BREKKE, Jerome N

June 25, 1940June 11, 2024


July 27, 1940 – June 10, 2024


Septemper 17, 1931 – June 6, 2024

It is with profound sadness that we share the passing of our beloved Father, Grand Dad, Great Grand Dad and friend, Raymond Vincent Kretchmar, who left us on June 6, 2024, at the age of 92. Surrounded by his loving family, friends, both human and furry, in his last moments, Ray was a man of immense humor and wisdom, cherishing every moment living life and spending time with his loved ones. A military man, his passion for cycling, building, and flying radio-controlled model airplanes and sailing model boats together with his unwavering spirit will forever be remembered. Ray was also well known for his Churchill impersonation.


January 17, 1940 May 3, 2024


November 3, 1931 – April 22, 2024

Lil was a recent member to join 888 Wing after the passing of Jim Smith. Lil was a stonch supporter and volunteer worker for the Comox Legion and in particular, the Ladies Auxillary. She will be missed by all the former members of that organization.

TARRAS, Judy Mae

 – March 13, 2024

It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of Judy Mae Tarras, beloved widow (Alfred Tarras), partner (Jerome Brekke), mother (Rick Tarras, Doug Tarras (Angie), Christina Brandenfels (John), grandmother (Jared and Conner Tarras and Soleil, Belle, and Jack Brandenfels), and friend, who peacefully departed from this world at the age of 80 on March 13th, 2024 surrounded by her loving family. Although Judy may no longer walk among us, her spirit will continue to inspire and guide us. Her legacy of love, kindness, and compassion will forever remain etched in our memories.

HELLBERG, Russ Magnus

July 17, 1941 February 22, 2024

It is with very heavy hearts that we announce the passing of Russ Hellberg on the morning of February 22, 2024. He passed away peacefully in Langley BC. Russ joined the RCAF in 1960 and served honourably for 21 years before retiring to Port Hardy BC in August 1981. He was elected Mayor of Port Hardy for 3 terms and served the community with passion and integrity. He and Cath moved down to Langley in 2020. Russ was a long time and proud member of 101 Sqn, 888 Wing and was the main driving force for the RCAF Cairn Project which placed cairns at all the crash sites along the BC coast. 

He will be honoured, loved always and treasured by all that he knew.

WALKER, Eric (Dixie) E

March 4, 1934 – February 3, 2024

Dixie joined the RCAF on July 2, 1954 and served 36 years. He retired as a Flight Engineer and remained in the Comox Valley. He was a 37 year veteran of 888 Wing and a great volunteer in the kitchen, at the BBQ or behind the bar. Dixie will always be remembered for how he moved on the dance floor with all the ladies.

SMITH, Murray Hugh

July 5, 1939January 24, 2024

Murray passed away peacefully in hospital. He will be dearly missed by his wife Carol Tombs and her son Trevor Andrews; sons Malcolm (Valerie Ruud) and Hugh (Valery Idt), grandson Morgan, brother James and sister Loraine Wood. Murray served with the RCAF for 25 years, retiring as a Warrant Officer. He then accepted a position with Canada Life where he spent the remainder of his working career. In his leisure, he enjoyed many hours hunting and fishing. Murray was a member with the Royal Canadian Legion and 888 Wing for many years and a proud member of the Masonic Lodge #188, Comox since 1994, rising to the position of Worshipful Master in 2018.

DUNN, Patrick R

July 4, 1934 – January 20, 2024

Patrick (Stretch) lived in Qualicum, so was not able to attend many 888 Wing events. Stretch joined the RCAF in January 1953 and retired 29 years later. Among his many postings he was fortunate enough to spend 4 years oversees with 2 Fighter Wing, France.

LING, Nils F

January 29, 1937December 31, 2023

Nils passed away suddenly at his home in Comox. Nils joined the RCAF in 1954 and served for 5 years as a FCO (Fighter Control Operator). After his training in Clinton, Nils served in RCAF Stn Vancouver and in Holberg on northern Vancouver Island.

MORROW, John Peter

October 22, 1936 – December 21, 2023

Peter, was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba and moved with his family to Medicine Hat in 1945 where he completed his formal education. In Sept 1955 he joined the RCAF as a pilot trainee but after a short period he moved to Flying Control (ATC) for the remainder of his career. While on a posting to the Rescue Coordination Centre in Vancouver in 1961 he met and married Beverly Ann Buhlert. He retired from the RCAF on 22 Oct 1981 and started a second career as a Safety Specialist. In 1984 he accepted a position with Saudi Arabian Air Lines as a Safety Specialist and remained in Saudi Arabia until 1993 when he retired to Courtenay, BC. In 2004 he moved to the interior of BC. While in Courtenay and Oliver, Peter volunteered as a driver for the Masonic Cancer Van driving to Victoria and Kelowna for over 20 years. He also assisted in operating and distributing Meals on Wheels in both cities. While in Courtenay Peter joined Kiwanis International spending over 20 years in various positions with the Clubs and became involved in the Kiwanis Pacific Northwest special projects.


May 21, 1937 – December 28, 2023

Gary was born in Edmonton to farmer parents Bill and Mina, and was a cherished brother to his two older sisters, Lucille and Agnes.
Gary's journey through life was marked by remarkable stories from his childhood, and at the tender age of 17, he embarked on a journey of hard work in heavy equipment jobs, eventually finding his way to Richmond. In 1967, he began his fulfilling career as a Power Plant Engineer at Richmond General Hospital, where destiny intertwined his path with his future wife, Margaret - a dedicated nurse there at the time. They exchanged vows on July 26, 1969, sealing a bond that would bring forth four beautiful children: Gary (Barry and Cheryl) and Margaret (Kelly and Sherri), completing their family with the arrival of their son Derek in 1971.
In 1979, Gary assumed the role of Chief Engineer at Delta Hospital, where his passion for his work thrived until his well-earned retirement in 2000. The years that followed were a celebration of life and love as Gary and Margaret traversed the landscapes of Canada, the USA, and Mexico in their fifth-wheel trailer. Annual reunions with friends became cherished traditions, especially the unforgettable moments shared around campfires, strumming the guitar alongside his dear friend Ray Ekren.
Tragically, in April 2023, cancer touched Gary's life. Undeterred, he faced his illness with unwavering positivity. The last three months of his journey were spent in the embrace of Hospice care, surrounded by compassionate nurses and doctors. Gary's resilience shone through as he shared quiet moments with loved ones, savoring the warmth of their presence until his final days. On December 28, 2023, Gary passed away peacefully, enveloped in the love that defined his life.
Raise a glass & strum a chord for Gary - because if there's one thing he'd want, it's a celebration filled with music, laughter, and love.

STEIL, Shirley A

October 10, 1947 – December 22, 2023

KAYES, Carole Corrine

August 19, 1939 – November 17, 2023

Carole was born in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia but became an avid participant and volunteer with many of the Service Clubs in the Comox Valley. She could be seen with Val & Fran at all of the meat draws. Anyone that knew Carol understood her unique sense of humour and this smile, I think, says it all.

SOHMS, Arnold F

November 3, 1934 – November 1, 2023

"Arnie" joined the RCAF in North Bay in 1955 and served honourably for over 25 years. He served in 116, 408, 412, 424 436 & 442 squadrons during his career. Arnie and his wife Mary Ann retired to the Comox Valley were they both joined 888 (Stocky Edwards) Wing in 2000. During his retirement years, Arnie enjoyed the outdoors whether it be on a golf course or out on the water trying to catch the big one.


September 4, 1933 – October 29, 2023

Roy was born in Newfoundland and joined the RCAF at the tender age of 18 and proudly served 35 years as an AirFrame Technician before retiring to the Comox Valley as a Master Warrant Officer. Roy has been a proud member of 888 (Stocky Edwards) Wing for over 31 years and served on many committees with his most recent time being with the sports, were he spent time helping with the Wing curling and golf teams. Roy was known for his incredible sense of humour, his storytelling and that beautiful smile that lights up a room. He will be missed by his wife Elsie and all those fortunate to have known him.


February 11, 1948 – October 13, 2023

Peter, passed away on Friday 13, October. Peter was born in Ellesmere Port, England and as a young man spent time in the merchant navy before moving to Canada in 1979. Peter will be remembered for his easy smile and willingness to help. "Smoke me a kipper, I'll be back for breakfast."

CLARK, James (Jim) Franklin

December 3, 1934 – September 8, 2023

Jim was born in Long Island, N.Y., and moved to Saint John, N.B., as a young child. Jim joined the RCAF in 1951 and spent his career as a Weapons Tech and a Para-Rescue Specialist. He retired as a CWO after a 35 year career in a military he truly loved. Jim moved to the Comox Valley in 1986 and enjoyed many years of retirement until the passing of his wife Peggy in 2018. Dad had a keen interest in all sports and was an avid curler and golfer, Dad shot his age in golf at 73.

