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Deceased Victoria Branch Members

MEYER Rean Everton Egerton UE, CD. Died on 17 August 2002 at the Royal Jubilee Hospice, Victoria, B.C., after a short illness. He is survived by his beloved wife, Shirley. Predeceased by his parents, Empire Loyalists from the eastern townships of Quebec. Rean was commissioned in the Canadian Grenadier Guards and later served with the Royal Canadian Regiment and the Canadian Guards. He enjoyed an interesting and varied career in the Military and Government departments, both at home and abroad. Rean was an avid writer contributing to and editor of several learned journals. Rean was also an appreciated volunteer in many organizations and will be remembered fondly by his many friends who enjoyed his hospitality, loyalty and generosity. He was a Knight of the Military and Hospitaller Order of St. Lazarus of Jerusalem a Serving Brother of the Venerable Order of St. John of Jerusalem and an Honorary Fellow of the Heraldry Society of Canada. He was armigerous and a Monarchist. Rean was awarded the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal in recognition of his service to Canada.

ORR John Lewis MBE, UE was born 16 December 1916 in Toronto, passed away in Victoria, B.C. on 10 December 2003. Predeceased by his wife Mary in 1999, ‘Jack’ is survived by sisters Mary and Dorothy, and brother Doug. He leaves behind daughters Wendy and Lindsay, and sons John (Cheri) and Malcolm (Mary). John was one of the first graduates of the U of T aeronautical engineering program in 1939. He went on to help the war effort as an engineer at the National Research Council in Ottawa. He had a long and distinguished career in the civil service in Ottawa before retiring to Victoria in 1982. He will be remembered by his family for the many adventures they enjoyed together in those early days in Ottawa. He was a great believer in the idea of an independent Canada.

MacGREGOR-GREER Mary (Mollie) was born on March 4, 1913 and died on Feb. 1, 2004 at her home in Oak Bay. She is survived by two sons and a daughter—Derek, David, and Stephanie. Mollie spent her youth between Canada and England. She received her BA at McGill University and then received a diploma from the London School of Librarianship. She married Stephen, a military man, in 1939. After surviving the war and its aftermath in London, the family moved to Canada in 1952. Mollie worked at the National Library in Ottawa and then as the librarian at the Pacific Forestry Research Centre in Victoria until she retired. Mollie had a busy social life and loved to travel. She was an avid reader, played bridge, and took an active part in several organizations including the United Empire Loyalists. She served as secretary of the Victoria Branch in 1962 and 1968 and was the President in 1974/75. Her maternal Loyalist ancestors (not actually proved by her) were Gabriel Ludlow, and the Ogdens, who settled on Ogden’s Island in the St. Lawrence River. Mollie was much loved for her kindness, loyalty, good humour, and adventurous spirit.

PARRY Captain George Ronald Parry (Cdn Army Ret.). 1 July 1920 – 27 February 2004. George was born in Hungary and his family moved to a farm at Lestock, Saskatchewan in 1927. In 1936 George’s family relocated to Port Colborne, Ontario where George and his brothers Les and Joe grew up. During WWII George joined the Canadian Army and in 1940 was transferred to the British Army Intelligence Corps, serving in Africa, Italy, France and Holland. Following the war George married Dora Gould Dickie (widow of Captain Richard Dickie) in 1948. George then attended Osgood Hall in Toronto. George re-entered the Canadian Army at the time of the Korean War retiring with the rank of Captain in 1962. After returning to civilian life George established a career in Personal Planning for several large corporations which took him and Dora to many new locations. Upon retirement George and Dora followed their sons to the west coast and settled in Victoria in 1993 where George remained active with the Canadian Scottish Regiment (Princess Mary’s), the Military Museum Society, the United Empire Loyalists and the Royal Canadian Legion. George also served in the Black Watch Regiment.

