1916 - 2013
Born prematurely in Banff, Scotland, days before the Battle of the Somme, Archie spent his first month in a shoe box beside the family stove. He died peacefully, in his 98th year, of respiratory failure on August 28 in the trauma unit at the Ottawa Civic Hospital; three days earlier, the grandfather clock he was adjusting toppled onto him and fractured six ribs. Mourned by his wife of 63 years Barbara (Smith), and children Ross (Lorna), Sheena (Tim) and their families. Deeply missed by staff and residents at the Palisades Retirement Residence, Ottawa and friends across the globe. Archie grew up to be a rocket scientist, mechanical genius, quoter of Shakespeare, writer of pithy vignettes about his time as a WW2 airman, and devoted family man. He studied explosives at Glasgow University and learned to fly with the RAF on our Prairies with the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan. After the war, he served with the Defence Research Board in Quebec City, Ottawa, Fort Churchill, Manitoba and Suffield, Alberta. He spent his forty-year retirement as a clockmaker. He never lost his prodigious memory and was inspiringly upbeat amid the loss of his eyesight and hearing. Archie was short on patience, but had a profound interest in others, neighbourly kindness, and impish charm that won hearts wherever he went. Visitation Friday, Oct. 4, 7-9 p.m. and memorial service Saturday, Oct. 5, 1 p.m. at Hulse, Playfair & McGarry, 315 McLeod, Ottawa. Audiobooks on CD, provided by Ottawa's Public Library and the CNIB, brought Archie infinite fulfillment. Donations to either would be much appreciated.
Good Night, Sweet Prince.
Published in The Ottawa Citizen from Sept. 24 to Oct. 2, 2013