STANDISH, Elmer Darien A.K.A. “Red”
W.O. Ret’d. RCAF/CAF
Passed away peacefully at St. Joseph’s Hospital, Comox on Sunday, February 20, 2011, after a very long and hard-fought battle with prostate cancer. He spent his final glorious sunny day surrounded by his wife and several of his children and their spouses, who were all very thankful that he had his daughter, Heather, by his bedside as he rose to meet the full moon that night.
Elmer was born in Essex County, Ontario on October 9, 1929. He joined the RCAF in 1952 and met Margaret Skinner on a blind date in 1954; they were wed on July 7, 1956. His military career as an Avionics Electronic Technician saw him trained in Clinton, Ontario, then posted to Bagotville QC, Rockcliffe (Ottawa), Ancienne-Lorette QC, Trenton Ontario (as a 4FTU Instructor, where he was sent on a 6 month secondment to Marville, France before the opening of the new airport), and finally to CFB Comox where the family settled in Courtenay in the summer of 1969, and where he was stationed until his retirement in 1979. Upon his retirement from the military he opened O. & S. Electronics repair shop in the basement of Otter’s Furniture Store, from which he retired when the store closed down in1986.
Dad was a lover of garage sales and could be seen out every weekend hunting for the next great bargain. He found today’s society far too wasteful and he loved to fix something up, such as any small electrical appliances (basically anything that plugged in or took batteries) especially for his children, rather than see it sent to the dump. He loved to buy presents for his children and grandchildren and always had us in mind when he was out bargain hunting. He earned the title “Mr. Fix It” and would gladly share his vast knowledge of all things electrical and/or mechanical with anyone needing to “pick his brain” as we so often did. He very much enjoyed refurbishing electronic items for the Goodwill store and especially fixing toys for Santa’s Workshop or for his own grandchildren. There wasn’t an electronic device he didn’t dissect and his fascination for all things technical has been passed on to his children and grandchildren. He also passed on a great love of literacy and the proper use of the English language. He loved to do the daily crossword in the Colonist and would beat us all at every game of Boggle. He would cringe and take his highlighter to any printed materials if anyone were to ever split the infinitive! Dad was also an avid gardener, having been raised on the family farm in Ontario. Many of his childrens’ schoolmates will remember him as their “chauffeur” for every possible sporting event and field trip; a lot of kids were transported in “Dad’s Taxi.”
Elmer will be lovingly remembered by his devoted wife of 55 years, Margaret, and their children, Randy (wife Diane, son Aaron), Evan (wife Linda, sons Ross and Jason), Heather (husband Gordon High), Melanie (husband Rob Moonen, children Elizabeth, Holly, Ryan), and Glynis (husband David Gittens, children Sarah, Emily, Dawson, Rebecca). Elmer is also survived by his sister, Dorothy Hicks, of Mt. Forest Ontario, as well as her children and numerous other relatives “Back East”. He was predeceased by his parents and his older brother Ron.
The family wishes to thank the nurses of the 3rd floor at St. Joseph’s Hospital for their care of Elmer in his final weeks, and the nurses of the ALC Unit, with a particular thanks to Donna for her compassionate care and kindness to both Elmer and all of us during this most difficult time, it meant so much to us that you were there for his passing.
At Dad’s request there will be no service. The family will gather in springtime to spread his ashes, along with those of his beloved dog, Dudley, at some of his favourite dog-walking spots in the Valley.
A donation in Elmer’s memory to the Palliative Care Unit at St. Joseph’s Hospital, 2137 Comox Avenue, Comox, BC, V9M 1P2 or to the Canadian Cancer Society, BC & Yukon Division would be much appreciated.
Thank you also to Eric of Toneff’s Funeral Services for your most-helpful assistance.
“Enjoy your second cuppa Elmer, you’ve earned it!”