It is with great sadness we have had to say goodbye to Grant Vincent Clements, our loving husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, and brother. He passed away peacefully in Palm Springs, CA at the Eisenhower Medical Center on April 10, 2014 with his loving family with him. He was just shy of 80 years of age and leaves behind; Mary, his wife of 55 years; children Lynn (Glenn), Jeff and Kelly (Jeff); grandchildren Jaclynn and Robyn; and one great-grandchild, Levi.
Grant was born to the late Harry Clements and Florence Hayter on April 24th, 1934 in White Sands, PEI. He was the eldest child of the family, predeceased by his brothers William, Angus and Winston; leaving his two sisters Shirlene Keenan and Linda Clements.
He grew up and went to school in White Sands, PEI while working on the family potato farm. He was a passionate hockey player in his youth and in his late teens left and went to Prince of Wales College. Grant briefly taught for two years in the early 1950’s in Wood Islands, PEI before embarking upon a career in the RCAF. After completing his NAV training in 1957, he got his operational training in CF100’s in Cold Lake, AB in early 1958. This started a career of thousands of hours flying in a variety of fighter squadrons navigating CF-100’s, CF-101’s and T-33’s. This took him and his family to live all across Canada and Europe including Belgium, France and Germany. His biggest passion in the military was buzzing around up in the clouds, most clearly articulated in one of his favourite poems, ‘High Flight’. After his flying days, he became Base Commander of CFB Beaverlodge, AB from 1973-75. He ended his military career in Winnipeg as one of the original members of Air Command and worked there in Plans until his retirement as a Major in 1981.
One to never slow down, the next career would be real estate, joining his wife shortly after his retirement from the military. Grant was still actively working in the business this year with his daughter Kelly. He spent 33 successful years selling, inspiring, mentoring and educating many.
He was generous with his time in the community, with friends and business associates. His biggest community accomplishment was his high level of involvement in the Minor Hockey Association in the 1970’s in Comox, BC.
Outside of his work, he had a variety of interests; travel, reading, golf, hunting, fishing and of course the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and Winnipeg Jets. One of the big occasions every year – one he never missed in over 35 years – was the September Ashern One Box Sharptail Hunt with all of his hunting buddies. He always let it be known that they were hunting, but never seemed to arrive with any spoils from the hunt.
Above all, the most important thing to Grant – Dad – was his family. He met his beloved wife Mary Bilinsky in 1957 and married her on July 5, 1958 in Winnipeg. He was incredibly proud of his three children, two grandchildren and the most recent addition, a great-grandchild.
A man of the highest integrity with a strong work ethic. A leader. One of curiosity and passions. A grand storyteller full of love and laughter, he will be sorely missed.
Viewing will be at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, April 25th, with the service at noon in The 17 Wing Community Chapel located at 2235 Silver Ave off Wihuri (formerly Whytewold Road) to be followed by a Celebration of Life.
In lieu of flowers, donations to the Heart and Stroke Association may be made in Grant’s memory.
Funeral arrangements are in care of Gilbart Funeral Home, 309 Eveline Street, Selkirk, Manitoba. www.gilbartfuneralhome.com