Deaths | Décès

12616 Chris Simonds

It is with great sorrow we announce that on Tuesday the 13th of October Colonel (Ret’d) Christopher Guy Simonds CD, aged 62, of Ottawa Ontario passed away in hospital following a very complex medical journey which began in July. Christopher’s four boys were able to visit with him prior to his passing. With his wife at his side, Christopher slipped away peacefully with love and the words of his boys in his ears.

Christopher was born in Kingston Ontario to Colonel (Ret’d) Charles Richard Simonds, OMM, CD and Barbara Rose Simonds (nee Lynch) on 26 September 1958. His school years were spent at St. John’s-Ravenscourt School (Winnipeg MB), Glebe Collegiate Institute (Ottawa ON); Loyalist Collegiate Vocational Institute (Kingston ON), and Trinity College School (Port Hope ON). He went on to earn a Chemical (Nuclear) Engineering Degree from the Royal Military College of Canada, Kingston Ontario, in 1980. He served with unwavering commitment for 37 years in the Canadian Armed Forces, Royal Canadian Artillery.

Christopher’s life was one of dedicated service to the military, his family, and to his dear friends and colleagues. While his work often took him away from those he loved, when he could, Christopher enjoyed golfing and curling, watching the Blue Jays, and travelling the world with his family. Over the course of his life, Christopher received many honours and awards for his contributions to both the military and civilian communities he served. He lived his life guided by the values of duty, loyalty, honour, and valour; he will be missed for his outstanding leadership, strategic vision, and wonderful sense of humour.

Christopher is survived by his wife Major (Ret’d) Krista Caroline Simonds CD (nee Blaser), his four sons Lieutenant William Alexander, Nicholas Anthony, Matthew Thomas, and David Nathaniel Simonds; his father Colonel (Ret’d) Charles Richard Simonds; his brothers Stephen Andrew Simonds (Elizabeth Baxter Simonds; John and Katie Simonds), and Eric Charles Simonds. He is predeceased by his mother Barbara Rose Simonds and his brother Captain (Ret’d) David Taylor Simonds.

Given the unexpected and devastating nature of the medical challenges Christopher faced, being with family at home whenever possible was immensely important throughout his period of care. This journey, while difficult, nevertheless proved to be tremendously unifying and he and his family were grateful for each precious moment they had together. Christopher never faltered in his determination to optimize every opportunity to extend life and spend time with those he loved. He remained optimistic to the very end. The family wishes to extend their gratitude to the First Responders and the Community Support Services that made this possible, in particular: the firefighters at Fire Station 51 in Ottawa, the Ottawa Paramedic Services, the University of Ottawa Heart Institute and the larger Ottawa Hospitals Network Oncology Services, the Champlain Local Health Integration Network, and Carefor Ottawa.

A funeral will be held at James Reid Funeral Home in Kingston, Ontario on Thursday 29 October at 1 p.m (with RSVP’s required for attendance as spaces are limited, to RSVP please call the funeral home between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. Monday – Wednesday or by signing up below). Burial will follow at the Cataraqui Cemetery in Kingston, Ontario. The funeral will allow for both physical attendance (with masks, social distancing and contact tracing measures), as well as a live streaming digital component to enable those unable to attend in person due to COVID, to participate. Please register for the live stream using the following link:

Memorial donations may be made to: The University of Ottawa Heart Institute Foundation; The Ottawa Hospital Foundation – Cancer Research; Carefor; or, The University Hospitals Kingston Foundation – Cardiac and/or Cancer Care.

H3550 Murray Johnston

JOHNSTON, Colonel (Retired) Murray C., MSM, CD

Murray died peacefully at the Queensway Carleton Hospital at the age of 87.

Murray leaves behind his beloved wife Joan (Aitchison) of 63 years. He will be lovingly remembered by his daughters Janice Tarling (Kent Tarling) and Jenny Janes and his grandchildren Pte. Jamie Tarling, Kameron Tarling, Kaitlin Janes and Grace Janes. Dear son of the late Edgar and Annie Johnston and brother of the late Palmer Johnston, he is survived by his brother Dr. Laurence Johnston in Vancouver. Murray will be remembered by his sister-in-law Mary Johnston and nieces and nephews: Catherine, Gordon, Ross, Mandy, Megan, Sara and their families.