ROSSITER Velva Bernice UE. Passed away suddenly in Victoria on 28 February 2004. Born in Sydenham, ON. She is survived by her husband of 61 years, Larry Rossiter, her sister Kathleen Clarke of Kingston, ON, her children Jim (Ivane), Peter (Sharon), Ian (Sharon), Adrienne (David), 3 grandsons Doug, Bryan, Eric, 1 great-granddaughter Chloe. Predeceased by her sister Eileen, her brothers Lloyd and Lorne and her grandson Steven. Mum was very proud of her United Empire Loyalist ancestry. She was Past Noble Grand of Colfax Lodge #1 (Oddfellows and Rebekahs) and a past President of the Mungo Martin Foundation/BC Indian Arts. She had a great interest in helping Tibetan orphans and seniors and was a member of the Tibetan Refugee Aid Society since 1969. She was on the board of Rose Manor and maintained a lifelong friendship with other board members. She loved to travel and shopping trips to Hong Kong were on the top of her list! Velva will be fondly remembered and sadly missed by her loving family and friends.

FOSKETT Hilary Desiree UE. Passed away suddenly on 23 August 2004. Born in 1916 in Ganges on Saltspring Island, she was the fourth child of Rev. and Mrs. J. S. A. Bastin. She was a graduate of UBC with a BSc in Botany and maintained an avid interest in plants all her life. She was predeceased by her sisters, Mary LeBel, Betty Bastin and Cicely Smith and by her brother Aubrey Bastin. She is survived by her husband of 62 years, Dudley, her daughter Ann (Bob) MacLeod and a sister Shirley (Jack) Green. Hilary will be fondly remembered by her family and many friends.

KERR Robert Black-Byrne UE. Died 29 November 2006 – born 12 September 1916 in Toronto. Served in the Royal Air Force during WWII. He married his wife, Mary Lindsay, 27 April 1946 in Montreal. He moved to Ottawa to work for CIL. They moved to Victoria in 1989. Daniel Livingston was his Loyalist ancestor. 

AITKENS Gene Marie (nee Thomas) UE. 20 May 1908 – 15 August 2007. This is the lady who wouldn’t tell her age. Now we can tell it she reached 99 years and a bit, passing previous records set by her line of Cornish grandmothers. In her long life she filled many roles: wife, mother, and hostess, accomplished artist, determined gardener, family historian, cross-Canada driver, caregiver, single mother, volunteer (Maritime Museum), President and Branch Genealogist for many years of the Victoria Chapter, United Empire Loyalists, and the centre of our family a true matriarch. Her descendants and family bid goodbye to an indomitable spirit: Art Aitkens (son) and Fran Aitkens (daughter) of Victoria; grandchildren, Jennifer Aitkens, Guelph, Trevor (Seeta) Aitkens, Brampton, Huw Davies, Campbell River, Owain Davies (Jess Holman), Vancouver; great-grandson, Sacha Aitkens, Brampton; nieces Marilyn (Dave) Randall of Dalhousie, NB, and Sharon Hope of Victoria; nephews, Tom (Bev) Croft, and Chas (Gail) Croft; and many cousins and friends. Gene was predeceased by her parents, Wallace and Clara (Kitto) Thomas, sisters Gladys and Montie (Croft, Dowdie), and brother C.W. (Tommy) Thomas. Gene spent her infancy on the homestead north of Chip Lake, AB, but grew up on the family farm at Strathcona and with her grandparents in Edmonton. Accelerated through the grades, by 16 she was at Normal School (teacher training) and at 17 was teaching in a one-room school in Vegreville. She taught for 7 years, in various small communities and eventually in Edmonton. On a summer jaunt along the West Coast, she fell in love with the sea and the mountains and a handsome radio operator at Estevan Lighthouse, Chas Aitkens. They spent 5 happy years in the small Estevan community, then in 1939 Chas joined the RCAF and they travelled widely, including 3 years on exchange in England after the War. After many years in Ontario, she returned to her heart’s home in Victoria in 1964. We send a special thank you to the warm and caring people at St Charles Manor where Gene lived a full and joyful life after her stroke in 2003. Here she found a new friend, Eric Bartlett, and, apparently, a new role as a feisty advocate for residents’ rights. Published in the Victoria Times-Colonist from 8/18/2007 – 8/20/2007. Gene joined the Victoria Branch when it re-activated in 1966 and held the positions as Secretary, President and Genealogist.

