EDWARD "TED" HAGGIS Passed away at Parkwood Veterans Hospital in London, ON, on January 23, 2017. Ted was born June 9, 1924 in London, ON, fourth of five children to Herbert and Louisa Haggis, immigrants from London, England's East End. Ted served in the Canadian Navy during WWII as a wireless operator on a landing craft, shuttling troops to the beaches during the invasion of Normandy. He returned to his hometown and married Yvonne "Mary" Metcalfe, a telephone operator at The London Free Press. Shortly afterwards, he represented Canada in the 1948 Olympic Games in England, running three track events: the 4X100 metre men's relay and the 100 and 200 metre men's races. As a young man he worked in the Engineers Departments in both London and Tillsonburg City Halls before forming Global Construction, which poured many of the sidewalks and curbs in the City of London and surrounding areas. Ted and Mary raised three children: Paul, Kathy and Jo. Kathy's love of acting prompted him to create The Gallery Theatre, which he renovated from an abandoned church on York Street. It staged both amateur and professional productions for over ten years. It was Ted's idea that his son, Paul, go to Los Angeles to follow his dream. He and Mary supported Paul as he struggled to break into television and film, as they later supported Kathy and Jo when they followed their brother to Hollywood. All three children found success in the business which came back around when Ted, a longtime member of the Canadian and American Kennel Clubs, trained "Diefenbaker" for the TV series, "Due South." After Mary passed away in 1998, his children often tried to get Ted to join them in Los Angeles, but he would never leave London, saying, "It's the best city in the world; why would I live anywhere else?" Ted is survived by Paul and Jo, his grandchildren Alissa, Rob, Lauren, Mack, Casey, Katy and James, his great-grandson Orion and many members of his extended family and friends who loved him, his stoic nature and his brutally funny sense of humour. He was an inspiration for Clint Eastwood's character in "Million Dollar Baby" and not just because of his lifelong search for a roadside diner that served homemade lemon meringue pie. Most who knew Ted called him "Bap" - a name given to him by Alissa, who at two couldn't pronounce "grandpa." Bap, thank you for all you gave us, especially your example; you will always be in our hearts.
Published in Toronto Star on Jan. 28, 2017.