HOOGE, Earl "Glen"

January 27, 1947August 3, 2023

Glen was born in Richmond BC but raised in the communities of McCreary and Thompson Manitoba. Following his Family's history of Service to Canada, Glen joined the Princess Patricias's Canadian Light Infantry in 1964 and was posted to Soest Germany for 5 years. Glen possessed a keen knowledge of War History and was very proud to have served on many Honour Guards at War Memorials in Europe. After returning to Canada he was deployed to Cyprus on a 6 month UN tour. In 1973, Glen transferred to the Airforce as an Air Observer, receiving his AESOP Wings in January 1974. He accumulated 7800 flying hours on the Argus, Aurora, Tracker and SeaKing. Retiring from the Regular Forces in 1995, he then joined the Air Reserves employed with the Air and Sea Cadet summer programs. Glen fully retired in 2014 having Served Canada for 46 years. In 1995 Glen joined the Vancouver Island Society for Adaptive Snow Sports (VISAS) program on Mt Washington. This life enhancing opportunity became his Winter passion, volunteering for 22 years providing ski instructions to individuals with Physical and Intellectual challenges. In 2007 the Society decided to provide a similar programme for Canadian Forces ill and injured personnel. Glen offered to research and initiate the course, and was the organizer for the first few years, which was very self gratifying. This programme continues today. Glen was a very kind and compassionate man, always willing to lend a hand. He had a great sense of humour and quick wit, he enjoyed regaling his numerous stories of his many adventures. He loved to cook and entertain friends with his culinary delights. He enjoyed skiing, golfing, camping and travelling. Glen volunteered at 888 Wing as Sgt at Arms and Tuesday maintenance. Soar high Glen, with the Wind beneath your Wings

MUMFORD, William (Bill)

December 27, 1933 – July 28, 2023

Bill passed away peacefully at Nanaimo Seniors Village. He was predeceased by his wife Myra and his son Stuart. He is survived by his daughter Sandra, son-in-law Tony, and grandson Gareth. Born in Saltcoats, Scotland, he was the youngest of five; he and his wife Myra embarked on a new life adventure and moved to Vancouver, in 1960. When they retired, they relocated to Comox, B.C., where they spent 20 years travelling the world and spending their summers in their 5th wheel at Miracle Beach and Salmon Point. To quote Dad "I had a good long life".

MERRILL, Floyd A (Froggy)

July 31, 1931 – July 12, 2023

Froggy was just 18 days short of his 92 birthday and is survived by his loving wife of 48 years Joyce and a large loving family. Floyd was born in Maple Grove, New Brunswick. He enlisted in the RCAF at an early age and rose to the rank of Warrant Officer in the Armament (Air Wpns Tech) trade, in which he spent 38 years with two overseas tours, France and Germany, before retiring. Floyd also worked in the Halifax Dockyard for a short period before retiring for good. Floyd and Joyce then moved to Sooke and finally the Comox Valley. He was also a Prostate Cancer survivor. Floyd spent many hours volunteering with Meals on Wheels and other like charities. He was an avid golfer and many a frosty morning he could be seen awaiting the all clear to start golfing. Floyd had six witnessed hole in ones of which he liked to talk about. He enjoyed the competitive spirit and the many friendships the sport offered. He also competed in the Senior Games in the sport.

MORAN, Patrick Joseph

February 3, 1935 – July 2, 2023

PJ died suddenly in a tragic accident while walking near his home in Comox on July 2nd, 2023. He was born in Revelstoke and in 1954 he joined the RCAF. Attending flight school in Gimli he qualified on Harvards and T Birds and remained as a flight instructor flying 1300 hours training both RCAF and foreign pilots. PJ’s career took he and Annette across the country and to the United States. Notable postings were Webb Air Force Base in Big Spring Texas from 1969 to 1971, where he taught USAF Pilots how to fly T37 and T38s (F5) for the Vietnam War. A post which would earn him the United States Air Force Medal of Merit. Posted to Petawawa in 1977 and newly promoted to Major, Pat was the senior Air Force staff officer for the newly formed Special Service Force. One of few Air Force Officers with white paratrooper wings and he spent many a night telling and showing his boys how to jump out of C130 Hercules. Airborne! Pat’s first posting to Comox was in 1979 as a flight leader for the 442 Squadron on the Buffalo. Pat was Search Master for several significant and complex searches and flew many hours of search and rescue including the 1980 sinking of the Prinsendam Cruise Liner. Pat and Annette’s love for Comox brought them back for their final move and Pat transferred to the Air Reserve where he eventually was the Commanding Officer of the Air Reserve Augmentation Flight until retiring for good in 1991.

GALAS, Karol

April 23, 1954 – April 8, 2023

Karol joined the armoured corps in 1972  and worked his way through the ranks and then took his commission in the 90's and began flying with 10 Tag, 403, 427 & 444 Sqn's. In his retirement he worked with the Search & Rescue for the Comox Valley.


March 22, 1929 – April 5, 2023

Len was an avid 888 Wing member who attended as many events as he could and was a long time regular at the stammtisch. Len joined the RCAF in 1946 as a Safety Systems Tech and retired from it 33 years later. Len was one of the hard working volunteer members that disassembled (in Holberg) and reassembled (in Comox) the two buildings that are now erected on site and house 386 RCAC Sqn.


March 25, 1939 – January 5, 2023

James is survived by his loving wife Virginia, son Steve (Trisha), daughter Heather, grandchildren; Brett (Alicia), Jessica (Chris), Blair, Alex and Katie, qreat granddaughters; Hunter and Oakley.

Jim rarely missed the Thursday afternoon social activities at 888 Wing and he will be missed by the corner table.

FISCHER, Frank William

April 7, 1931November 9, 2022

Frank was born on a farm in Macklin, SK, which engrained early on, an unwavering work ethic that he maintained his entire life. After losing his Father at a young age, the family moved to Kirriemuir, Alberta, where they managed a local hotel and saloon. As a young boy, he would sweep the saloon floors before collecting eggs, which he would deliver on his bicycle, en route to the one room school house, where he would light the woodstove, prior to class. He was occasionally sent home from school, suffering from relentless hiccups and unable to stay awake. It had something to do with sweeping the saloon floors. As soon as he was eligible, he joined the RCAF as a radar technician. While stationed at CFB Clinton, Frank met the love of his life, a petite Acadian/French RCAF photographer, hailing from Bouchtouche, NB, Jeanette (Joey) Poirier. A romance ensued, and they were married on November 19th, 1955. Within 9 years, and several overseas postings, they were a family of 5, that eventually settled in the Comox Valley.

POLLOCK, James Dwight

October 5, 1936October 12, 2022

It is with sadness that we announce the passing in October of another of our founding members, Jim Pollock. Jim had been waiting for hip surgery for several months but otherwise seemed in excellent health. Unfortunately, growths on his heart and lungs were discovered during a rare visit to Port Hardy hospital and he succumbed after a brief stay. Jim was the Squadron’s Secretary/Treasurer from the start, and being of Scottish descent he performed his duties fastidiously. He was always a cheerful participant in our fundraising activities, always keeping a close watch on the cash box. When giving his financial report at meetings Jim enjoyed pointing out the meagre 1 or 2 cents our account earned in interest each month. Jim was as enthusiastic as any of us when it came to filleting and skinning tons of fish for our seafood dinners. He oversaw making the chips and the batter for the fish and really must take credit for their popularity! Jim was always proud to carry a flag in the colour party at any formal function – and he was always willing to be the Squadron’s Designated Driver, which enabled the rest of us to attend those functions safely.

HEINRICH, Kathleen Mary

May 31, 1950 – September 2, 2022

On Friday, September 02, Kathleen Mary Heinrich (nee Gallagher), born of Selby, England, passed away at the age of seventy-two. Kathleen was devoted to her husband Werner (pre-deceased) and son Martin.

Kathleen, the youngest of five children, trained as a matron in Yorkshire, which upon attainment she used to immigrate to Ottawa, where she served the Turners and met a very young Justin Trudeau. With her husband Werner, she set out to conquer the west living in Calgary, Winnipeg, Calgary (again), and finally settling in Comox where the hard working couple became well known as owners of Comox Bakery and Café for 23 years. She became known as ‘Mom’ to many from Highland that passed through the doors of her house.

An avid reader and conversationalist who shared a passion for travel with her husband, which has passed to the next generation of Heinrich’s. She is survived by her son, Martin, daughter-in-law, Cindy, and her two grandsons, Matthias and Nicholas, as well as her sisters and many nieces and nephews in England.

SIBBALD, Robert Ian

June 6, 1937 – August 29, 2022

Ian was a man of firm opinions and an abiding sense of humour. He was a gregarious person, who loved to entertain and tell stories. He was deeply committed to his family and his career in the Royal Canadian Air Force. Ian was born in Matsqui, B.C. and his early years were filled with turmoil after his parents separated. He often quipped that he had 12 brothers and sisters but was an only child; they were all step or half siblings. Under the influence of his brother Bruce who was an air force mechanic in World War II, Ian joined air cadets while still in high school. There he met his future wife and life partner, Jean. Ian joined the Royal Canadian Air Force then began pilot training in Claresholm, Alberta in 1956. After Wings graduation, he began a 36-year career in the Royal Canadian Air Force; he flew 8,963 hours with postings at Penhold, Alberta, Ottawa, Colorado Springs, Ottawa NDHQ, Edmonton, Trenton, Lahr, Germany, Damascus Syria, Tiberius, Israel, Jerusalem Israel, Ottawa and Comox, B.C. where he retired with the rank of Squadron Leader in 1991. Ian had a passion for war gaming and a consummate skill in constructing plastic models. Some of his models are on display at the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa. For nearly 20 years, he wrote an advice column called “Uncle Freddie” in Random Thoughts, the magazine of the International Plastic Modelers Society.

