J. BLAIR SEABORN, CM In Ottawa on November 11, 2019, in his 96th year, after a full and rewarding life. Predeceased in 2011 by his loving wife, dearest friend and companion of over 60 years, Carol (Trow). Blair was the proud father of son Geoffrey (Jan de Pencier) of Toronto and daughter Virginia of Mont-Tremblant, and "J.B." to beloved grandchildren Emma (Rob Grundy), Claire (Michael Currie) and Adam Seaborn. He was delighted to have lived to see two great-grandchildren, Fraser and Sloane Grundy. He is fondly remembered by Carol's siblings Virginia Ings, Allen Trow, Ben Trow and Marion Doheny. Born in 1924, the youngest child of the Reverend Richard and Muriel Seaborn of Toronto, he was predeceased by his siblings, Kitty (Smith), Richard, Jean (Bertram), Jack, Bob, Charlie and Ted, but is survived by nieces, nephews, their spouses, and their progeny too numerous to mention. After the University of Toronto Schools, he studied political science and economics at the University of Toronto (Trinity College) where, following three years in the Canadian Army, he earned his M.A. in 1948. He entered the federal public service and spent the next twenty-two years at the Department of External Affairs with postings in The Hague, Paris, Moscow and Saigon, the latter as Canadian Commissioner for the ICSC in Vietnam. His life as a diplomat was followed by nineteen years in senior federal positions with the Department of Consumer and Corporate Affairs (Assistant Deputy Minister), Environment Canada (Deputy Minister), the International Joint Commission (Canadian Chairman) and the Privy Council Office (Intelligence and Security Coordinator). After "retirement", he spent eight years as chair the federal Environmental Assessment Panel on Nuclear Fuel Waste Management. He was honoured to receive the Order of Canada in 2000. Blair was grateful to have had a long, varied and satisfying career, for the opportunity to contribute to the life of Christ Church Cathedral and other voluntary work; and for good health which enabled him to enjoy, into his 'nineties, numerous outdoor activities, membership in the Rockcliffe Lawn Tennis Club, the Five Lakes Fishing Club, the Rideau Club Round Table and weekends at his "dacha" in Mulgrave-et-Derry. A man of enduring modesty and unfailing courtesy, he earned the great respect of his colleagues and the deep affection of friends and family. A funeral service will be held at Christ Church Cathedral, 420 Sparks Street, Ottawa on Sunday, November 17 at 4:00 p.m., followed by a reception in Cathedral Hall. No flowers by request. If desired, donations in Blair's name may be made to Trinity College, Toronto or Christ Church Cathedral, Ottawa, for restorations.
Published in The Globe and Mail from Nov. 13 to Nov. 17, 2019.