84 years, aged to perfection. Harvie McElwain was a loving husband to Mary, an amazing father (Leslie, Brad & Wade), and an indulgent 'Popi' to grandchildren Zoe & Violet. He was everyone's favorite uncle! ? Born and raised in Toronto's west end, he attended Upper Canada College; excelling at football, theatre, and popularity. Harvie began dating Mary Hosier in his 20s, marrying in 1964, thus beginning a journey of love that continues. Those who knew Harvie would remember his beaming smile, hearty laugh, the gentleness of a giant and his love of cooking for all. He was: the master of dogs, keeper of newspapers, Mr Big Breakfast, a football ref, a listener, a dreamer, and a man of unfaltering positivity. His love of red meat and wine, good company, great debates (and a mean right hook) were legendary. He always stood up for the little guy. You always smiled in Harvie's presence, you felt in on the joke, saw his optimism, and his love for life. Harvie's greatest source of pride was his family. He loved his soulmate Mary with passion, dedication & romance; often to the awkwardness of his children. His children were the light of his life, and usually his first point of conversation (even if no one asked). He was prone to embarrassing them in public, often pointing out to strangers his daughter the teacher who lived overseas, his pilot son who traveled the world, or his comedian son who shared his love of the gift of the gab. Harv himself was an award winning Toastmaster, who shared his skills teaching the craft at Conestoga College. The consummate entertainer, he ensured the family farmhouse was always a refuge for the kid's friends, or for many of Yuk Yuks comedians after their weekend of shows. Always a Sunday roast, a warm fire, and a laugh. Harvie battled dementia in later years, while never losing his humor, kindness or optimism. The family will be holding an outdoor gathering this summer, to celebrate him. We will rarely-cook some beef, toast his spirit, and rock the joint til the cops show up. In lieu of flowers, buy 6/49 tickets in his honour; he never did hit the big one. We all hit the jackpot, knowing and being loved by him. Big thanks to Jennifer, and also the Columbia Forest staff, for their patience and exceptional care. Safe travels Harv, the journey has just begun.
Published in Waterloo Region Record on Jan. 23, 2021.