It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Harold (Harry) Lee Ellis (Captain retired, Royal Canadian Air Force) on Saturday, October 29, 2016 in Comox, British Columbia.
Harry will be lovingly remembered by his wife, Lynn; daughters Elizabeth Latourell (Kim) and Carolyn Dolecki; granddaughters Nicole (Justin), Kara (Jaime), Amanda (David) and Krysta; great-grandsons Jace and Joel. He is survived by his youngest brother, Wayne, and predeceased by his parents, Hazel and Herman, and four siblings, Wanda, Gordon, Ted and Douglas, and extended family.
Harry was born in Toronto, Ontario on June 1, 1928. From an early age, he helped his family financially. He sold newspapers and was a delivery boy for a dairy, a bakery and a pharmacy. This was the beginning of the work ethic that was important to him throughout his life. Harry also exhibited a talent and passion for sports, especially baseball, hockey and skiing.
After graduating from Ottawa Technical High School, he worked for the Wartime Prices and Trade Board and then the Governor General’s Foot Guards. In 1946, Harry joined the Royal Canadian Air Force as a fire fighter, but after basic training, he changed career paths and began working in Administration. His postings included North Luffenham, England; Whitehorse; Edmonton; Victoria; Ottawa (where he was commissioned from the ranks); Summerside; Lahr, Germany; Penhold and finally, Comox.
He was always an advocate for the junior ranks and on several bases, he was asked to be Honorary President of the Mess Committee. In addition to his many responsibilities as Personnel or Base Administrative Officer, he served on numerous committees, handled public relations for the military sports teams, coached little league baseball and girls’ softball, in addition to playing the sports he loved.
While stationed in Edmonton, Harry met Lynn and they married in 1955. Throughout their 60 years together, they enjoyed dancing, golfing, going for drives, camping, fishing and traveling (especially to Maui, possibly his favourite place).
Harry’s love of learning was evident throughout his life, whether it was taking required courses during his military career or choosing to attend classes to further enhance his knowledge and skills. Harry and Lynn dreamed of building their own home, so Harry returned to school to learn everything from electrical to framing and plumbing. After 361/2 years, Harry retired from the military in 1982 and returned to school, graduating with an Associate of Arts Degree in Business Administration and Finance from Camosun College in Victoria.
Harry was a member of the Board of the Credit Union and volunteered with Elections Canada. He continued his support of the military by assisting widows of deceased members with their pension and benefit inquiries. He worked diligently to try and keep military pension contributions with the members as opposed to being transferred to general revenues of the federal government. He was also a member of the Royal Canadian Legion, the Armed Forces Pensioners’ Association of Canada, the Air Force Association of Canada and an associate member of the Officers’ Mess at Canadian Forces Base Comox.
He will be remembered for so many things, including his quirky sense of humour, his attention to detail and time, his facility with numbers, his love of tinkering and gadgets, his need to keep every little thing (but well-organized, of course), his acknowledgment of a meal prepared, his love of apple pie, butter tarts and soft oatmeal raisin cookies and, most of all, his love of his family.
Harry’s family is grateful for the long-term support of the medical community especially Dr. Potter-Cogan, the nurses and caregivers. A private family interment will be held at Valley View Cemetery in Surrey, British Columbia. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Heart and Stroke Foundation or the Lung Association.