Dan Mainguy

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  • "My condoleances to the family of Admiral Mainguay. Cdr...."
  • "I wish to express my condoleances to the family of Mr..."
    - Nicolas Lacroix
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MAINGUY, Dan - CD CMM Vice Admiral (Ret'd) Died August 17, 2010, of a heart attack while snoozing as he recovered from successful surgery to repair a broken hip. Daniel Mainguy brought his sense of humor, directness and incisive intelligence to his career as a naval officer, to his community roles with various organizations and to his family. His sense of duty and honor and his sense of adventure defined his life. He first entered the Canadian military as a temporary soldier at the age of 17, in order to provide emergency help with flooding along the Fraser River. He formally entered the Royal Canadian Navy in 1948 at the age of 18, attending the Naval College at Royal Roads. He trained on HMCS Antigonish, Ontario and Magnificent, went to the Naval College in England for technical courses and continued on HMCS Algonquin. He became TAS Officer on HMCS Fraser, and served as weapons officer on HMCS Kootenay, Hochelaga and Mackenzie, before being invited to CF Headquarters where he became head of the weapons section on the Directorate Naval Fighting Equipment Requirements. He received his first command, HMCS Annapolis, in 1965 and his second, HMCS Protecteur, in 1972. He went on to serve in a variety of roles with STANAVFORLANT, spent a term as Deputy Chief of Staff SACLANT and eventually was called to Canadian Forces Headquarters, Ottawa to serve as Vice Chief of Defence Staff, from where he retired. He retired with many good stories, and happy Naval memories included exploring Canada's North, his international experiences and his proud moment as escort to the Queen Mother down the St. Lawrence River. He was recognized as a talented naval officer and a fair leader, who always cared about the lives of the people under his command. He has been noted as instrumental in helping Canada's Navy to acquire new vessels to meet its defence commitments. His retirement years were spent working as a consultant to, among other projects, the Ocean Ranger investigation and the Canadian Memorial garden at Caen. He helped create the Defence Association Network News, which provided commentary on Canadas defence strategy. Along the way, he learned French, Runes, banjo, accordion, folk and classical guitar. He took his family on Great Adventures. To honour his wife, he undertook a lifelong project to invent a squirrel-proof birdfeeder. He constructed a simple and elegant Tree House, with its own newspaper, the Tree House News. He spent hours happily sailing, fishing and birdwatching, paddled on memorable canoe and kayak trips, and kept up with Canada's news. His love of the West Coast, particularly the Queen Charlotte Islands remained until the day he died. He was happiest on the sea. The family is grateful to the helpers at We Care support services, to the emergency department at Montfort Hospital, and to all those along the way who helped him along his way, and brought him safely home. They are especially grateful to his friends, who, even on the onset of his dementia, kept inviting him to be part of the community that he loved. He is remembered with great love and affection by his wife, Susan, his children Sarah, Barbara and Nicholas, his grandchildren Hannah, Tim and Ian, his sister Quita and his very many friends. We invite you to donate to a charity of your choice in his memory, and to consider a donation to dementia research. Memorial: October 6, 2010, 11 a.m., St. Bartholomew's Church, 125 MacKay St., Ottawa. "...and he shall have music wherever he goes."
Published in The Ottawa Citizen on Sept. 25, 2010
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