SMITH Catherine Elizabeth UE. 16 February 1921 – 14 October 2007. Catherine Elizabeth Smith UE was born at home on the family farm at Richard, SK on 16 February 1921. She died in Victoria, BC on 14 October 2007. She was predeceased in 1997 by her husband, Frederic, whom she married in Nanaimo on 16 September 1942. She is survived by her daughter Charmayne of Victoria. Catherine, a talented artist, was the last of her generation of a branch of the Chrysler family. Her Loyalist ancestor was Robert Cook who settled in the Niagara area.

YELLAND Edith Mae UE. 1918 – 29 May 2009. Edith passed away at St. Charles Manor, Victoria. She was predeceased by her parents, Thomas Yelland and Caroline (McLure) Yelland as well as her sister Gertrude. She was born in Port Arthur, Ont. and grew up on a farm near there. She had many fond memories and stories of those years in her life. Edith studied to become a school teacher, but after moving to Victoria BC she changed her profession and worked many years for the BC Government under W.A.C. Bennett. She was secretary for Grace McCarthy and her staff was wonderful to Edith. Her many interests included church life at St. Andrews Presbyterian, her membership in the United Empire Loyalist Association, stamp collecting, and her family genealogy.

SANDHAM Shirley (Shyrle) Alberta (nee Munro) UE. Born 17 July 1924, died in Victoria BC on 5 December 2009. Shyrle was born and educated in Watrous Saskatchewan. After high school she enlisted in the RCAF and trained as a Meteorological Observer. She was released in 1945 and attended the University of Toronto and graduated as an Occupational Therapist in 1947. In 1948 she married her husband Peter Moffatt Sandham and they spend the next 61 wonderful years together. Shyrle had a zest for life and spent many a happy hour gardening, sewing and horseback riding. Her artistic talents had her painting and trying out many different craft hobbies. She was a long-time member of the United Empire Loyalists. Shyrle’s Loyalist ancestor was Thomas Munro who settled in Charlottenburgh Township, Glengarry County, Ontario.

AVERY Barbara Joan. 1927-2010. Joan passed away peacefully with her beloved dog, Shelby, by her side on Sunday, February 14, 2010. She was the daughter of the late Helen and Billy Ellis. Joan had been a member of the Victoria Branch since 2006 and was researching the Henry Ellis family which settled in the vicinity of Mount Pleasant Ontario on land granted to the Six Nations Confederacy in Haldimand Agreement in 1784. Henry Ellis, a weaver, led a group of people from the Mohawk Valley in 1798. He first settled on lease lot 7E and later bought 200 acres. Joan was also researching the John Cousins family of Prince Edward Island. Unfortunately, the necessary connections were never made to prove her Loyalist descent. Joan will be missed for her vigour, laughter, and support of the Branch.

PARRY Dora Isabelle UE. 1 February 1924 – 22 April 2010, Dora Parry (nee Gould) was born on 1 February 1924 in Welland, Ontario, and died suddenly on 22 April 2010 in Victoria, BC. She was predeceased by her parents, Abigail Alma and Arthur Errol Gould; husband, (Ret’d) Capt. George Ronald Parry: brother, Stanley Gould; first husband, the late Capt. Richard F. Dickie of the Lincoln and Welland Regiment, killed during World War II in Kapelsche Veer, Holland. Dora was mother to sons, Richard Keith Dickie (Maria); Paul George (Darlene); Carl Patrick (Louise) and daughter, Georgia Anne. Dora had a keen interest in genealogy and was an active member of the United Empire Loyalists’ Association of Canada and Military Museums of Canada. She was deeply loved and will be sadly missed by her family and all those close to her. Dora’s Loyalist ancestor was John Carl, a soldier in Butler’s Rangers.

