Deaths (9)

Featured photo by Liam Norris


2906 Wilfred Ralph KNOWLES

Wilfred Ralph KNOWLES

KNOWLES, Wilfred Ralph April 11, 1927 – December 12, 2017 Passed away quietly at the Groves Memorial Community Hospital in Fergus, Ontario. Ralph Knowles, age 90, was the beloved husband of Mary Knowles (van Nostrand (predeceased)). Loving Father of Eleanor (predeceased), Kenneth (Anna), Richard and Helen (Michelle). Cherished Grandfather of Katie, James and Mackenzie. Ralph was a husband, father, grandfather, friend, coach and businessman. His successful business career spanned over 60 years with Robin Hood Foods, General Foods, Standard Brands and finally with Gilbertson & Page. He was known for his competitiveness and creative “out of the box” thinking and while this benefited major corporations it also influenced the Pointe-Claire (Quebec) hockey teams he coached to many victories. Ralph loved nature, his gardens, a fierce game of cards and a good book. The family would like to thank the doctors and staff at Groves for taking such great care of him over the past two months. In the spring Ralph will join Mary and Eleanor in the van Nostrand plot at Saint John’s York Mills. Arrangements entrusted to the Graham A. Giddy Funeral Home, Fergus.


6033 Patrick Michael JOHNSTON

Patrick Michael Johnston

JOHNSTON, Patrick Michael Lt. Colonel (Retired) June 8, 1941 – December 10, 2017. Pat passed away at Medex Extendicare with his family by his side.

Cherished husband to Janice for 51 years. Much loved father of Darren (Rebecca) and Kendra (Paul Timlock).

Grandpa will be missed by his four grandchildren, Ryan, Hannah, Cole, and Seth. Younger brother of Norma Podzelny and Bud (Louise) Johnston in BC. Loving brother-in-law of Donald (Wenda) Koehler and Yvonne (Paul Staab).

No funeral service. His ashes will be placed in the family plot in Chilliwack, BC, at a later date.

Special thanks to Medex staff for taking such good care of Pat, during his stay. Memorium donations to the Alzheimer Society of Lanark County, 115 Christie Lake Road, Perth, ON K7H 3C6, would be appreciated.

Arrangements entrusted to the care of the O’Dacre Family Funeral Home, Perth. 613-267-3082


Art Beemer

Art Beemer

3108 Arthur James Beemer, CD, (Class of 1953):  loving husband of Janet Yvonne (Sweetman) Beemer.
3108 LCol (Ret’d) Art Beemer died on 16 December 2017, at the age of 88.  He was born in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario on 21 April 1929, to Russell and Mary (Pace) Beemer.  He finished public school, walking a mile each way, and high school, riding his bicycle four miles each way, unless he got a ride in the winter with his dad to the armoury below the high school hill.  As a result he was in good physical shape for Royal Roads College in 1949 and Royal Military College in 1951.

He got his diploma in Mechanical Engineering then went to Korea to join the 3rd Battalion Vandoos.  On his return to Kingston, he obtained his Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering at Queen’s University.  He spent the next 2 years with the Royal Canadian School of Signals, during which time his first daughter, Barbara, was born.  Then there was a short stint with the Signal Regiment in Camp Borden.  Then off to Gagetown with the 3rd Signal Squadron, where his second daughter, Sandra, was born, before the family went to Germany where Art served with the 4th Signal Squadron.

He returned to Kingston to the Royal Canadian School of Signals, then took the 2 year Staff Course at Fort Frontenac.  He became 2nd in Command of the Signal Regiment then running the Officer Training Squadron at Vimy Barracks.

In 1967 he was posted to Dar es Salaam, Tanzania to teach their staff in communications equipment.  Back in Canada, at the National Defence Headquarters, he procured Signal equipment for the Directorate Land Requirements 4, then was on staff in the Director of Professional Education Department before he was switched to the Director of Frequencies.

