MacCORMAC, John W.D.
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RAF, Squad. Ldr. Ret'd, AFC
February 3, 1913 - October 15, 2012
He was so determined to make his 100th birthday and hoped that the Queen would sit down with the corgies and write that letter! Surrounded by his loving family, our beloved Dad, Ganda, John, gently passed following a bout with pneumonia, aged 99 years – three months short of 100! Born in Harpenden, England in 1913, he was a good student through his school years. John met and married his beloved wife Carol in 1938. He joined the RAF in '39 and originally trained as a wireless operator but then qualified for pilot training at RAF College, Cranwell and was awarded his wings and commission, spring '41. John saw action over Europe and then Oct. '41 was posted to Canada to train pilots through the Commonwealth Air Training Plan. His first station was North Battleford. Mom and their two infants were able to join him (travelling by convoy across the Atlantic) in 1942. Because of the amazing work he did, he was promoted to Squadron Leader and finally was awarded the Air Force Cross:
"This officer is an exceptionally conscientious Squadron Commander who, throughout a very long period of instructional duty, has done much to further the efficient organization of
flying training. His keenness and willingness to accept any task and carry it through
to a successful conclusion have set a splendid example. His outstanding devotion to duty
is worthy of the highest praise".
By the end of the war, Dad was the acting Commanding Officer at Hagersville, and he was very proud to present the last pair of wings under the CATP. Wanting to settle his family in Canada, John requested and was granted the opportunity to demobilize in Canada following the war. He bundled up his family in a little Dodge coupe, and headed west to Victoria to take up a position in an emerging car sales company. After several years he accepted an offer with one of Victoria's prestigious real estate companies. John was active in the Real Estate Board, establishing Multiple Listing Services in Victoria. He was also very active in the Kiwanis. One of his achievements was conceiving the one night, "Porch Lights On" annual Community Chest campaign which surpassed all previous fund raising efforts. He also helped establish the Kiwanis sponsored free Symphony concerts for all school children. Moving to Vancouver in the early 60's he accepted a management position with a company which provided catering and accommodation services for camps such as the PGE railway construction, mines and sawmills throughout BC. Dad and Mom thoroughly enjoyed their retirement years in their beautiful five acre property "Tobermory" in Richmond where they lived for 20 years. They travelled extensively together, to England of course, through Europe, to Mexico, the Caribbean and through the USA. Dad's parents had died when he was very young, so Mom's family became his family. He was a very proud man, who held traditional values. He was generous, big hearted, determined and strong, earning great respect from all who knew him. His family was the core of his being. He was a gentleman to the end and despite his failing physical state, he was so
proud that he still had his mental faculties (and his teeth!), enjoyed an occasional glass of
wine and had a hearty laugh. He witnessed the marriage of both his cherished grandsons,
and the birth of his great-granddaughter. But in Dec. 2009, the love of his life, our dear Mom, Carol passed away and it broke his heart. They had just celebrated their 71st anniversary and
he often said, "She had no right leaving first!" John was also predeceased by his dear son, Bry and many of mom's English family.
Dad will always be loved and honoured by his daughter Judy (Felix), grandsons Marlo (Shannon) and Meiko (Brandy), precious great granddaughter Keira, sister-in-law Mary and many nieces and nephews in England, extended family Jennifer (Randy) and DeeJay, honorary granddaughter Lillian (Andrew and little Annika) and many cherished friends garnered during his amazing 99 years, particularly Genevieve, Jean, Mavis and Dick. A very special thank you goes out to Dad's primary care giver Trudy who made it possible for him to stay at home, and his beloved grandson Meiko who moved in and kept him safe.
"Per Ardua Ad Astra" Dad!
A Celebration of John's Life will be held at the Unitarian Church of Vancouver, 949 West 49th, Vancouver, at 3:00 pm on Thursday, November 22nd. Flowers gratefully declined but friends so wishing may make a memorial contribution to the charity of your choice.
Published in Vancouver Sun and/or The Province on Nov. 3, 2012