WATSON Eleanor UE. 1923 – 10 May 2010. Long time Victoria Branch member Eleanor Watson, UE, passed away on the 10th of May, 2010, at age 86. Active in the U.E.L.A.C. for decades, and for many years the branch recording secretary and treasurer, she received her U.E. certificate in 1984 as a descendant of Captain John Moore of Butler’s Rangers and Dinah Pettit, daughter of Jonathan Pettit and Deborah Robbins. Eleanor she lived in a classic Arts and Crafts house built by her father in 1913 in Victoria, B.C., in the suburb of Fairfield, until 2008, when she had to enter Hart House Seniors’ Residence. She spent her working life in the government in Vital Statistics. She was a fountain of knowledge on the early history of Fairfield, having seen it grow from a few scattered houses separated by cow pastures, to a bustling built up suburb.

STRAUSS William Leonard. 06 July1943 – 27 February 2011. William Strauss passed away in Victoria 27 February 2011. An Associate member of the Victoria Branch, he leaves behind his wife of 40 years, Kathleen Lynch U.E. and their two sons David and Justin Strauss. As a student of geography and history, William had a keen interest in Loyalist tradition. Hiking through the Connecticut countryside as a youth, he often stumbled across abandoned stone fences left behind by the earliest settlers to the region. This was in the same area where his future wife’s Loyalist ancestors, the Royses, had settled in the early 1700’s. It was on William’s urging that Kathleen began researching her Loyalist roots. His interests were many. As so aptly expressed by a friend and neighbour: “We’ll be lost without Bill’s usual energetic presence and interesting daily chats. He kept his intellectual fingers on the pulse of many things both near and far, and he will be so sadly missed by us all.”

SANDHAM Peter Moffat. 1 February 1922 – 15 May 2011. Peter died peacefully surrounded by his family on 15 May 2011. He was born and educated in St. Catharine’s, Ontario and went on to the University of Toronto and became a civil engineer. Peter enlisted in the RCAF and trained as a pilot. His first solo flight was in November 1943 and it was a very special memory for him. He was released from active service in 1945 and returned to University to finish his degree and became a Professional Engineer in Oct. 1948. On 12 June 1948 Peter married Shirley Alberta Munro and spent 62 wonderful years together before she passed away in 2009. Peter retired from the military in 1971 as a Major. Peter Sandham was a former treasurer and life member of the Victoria Branch having given much support to the Branch throughout the years. We will surely miss him.

CLEGHORN Joan Evelyn (nee McIlmoyl) UE. 4 July 1945 – 6 November 2011. Joan was a proud member of several Victoria Pioneer Families. She was an avid genealogist, volunteering with many genealogy organizations and the LDS Family History Centre, and serving as a former President of theVictoria Branch UELAC. Joan was also an avid amateur photographer, winning several prizes at local competitions in recent years, and a member of several computer groups. A woman with diverse interests throughout her life, she used to race sports cars with the Victoria Motor Sports Car Club and actively supported her children’s sporting and artistic activities, and military careers. Joan was “Mom” to many of her children’s sports team members, cadet and Reserve friends as well as those serving in the Regular Force. She was intensely supportive of those served and who are serving.

FARNELL Margaret (nee Fairley) UE. Margaret passed away peacefully at home in Victoria, B.C. surrounded by her family on Sunday, 25 December 2011, in her eighty seventh year. She is survived by her husband of 60 years, William (Bill), daughter Leslie, sons John and Paul, and grandchildren Anne and Meghan. Margaret was a wonderful, spirited woman who loved her family and friends. She grew up in Fergus, ON, graduated from UofT, married Bill, moved to Winnipeg, Toronto, and then Victoria. During the 1970’s, she co-authored two books for the Centre of Criminology. She later turned her research skills to genealogy, writing family histories of the Farnells and the Fairleys. Margaret had a keen intellect and enjoyed all the arts. She was an avid reader, gardener, and adventurer who loved travel. We are grateful for the joy she brought into our lives and we will miss her bright spirit.