BATE, William A (Bill)

June 5, 1935 – August 28, 2022

William A (Bill) Bate joined the RCAF in Ottawa on Nov 26, 1952 and served as a Photo Tech for a 33 year career. Bill spent time in Ottawa, France, Chatham, Mont Apica, Bagotville, Rivers, LETE, DGIS, Comox, NDHQ and Esquimalt before retiring to Comox. Bill lost his eyesight and moved to Victoria in the recent months to be closer to family.

Bill joined the Royal Canadian Air Force at the age of 17 and proudly served his country for 32 years as a Photographer. He had many postings throughout his career but once he got to Comox, BC. He and his wife, Mary Ann decided this was where they wanted to retire. Bill and Mary Ann took yearly road trips down to Yuma Arizona with friends and family during the winter months to get away from the Westcoast winters. Bill was one of the first members of 888 Wing Association, Comox and was known for his incredible BBQ steak skills, his piano playing talents and for always cracking jokes and telling stories.

He will be sadly missed by all who knew him, but we take great comfort knowing he is with the love of his life, Mary Ann and all his family and friends that have passed on before him.

A celebration of life will be held at 888 Wing, in Comox BC at a future date.

KUCHYNSKI, Leonard (Len)

March 15, 1939 August 25, 2022

It is with great sadness that the family announces the passing of Leonard on August 25, 2022 at age 83. He died suddenly and peacefully at home with his wife, Betty at his side. He will be forever missed by his beloved wife of 60 years, Betty, his 3 daughters, Tammy, Cindy and Michelle, granddaughter Jillian and their spouses and grandson, Matthew. In lieu of flowers, donations in his name can be made to the 888 Wing as Len was an ardent supporter and dedicated member for several decades.

A Poppy Service (details to follow on the live streaming link) will be held on October 1, 2022, 1400 hrs at 888 (Stocky Edwards) Wing RCAFA in Comox, BC with refreshments to follow. 

KRUGER, Erwin Allen (Al)

4 September 1938 – August 10, 2022

It is with great sadness that our family announces the passing of Al Kruger in Comox, BC.

Al was predeceased by his brother Herb, his daughter Patrice and his wife Reta.

He leaves behind his son David (Gwendolyne), his sister-in-law Jocki, and his nieces Martina and Jae.

Al had a gift of gab and liked to incite conversation and tell jokes. He played baseball, curling, lawn bowling and exercised his elbow often at the Legion and 888 Wing. His goal was to be retired longer than his 37 year Air Force career. He almost made it.

GAGE, Frederick David (Dave)

11 March, 1943 – July 26, 2022

Dave was born in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia and while travelling across Canada, stopped over in Brandon MB where he met & married his wife Jean and while in Brandon, he earned his pilot’s license and his passion for planes and flying began. This passion continued as was shown by his many years contributing as a founding member to 101 Squadron in Port Hardy.

Dave eventually settled in Port Hardy to work at BHP Utah. It wasn’t long before he saw an opportunity and opened his first restaurant, Godfathers Pizza in 1972. Dave built, opened and operated many successful businesses; including the Sportsman Steak House, the North Shore Inn and the Quarterdeck Marina and Hotel to name a few.

Dave was a proud sponsor of many things, he contributed endlessly to Minor Hockey and one of his proudest moments was returning home from Victoria with a cheque to build a new arena. He also enjoyed starting up the World War 1 Old timers Hockey and hosted the Canucks Alumni for years, travelling to many tournaments including the Pacific Cup.

Upon retirement, he called Campbell River his home, where he stayed close to his family and continued to donate his time and support to service groups like the Eagles and the Legion.


13 December, 1943July 22, 2022

Garry was a young wild boy raised in North Vancouver who grew up into a lifetime of giving of himself to his country through the military, to the homeless, and to his family and friends. As his doctor best described it; Garry glided into an Air Force Hangar on Friday, July 22/2022 to be with everyone who had “passed up” before him. His favourite mug described Garry: If Papa can’t fix it no one can. He always said: “I can fix anything from a broken heart to the crack of dawn.”  His twin daughters (Selena and Rebecca) will always remember what he taught them: to live off the land, mind their P’s and Q’s, and be tougher than boys.


July 27, 1935July 17, 2022

Gary passed away after suffering from COPD these last few months. Gary was born in Medicine Hat AB, and joined the RCAF in October 1955. He served as a navigator from 56-64 and then as a pilot until his retirement in 1990.

Gary served with 413 Sqn, 450 Sqn, as an instructor at CFS Portage, 442 Sqn and 408 Sqn. Among his medals and awards where the CDS Accommodation and the Star of Courage. Gary spent time in Central America and the Sinai.

McLEOD, John Henry "Jack"

February 8, 1939July 15, 2022

Jack was a highly accomplished man—mechanic, aviator, mariner, supervisor, administrator and consultant—and he was humble. His many achievements only became apparent to friends as filtered through Jack’s stories. He tackled mechanical issues in the aviation, marine or automobile realms with the same gusto that he engaged in political debate or advocacy. Many will remember Jack’s wry sense of humour, twinkling eyes and his innate ability to make you smile. Born in Armstrong B.C. Jack passed away in North Island Hospital Comox Valley after a six-year battle with Myelofibrosis. Jack’s work ethic developed early in life. At age 8 he worked for his father as a wrangler, in charge of the saddle horses used by a geographical survey team. “I was just a kid, but happy for the responsibility!” Still in his teens, he worked with the Army building the Alaskan Highway and also ran a garage service station in Watson Lake, Yukon. The nickname, “Yukon Jack” perfectly describes these years as he not only earned a pilot’s license, but flew his own plane servicing remote outposts and enjoying fishing in pristine lakes. Jack left the Yukon for Vancouver Island and went to work for Island Copper near Port Hardy and rose to the position of Mine Maintenance Superintendent.  While at the copper mine he met the love of his life, Mary McGee, in 1982. With the same company and in the same role, Jack took Mary to Chile in 1992—a six-year posting that brought them each fulfillment in learning the language, the cultures and the people. Together they would travel to twenty-nine countries for business and pleasure. After 31 years in the mining industry and a move to the Comox Valley in 1998, retirement brought time for Jack’s many interests and passions. Golf, skiing, and fishing were augmented by volunteer work. Jack was a board member of Comox’s RC Marine Search & Rescue, and a member of the Comox Air Force Museum Heritage Aircraft Team that undertook the Labrador and Spitfire MK IX Restoration Projects.


April 24, 1937 – May 22, 2022

Ted joined the Royal Signals Corp in England in Sep 1955 and spent 6 months in the UK and 18 months with the British Army of the Rhine.

EDWARDS, James Francis "STOCKY"

June 5, 1921 – May 14, 2022

Stocky leaves behind: his loving wife of 72 years, Toni, whom he will love forever and for whom he is waiting; three daughters: Dorothy Edwards, Jean Alice Edwards Girolami (deceased in 1998), Angel Edwards and son James Michael Edwards; grandchildren: Robert Charles (Tracy) Turner, Susan Jessie Turner and Robin Edwards Turner; Stephen James Girolami, Christopher Joseph Girolami, Michael Armand Girolami; Melisha Leanne Attfield and James Nicholas Spence Edwards. There are fifteen great grandchildren living in BC, Ontario, Quebec, New York and Florida and two great-great grandchildren in Alberta, cousin Terry Edwards, Blaze, Jason and Aaron, five siblings, many more cousins, nieces and nephews.

His big family is most grateful to the good, loving and kind friends still supplying endless support. Jim and Carolyn, Janis and Bryn, Beth and Mike, Kathi, Polly, Susan and Mike, Padre James, Norma and Bob, Joy and Yves.

He will be missed golfing, fishing, walking, gardening, painting, tying flies, doing cryptic crossword puzzles, at church, spotting eagles, whistling to birds, reading, supporting land and environment preservation, walking on the spit and at the marina, supporting the Air Force Museum and the Officers’ Mess, and playing crib after dinner.

He was born and raised in Saskatchewan, excelled at sports and hunting, became a World War II Ace pilot, was awarded the Order of Canada and is a Chevalier of France, He has been inducted into the Aviation Hall of Fame and is honoured at Vintage Wings. He had the keys to the Town of Comox, the Courtenay Walk of Achievement, was awarded the “Freeman of the City” of Courtenay and has buildings named after him in Battleford, Saskatchewan and at CFB, Comox.

He is loved and missed by many, all of whom can see him and hear his voice at Stocky Edwards on YouTube.

The last fish he caught was an 8-pound trout when he was one hundred years old. But remember: Toni got the hole in one! Jimmy, his fishing buddy and loving son has cared for Toni and Stocky for the last three years and credits the help of many close friends.

Fun Fact: Before he died last week, there were 100 years between him and his youngest grandson, Florian.

HILCHEY, Donald Robert "Don"

July 6, 1936 – April 26, 2022

Don was predeceased by his wife Irene, and leaves behind his children Kenneth (Kristina), Danny, and Sabrina (Steve), his grandchildren, Bobby, Alanna, Matthew, Shaun, Kyle, Ryan and Nathan, and 2 great-grandchildren Micah and Ebony. Don was also grandpa to Irene's 10 grandchildren. 

Don joined the Canadian Guards in 1955 and met and married Barbara in Germany with whom he had his 3 children. Following the standing down of the Canadian Guards, Don was posted to Third Battalion, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry at Work Point Barracks, Esquimalt.

