Reg passed away at home in the early hours of April 7 with his daughter Kathryn by his side.
Devoted husband to Maude (deceased), loving father to Diane(Roy), Kathryn(Norman). Beloved grandfather to Sarah (Chris), Mark and Laura. Great-grandfather to Evelyn, Brittany(Don) & Brandon and great-great-grandfather to Nathaniel.
Reg was born, the second of 5 children to his mother Nellie and father Percy in Portsmouth UK and has wonderful memories of playing truant from school, preferring to spend his childhood bicycling and playing football at Southsea Common. At 14 he supported his family by delivering groceries then apprenticed as a tailor’s presser at ( Burkeman’s ) and at Gieves Naval tailors.
With World War II imminent, he signed on to the Royal Marines in Portsmouth and there met his lifelong friend and future brother in law “Lofty”. Their exploits abroad were legendary and dad and Lofty pride themselves on being thrown out of Jack Dempsey’s Bar in Times Square. He served on the HMS Rodney and HMS Durban and during one battle he and Lofty were the only men left manning the anti-aircraft guns on the deck of the ship.
In November 1943 he married the love of his life Maude and together they raised their 2 daughters Diane (1944-2009) and Kathryn (1954-). His daughters described him as the perfect father who always put them first. He spent hours upon hours playing games, reading his version of bedtime stories, visiting museums and walking along the sea front collecting shark’s teeth. Family vacations included annual camping trips to the New Forest with the extended family and trips to Spain. In the 1970’s he and Maude emigrated to Canada to be with their daughters and grand-children. They brought with them their 15 year old corgi, Mitzi and cat Genevieve. Mitzi was the oldest dog to fly the Atlantic and the story of Air Canada “losing” her and them phoning all the airports frantically to find her is a family favourite (she was found, safe and sound, in Vancouver having been sent there rather than to her destination of Grande Prairie).
Although “blood relatives” were few Reg had a large family of lifelong friends. When Kathryn became a solo parent to her daughter he stepped up to become a strong father figure in Sarah’s life, he spent hours teaching her to play BlackJack, flying a kite and built a model train countryside for her toy train.
When Sarah married, she was proudly walked down the aisle by her dad and granddad. He joked that the only reason Sarah made him wear a tuxedo was so that he wouldn’t wear the same (Royal Marine) jacket that he wore to his daughter Kathryn’s weddings (first to Sarah’s biological father in 1974, then to Sarah’s dad, Norman, in 1992).
He is best remembered as a good, kind man who loved with all his heart. He was a loving father to his daughters, uprooting his entire existence to follow them to Canada. He was brave and true, kind and honest. He couldn’t tell a joke (correctly) to save his life but was happy and hilarious, the life of the party.
He will be missed but he will live on in the hearts of his loved ones.