GAUVREAU Anne June UE. 25 November 1923 – 22 June 2012. Anne passed away peacefully on Friday, 22 June 2012. She was predeceased by her husband Robert Gauvreau (1980) as well as her sons Anthony Mike Hammer and Eric “Rick” Hammer, and she is survived by her daughter Bonnie Overland and grandchildren Katherine, Paul and Robert Hugel and her great-grandson Ethan. GG will be dearly missed by her granddaughter Lisa Marie Goddard and her great-granddaughter Zachary and Alyssa “Aly”. Anne was a social activist and passionately involved community member. Her contributions affected many people and organizations in a positive way. Anne loved nature and even though she travelled the world, her most loved place was Tofino where she always found peace. She developed many special friendships over her lifetime, all of which she cherished. Anne was a long-time member of the Victoria Branch, UELAC.

HUFFMAN Alvin (Al) UE, P.Eng. 2 May 1924 – 30 January 2017. Al passed away in Victoria, British Columbia, on 30 January 2017, aged 92 years, as a result of Alzheimer’s disease. He is survived by his wife of sixty-seven years, Joyce (Smale) Huffman, three children and three grandchildren. Al was born and grew up in Windsor, Ontario, and, upon graduating from high school, joined the RCAF in 1942. He served as a Flying Officer/Pilot with 415 Squadron Bomber Command, in Yorkshire, flying Halifax bombers. When the war ended, he enrolled in the University of Toronto and graduated with a B.Sc. (Honours) in 1949 in Chemical Engineering. After a successful business career, he retired as President of CSP Foods in Winnipeg and moved to Vancouver Island in 1992 to enjoy a milder climate. In his retirement, he was involved in Professional Engineering and chemical industry associations and became greatly interested in genealogy where he was able to prove descent from five United Empire Loyalists. Al was a dedicated member of the Victoria Branch of the UELAC, serving as Vice-President in 2003, President from 2004 to 2007, and Past President and Membership Chairman in 2007. Starting in 2004, he wrote the Branch Report for The Loyalist Gazette, created a Branch brochure, and led the executive in rewriting the Branch’s constitution with assistance from senior officers of the UELAC. He created a booth for the purpose of outreach and education that is still in use today. He was instrumental in establishing a garden project in the Victoria Inner Harbour, which includes specimens of the Loyalist Rose and plaques to identify them with a history of the Loyalists. Al was awarded the Phillip E.M. Leith Memorial Award by the UELAC Vancouver Branch in 2009. In 2014, the Victoria Branch Scholarship was named the United Empire Loyalist Victoria Branch Alvin Huffman Scholarship in Canadian History and Al was able to present it himself on several occasions before becoming ill. Honours and Awards: Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal, Phillip E.M. Leith Memorial Award (2009), Canadian Volunteer Service Medal and Clasp, War Medal 1939-45, Defence Medal, France and Germany Star 

FOWLER William (Bill) Stanley CD, UE, Maj (Ret’d). December 27, 1935 to January 20, 2019 Bill died peacefully at Victoria General Hospital, BC on Sunday, January 20th at 7:30pm after a short hospital stay. Bill was born in Tisdale, Saskatchewan. The rural Saskatchewan lifestyle fostered an early love of the outdoors and hunting. Participation in Army Cadets supported an interest in the military and shooting. He joined the Army in 1955. After initial infantry officer training he was commissioned and served with the QORC in Victoria, Germany, Calgary, Cypress, and Ottawa at NDHQ. After rebadging to PPCLI he could return to Germany in 1969 where earlier in 1960 he met and married Ursula, his wife for 58 years. In 1972, the family moved to Victoria where he worked with Pacific Region Headquarters in Operations and with Cadets. This included a 1976 UNSTO tour in Damascus. On retirement, Bill worked for many years at Specialty Guns, where his knowledge and interest in shooting sports was put to full use. A supporter of cadet youth programs, he also belonged to the Vancouver Island Arms Collectors Association, was a CORE Instructor, Legion member, and belonged to the QORC and PPCLI Regimental Associations. Researching Canadian Ranger history in BC served well to keep him productive in his later years. Bill is survived by his wife of 58 years Ursula Fowler (Behle), son Thomas Fowler (April Crysler), daughter Belinda Schroeder (Ron), sister Starla Thiessen (Roy), brother Ken Turner (Patricia), sister Lynne Fowke (Larry), granddaughter Lauren (Kevin), grandson Eric, and numerous nieces, nephews, grand nieces, and grand nephews. Bill’s genuine smile and sense of humour will be missed by all. Published by Victoria Times Colonist from Jan. 26 to Jan. 28, 2019.