After 23 years Don retired from the Army then worked for Canada Post and as a Sessional Officer at the BC Legislature. In 1992 Don married Irene and they relocated to Comox in 2004 where Don was known as the "egg man". He also worked for many years driving cars for Enterprise. He was a proud member of the Vancouver and Quadra No. 2 Masonic Lodge and the Fraternal Order of Eagles. 

Don was a Kenny Rogers look alike "performing" as Kenny on numerous occasions to the delight of the audience.  He had a great sense of humour, even in his last few days. To his many many friends in Victoria, in Comox, at 888 Wing Comox, the Masonic Lodge and his Canadian Guards and PPCLI Army buddies, a big Thank You for being his friend.

GENOE, Frances Joanne "Fran"

June 27, 1940 – April 14, 2022

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Frances Joanne Genoe (née Christofferson) on April 14, 2022, at the age of 81. Frances was born in Waseca, Saskatchewan to Henry and Irene Christofferson. She was the 4th of 9 children. In 1956 her family moved to Port Alberni, British Columbia then to Qualicum Beach. This is where she met and married her husband, Harry. The two settled and started their family in the Deep Bay/Bowser area until 1979 when they relocated to Courtenay. This was her home until her passing. She was a dedicated and loving wife, mother and grandmother and had the joy of spending time with her great-grandson. Survived by her husband of 61 years, Harry, her children Barry (Maxine), Joanne (Paul), and many grandchildren.

SHARRATT, Robert Norman "Norm"

May 5, 1934 – April 7, 2022

Robert 'Norm'an Sharratt was a F/O RO 065/A1 who loved to talk about his time on the Lancasters. After joining in Feb '53, Norm was stationed in London, Clinton, Summerside, Comox, Winnipeg, Cold Lake, 428 & 410 Sqns Uplands.

McPHAIL, Grace Allen Mary

16 June 1939 – March 19, 2022

It is with great sadness that our family announces the passing of Gracie Allen Mary McPhail, at the age of 82 after a short battle with cancer. Grace was born and spent her early years in Saskatchewan before joining the RCAF where she eventually met and married her lifelong love and partner Bob in 1961. Grace is survived by her husband, children Roberta, Connie (Tom), and James (Trish) along with her much loved grandchildren Alexander, Christina, AJ, Oli, and Serina. Amazing Grace was a kind and gentle soul who enjoyed her family, friends, a game of bridge and even the odd glass of beer or wine.

MacDONALD, Kenneth Dale (KD)

18 November 1928 – March 15, 2022

It is with profound sadness that our family announces the passing of Kenneth Dale “KD” MacDonald on Tuesday, 15 March, at the age of 93. KD joined the RCAF in 1947 and enjoyed a rich and full life which included a 35 year career as an Air Traffic Controller. He was member of 888 (Komox) RCAF Wing from 1978 and served in numerous capacities including the President and Honorary President of the Wing. KD is survived by his wife Marion (“Mini”), two children Robert James (Judy) and Janice Lee (Mark), 4 grandchildren Adam, Jonathan, Jennifer and Matthew, and 5 great-grandchildren Jack, Liam, Georgia, Faye and Florence.

SHAW, Thomas (Tom)

July 15,  1921 – January 15, 2022

Tom passed away peacefully at the age of one hundred years, in Comox, B.C. He is survived by his children, Thomas (Janet), Kenneth (Valori), Susan (John), nine grand children, and seven great grandchildren. He is predeceased by his loving wife of seventy years, Mary Shaw. Tom was born in Manchester, England and at two years of age, with his parents and twin sisters, immigrated to New Westminster, B.C. where he spent his childhood years. Tom joined the RCAF and served during WWII in England and continued in active service after the end of the war. He returned to Canada to start a family and continue his career in the military. Tom and his family were posted in Quebec, Alberta, France, Nova Scotia, and finally in B.C. at CFB Comox. Upon retirement, he and Mary enjoyed travelling and wintering in Palm Springs, California, and later staying at their Little River home in the Comox Valley. Tom loved to follow the news and read his daily Times Colonist newspaper. He challenged the newspaper’s daily crossword puzzle right to his final days.


January 9,  1941 – December 25, 2021

In loving memory ~ Lloyd, dear husband, father of four and Grandpa of “five pretty girls”, passed away on Christmas Day after a brief battle with an aggressive leukaemia.

Lloyd was born in Moncton, NB on 9 January 1941 and was pre-deceased by his parents Ralph and Nelly Matthews, his son Daniel Victor (1965-1991) as well as Dan’s wife (Cathy), and his son Albert Gardner (Joey) (1964-2016). Left to mourn his passing are his brother Dan (Leslie), his wife Valerie of almost 60 years, son Kevin and his wife Evelyn and granddaughters Alia, Thea and Quinn, Lloyd’s daughter Susan, and daughter-in-law Carmen and granddaughters Nicole and Kayla, as well as many in-laws, cousins and friends.

Lloyd had a 37 year career with the RCAF and also worked as a carpenter and commissionaire. He was a member of 888 Wing Comox where he enjoyed his weekly beer and visit with his friends. Lloyd and Valerie retired in the Comox Valley where he spent many happy days in his rose garden and forest. We will miss his love and sense of humour forever.

TAYLOR, Barbara B

November 10, 1940 – November 5, 2021

Barbara Taylor passed away peacefully at home in Courtenay surrounded by the love of her family. She was born in Berlin, Germany, and met and married Tom while working at the same military base in 1964. They retired to the Comox Valley in 2001. Barbara was an excellent cook and led a volunteer cooking team at 888 Wlng for many years. She also volunteered with the Auxiliary for Comox Valley Healthcare where she so enjoyed working with the wonderful ladies in the Thrift Shop. She also enjoyed Zumba, gardening and flower arranging.

She is survived by her husband of 57 years, Tom, son Adrian (Nicole), grandchildren, Haley and Myles, and her nieces, Susanne and Steffi in Germany.

SUTHERLAND, Lorne Marsters (Suds)

June 15, 1924 – October 30, 2021

Suds had an adventurous and varied life. Born in Vancouver, he spent his childhood hunting and fishing with his father at various logging camps. Suds enlisted in the RCAF during WW2. He served as an engine mechanic at Lytton-on-Ouse in North Yorkshire, England. After the war Suds worked in the logging industry following his father’s path but decided it was not for him. He re-enlisted and became a member of the Search and Rescue on Sea Island and later became a flight engineer on the Argus where he logged thousands of hours.

Suds met his wife Bernice in Summerside PEI and after many postings, were transferred to Comox in 1967 where he was lucky to remain for the rest of his service. Suds was an avid golfer & skier after retiring, worked at the Comox Golf Club as the greenskeeper. He once owned a commercial fishing boat called the “Chiquita Banana”. Suds loved fixing things and he rebuilt 3 BMW Isettas.

Always social, he enjoyed tipping a few with his friends at the Wing and the golf club.

There weren’t too many instances that Suds didn’t find some kind of humour. Even at the end he always had a quick witted comment for his wonderful caregivers at the hospital.

ROBB, Allan

December 14, 1928 – September 24, 2021

Robb, Major (Ret) Alan, CD, a founding member of 888 Wing. Post war RCAF career spanning 26 years. Joined Dec 1949, early Vampire trainee, awarded Wings on the Sabre in 1951 and was posted to 410 Sqn. in Dorval which deployed to the UK on HMCS Magnificent, becoming the first Canadian Sqn to arrive in Europe after WW II. Served in North Luffenham and Zweibrucken before returning to Chatham in 1954 as an instructor on the F-86 where he was awarded a commendation for saving a trainee pilot’s life following a flameout. After a tour as CADO at RCAF Station Foymount, he converted to the Voodoo and joined 416 Sqn. in Chatham in 1961. In 1964 he was selected for an exchange tour with the RAF to fly Hunters and Lightnings with the Fighting Development Squadron following which he spent 4 years with NORAD in North Bay, O. He completed his service in 1976 as the 409 Sqn. Voodoo test pilot and BFSO at CFB Comox.

JANES, Betty

July 3, 1934 – July 18, 2021

SIMONSON, Keith (KO)(BGen Ret'd)

May 21, 1936 – July 17, 2021

Keith (KO) Simonson passed peacefully, at his home in Courtenay, surrounded by his wife of 56 years, Barbara, his 3 sons Michael, Mark (Kristina), Stephan (Trina), his sister-in-law Vicki (John), and her 2 daughters Karen (Eric) and Jennifer (Bill).

He was born in Langham Saskatchewan to Norwegian parents who moved to Canada when he was 9.

At the age of 18, he joined the RCAF as a pilot where he proudly served his country from 1954 to 1992, a career consisting of many enjoyable postings: from the EWU, the All Weather Fighter Group, and others during the Cold War where they seemed to spend their lives on standby, to RAF Old Sarum, where he was the only non British Service person to serve as PMC of their Officer’s Mess, the Army Command and Staff College in Kingston ON, then on to commander of 424 Search and Rescue Squadron, Trenton ON, Station Commander of a radar site in Gypsumville MB, Base Commander CFS Trenton ON, Canada’s largest airbase, DCO of the Canadian contingent in the Middle East with the UN, Air Transport Group Commander at the RCAF Base Trenton ON.

