HURST, Charles Kenneth
P.Eng., WWII RCN Vet
Peacefully in Ottawa on Sunday, November 17, 2013 in his 98th year. Born January 20, 1916, Calgary. Predeceased by his beloved wife of 63 years, Freda McKinnon, parents Janet and Oswald John Hurst (Hurst Construction 1908, Calgary) and sister Muriel. Loving father to Jock (Wendy) (Ottawa), Janet Griffiths (Wakefield, QC) and Andy (Penny) (Vancouver). Cherished Pappy to Sam and Matthew Griffiths (Toronto); Amy Hurst (Adrian Flückiger) and Marnie Hurst (Kyle McWhinnie) (Ottawa); Keri Hurst, Katy Hurst (Geoff Huffman), James Hurst (Andrea Haugen) and Alison Anderson (Ray) (Vancouver). GG Pappy to Griffin, Zachary, Maëlle, Hailey, Tristan and Helena. Will be missed by many special friends, in particular Al and Katie Keys, Helen Beatty, buddies from Parkdale United Church and the gang from Public Works, who continued to visit him during his declining years. A graduate of the University of Alberta (B.Sc., Civil Engineering, 1937) and the University of Iowa (M.Sc., Hydraulics, 1940), Charlie initially worked for the city of Edmonton waterworks system and the Dept. of Transport Ottawa. He became the resident engineer of the Trent Canal System before his secondment as an advisor to Gen. McNaughton, Chairman of the Canadian Section of the International Joint Commission for the St. Lawrence Seaway Project. He remained as an engineering advisor to the Commission, continued as a member until retirement. A career civil servant for 35 years, Charlie was respected worldwide as an expert in the fields of water conservation, pollution control and navigation. During the 1950s, Charlie supervised the project to remove the navigational hazard, known as Ripple Rock, situated in the shipping lane between Vancouver Is. and the BC Coast. In 1971, he was appointed to the highest position attainable as an engineer: Chief Engineer of Public Works of Canada, which he held until his retirement in 1975. During the war, he served as an officer on a Royal Canadian Navy Corvette doing escort duty in the North Atlantic and as staff torpedo officer to the North Atlantic Escort Command. He retired from the Naval Reserve with the rank of Lt. Commander in 1955. Charlie was a tireless volunteer in the Ottawa community: Council on Aging (Margaret Griffiths Award); Seniors' Employment Bureau; Glebe Centre; Neighbourhood Services; Parkdale United Church; past president YM-YWCA; Ottawa West Community Support; among others, receiving the Governor General's Caring Canadian Award in 1996. Other awards include: Citizenship Award from the Professional Engineers of Ontario, the Medal of Merit from the Canadian Ports and Harbours Association, and the Bicentennial Award from the Province of Ontario. Special thanks to the respectful caring staff of the Westwood (Central Park Lodge) and the Perley Rideau Veterans' Health Centre. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Humane Society of Ottawa or the Union Mission for Men. A celebration of Charlie's life will be held in the chapel at Hulse, Playfair & McGarry 315 McLeod Street on Saturday, November 30 at 11:30 a.m.
Published in The Calgary Herald on Nov. 23, 2013