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Deceased Victoria Branch Members

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Gene Marie Aitkens (nee Thomas) UE. 20 May 1908 - 15 August 2007. She had joined the Victoria Branch when it re-activated in 1966. She has held the positions as Secretary, President and Genealogist.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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