KRUGER, Reta Elaine (Horobetz)

August 22, 1937 – June 25, 2021

It is with great sadness that our family announces the passing of Reta Kruger, a kind and loving soul in Comox, BC. Reta was predeceased by her daughter Patrice, her brothers Rudy and Carl (Hazel) and her sisters Florence, Helen and Charlotte. She leaves behind her husband Erwin ‘Al’, her son David (Gwendolyne) and her brothers, Ernie (Adele) and Russel (Delores). Reta’s memory will live on in the Manitoba softball hall of fame, as she was inducted along with other members of her team the CUAC Blues in 2005. She will be remembered and loved ALWAYS. 

BROWN, David Rowland

November 19, 1938 – June 22, 2021

It is with profound sadness that we report the passing of David Roland “Red” Brown on Tuesday, 22 June, at the age of 82.

Red joined the RCAF in 1957 and enjoyed a 37 year career with many highlights from both a personal and sport perspective. Most recently, he proudly served his last five years as the Honourary Colonel of 19 Air Maintenance Squadron at 19 Wing Comox, the very unit he commanded in his later years of service 1991 – 1993.

Dave was married to his wife of 61 years Kathi (Winram), they have one son Rick married to Sandy (Dunn) with two grandchildren Michael and Marissa. Michael is married to Kylie (Caldwell) and they have two great grandchildren Kayah (10), and Tavish (7). Marissa has a partner Michael Lutes.

Few people knew that Dave and Kathi represented Canada in the World ski-bobbing championships 67 – 69 (you may have to Google ski-bobbing). He was known for his love of the CF 104 Starfighter aircraft and its howling J-79 engine. We may hear him running one up one night. Dave was also famous, and will long be remembered, for his hugs.

In lieu of flowers, friends and family are encouraged to donate to 888 Wing Air Cadet Fund or your charity of choice.

LOWE, Clive Thomson

April 4, 1943 – June 1, 2021

Our family has just had a great loss, and with sad hearts we announce the passing of our personal hero, Clive Thomson Lowe, a proud veteran of the RCAF. He passed away peacefully surrounded by family on June 1st at the age of 78.

He is lovingly remembered by his wife, Cecile, his sister, Alison, his daughters, Laura and Michelle, his son, Robert (Susan), his grandchildren, Abigail, Maxwell, Maya, Thomas and Audrey, and of course his grand dogs and cat.

In lieu of flowers, please consider donations to the Comox Airforce Museum where he volunteered countless hours.

AL-MOLKY, Frances Margaret (Peakin)

12 March 1941 – May 16, 2021

Fran, originally from Portage La Prairie, died suddenly in Courtenay at the age of 80. Frances was an Air Force wife that resulted in her developing close friendships all across Canada, which she cherished and maintained until the end. Frances married the love of her life Leslie Edward Al-Molky of Halifax on 05 August 1961 at the Base Chapel in Portage La Prairie. Together they had two beautiful girls who were her first priority throughout her life. She was a valued asset to every group she worked with from non- profits to volunteering, to the Air Force Reserve and small family business. In 2008 they returned to the Comox Valley where she loved her life, her friends and her beautiful garden. A Celebration of life will also be planned when the Pandemic will allow such tributes.


September 22, 1942 – May 3, 2021

Karl Cameron, 29 year veteran of 888 Wing passed away after a very short fight with the Big C. Karl was a long time resident of Cumberland BC and still lived in the home that he was born into. Karl joined the RCAF as a supply technician in January of 1962 and retired in 1990. He will be missed by his friends and golfing buddies. "Servitium Nulli Secundus"


May 13, 1939 – April 14, 2021

It is with great sadness that we share the passing of James (Jim) Smith from cancer at the Royal Jubilee Hospital in Victoria on April 14th at the age of 81 years. Jim was a beloved husband, father, brother, stepfather, grandfather, great grandfather, uncle and friend to many. Once the Cancer became aggressive, Jim passed quickly and peacefully surrounded by loved ones.

Jim was born in Halifax but considered Cape Breton to be his home. He joined the RCAF in 1956 and retired in 1992. During his career he was stationed in Moose Jaw, Germany, Portage La Prairie and Cold Lake before making Comox his home. Jim spent his retirement years enjoying the gift of having more time for fishing, playing his guitar, volunteering at TeePee Park, socializing with his many friends at the Comox Legion & 888 Wing.

Jim had the good fortune of having more than one wife in his lifetime and was proud of how well his extended families blended. Jim is survived by his former wife Lil Smith and by his best friend and soulmate Rhoda Metcalf whom with he has happily spent the last 7 years.


July 30, 1930 – February 14, 2021

101 Sqn lost a prized member recently. We will remember Lou fondly for the passion he had for the Squadron, the RCAFA, and aviation in general.  He was a tireless worker and the spark plug that helped give the Squadron purpose. It was Lou who came up with the idea of commemorating military crashes on the North Island.  He once said, “Dead is dead, whether you were flying in combat or in training. These guys are heroes.”  Remembering those heroes became our reason for being.  Being deadly allergic to fish didn’t stop Lou from working shoulder to shoulder with the rest of us preparing for the Smuggler’s Inn fish & chip wagon and our Seafood Extravaganzas at the Wing.  Lou could always be counted on to look sharp, carrying the RCAF Ensign in any parade of which 101 was a part (even though he hated marching!)  He was proud of his aviation career, and of his Métis heritage.

MURPHY, Gerald  F (Gerry)

February 15, 1935 – December 11, 2020

Gerald Frederick Murphy, a loving husband of 59 years, an amazing father, and a wonderful and caring 'Santa Grampa', suddenly passed away at Royal Jubilee Hospital in Victoria. He is survived by his loving wife Lynne, his son Don (Melissa), daughter Susan (Jay), grandchildren Kyli, Jasmine, Chase, Graeson, Caellan, Ryder and great grandchildren, Eric and Alexander.

He was born in the land of the Bluenose surrounded by a very colorful, very proud, and very large extended Nova Scotian family. Although he lived on beautiful Vancouver Island for the majority of his life, his heart had never left Nova Scotia! He would fondly reminisce of the East Coast, its beauty, and the friends and family that still reside in his home province.

He was an extremely proud member of the Royal Canadian Air Force, who he fondly considered his second family.  His adventure with the military started in Halifax at the early age of 17 in 1951. His journey with the military gave him the opportunity to travel the world, and all corners of Canada, until 1983 when he proudly retired as a Warrant Officer with the 407 Demon squadron. His experiences, and the bonds of friendship he formed along the way, provided an 'endless' supply of stories of adventure around the coffee table, resulting in surprise, awe, and a tremendous amount of laughter.

In his early retirement, he earnestly dedicated much of his time with the Fish Advisory committee in the Comox Valley. He also spent nearly every day racing across the 'salt chuck' in his 17 ft Lund and 90 horse Evinrude, looking for that ever elusive 'spring'! He "never" tired of his search! And when he hit the throttle.., you had better be hanging on to your hat! His hair, or what little hair he had left, would whip behind him in the wind like frozen ropes! He was 'truly happy' on the water!

Now..., whenever we see a skiff 'ripping' across the water, skipping like a stone across 'the chuck'.., I will remember the times we had on the water and think of you with one hand on the wheel, the other on the throttle, and your grin that stretched for miles!


April 3, 1937 – November 1, 2020

CRAWFORD, John Malcolm (Jake)

August 30, 1926 – September 5, 2020

John Malcolm Crawford was a Regular member of 888 Wing and an Ordinary member of Branch 160 both of Comox. He was appointed Branch 160, Comox's Honourary President in 2019.

Jake served in the RCAF in World War II and was stationed in Sydney, Nova Scotia in the early 1940s, with 116 Squadron. After the war he was discharged and then reenlisted in 1953. He had varied postings and finally settled in Comox with 442 Squadron and served as a Radio Leader and a Search Master until he retired in 1971.

Service Awards for:

ADIE, James (Jim)

October 17, 1926 – July 7, 2020

Jim retired as a MWO and was a resident of Comox for the past 47 years.

He will be fondly remembered and missed by wife Helen, children Jocelyn, Janice, Peter (Lila), Carol (Glenn Gibson), Mike, and Robby, his grandchildren Lia Newton (Steve Graham), James Newton, Brett Gibson (Jenn) and Ryan Gibson as well as great grandchildren Robert and Katherine Graham and Max Newton.

Jim was born on the family homestead in Turtleford, Saskatchewan and led a busy life on the farm until his family moved to Calgary. He joined the RCAF in 1946 and in 1949 was stationed at Greenwood, NS where he started dating Helen Redden, an Annapolis Valley girl. They married in 1950 and have been dearest companions for 70 years. His career in the RCAF took him and his family from Greenwood to Zweibrücken, Germany, back to Greenwood and then on to Ottawa and lastly Comox, where he retired in 1978.

Jim was always close to Nature, with his favourite outdoor activities including gardening, fishing, hunting and golfing. A snowbird for almost 25 years with his wife Helen, Jim hit the open road and drove south in the fall. They spent many winters in Apache Junction, Arizona. Jim enjoyed time at 888 Wing, the Sergeants’ Mess as well as the Comox Legion (especially when he won the meat draw).

Jim was a caring husband and a wonderful father and grandfather. Despite his somewhat serious nature, he loved to tease, laugh at a good joke, and often had a twinkle in his eye.