Warned that his next posting would be to the Canadian Military Staff in Washington, Janet and Art took golf lessons, only to have Art’s posting changed to the Netherlands to run SHAPE Headquarters communications.

Again back in Canada, Art resumed as Director of Frequencies, renamed Director of Frequency Spectrum Management, until his retirement from the military in 1983.

After retiring, Art continued to work as a consultant in communications and then volunteered his time to help the low income and seniors with their income tax preparations.




John was born on August 20, 1932 in St. Catherine’s, Ontario and passed away December 15, 2017 in Regina, SK. He was predeceased by his parents John and Maude Jory; his sister Vera Avery; and his first wife Ann Gordon. John is survived by his daughter Beth Hurley (Jeff) and her sons Brian (Jenni) and Gordon (Miranda); son Bill (Suzanne) and their daughters Alexandra and Charlotte; his wife Dot Lawrence and her extended family. A Celebration of John’s Life will be held in the spring of 2018. Donations may be made to Carmichael Outreach, 2300 11th Avenue, Regina, SK, S4P 1W3. To leave an online message of condolence, please visit


4237 Adrian Preston 

Adrian Preston

It is an added sadness to start the New Year off on  this note, but I regret to report the death of 4237 Adrian Preston, in Cornwall, UK, in September 2017, from esophageal and stomach cancer.

Last week I received a letter from Adrian’s wife, Rae, advising me that Adrian had been battling the cancer for about two years before he lost the fight. I had been in touch with him via the occasional letter, but was not aware that he had any medical issues.

Rae and Adrian were in Cornwall visiting their middle daughter, Julia and family, and were joined by most other members of their family for several pleasant weeks, when his health took a final turn. He was interred in the church at St. Winnow, Lostwithiel, Cornwall.

Following Adrian’s death, Rae returned to their home in Cords-sur-Ciel, France to sort out things … including picking up two earlier editions  of the class newsletter. She mentioned how much she enjoyed reading about Bob Dallison’s official trip to the Vimy celebrations in April, 2017 and added that she had …”fond memories of attending Bob and Sharon’s wedding in the late 50s in Victoria, and spending a week while Adrian was away, playing rugger in California for UBC, with the Dallison’s when they shared a house with Murray Thom in Vancouver. I was working nights at the Veterans Hospital.”

Rae’s letter then expressed her thanks to Adrian’s classmates for the warm memories their names conjured up for the Prestons in each issue of the newsletter.

Note: Rae’s most likely address in the immediate future will be at:
Flat B, Trulls Hatch, Rotherfield, East Sussex. UK.  TN6 3QL … or:
13 Rue du Bouysset, Cordes-sur-Ciel, France. 81170.

Neither Adrain nor Rae use computers, but if you wish to contact Rae somewhat quicker that via the post, Rae suggests that you email her daughter, Julia Woolf at:   and the message will be promptly delivered to her.

Needless to say, I have already expressed, via Julia’s email, our regrets to Rae on the loss of Adrian. Julia promptly responded, saying, “ …Dad always spoke of his time at RMC with great pride and fondness. It was an important part of his life. It is lovely for us as a family to hear from those who knew him.”

My regards to you all:

3959 Phil Smith


H3062 ALLEN RICHARD KEAR was the founder of MB Branch and was Branch President between 1969 and 2003.

