George passed away late in the afternoon at North Island Hospital Comox Valley in Courtenay, B.C. After the death of his wife, Trish, in early 2017 he struggled and was soon diagnosed with various cancers. The medical care he received over the last year has been exceptional and gave him six months of good health in which he enjoyed life to its fullest while providing him comfort at the hospital in the days before his passing.
George was born to parents Samuel and Elizabeth in Belfast, Northern Ireland and, after moving around frequently, settled in Bangor where he attended the Bangor Grammar School and acquired his taste for the nautical life. At age 15 he met his future wife Trish and they maintained an ongoing friendship during their teenage years. At age 20 they became engaged and started planning a new life in Canada. They were married in Toronto in 1956 and remained together until her death last year. His first son, Patrick, was born in Kelowna in 1965 and his second son, Kevin, a year later in Vancouver. Sadly, Patrick died in 1993, age 28, in Tokyo where he was teaching English.
Most of George’s career was spent in banking where he worked for the Bank of Montreal but later moved to what is now the Business Development Bank of Canada from which he retired in 1993. His job entailed moving to various locations in Canada, but B.C. was where he truly felt at home. Retirement in Comox was a great decision. At various times George was an active member of the Comox Golf Club, the d’Esterre Seniors’ Centre, several bridge clubs, and was Mayor from 1996 to 2002. However, he most enjoyed his lifelong passion for boating and explored the B.C. and Alaska coasts each summer. Most of all he will be remembered for his outgoing personality, his integrity, and his readiness to assist others when the need arose.
He is survived by his son Kevin, wife Nadia and grandchildren Caitlin and Emily (Burnaby), cousin Angela & George McWhirter (Vancouver), and further afield by nieces Carole Newell, Norah Miles, and Avril Alexander (Northern Ireland), sister-in-law Eveline Curran (Ireland) and her children John (Ireland), Patricia and Murray (Australia), as well as numerous other cousins and relatives who are spread throughout the world. He is also survived by so many special friends, including Bill & Loretta Spence (Courtenay), Alex & Joyce Houston (Ontario), and Barbara Casey (Courtenay).
A celebration of life for family and friends is planned between 2pm and 4pm on Saturday, September 22nd at the d’Esterre Seniors’ Centre, 1801 Beaufort Avenue, Comox, B.C. Flowers and cards gratefully declined. For those who wish to tangibly acknowledge his passing, the Comox Valley Healthcare Foundation is a deserving recipient. Their website is www.cvhealthcarefoundation.com.