DEANS, James Brodie
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James Brodie Deans of West Vancouver, peacefully passed away at home on November 5, 2012. Brodie was born in Liverpool, England on September 3, 1922, the only child of James Brodie Deans and Mary Alice Deans (nee Roberts). Brodie grew up in Kitsilano, where he spent much of his time sailing out of the Kitsilano Yacht Club. At the age of twenty, he made a life changing decision. He joined the Canadian Army and went overseas to "do his part." The years that followed were, in his words, "the best and the worst days of my life." Brodie's many years of wartime service took him to the United Kingdom, the central Mediterranean area and continental Europe. The best being reflected in the lifelong friendships that were made, and in meeting his wife of sixty-five years, Veronica (Vera) Hendrika Catherina Deans (nee van Eenennaam), during the liberation of The Netherlands. Sadly, Vera predeceased Brodie on August 20, 2011. Upon conclusion of the war, Brodie and Vera resettled in Canada with the expectation that the worst was behind them. Shortly thereafter, they were faced with another hardship, their first born son passed away within a few days of his birth. Never surrendering to self pity, Brodie and Vera were wonderful parents to their two sons who followed, Gary Ramon Deans and Robert Brodie Deans. Affected by his own service and a desire to serve his fellow veterans, Brodie went to work for the Department of Veterans Affairs as a Veteran Welfare Officer. It was during those twenty-two years that Brodie assisted those who served their country and now needed help. He performed his job with understanding, compassion and of course, a sense of humour. Brodie and Vera loved their home in Lions Bay where they spent over thirty years as "villagers." The squirrels, birds and occasional lost hiker are indebted to Brodie for his generosity. Brodie will always be remembered for his great sense of humour, his compassion for his fellow man, his sense of justice, service, fairness, and his love for animals. He inspired these values in all of his family and friends. In addition to Gary and Rob, Brodie is survived by four grandchildren, Shaun, Melanie, Dylan and Ryder and three great- grandchildren, Samantha, Graeme and Taylor as well as his daughter-in-law Kathleen (Gary) and granddaughter-in-law, Johanna (Shaun). Special thanks are owed to his palliative care team and particularly his caregivers, Jean and Christina who cared for him as their own "Papa." In keeping with his modesty, Brodie requested that there be no service. Therefore, his family requests that you celebrate his life and the service of all veterans at a ceremony this Remembrance Day. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to support veteran programmes with the Legion Foundation. Donations may be made at a local Legion Branch or online at http://www.legionbcyukon.ca/ content/legion-foundation-donation-page
Published in Vancouver Sun and/or The Province from Nov. 9 to Nov. 11, 2012