Murray served as a Regular Force Officer, RCEME for 31 years, followed by work at the Department of Energy, Mines and Resources as Canadian Representative to the NATO Petroleum Planning Committee. He was then appointed EME Colonel Commandant in 1991 until 2004. His volunteer work included: RMC Club President, Vice-Chairman of the Conference of the Defense Associations, EME Association President, Vice-Chair of the Friends of the Canadian War Museum, member of the Board of Directors of the Perley Hospital Corporation. He wrote and published two books on the history of RCEME and developed the Branch’s Honour Roll. Amongst his awards/medals Murray received the NATO SFOR medal, the Governor General Meritorious Service Medal in the military division and most recently the Order of St. George.

In his much deserved retirement years Murray loved to travel the world with Joan, garden and spend time with family and friends. We wish you peace Dad and know that you are loved!

Donations can be made in his memory to the Canadian War Museum, Ottawa, Ontario or the RCEME Corps Museum, Kingston, Ontario.

Due to Covid-19 restrictions visitor entry to the funeral will be strictly limited. If you wish to view the service by means of livestream, please visit for more information.

From 6560 Andrew Nellestyn:

Murray’s legacy is remarkable and unparalleled. He leaves a substantial vacuum for his leadership and dedication to the Corps were notable and celebrated.
Indeed, it can be said that Murray personified all that the Corps exemplifies and indelibly put RCEME on the map!
His book CANADA’S CRAFTSMEN AT 50! and plethora of publications served both to preserve the Corps’ proud history and heritage and to articulate the Corps achievements.
Murray’s strong sense of family, both in his personal life and that in the Corps, was ever conspicuous and defined him as an officer and a gentleman extraordinaire as did his humility and humanity.
With the craftsmen and women, all of whom he valued and respected immensely, he enjoyed an affectionate and avuncular relationship, their Uncle Murray.
He was, and will continue to be, an inspiration to all and will be sorely missed.

