1920 – 2009
Neil passed away December 5, 2009 at St. Joseph’s Hospital with family by his side. Born in Delburne, Alberta, he often related stories of his young life on the prairies, particularly the open air hockey games. As a young boy, he spent a few years in Courtenay with his maternal grandparents who lived in “Rose Cottage” on the site of the current Westerly Hotel. This was for him the beginning of a life-long soft spot for the beauty of the Comox Valley. On his return to Alberta, he finished his schooling, completed teacher training and was assigned to a one-room school in Three Hills where he thoroughly enjoyed teaching his young multi-age students.
During World War II, Neil served as a navigator in the RCAF, based in England where he met his future wife, Judy. On his return to Canada, he completed a degree in Economics at Queen’s University and he and Judy began their move west, first to Alberta and then on to Trail, B.C. where he taught high school English. The remainder of his career was in Vancouver as a teacher, school counsellor and administrator.
On retirement, Neil moved to the Comox Valley where he spent 27 contented years enjoying his growing family, caring for his yard, taking neighbourhood walks, avidly following the political and economic scene and appreciating the wealth of reading materials at the Courtenay Library. For several years, he volunteered at the ECU at St. Joseph’s, looking forward to weekly contacts with those he came to know as friends.
Neil was pre-deceased by his parents, Robert and Elizabeth; his brothers Bill, Stu and Alec, as well as his wife Judy and niece Fern. He is survived by his daughter Rosemary (Ric) and his son Graham (Leslie); grandchildren Alissa (Paul), Hayley (Aniel), Roger (Caroline), Jeff, Terry, Keith (Eunizel); his great-grandchildren Callie and Eamonn; his brother-in-law Des (Norma); his sisters-in-law Olive and Frances; as well as many nieces, nephews and great nieces and nephews living on Vancouver Island, the mainland and Alberta.
There will be no service at Neil’s request. Memorial donations may be made to the BC Lung Association or a charity of your choice. Neil’s family would like to express our deep appreciation for the expertise and caring support he received from he paramedics, emergency room staff, Dr. Chow, and the exceptional 3rd floor team at St. Joseph’s Hospital.