George Henry "Harry" Stewart

Started in 1950 - Retired in 1979



Passed Away in 2005 - Scroll Down for Obituary  

Décès en 2005 - Avis de décès au bas de la page  







George Henry "Harry" Stewart

1924 - 2005


Our beloved dad, grandpa, great-grandpa, uncle, and brother died peacefully of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma on February 16, 2005, in South Surrey, B.C., at his son and daughter-in-law's home, surrounded by his family.


Born on March 6, 1924, he was a son of the late Thomas and Mary Edna Stewart (nee Askwith). Harry was predeceased by his sister, Valerie Phyllis Payne, in 2001 and is survived by his brother, Thomas Askwith Stewart, and by his former wife and mother of their seven children, The Reverend Patricia Stewart (nee Such).


Harry's family was always foremost in his life. As the family patriarch, he was very accepting and non-judgemental and he formed deep bonds with his children and grandchildren. Four of his children, Sharon, David (Paula), Bruce, and Carol (Alan Hotte) and their families live in the Ottawa area. Harry made many trips to the West to visit his other three children: Katie (John Middleton) and Katie's children on Vancouver Island, Stephen (Mildred Chang) and their family in South Surrey, and Tom (Shay Thompson) and their family in Calgary. He loved, and was deeply loved by, his 7 children, 18 grandchildren, and 3 great-grandchildren. He will also be dearly missed by his 4 nieces, 3 nephews, former daughter-in-law, Joanne Stewart, and dear friend, Leatrice Reid.


Harry served from 1943 to 1946 as a member of the Canadian Forces Overseas in the Royal Canadian Ordnance Corps and the Royal Canadian Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (R.C.E.M.E.) Corps, in Canada and the United Kingdom, as a telecommunication mechanic. While serving in the Canadian Forces, he received the Canadian Volunteer Service Medal and Clasp and earned a number of athletic medals: shot-put (1944, 1945); running (1/2 mile: 1945); and discus (1944, 1945).


After the war, he attended McMaster, Queens, and Carleton universities from 1946 - 1951, where he continued to be an accomplished athlete in wrestling, discus, shot-put, and basketball, winning the McNaught Cup & Chancellor's Medal (1946), a Queen's plaque (Wrestling 1948 - 49), and a CIAU Wrestling Medal (190 lb division: 1948 - 49). He graduated as an electrical engineer (Queen's: Science '50) and earned Receiver and Antenna Design Certification (Carleton: 1951).


Harry's 29-year-plus Public Service career was spent as an engineer in Canada's Department of National Defence, the Post Office, and mostly with the Department of Transport (later the Department of Communications), until he took early retirement from his position of Chief, Interference and Interconnection Division, at age 55. Harry had been inducted into the Order of the Seagulls while working in the Federal Electric Corporation's DEW Line Project, north of the Arctic Circle, in December 1957 (brrrr!).


Retiring gave Harry ample time for his many interests: reading (non-fiction only!); listening to classical music and attending concerts; travelling; curling; swimming; fishing with his brother; playing bridge; keeping in regular contact with his former work colleagues; bird-watching; gardening; utilizing his carpentry, electrical, and plumbing skills at the family cottage or at one or another of his children's homes; wine and beer making; and cooking. Harry also volunteered with the Ottawa Distress Centre and the Ottawa Handicapped Association for a few years. He cooked his last family turkey at age 79 and had his last bicycle ride at age 80 (always a libertarian, he refused to wear a helmet!).


For about 15 years, until August 2001, Harry spent approximately six months of the year at his cottage at Mink Lake, near Eganville, Ontario, and overwintered in warmer climes, such as Spain, Portugal, Australia, New Zealand, California, or Florida, often with his sister, Val, or in Victoria, B.C., his favourite Canadian city. A very special thank you is extended to Doctors Alsoon Brine and Carolyn Faught (in Ottawa), Dr. Brian Prentice (in Surrey), the nursing staff of The Ottawa Hospitals Oncology Ward, and the Ottawa Community Care Access Centre team for their thoughtful and compassionate care of Harry.


Good-bye, Dad/Grandpa/Harry. Thank you for showing us how to love and live with grace.


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