THOMSON, Michael W

June 8, 1949 - April 5, 2020

It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of a loving husband, father, brother-in-law, uncle, and friend. Michael was born in North Vancouver but spent 10 years of his youth living in Prince George and Dunkley. He returned to Prince George along with wife, Rita, in 1978. Michael worked for the Ministry of Transportation for 28 years, retiring in 2006 and moved to Comox, BC, in 2007. In his retirement years, he enjoyed travelling, motorcycling, and attending to his extensive garden.

O'CAIN, Brian Alexander

March 8, 1941 - January 31, 2020

Brian was a Safety Systems Technician in the Air Force and served for over 32 years.  He retired while in Greenwood Nova Scotia, and moved here to Comox where he worked for a few years with the Corps of Commissionaires and volunteered with the Comox Air Force Museum.

DAWBER, Allan Ward

1934 - October 10, 2019

Born in Waterloo, Quebec, Al is predeceased by his parents, George and Dorothy Dawber, and younger sisters Janet and Shirley (McIntyre). He is survived by his younger brother Douglas Dawber of North Bay, Ontario. 

Al leaves behind his wife of 63 years Helen (Plaviak) and daughters Linda Neault (Robert), Theresa Dawber (Glen), and Janet Finley (Mark), grandchildren Andrew and Kevin Castonguay, Rebecca and Jessica Finley, great grandchildren, Curtis and Colin Castonguay, as well as his beloved nieces, nephews, and cousins.

Al joined the Canadian Armed Forces in 1953 and was a proud member for 36 years. Al loved his work as an Air Traffic Controller. His career took him to many bases across Canada and Europe and brought many people and places into his life before retiring in beautiful Comox in 1989. He is a graduate of Laurentian University. Al’s retirement years were spent volunteering with the Canadian Cancer Society, the National Association of Federal Retirees, the Brooklyn Creek Watershed Society, and the Alberni Project. Al loved nature, golfing, exploring the Island, travelling, and was an avid reader. He was a longstanding member of the RCL Branch #160 Comox, and of 888 RCAFA Wing. Al maintained a positive attitude and lived life to the fullest. 

SHAW, Mary Ross

August 31, 1928 - October 5, 2019

Mary Ross Shaw, 91, passed away peacefully in her home with family at her side. Born in New Westminster, B.C., she was the youngest daughter of Norman Ross Coulson and Eleanor Mary-Louise Coulson and she spent her childhood growing up in New Westminster, B.C. until her marriage in April, 1949, to Thomas Shaw of Burnaby. For the ensuing 25 years military life took her and her family across Canada including a three year term in France.

Mary is survived by her husband, Tom, children Tom (Janet}, Ken (VaLori ), Sue (John}, and grandchildren, Murray, Corinne, Mike, Darren, Danny, Amy, Trevor, Kyle, and Jason. And an increasing number of great grandchildren, Paige, Ryder, Kendall, Halle, Jasper, Finley and Benson.

Mary was especially proud of her family. Her loyalty to her husband was unwavering giving him 70 years of companionship and support. Her eldest son, Tom, had a career in education. Son Ken, an international entertainer, had a perpetual fan in his mom. She delighted in his performances and shared in the many celebrations of his illustrious career. Her daughter, Susan, a successful business woman in the Comox Valley was mom’s reliable companion and confidant.

Mary was a founding member of 888 Wing, Lazo, where she put in many hours as a volunteer and organizer. She was on the original committee that drew up plans to build a welcoming club for military families and friends. Her efforts have provided many people a place to visit and reconnect with others who have served Canada. And as a volunteer, when her health permitted, she would work at the Wing on Wednesdays as part of the lunch gang making sandwiches. She did that for over 20 years. Her coordination of several Christmas shows brought much entertainment and good cheer for the members. Also, she organized many bus trips to Skagit and Tulalip casinos for members to have a weekend trip. She was always available to assist with memorials, Canada Day, Remembrance Day celebrations and whatever other event needed a helping hand.

COUTU, Daniel J

April 22, 1961 - October 3, 2019

Dan passed away peacefully with Bonnie by his side and surrounded by family and friends. Marsha, the resident cat of the hospice and who was a great comfort to him during his illness was also there to guide his spirit along the away.

Dan is survived by his wife Bonnie, Claire Lapalice-mother, Ben Coutu-brother, Sylvain Coutu-brother, Lance Schmidt-brother-in-law and several aunts, uncles and cousins.

A very heartfelt thank you to Dr Nataros and the staff at The Hospice at The Views for their kind and compassionate care of my husband during his illness. I would also like to thank 19 Wing Fire Department and 888 Wing (Komox) for their support during this difficult time.

Born in Montreal, Dan joined the Canadian Forces in June 1980 where he served as a Firefighter for over 35 years. After his retirement from the Canadian Forces he worked for Enterprise Car Rental as a driver, a job he enjoyed immensely. Dan also served as President of 888 (Komox) Wing of the RCAFA 2018-2019 and was appointed Chairman of the Board of Directors for 2019-2020 and remained in that position until his passing.

MILES, Thomas Arthur David

 - September 5, 2019

It is with great sadness that the family of Thomas Arthur David Miles announces his passing on the 5th of September 2019 at the age of 77. Thomas will be greatly missed by his wife of 54 years, Irene, children Thomas (Kris), Raymond (Amanda), Teresa (Dale) and Stephen (Allison). He will also be missed by his grandchildren Matthew, Kelsey, Aaron, Ryan, Sarah, Andrew, Olivia, Janis and Finn.

Thomas was surrounded by his family as he passed peacefully. A funeral service will be held at 1300 hours, September 14th at Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Catholic Church on Military Row, Comox. Flowers gratefully declined. Donations made to the Comox Valley Healthcare Foundation would be appreciated.

GIBSON, Francis Norman Victor (Frank)

July 23, 1945 - September 4, 2019

Frank passed away in hospital at the young age of 74. Born in Halifax, the son of Frank and Geraldine and younger brother to beloved sister Joyce.

Frank moved to Uranium City, Sask. and worked in the mines during the 60s'. He eventually migrated west to the Coast, where he found work at Elk Falls Mill in Campbell River.  Frank was employed at the Mill for more that 30 yrs, where he advanced to the position of tour boss of number five paper machine. After retiring from the Mill, Frank became a consultant for Albany International where he had the opportunity to pass on his vast amount of knowledge of the paper making industry too many others.

Frank loved the outdoors where he could go fishing, hunting, hiking, camping and of course golfing. He enjoyed travelling to golf courses around Canada and abroad but always kept a membership at Glacier Green golf course here in the Comox Valley. Frank has been a member at the Comox Legion since 1984. He was a member at the 888 Wing RCAFA where he enjoyed visiting with friends.


April 15, 1932 - June 25, 2019

Danny passed away at the young age of 87. He was born in Robinsons, Newfoundland and served in teh RCAF for 30 years. He was known for his love of playing golf, cribbage, bridge and the odd newfie prank or joke. Dan is survived by his wife Bette of 63 years, sons Stephen and Terry (Jody), as well as granddaughters - Ashley, Emma & Sara.

GEROW, George Andrew (Gerry)

31 January 1934 - June 23, 2019

Born in Souris, Manitoba, Gerry graduated from Delta High School in 1952. He went on to have a distinguished career as an airframe technician in the Canadian Air Force, retiring as a Master Warrant Officer. He was posted to many bases through his career including Nanaimo BC, Portage La Prairie Manitoba, North Bay Ontario, Baden-Soellingen Germany (4 Wing), Edmonton Alberta, Trenton Ontario, Cold Lake Alberta, and, finally, to Comox BC. His proudest moment in the military was being awarded the Order of Military Merit by the Governor General of Canada in 1984. He retired in 1987, and settled in his beloved BC with his wife Norma. He then began a second career as a real estate agent, servicing the Comox Valley and worked as a free-lance writer for hunting and dog magazines. He also wrote a memoir called “Ground Crew, Recruit to Squadron Warrant Officer” chronicling his career in the air force. He leaves behind his wife of 45 years, Norma Gerow, four children: Bonnie Gerow (Colin), Jeri-Lynn Gerow (Wolf), Richard Gerow (Jacqui), Georgann Gerow (Harry).

McNabb, Donald (Don) Herbert

November 23, 1934 - June 14, 2019

Don was born in Saskatoon Saskatchewan,the eldest of three children to Leonard and Ruth McNabb. His brother Jim and sister Leona passed before him. Don moved a lot in his long life. He enlisted in the Royal Canadian Air Force at 18, retiring after 20 years and then joining the RCMP in 1973. Don loved the Comox Valley and decided to retire here in 1992. He kept busy, joining the 888 Komox RCAFA Wing, of which he is a past president. Don leaves behind his daughters, Deborah Moore (Terry) and Donna Henderson (Rick), grandchildren Michelle Henderson (Terry), Warren Henderson and great granddaughters, Chloe and Maia Bishop. He was much loved and will be missed.

WEATHERLEY, Maude Maria Elizabeth  (nee Anthony)

- May 18, 2019

Passed peacefully after battling a long illness at Comox Hospital. Predeceased by her parents William and Helen Anthony and her sister, Elizabeth Quinlan (Mike). Leaving to mourn, her daughter KellyAnn, son-in-law Jeff and her grandchildren Matthew and Tara. Sisters; Joan Anthony, Anne Stagg (Sam), Helen Anstey (Cedric), Shirley Hawco (Fred) and her companion Jim Holland. As well as a large number of nieces and nephews from St. John’s Newfoundland. A very large circle of friends from Comox/Courtenay, British Columbia and Yuma, Arizona.