3120 Rick Edwards

EDWARDS, Richard Brooke Richard Edwards, aka “Lucky Dickie”. Dec 13, 1930 – March 26, 2020 A most fortunate life lived Sometimes death takes you by surprise. Ric’s death was one of those. He was downhill skiing in February, gone March 26th 2020. Richard Brooke Edwards was born at Wellesley Hospital on December 13, 1930, middle child of Caroline (nee Davis) and J. Charles Edwards. Ric’s siblings Davis and Jane are well, John and Robert predeceased Ric. Ric considered that his parents were the first thing that made him lucky. Caroline was involved with the school board, and Charles was a surgeon. “Dickie” was raised in and around Newmarket. As an infant he survived whooping cough, a 50 percent fatal disease…more good luck. Growing up during the Depression shaped his thinking, he could happily manage with very little, but was a generous soul. He graduated Royal Roads Military College in 1951 as Midshipman and the University of Toronto in 1957 as a Medical Doctor. As a young man he was employed by Simpson’s Department store; by the Province of Ontario as an inspector and then by Ontario Hydro in its construction division. Construction meant the hydroelectric dams being built on the Abitibi River to provide electrical power in Northern Ontario; Otter Rapids to be exact. Ric’s job was to oversee the construction and equipping of the hospital and provide healthcare to the men who worked building the dam and their families. While in Otter Rapids, he talked of the 10 bed hospital full of influenza patients, or the number of injuries to the workers, approximately one per day, but no deaths at that point. The challenges of living in a trailer in -30 degree F weather with his wife and first child Susan. How the condensation that froze to the windows and walls of the trailer would melt in a torrent when the weather warmed. Mostly he realized that he hadn’t learned enough, of what he felt he needed, to be an effective doctor. After the adventure in Northern Ontario, he proceeded to obtain his anesthesiology credentials. As Milton, Ontario needed an Anesthetist in 1961, Ric and his family moved there. He opened an office at 181 Main Street and joined in the important components of the local culture like playing hockey and continuing to ski on his “antique” skis in his signature style. In 1963 the family moved to the home Ric and Beryl had built, and both passed away in. He had his moment of celebrity when a baby girl, whose birth he attended in February 1964, turned out to be the smallest survivor in Halton County up to that time. (1 lb 14 oz. – 850 gm) Ric practiced for thirty six years as a doctor in Milton. At one time his list of anaesthetics was almost as long as the population of Milton (7500). Among other notes were serving as Chief of Staff at Milton District Hospital and District Chairman of the Ontario Medical Association. In the early days, being a doctor in Milton meant 75+ hour work weeks. With a young family that caused some challenges. One story features his second daughter Nancy. Perturbed that she had not seen her Daddy in over a week, she rode her bike with Susan to Ric’s office on Main Street. Where she asked Ric’s wonderful secretary of many years, Dorothy Hadley, for an appointment to see her Daddy. Dorothy explained the situation to those in the waiting room and Nancy saw her Daddy. When it became time to slow his career down, Ric first gave up covering the Emergency at Milton District Hospital. Then gave up his practice to Dr. Tony Chan. Ric gradually retired medicine by setting himself up to do dental anaesthetics. This allowed him to do work when he wanted from 1988-97. Thus ending the grab your tie and suit jacket and head to the hospital, any time of the day or night, life he had experienced up till then. This also allowed him the time to follow some of his other interests. A Sailboat was always one of Ric’s favourite places to be, especially leaned right over with water over the rails. Or learning how to create stained glass windows, one his own design and creation is in the front hall of his home. A third addition to the family a girl named Carol came in 1965. Then the special delivery of a son, James, in 1967. Despite the many hours at work Ric was active in Boy Scouts, Halton Children’s Aid Society, North Halton Community Living, Deborah’s Home, St. John Ambulance, Bruce Trail and many more. He had helping people, running through his veins; both figuratively and literally. Ric was a long time blood donor too. When it came to helping people he just couldn’t help himself from doing so. An example was while packing up after a sailing trip with two of his friends, both fellow doctors. The wheelbarrow piloted by a fellow sailor, loaded with luggage, went around the corner on the dock just a little faster than the load allowed. A piece of luggage ended up in Honey Harbour. What does Dickie do? Peels off his clothing down to his underwear, jumps in and rescues the rapidly sinking luggage. How many eighty something year olds do that? Ric married his childhood sweetheart, a teacher, Beryl Climpson in 1956. They had four children. Susan (Gavin Edmondstone), Nancy (Ed Elzinga deceased), Carol (John Giles), James (Janet Bousquet). Grandchildren (by age), Ed, Julia and Christopher Elzinga, Dakota, Veronica, Ray and Alexandra Edwards, Jasmine, Jessica, John, and Jeremy Giles. Great grandchildren, Joshua Bennett, Sarah and Abigail Elzinga. Ric was fortunate to travel much of the world. A trip to India designed for him to do anaesthetics so those with significant dental problems, could get them tended, turned out instead to be an introduction to photographer George Hunter. George and Ric traveled together for many years, Ric happily being the ox for the photographic equipment, learning photography and seeing the world along the way. His travels with Beryl were tamer, but also covered a lot of ground. Brother Davis was also a frequent travel companion and sailing trips with friends Vello and Diane were welcomed adventures. There were also ski trips for many years with his Doctor and Dentist “Stress Seminar” friends. These trips were always sort of like “what happens in Las Vegas”, none the less little bits slipped out over the years including a picture of Ric in a blondie wig and not too much else. Ric’s ski buddies were extremely kind to the family when Ric was dying. When Beryl became sick in 2008, Ric’s world came apart. Beryl’s Alzheimer’s required learning and adapting. Ric did his best. Beryl’s illness meant we needed to hire the first of the wonderful Caregivers who have generously shared their lives with us. First was Flordelita, then Rachel. Later Julie, Grace and Louise. Special thanks to Grace and Louise for their fantastic care of Ric, on his final journey. Following Beryl’s death in October 2009, Ric started back to travelling, working on the Bruce Trail, sailing and more. Through Beryl’s illness Ric had his first interaction with Acclaim Health. Acclaim Health ran Alzheimer Education Classes and support. Ric’s second interaction with Acclaim Health was during the 13 days to his death. COVID-19 restrictions had just started. Acclaim, and their wonderful palliative care nurse Yda May, helped support Ric, through his death at home. Thanks also to Dr. Schachter for his continued support. With continued COVID 19 restrictions, this obituary and any “celebration of Ric’s life” has been in limbo. Sadly, the latter remains in limbo. Ric would likely ask that you remember him by doing some kind act today. If your kindness is to make a donation, here is the information about three charities that were important to Ric; yes it was hard to choose. Feel free to ignore this suggestion and pick your own. Bruce Trail: Acclaim Health: University of Toronto Bursary in Genetics (year 1957): MAA online donation page From Ric’s journal in September of 1980: After supper, out on a house call, it was sunset. Rosy color filled the northwest and the sky displayed its many shades and hues of blue. The radio was playing “The Swallow”. A surge of joy overcame me and I stopped the car and got out to soak up this prosaic miracle. It diminished not a whit in spite of all the glory that fell on my greedy soul. The first star came out and I wished….for happiness and fulfillment for myself and my family. And I realized the wish had been fulfilled before it was even enunciated. Who could ask for more?