SPARKS William. Bill Sparks passed away peacefully in the afternoon of June 28th, 2021. He is survived by three sons, Doug (Sylvie), Jim (Cheryl) and Will (Treena), his partner Marie Vautier, 17 grandchildren and 7 great-grandchildren. Born in Vancouver, raised in Kamloops, he and his beloved Marilyn raised their family in Penticton and then moved to Victoria 27 years ago. Published by The Times Colonist from Jul. 3 to Jul. 5, 2021.

BORDEN Karen UE. Passed into the presence of her Lord July 4, 2021. Karen was born February 17, 1943, the granddaughter of Blenkinsop Valley pioneers. She is survived by Bruce, her loving husband of 58 years, and daughters Carolyn Pennell (Steve), Natalie, and son Ross. Also grandchildren Rebecca (Chris), Susannah (Jon), Ethan and Michaela and sisters Gail McGhee and Rhodena Finlay (Albert) as well as many relatives and close friends. Karen grew up on the family farm as a 4-H member and was a lifelong member of Girl Guides of Canada. She spent her later years enthusiastically researching her family history and was a descendant of United Empire Loyalists. Karen left to her family an inheritance of love, devotion and the true purpose of life. She was a long time member of Saanich Baptist Church.

ROSE Fran. Our beloved Fran Rose died of after complications of a severe fall, and an existing inoperable ovarian cancer diagnosis from 2021, at the Saanich Peninsula Hospital on October 22, 2022. Her full maiden name was Frances Evelyn Peters. She was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia on September 18, 1941. Her parents were Margaret Jean Scott and Douglas Bishop Peters, both of New Brunswick. Fran met Bob Rose in 1960 when he was serving in The Royal Canadian Navy in Halifax, N.S. They were married in Ottawa on Feb 15, 1963 and they had one daughter, Margaret Dorothy Taylor (Peggy) born in Ottawa. She and her husband Roger live in Victoria. Fran was a professional librarian who worked at the National Library of Canada in Ottawa before moving to the west coast where she worked in the University of Victoria library as their government documents librarian. She enjoyed her career very much and she attended numerous national library conferences across Canada, retiring in 2001. She was instrumental in reviving and managing the Church Library at Gordon Head United Church as well. Fran played the piano, enjoyed listening to classical music and attending operas with her daughter Peggy. Fran especially loved to sing and was part of the Victoria Choral Society Choir and the Gordon Head Church Choir. Fran was a member of the United Empire Loyalists Association and put much effort and time into proving her descent from 11 loyalist ancestors, with thanks to Maralynn Wilkinson, the Victoria Genealogist. Bob and Fran purchased acreage on Pender Island in the 1980’s. Bob contracted the building of their Pender house in 1989. They spent 12 years spending weekends in the Pender house. The Victoria house was sold in 2001 and they moved to Pender Island. Once on the island full time, Fran, along with Bob, joined the Newcomers Club to get to know new people in the community. She joined the Pender Island Community Choir, helped produce the Power Squadron newsletter and hosted Christmas parties at their home, walked and monitored the local trails with hiking groups, enjoyed participating in Tai Chi classes, attended concerts and helped out with the Pender Island Concert Society designing and printing publicity photos, joined the Royal Canadian Legion on the island where Bob is a life member, and together they volunteered with kitchen duties at the Friday night dinners. Fran and Bob have been very fortunate that they had pensionable jobs which enabled them to travel extensively on cruise ships. They visited many places in the world over the years on their favourite cruise line, Holland America, sailing with them for 626 days. Fran had two sisters, Kathie a nurse who sadly died in Halifax at the age 52. Fran is survived by her other sister Margaret, also a retired nurse, living in Victoria with her partner Heather. Margaret has 2 sons (Alan & Douglas) and one daughter (Mollie). Fran will be greatly missed by those whose lives she touched. Fran will be laid to rest in the Pender Island Cemetery. The date and time to be determined.