CLARK, Robert Maxwell “Max” or “Knobby”

- April 26, 2019

Robert Maxwell Clark  “Max” or “Knobby” to his friends, passed away peacefully at North Island Hospital, Courtenay on Friday, April 26th. He is survived and will be dearly missed by his loving family and many friends.

HILCHEY, Irene Anne

August 21, 1943 – March 25, 2019

Born in Esquimalt, Irene passed away peacefully at home in Comox with her husband, Don and sister, Diane Douglas, by her side. She is also survived by her daughters, Lorelie Lee (Dave) Lea Quinn and Kathleen Saunders (Doug) ten grand-children, seven great-grandchildren, her brother, Alan Webb, of Port Alberni, step-sons Ken and Danny, step-daughter Sabrina, plus many stepgrandchildren and step-great-grandchildren. Irene and Don moved to Comox from Esquimalt in 2004. Irene loved to golf, and she was pretty good at it. She was always so proud of winning the long drive contest on occasion in the Wing golf tournaments. She loved to walk with her various walking groups until her health began to fade. She enjoyed her monthly lunch get-togethers with the Red Hat girls, and the Wing girls. She loved camping, especially at Gold River where she enjoyed playing the golf course. Irene was also a member of the Air Force Association of Canada, 888 Wing Komox where she had many friends, and enjoyed cooking for Pub Grubs on occasion with Don, Ronnie and Chuck. 

“I will forever miss her smile, her laugh and her wonderful sense of humour."

BLONDEL, Norman Victor

March 27, 1933 - March 9, 2019

Norm is predeceased by his parents John Bertie and Hilda (Ono) Corben-Falla and six of his brothers, Stan, Don, John, Lesley, Dick and Reg. He is survived by his loving wife, Julie Kathleen Blondel, son Neil Blondel (Carol) and daughter Dawn Marie Ullock (Joe).

Norm served 38 years combined service with the R.A.F. (5 yrs) and the R.C.A.F. (33 yrs). After retiring from the military Norm pursued his passion of reading and writing as the editor of the Totem Times. In his leisure time, Norm wrote for the military stations’ newspapers, first starting with the Haltonian School magazine in 1955. In 1958 he was stationed in Greenwood, Nova Scotia. Norm joined the library committee as publicist, beginning his parallel career as a writer with the column “Wings Over Greenwood” Station Newspaper. He ended up writing for the Comox Totem Times “Fish Wrapper” with his “Lightside” humour column.

Norm was known for his English dry sense of humour. A loving husband, who over the 64 years of his marriage adored his lovely wife Julie. They had a lot of fun together throughout their years they enjoyed dancing until physically was unable. As a father he was loving and supportive.


1932 - January 22, 2019

John Haughton, gently slipped away from us. He left with grace and calm. John was an amazing husband, father, brother, grandfather, great-grandfather, son and friend.

Born in 1932, John grew up in Wolverhampton England surrounded by the chaos of World War II. Shortly after leaving school he enlisted with the Royal Air Force, just as his father had, to pursue his passion in aviation.

In 1953 his family immigrated to Ontario, where John immediately began working as an appliance repairman. Soon after, John re-engaged into the Canadian Armed Forces where he once again pursued his passion as an Aircraft Electrical Technician. John was then posted to Cold Lake, Alberta where he met and married Lily. After several global postings and the addition of four children (Nadine, Alistair, Kevin and Corrine) they settled down in Comox. John’s entrepreneurial spirit drove him to open his own company, Alpha Electric Appliance Repair. This, in addition to working full-time in the Armed Forces, fulfilled his desire and passion of all things mechanical.

Together, John and Lily fostered 25 children in addition to raising their own. After he finished with the C.A.F., John took the position as the President of the Royal Canadian Air Force Association 888 Wing in Comox. Here he continued to share his love of aircraft with those peers, colleagues and friendships he had cultivated over the years. Additionally, John was treasurer for the 386 Air Cadet Squadron-Comox where he took great pride in supporting the cadets.

Lahaise, Audrey Mary Dianne

- November 17, 2018

Audrey left us unexpectedly from a cerebral aneurysm that resulted in a massive stroke. Audrey’s loving husband Frank (Duke) Reid was at her side in her final moments at the hospital. Duke and Audrey spent 17 wonderful years together and she will be dearly missed.

Audrey is predeceased by her first husband of 34 years Bart Lahaise. Audrey leaves behind her son Brent Lahaise and daughter Kelly ten Holder (Roland) and cherished grandchildren Brayden and Jada ten Holder. Their nana was very special to them. Audrey is survived by her sister Carol Chellew (Peter, deceased) and brothers Terry Seymour (Margaret, deceased), Chris Seymour (Helen), Greg Seymour (Joanne) and predeceased by brothers Patrick Seymour (Cindy Thomas) and Brian Seymour.

“A light from our family is gone

The voice we loved is stilled

A place is vacant in the home

Which never can be filled.”


- February 4, 2018

BEWS, Dave

January 27, 1940 - January 27, 2018

It is with great sadness that the family of David Bews announces his passing. David passed away with his loved ones at his side after a brief battle with lung cancer.

David lived a full and adventurous life that began in the BC interior. In 1960 David joined the Royal Canadian Air Force as an air traffic controller. This led him overseas first to Marville, France, then to Lahr & Baden Baden, Germany. There he enjoyed the German lifestyle to its fullest.

Dave met and married the love of his life, Gusti, there. In 1994 David retired in the Comox Valley, and then spent his days following his dreams of golfing, fishing, camping, and boating. Most of these activities were with his best friend, his son Alexander. To his delight, he and Gusti were blessed with grandchildren in 2006 and 2008, which filled his days with joy.

David will be sadly missed by his wife, Gusti, son Alexander (Ara), grandchildren, Emily & Nicholas, brother Ken & family, sister Cindy & family, nieces Hollis & Dita (Mark), sister-in-law Karla (Heinz).

The family wishes to thank Dr. Stephan Matous for his excellent care in David’s final days.

STUART, Douglas George

May 19, 1935 - December 22, 2017

Doug Stuart passed away peacefully in his wife’s arms at North Island Hospital Comox Valley on December 22, 2017. Doug was born in Norquay, Saskatchewan to his parents, May and George Stuart. He was a tireless sportsman in his youth including hockey, curling, golfing, skiing and baseball. He was drafted to play hockey for a Chicago minor-league team but turned it down to join the Air Force. He later won the MacDonald Provincial Briar for curling in 1965. Doug and his wife, June (nee Rempel) had two children, April and James. The family spent many years together moving all over Canada and were also stationed in Colorado Springs for a few years. Doug was a pilot for most of his career with the Canadian Air Force and retired as a Lieutenant Colonel. Highlights of his significant military career include ejecting out of a Voodoo fighter in 1971, and CO of 442 Search and Rescue Squadron in Comox. He received numerous honours including - NORAD officer of the year, an official thank you from the crew of Air Force One, and the Order of Military Merit in 1984. After not seeing each other for over fifty years, Doug was reunited with his high school sweetheart, Sharon. They were married Valentine’s Day, 2014. They continued to share their time between BC’s Comox Valley and Saskatchewan’s Buena Vista. Doug was a teller of stories, a lover of jokes, a romantic at heart and a loving husband, father, and friend. He will be greatly missed by his wife Sharon Stuart, his son, James Stuart, his daughter, April Murphy, and his son-in-law, Paul Murphy.

BRYANT, James Edward

August 21, 1938 - August 10, 2017

After a courageous battle against several maladies, James Edward Bryant died in hospital at Comox, BC, in the morning of August 10, 2017 – one day prior to his 79th birthday. Jim was born in Calgary and raised in Jumping Pound, Lethbridge, Diamond City, and a farm at Bingley – near Rocky Mountain House. After graduating from high school, Jim wanted to explore new horizons, so after brief stints with highways and oil exploration, he decided to enlist with the RCAF in 1958. Over his career with the Armed Forces, Jim was stationed at St. Jean, PQ, Gimli, MB, Alymer, Winnipeg, Trenton, ON, 2F-Wing (Grostenquin), France (421 Sqn), Cold Lake, AB, and Comox, BC (442 Sqn). He was also deployed on a UNEF peace-keeping mission in Egypt (116 ATU). The aircraft he worked on included the: Sabre, Shooting Star, Starfighter, Hornet, Voodoo, Dakota, Labrador, and Buffalo. After 24 years, Jim retired as sergeant and safety systems technician. While stationed in France overseas, Jim found and married his love, Antoinette, in 1963. Last March, they celebrated their 54th anniversary. Many folks will remember Jim doing yard maintenance and home renovations with his little dog Scamp or serving ice cream at RJ’s in the Comox Mall. Jim enjoyed hunting, fishing, curling, baseball, golfing, and hockey. Later, his interests focused more on gardening, woodworking and collecting coins and stamps. Jim played darts and crib at the Royal Canadian Legion and was a congregant of Christ the King Church. Jim had a very kind heart, quick wit, and contagious laugh; and will be dearly missed by all who knew and loved him.

“The birds that used to torment the sky

The birds that we so enjoyed to fly…

…may they rest in peace.”