Passed away peacefully at home, after a 4 ½ year struggle with cancer. Dearly loved husband of Gwen Zappa. Survived by his two daughters, Christine Blais (André Julien) and Diane Blais (Olivier Braems). Grandfather to Anne-Marie (Éric Collard-Gauthier), Martin, Alison and Jérôme and great-grandfather to Lilirose. Also survived by three brothers and one sister, Onésime (Claire), Jacqueline (Gaston), Jean-Claude (Ida) and Denis (Francine). Predeceased by his parents, Bernadette and Onésime, as well as brothers and sisters, Emile (Rosalie), Henry, Cécile, Jean-Paul (Irma), Rita, Francois, Armand and Antoine.

Camille graduated from the Royal Military College, Saint-Jean, QC and the Royal Military College in Kingston and enjoyed 29 years with the Canadian Armed Forces. He served overseas with the 4 Canadian Brigade Group, NATO, with the Anti-Tank Company in Germany, with the International Control Commission in Vietnam and with the United Nation Forces in Cyprus. Cam was proud to have commanded the Trials and Evaluation Section of the Canadian Airborne Regiment in Rivers, Manitoba, the 3rd Battalion Royal 22e Regiment in Valcartier, QC and the Canadian Forces Recruit School in Saint-Jean. He attended the Canadian Army Staff College and later was a Directing Staff (DS) at the Canadian Armed Forces Command and Staff College in Kingston. At the end of his career, he was the Executive Director to the Chief of Reserves. Camille truly valued the long-lasting friendships made during his military career which have endured to this day. He loved to learn and, later in his career, obtained an MPA from the University of Quebec and an MBA from the University of Ottawa.

After retiring from the Canadian Armed Forces, he worked for Canada Post Corporation for 15 years as Manager of Fraud Investigations in the Internal Audit Department. Cam was an active sports enthusiast; he played hockey (goaltender), soccer, tennis and was a skydiver (D-150) with over 600 jumps. Upon retiring from Canada Post he bought his Harley-Davidson and he and Gwen travelled to motorcycle rallies across Canada and into the USA.

A very special thanks to Dr. E. Daigneault, Cam’s family doctor, Dr. H. Alsaffar, his ENT Surgeon, Dr. J. Hilton, his Oncologist, and all staff at the Cancer Centre and Ottawa Hospital for their compassion and care during Cam’s illness. In keeping with Cam’s wishes, a private graveside service will take place at the National Military Cemetery at Beechwood Cemetery. In memory of Camille, please consider a donation to the Support our Troops Fund or the Canadian Cancer Society.

One Comment

  • 10838+Marc+Grondin+Québec

    November 3, 2020 at 2:41 pm

    Adieu Colonel Johnston,
    I echo Andrew Nellestyn’s words, you are “sorely missed”.
    Arte et Marte
    10838 Marc Grondin