Ivan Richard White

White, Ivan Richard

1924 – 2005

Ivan Richard White peacefully passed away on April 13, 2005. Ivan was predeceased by his first wife Thelma (Osborne). He is survived by wife, Edith (Medley); sons: Raymond (Rose Marie) and Richard; 3 grandchildren: Andy, Donna (Rick Rennison), and Katie; and 5 great-grandchildren: Jamie, Whitney and Kristopher Rennison, and Coralee and Chanel Martin.

Ivan was born on April 21, 1924 in Bracebridge, ON and there were 12 children in his family. At age 19 he joined the Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry Highlanders. While driving a flame-thrower Bren gun carrier during the liberation of Holland, he was injured and blinded. Ivan trained at St. Dunstans in England before returning to Canada in 1945.

On June 3, 1946 Ivan and Thelma were married in Toronto where Ivan was trained by the CNIB. They lived in Toronto, Ottawa and Bracebridge before moving to Victoria in 1957. Ivan ran a CNIB newsstand for many years at the main post office on Government Street. They moved to Courtenay in 1974 where Ivan ran a stand at the liquor store until he retired.

Ivan was a lifetime member of the Sir Arthur Pearson Association of the War Blinded (SAPA) and the War Amputations of Canada. When Ivan served as President of SAPA, he enjoyed the support of his wife Thelma who was the secretary. For many years they travelled to national conventions for both organizations. He frequently served on national committees and worked hard to provide for the visually impaired such items as talking books and computers, visual aids and even a two-seater bicycle.

In recent years Ivan and Edith continued the tradition of travelling. They enjoyed trips to Australia, Mexico, Holland and Juneau Beach. They even went on a Caribbean cruise. Ivan planned to attend the Netherlands Liberation 60th Anniversary in May 2005, accompanied by granddaughter Donna, niece Vicky and Edith. To carry on Ivan’s wishes his brother-in-law Gordon Osborne will take his place and represent him at the functions he planned to attend.

He enjoyed his retirement by fishing, camping at Miracle Beach, farming, gardening, and woodworking. Most of all he loved entertaining and teasing his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. All will fondly remember his enthusiastic enjoyment of card playing, conversation, talking books, storytelliing, and jokes. His grandson Kris remembers that every time a new lamb was born, Ivan had a smile like he’d just won the lotto. Farming brought much fulfillment to Ivan and his family assisted, however they were “allowed”. Ivan also enjoyed his garden. He built raised-beds and planted fruit trees and flowers.

Ivans specialty was woodworking. He designed and built his home in Merville, lawn furniture, wooden spoons, wagons, wheelbarrows and flower boxes. His talent for woodworking was a constant amazement to others.

Ivan was our fearless leader! We will always remember his infallible memory, quick wit, generosity and strong opinions. His inner strength and kindness will continue to inspire anyone who came in contact with him. Ivan kept his family connected from East to West and all will miss his frequent phone calls.

We will miss Ivan, but will always be grateful for the opportunity to have known and loved such a great man. Some people just have a life to live, but Ivan LIVED his whole life.

A Memorial Service will be held on Friday, April 22, 2005 at 1:00pm at Piercy’s Mt. Washington Funeral Home, 440 England Avenue, Courtenay.

In lieu of flowers donations can be made to SAPA or the charity of your choice.

Arrangements have been entrusted to Piercy’s – Mt. Washington Funeral Home and Crematorium.