 28 at Royal Jubilee Hospital in Victoria following a decade long battle with Parkinson’s. Allan was born on August 8, 1928 in Comox, BC, the middle son of Norman and Bessie (nee Jolly) Pritchard. Allan was predeceased by his older brother Gordon and is survived by his younger brother Don (Joan) Pritchard of Courtenay, BC. He is also survived by his nephews and nieces; Ron (Candace) Pritchard of Royston; Linda Walls and Sandra (Heather) Neal both of Nanaimo; Michael (Jenny) Pritchard of Comox and many great nieces and nephews and great great nieces and nephews.
Allan grew up in the Comox Valley and considered himself fortunate to have spent his childhood roaming the fields of the Duncan/ Dingwall Sandwick properties, swimming in the warm waters of the Tsolum River and searching for fossils on the banks of the Puntledge River. He was drawn to a life of academia at an early age, motivated first by his mother’s love of reading and later by the memory of his father’s twin brother (and Allan’s namesake) Charles Andrew Duncan. Charles was part of UBC’s inaugural graduating class prior to his death at Canal du Nord toward the end of World War 1 influencing Allan to believe that he too may be capable of attaining an university degree.
Also, as Allan would explain “that’s just what one did” as the industrial revolution wound down and WW2 ended. Allan went to earn his bachelor’s degree at UBC and followed that by earning his masters and doctorate at The University of Toronto, specializing in seventeenth century English literature. While pursuing his studies Allan spent several years working and researching in London, studying at Oxford and could be found skiing the Swiss and French Alps during his breaks. He taught for a brief period at UBC and eventually moved on to serve a 33 year tenure at The University of Toronto. Allan was an accomplished writer, historian, cited expert on architecture, world traveler and philanthropist but most of all he was a kind and modest man.
Whether looking down at the Comox Bay of his childhood; gazing out across Trincomali Channel from his beloved Galiano Island property during sabbaticals and summer holidays from teaching or watching weather patterns develop over the gulf islands from his Oak Bay retirement condo; Allan could typically be seen peering out from behind the pages of a book; preferably a rare first edition such as Charles Dickens, The Pickwick Papers.
This is how we will choose to remember him.
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