DUNCAN ROBERTSON

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DUNCAN FRANCIS ROBERTSON
Duncan Francis Robertson, veteran, librarian, historian, writer, and community volunteer, was born in Allan, Saskatchewan 15 June, 1924 and died in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan 11 January, 2014 in his 90th year. Beloved husband of the late Lorraine (Lou Wright) Robertson (2012). Also predeceased by his first cousins, Alasdair Robertson (1994) and Flora (Robertson) Froehlich (2000). Survived by his first cousin Isabel (Robertson) Barnsley; sister-in-law Kay Maclennan; brother-in-law Bill (Darlene) Wright; nieces and nephews; cousins in Canada, the United States, Scotland and England; and many friends including Dennise Martin and Jim Palmer. Duncan was born to Florence (Elliott) and Frank Robertson, pioneer settlers and farmers in the Bradwell District east of Saskatoon. While attending Bradwell School he spent part of each day with cousins Flora, Isabel and Alasdair at Struan Farm. He enlisted in the Army as a signalman in 1942, and following service in Canada, the United Kingdom, and North- West Europe, he attended the University of Saskatchewan completing a BA (1948) in English & History. Rejoining the regular Army, he served in Canada, Germany (1951-53) and Indochina (1955-56). Leaving the army with the rank of Captain in 1957 to study for the priesthood, he obtained a Theology degree (STB) from St. Michael's College, University of Toronto (1961), and was ordained for the Archdiocese of Regina (1962). He served in several parishes within the greater Archdiocese of Regina and as Chaplain at Providence Hospital in Moose Jaw. In 1971, Duncan graduated from the University of British Columbia with a Bachelor of Library Science and joined the staff of the University of Saskatchewan Library. He became Head Librarian of the Kelsey Institute of Applied Arts and Sciences in 1975. In 1976, Duncan received an MA in History from the University of Saskatchewan. He was appointed Director of Human Resources (1986) for Kelsey Institute and retired in 1987. After receiving a Papal dispensation in 1974 and leaving the priesthood, Duncan remained active in the church as a member of St Paul's Cathedral Parish, serving on the parish council and as a substitute organist there, and for congregations of the United Church. He joined the Royal Canadian Legion in 1946, serving the Nutana Branch in numerous capacities. He was a member of several heraldic, genealogical and Scottish clan societies. Community activities included serving on the Meewasin Valley Planning and Development Committee, the Municipal Heritage Advisory Committee, and the Saskatoon Housing Authority. He married Lorraine Wright in 1976, and they lived nearly 35 happy years in their beautifully appointed home on Lake Crescent. For many years, Duncan & Lou enjoyed the hospitality of Scottish & English cousins while Duncan researched family history. His decades of Robertson clan research culminated in his Robertson family legacy: the 2003 publication of a family history dedicated to his Barr Colonist grandparents. Duncan's quick wit, good humour, graciousness, and historical knowledge will be forever missed by his family and friends. A life well lived ~ son, grandson, nephew, cousin, husband, brother-in-law, uncle, friend, colleague. Special thanks to the staff and residents of Preston Park 1 Retirement Residence for companionship and support since March 2012, and to the Ministry of Care team of Holy Spirit Parish for weekly visits. Gratitude also to the Neurology Unit of Royal University Hospital and Saskatoon Home Support for compassionate care of Duncan in his last days. He was a life-long voracious reader and used library services since the 1920s. While living with macular degeneration for over a decade, Duncan continued to read the daily newspaper with the aid of his CNIB screen magnifier, including the day he entered hospital. Therefore, donations in Duncan's memory may be made to: Saskatoon Public Library (Attention: Erinn Timpson), 311-23rd Street East, Saskatoon, SK S7K 0J6; or CNIB (Canadian National Institute for the Blind), 1705 McKercher Dr., Saskatoon, SK, S7H 5N6 designated for direct service work in the community. Mass of Christian Burial will be Saturday, January 25, 2014 at 10:30 AM at Holy Spirit Parish, 114 Kingsmere Place, Saskatoon with celebrant Rev. Fr. Ken Beck. A celebration of Duncan's life will follow in the Parish Hall immediately after the Service (11:30-1:00). Cremation has taken place, with burial of ashes in the Robertson family plot in Bradwell Cemetery at a later date. Condolences may be forwarded to mail@saskatoonfuneralhome.com. Arrangements have been entrusted to SASKATOON FUNERAL HOME, 338 4th Avenue N, Saskatoon, SK S7K 2L7 (306-244-5577).

Published in The Saskatoon StarPhoenix from Jan. 14 to Jan. 23, 2014
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