27 entries
  • "A more extended memory of Dave at my blog, Northern..."
    - Norm Farrell
  • "Thanks Dave for all the opportunities you gave me, to work..."
    - Wayne Masters
  • "I come late to this remembrance because Dave and I..."
    - Norm Farrell
  • "Dear Ann and Family, I was so sorry to hear from my parents..."
    - Mandy Clark
  • "Dear Ann. Carolyn, Kelly. Cathy and families. I was very..."
    - Ed Dobbs
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Remembering Dave
Fade in August 16, 1939 - Fade out April 12, 2013
Dave was born in Ottawa, Ontario. He is lovingly remembered by his wife Ann (nee Wellington) and his three daughters. Caroline of North Vancouver, Kelly of Port Moody and Catharine (Dan) also of Port Moody. Much loved grandchildren, Adam (18), Kyle (16) and Taylor (15). Brother Bob (Stephanie) of Pierrefonds, Quebec and his amazing 92 year old Aunt, Helen MacNeil of Ottawa.
Dave and I met in 1958 at the National Film Board of Canada in Ville St. Laurent, Quebec. He was a sweet boy of nineteen. I was sixteen. He was in charge of the film stock and I was a Negative Cutter. He was outraged when he learned I earned more than he did! It wasn't love at first sight but developed over a period of time. Oh the good times we had! Friday nights out for dinner and movies. Nights in the coffee houses in Montreal where we saw Bob Dylan. We had great passion for each other.
Our first daughter Caroline was born thirteen months after we married and Kelly came along in 1967. Dave accepted a position at Pathe-Humphries in Toronto and his career took off. Catharine was born in Mississauga in 1970.
He managed various film processing labs in Toronto and Montreal. When he was approached by Alpha Cine in Vancouver in 1975 we had no hesitation in accepting. In 1988 Dave and his partners opened Gastown Film Labs. Some of their clients were Cannell Films, Paramount, Universal Studios, 20th Century Fox, Disney and Columbia.
Dave finally retired in August 2000 after forty one years in the industry, 25 of them in Vancouver. We settled into a contentment not felt in the past. Every morning the Times crossword clipped from the newspaper and copied, he taking the usually smudged copy while I got the original. We laughed a lot. He often said "Annie, you are a hoot!" He loved not having to get up at 4:30 am. One of his greatest pleasures during his retirement was driving his grandchildren back and forth to school. He spent hours reading to them and playing ball in the backyard.
He always had a book on the go. He loved folk music, cats, dogs, beer, darts, American football, enjoyed watching the Golf Channel, March Madness, and could get to the heart of a matter faster than anyone.
My New York Times crossword puzzle buddy, spider killer, knife sharpener general picker upper is gone in body but not spirit. His tender loving care for me over the past twelve years will be with me forever. I am so thankful I let him know how much I appreciated all that he did for me before it was too late. I can hear him singing to me now as he used to when we were courting all those years ago.
The water is wide I cannot cross over
And neither have I
Wings to fly
Build me a boat
That can carry two
And both shall row
My love and I
I would like to express my deepest gratitude to our wonderful doctors, Jennifer Yun, Kathleen Ross and D.W. Anderson. Thank you to Stephanie from the Respiratory Department at ERH for standing at Dave's bedside for four hours holding his head and neck enabling him to breathe until we could get to him. Thank you to the caring and compassionate nursing staff. Thank you also to the best neighbours ever, Barb and Gerry, Bronwyn and Reiner. Thank you for driving Dave back and forth to SMH and the Emerg at ERH, the cookies at Christmas, the groceries, the flowers, the tree being taken down that awful morning.
An open house will be held May 5 from 2 pm to 5 pm, please email macneil1939@gmail.com for details.
His ashes will be spread under the Rhododendrons in the backyard because he never wanted to move and now he won't have to.
Flowers are gratefully declined. Contributions to the Cancer Society in his name would be sincerely appreciated.
It's a wrap.

Published in Vancouver Sun and/or The Province on Apr. 18, 2013
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