Professor Allen Richard Kear, of Winnipeg, Manitoba, passed peacefully away at Beacon Hill Lodge, Winnipeg, on Friday, December 15, 2017. Predeceased by his wife, Celine Power Kear (September 9, 2017); his parents, Major William G. and Isabel Kear; his brother Doug Kear, and sisters Willa Weiser and Isabel Kear; sister-in-law, Kay Kear and brother-in-law, Berhard Weiser; parents-in-law, Neil and Rose Power of Newfoundland, brothers-in-law, Harold and Leonard Power, Norbert Lake and Fred Roche; and sister-in-law, Mary Manning Power. Leaving to mourn, his sister Anne Hathaway Kear, Toronto; his niece Carol Dunaway and grandniece, Niki Dunaway, Nanaimo, and cousin David Kear (Linda), Toronto; also his Newfoundland family, sisters-in-law, Maureen Roche, Mary Power (Amarjit Singh), Pauline Lake-Devine (Mike), and Bernadette Cocker (Bruce); brothers-in-law, Wilfrid Power (Rose), Rev. Peter Power, Dermot Power and Tom Power (Ernestine), and a large number of extended family members and friends in Winnipeg and Newfoundland. Allen was born in Kingston, Ontario in 1929 and moved with his family to Winnipeg at an early age. He came from a proud military family and graduated with a BA in 1953 from the Royal Military College (RMC) in Kingston, Ontario. He earned a BA (1954) and an MA (1966), both from Queen’s University in Kingston. He remained loyal to both institutions, regularly attending RMC reunions and Queen’s homecomings as he and his wife made their annual trip to and from Newfoundland. Allen was bilingual and studied at Laval University in Quebec City before he and his wife, Celine, moved to his hometown of Winnipeg in 1969, where he taught at the University of Manitoba until his retirement. Allen and Celine were both actively involved in the Heritage community and the St. Boniface Francophone community of Winnipeg. Allen was passionately interested in Canadian history, completing original research on Confederation and publishing articles in both French and English. He was a world traveller and a true academic, who never tired of visiting historical sites and monuments and expounding to students, family and friends about the historical and geographical grandeur of Canada. A sincere thank you to the staff of Beacon Hill Lodge, 5th floor, for their compassionate care during these past months. Cremation has taken place. A memorial service will be held at St. John’s Anglican Cathedral, Winnipeg at a date to be announced. Donations in Allen’s memory may be made to the Royal Military College or Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. Condolences may be left at the Cropo Funeral Chapel website,

As published in the Winnipeg Free Press on Dec 23, 2017

Contribution: from No 12059 Jacques Gagne, Past President Manitoba Branch (circa 2004-2017) on behalf of H3062, Allen Kear BA MA

Allen first enrolled and attended RMC under the RETP program with an interest in the RCN.

Within a short period of time, Allen determined that his services were best served in Academia, and to this end attended and completed studies at Queen’s University.

Allen had a keen interest in history and political affairs, and loved to travel across Canada and Manitoba visiting museums and historical locations.  I first met Allen in 1983 during a weekend outing in rural Manitoba.  At the time, (circa 1983-1990) I was serving with the RCMP in Portage la Prairie, MB.  During those years, I would meet with Allen and other senior members of the Branch at small social events held in Winnipeg whether at military events, dinners or cocktails.

I lost contact for a short period during 1990-95 while I served in the Ottawa area.  I reconnected with Allen in 1995 upon my return to Manitoba.  During these years; Allen and his wife Celine, were always gracious and welcoming and made every effort to promote networking between the Branch, new members and Cadets who would travel to Manitoba during Academic recess.

At the time of his professional retirement, Allen was assistant Professor at the University of Manitoba, where he taught at the Faculty of Political Science.

The Manitoba Branch came into being about 1969 through the efforts of Allen Kear.  While legally independent, the Branch was primarily social in nature up until, a re-organization initiated by Panet House in late 2003. Upon a special meeting and elections in Feb of 2004, Allen stepped down and No 12059 Jacques Gagne was voted Branch President. Following the re-org, the Branch realigned its priorities to support the objectives National Club (Kingston).

Allen was recognized as President Emeritus of the MB Branch by its members upon his retirement in 2004.

In 2005, Branch members, Tighe McManus and Bruce Rutherford proposed; Allen be considered for an Honorary appointment in recognition of his steadfast efforts, dedication and volunteer service at the helm of the Branch for over 35 years. Allen received an Honorary Life Member appointment in 2006.