(421 Sqn’s “An Ode to the Sabre”)

THOMPSON, Gary Durant

January 31, 1939 - July 20, 2017

Gary, age 78, passed away peacefully at his home with wife Monique and daughters Diana & Claudine by his side. Born in Ottawa on January 31st, 1939, Gary was the youngest of 6 children. He joined the RCAF on February 9th, 1956 following in the footsteps of his father and brothers Walton & Dalton. During his long career Gary was stationed in many bases including 2 Wing - Grostenquin, France (were he met the love of his life, Monique), Namao, 412 Sqn Ottawa, Lahr, Esquimalt, Toronto, Bagotville and Portage La Prairie. He also found time to serve with the RCN aboard the Gatineau & Kootenay. Gary settled in Comox on Sep 9th, 1989 where he taught cooking to the Quadra Navy Cadet Camp. He became members of both the 888 Wing RCAFA and of Br #160 Comox Legion. As well as Monique, Diana & Claudine, Gary leaves 8 grandsons and 7 great grandchildren.


March 26, 1944 - July 14, 2017

It is with immense sadness we say goodbye to a wonderful husband, father & granddad. Ron passed peacefully with his loving family at his bedside in Hospice after a long and difficult journey with Parkinson’s & Lewy Body Dementia. Ron was born and raised in Calgary and after graduating from RMC in 1966 he enjoyed a successful 35 year flying career in the Air Force, Alberta Government & STARS (Air Ambulance) before retiring in Comox in 2004. Married to his wife Margaret for 51 years they raised 2 daughters; Jennifer Calow (Dave) & Heather Goertzen (Dave) who blessed them with 5 grandchildren. Ron’s amazing life was filled with love, loyalty, kindness, integrity and an endearing sense of humour. He will be missed by his family and many friends.

NEWBOLT, Barbara (nee Higgins)

– June 29, 2017

In life as in death. Barb went out with grace and style. After a short but hard fought battle with cancer she passed away gracefully on the 29th June, 2017 under a beautiful starlit sky. Her children by her side. Barbara was predeceased by her husband, Alan Newbold and then her life partner Hans Kroemer. Barbara is survived by her children: Graham Newbold, Katherine Zwarich and Patricia Newbold as well as her 20 grandchildren and great grandchildren. The clan includes grandchildren Shanna Morrow, Samantha Berner, Robert Grenier, Charity Chwok, Kaitlyn Zwarich, Chelsea Zwarich, Alana Newbold and Saxon Newbold followed by the great grandchildren Brady Newbold, Madason. Brian and, Mathew Morrow, Mya Berner, Ethan, Kendra, Joel and Nolan Grenier, Emily and Logan Chwok with one more bundle of joy (Alana) expected in September.

CASEY, John (Jack)

February 19, 1936 – March 11, 2017

The family of Jack Casey are sad to announce his passing at his home in Courtenay. Jack is predeceased by his brothers Fred, Kevin, Bill, and Edward and his sisters Mary and Betty. He leaves behind to mourn his loving wife Barbara; brothers, Mike, Herbert; sons Robert (Mary), Peter (Tina), daughter Susan (Gaby); grandchildren Jon, Michael, Maggie, Nadia, Lily, Liam, Casey, Lauren. Jack was born in St. John’s, Newfoundland and although he left the “rock” at age 21 he was always a proud Newfoundlander. He served for 33 years in the Canadian Armed Forces and retired to the Comox Valley in 1992. In his leisure, he enjoyed salmon fishing, bowling, playing cards and camping with his many friends along the coast of Vancouver Island. Jack was a loving husband, brother, father, uncle and grandfather who was adored by his family. His sense of humour, gracious disposition and devotion to his family and friends made "Jackie" a man loved by all. A true gentleman who will be dearly missed. 

LIVING, Stuart (Stu)

July 22, 1932 – December 4th, 2016

Stu was born in Buckingham Quebec and passed away at his home in Comox, with his wife Barbara at his side. He will be remembered for his pleasant personality and great, dry sense of humour.

BRYDGES, Vilma (Val) (nee Forssi)

August 28, 1944 – November 18, 2016

It is with great sadness we announce that Val passed away suddenly while resting in her Courtenay home at the age of 72. Val was born in Port Arthur, ON to Ruth (Luoma) Myllyniemi, and Edvard Forssi. Val's stepfather Arvo Myllyniemi, from Finland, was prominent throughout her childhood and Val considered him with fond affection. A graduate of King's Business College in Thunder Bay, Val found her calling as a secretary and civil servant for the Government of Canada in North Bay (ON), Lahr (Germany), CFB Borden (ON), 429 Sqn. Winnipeg (MB), 435 Sqn. Edmonton (AB) and Health Services Unit Victoria (BC). She celebrated her retirement in 2002 after 32 years of service. Val is survived by her children Jeffrey (Korea), Jason (Vancouver), Jennifer Kingston (Ryan), and Granddaughter Eeva Kingston (Victoria). She is remembered by sister Aili Manych (Don) of The Pas, Manitoba and was predeceased by sister Gladys Nummikoski (Waino), brother Leo Myllyniemi (Bernice) and brother Edward in infancy.

BATE, Robert James (Bob)

March 7, 1963 – November 28th, 2016

It is with deep sadness that we announce the passing of our beloved husband and dad. Bob passed away peacefully at home with his family by his side. He is survived by his loving wife, Jennifer; their two daughters, Sarah and Meaghan, his father William; brother, Bill (Hallmuth); sisters, Susan, Sandra (Connie), and Anne (Reg); and his large extended family.  He was predeceased by his mother, Mary Ann and sister, Janet. Bob was born in Arvida, Quebec and settled with his wife Jennifer, in Qualicum Beach in 1988. Bob worked as a teacher and coach for many years at Kwalikum Secondary School and abroad at the Canadian International School of Hong Kong. As a coach and mentor, Bob is remembered by his many students and close friends as a charismatic, deeply caring and loving person. He was an avid athlete and loved to play golf, hockey, baseball and tennis. Most of all, Bob loved to cycle throughout Oceanside and up to Comox to visit his family. Bob lived his life to the fullest; he loved to laugh and enjoyed every second spent with friends and family. He will be sorely missed.

DAVIES (McArthur), Mildred "Milly"

January 16th, 1943 – November 16th, 2016

It is with great sorrow that we announce the passing of Milly Davies, a much-loved wife and mother who passed from this world at her home in Comox, BC. She leaves her husband, Allan Davies; daughter Melanie and husband Dion Cormier; son Everett Davies and wife Kim; son Nelson Davies and wife Shannon; daughter Lori Roudez and husband Craig McDonald; grandsons Morgan, Devon and Ronin. Milly was born in Carlyle, Saskatchewan where she stayed until 1963 when she relocated to Gimli, Manitoba. She then met Allan, who was stationed there with the RCAF and started her new life as a military wife and mother; which afforded her the opportunity to live and travel across Canada, and Germany. She was an avid athlete who played many sports, but particularly excelled in competitive fast ball as a pitcher, and then later as a much-loved coach of the sport. When not playing sports she could be found proudly managing her successful car detailing business in Courtenay with her son Everett. Most importantly, Milly will be remembered as the heart and soul of her family. Although small in stature she was gifted with a larger than life spirit and warmth, and a sense of humor which she used to bring joy to her family and many friends. Milly was a proud member of RCAF 888 Wing.

LIGHTFOOT, Herbert Russel (Herb)

January 23rd, 1936 - November 8th, 2016

It is with profound sadness that we announce the passing of Herbert Russel Lightfoot. Herb passed away peacefully surrounded by the love of his family and in the presence of Mavis, his loving wife of 56 years.

GAGNON, Leonce Bernard (Bernie)

- October 22nd, 2016

Predeceased by parents Cecile and Philippe and brothers Jacques and Bertrand, sisters Lucille and Marthe. Survived by loving wife Mabel. Daughters Lisa, Francine, Rosemary and Joanne. Grandchildren Azaia, Kory, Sean and Nicole. Sisters Noemie, Christaine, Noelline, Marjolaine and many other extended family members especially nieces Michele and Diane. Bernie served in the military for 21 years, which included Egypt, 3 tours in Alert and many bases throughout Canada. He also continued to work as a civilian at CFB Comox another 10 years. He was loved by many and well known in the community for his work at the Wing and the Legion, also for public speaking at Remembrance Day memorials at a variety of schools in the Comox Valley and all the kindness he extended to everyone he met.

WREGGITT, Margaret (Marg)

June 16th, 1930 - October 14th, 2016

Marg was born in Weyburn SK but raised in Vancouver, our precious wife and mother passed away in St. Joseph’s ER from sudden heart failure with her husband of 63 years, Russ, at her side.  Marg was a wonderful person, kind, loving, with a vibrant personality who made friends wherever she went. She had the best traits of her Irish and Danish heritage.  She leaves to mourn her husband, Russ, loving daughter Linda (Cheryl) and many many friends. She was predeceased by our daughter Karen just five months ago and by four newborn sons in earlier years. She served in the RCAF, Women’s Division, enlisting in 1951 and was proud to be on Course # 1. She met and married Russ at Sea Island, the best thing that ever happened to him! During their time together they traveled across Canada, to Europe, the UK, and spent many winters in California and Arizona plus took a significant number of cruises. She was always athletic, a fine ballplayer and a steady and fun golfer at Glacier Greens for many years.  She was a stay at home mom when the girls were young but later worked at the Empress, Royal Jubilee, and many years at the Lab at St. Joseph’s. Family was her priority and she gave us her love without any hesitation. She was my “social butterfly” and we will forever be “ dancing cheek to cheek”.