In the past 10 yrs, Allen and Celine attended annual Branch events with some regularity, showing enthusiasm, and lending their support and approval for Branch efforts.  Allen is pre-deceased by his wife Celine who passed away after a short illness this past summer.

Rest in Peace Allen.  We Thank you for your service.


Art Bird, ran the RMC College Central Registry for many years

BIRD, Arthur James – 1926 – 2017 Born April 12, 1926 passed away peacefully on December 28, 2017 with his loving family by his side at Arbour Heights. Beloved husband of Frankie Bird of 62 years. Cherished father of Ron (Margo) and Lisa Bird. Loving grandfather of James Bird (Jessica) and proud Popi to his great-grandchildren Serenity, Alexis and Oliver. Predeceased by his parents, Alfred E. Bird and Magdalen Holding. Predeceased by his sisters, Stella Pullen and Agnes Wilson (Jack). Brother-in-law to William Raymond (Jennifer) and Geraldine Vanduinen (Bill, Deceased). Proud uncle of Carol McKenzie (Ron) and Brian Wilson (Diane), Peggy McIntyre (Gord), Alison O’Neil (Chris), Colleen Korkola (Sean), Cara Donaldson (Kevin), Bill Vanduinen (Ann) and Mike Vanduinen, and our dear friends Beverly and Leonard Rose and their family Arthur will be missed by many other nieces and nephews and Bently. Funeral will be held at the JAMES REID FUNERAL HOME . Time to be announced. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Alzheimer’s Society of KFLA or the Ontario Lung Association.


 RMC, Director of Athletics (1975-1980) 

S/L Robert Wolfe (ret’d) RCAF – August 27, 1930 – December 26, 2017
Peacefully, in Ottawa on Tuesday, December 26, 2017; age 87 years. Beloved husband of Kathleen Wolfe (Smith). Loving father of Robert Wolfe (Brenda) and Heather Wolfe-Jackson (John). Cherished grandfather of Skyler and Zane. Brother of June Forgie (Jim), Marjorie Hunter (late Bernard) and David Wolfe. Son of the late Elvie and late Jean (Currie) Wolfe. Predeceased by his twin sister Shirley Steeves (late Gerald) and Margaret Allain (late Aurele) and by his brother Jack (late Connie). Ace will be sadly missed by many cousins, nieces, nephews and friends.

Funeral Arrangements under the care and direction of Beechwood, Funeral, Cemetery and Cremation Services. A Celebration of Life, with Legion Tribute will take place at the Royal Canadian Legion –Branch #632 (800 Taylor Creek Dr, Orléans), on Friday, December 29, 2017 from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. An interment will take place in the National Military Cemetery of the Canadian Forces, located at Beechwood Cemetery in early May. For those who wish to make a donation in Ace’s memory, you may do so towards The Canadian Diabetes Association, Canadian Cancer Society or to the Royal Canadian Legion- Branch #632.  Source


Ruth Helen THOMPSON, widow of long-time RMC faculty member Fred THOMPSON, Professor of History

THOMPSON, Ruth Helen – January 29, 1926 – October 20, 2017 With deep sadness we announce the passing of our beautiful mother. Born in Pitt Meadows, British Columbia, Ruth was the second child of Edith Marie McDermott (nee Lyness) and William McDermott. While working at UBC in 1947, she married Frederic Fraser Thompson. They settled in Kingston, Ontario in the 1950’s and raised three children; Sarah, Charlotte and Douglas. Working as a secretary with the Queen’s University School of Business and the Program for Public Executives, she was beloved by all for her sympathetic ear and practical counsel. Ruth sang second soprano with the Kingston Choral Society and was a member of the Pittsburgh Township Women’s Institute. She loved to cook, entertain, garden, read and travel. She encouraged her children to develop their talents and shared her many gifts and pleasures with all who knew her. In later years Ruth suffered from Dementia but continued to enjoy company, gardens and music. She was still singing the day she died. A celebration of Ruth’s life will be held early in 2018.

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