June 15, 2022
In loving memory ~
It is with regret that we inform you of the passing of Major (Retired) Byron K Doyle, of Comox, B.C. He led his nal ight plan June 15, 2022 and was cleared direct to escape the surly bonds of earth to join his beautiful bride Gerrie Doyle.
He is survived by his sister Shirley (Reno, NV); daughter Jaylene of Surrey, BC; Douglas (Lynda) of Victoria, BC; and Elizabeth (Keith) of Richmond, BC; seven grandchildren Jordan, Jerica, Byron, Spencer (Ron), Devin, Brennan and Leah; and two great grandchildren, Brady and Taylor.
Byron was predeceased by his parents, brothers Charles, Douglas, Timothy and sister Connie.
Byron (BK to his friends), and later in his ying career known as the ‘Wise and Ancient Silver Fox’, was born in Vancouver, BC, September 1, 1932 to Charles (Paddy) Doyle and Margaret Ilona Doyle (nee Gonczy). Raised in various parts of Vancouver, his family ultimately settled on prime farm land between No. 3 and Gilbert Road along Steveston Highway. Life was di cult and money was scarce for the Doyle family after his father perished in a ying incident July 31, 1940; however Byron’s Mom and siblings sowed love and integrity into their lives which eased their economic burden.
BK’s love of ying was instilled by his father and this certainly spurred him to leave the farm and join the Royal Canadian Air Force in 1953. His ight training in the RCAF eventually led him to ghter training on the F-86 Sabre in Chatham, New Brunswick, where he enjoyed poking holes in clouds, and more enthralled when he became smitten with the mischievous blue eyes of Geraldine (Gerrie) Rebecca McCa erty of Newcastle, N.B. Thus began a new chapter of life for BK, with marriage a mere 53 days after his original blind date with Gerrie, and a posting to Europe where Byron would patrol cold-war skies with 444 Squadron stationed at Canadian Forces Base Baden Soellingen, Germany. Byron and Gerrie relished their time in Europe, and returned to Canada with an expanded family: Jaylene and Douglas born on German soil.
On their return, Byron was stationed to Centralia, Ontario and Elizabeth was born.
There are few people who have found a calling in which they excelled and earned a living – one was Byron. He was a pilot. A damn good pilot as testament from those who ew with him. He earned his wings in the Royal Canadian Air Force and ew ghters in Europe, North Africa and across Canada. BK was an accomplished formation aerobatics pilot. He ew with the Smoke Eaters, a Chipmunk Synchronized Aerobatic Team based out of Centralia, Ontario, and as a member of the Golden Centennaires, Canada’s RCAF aerobatic ying team formed to celebrate Canada’s Centennial celebrations in 1967, displaying 8-plane aerobatics never before seen in the world via an under-powered CT-114 Tutor.
The Golden Centennaires ew 121 shows across Canada, the United States and in the Bahamas. He ew a multitude of ghters, the last being the CF 101 – Voodoo. However, his fondness for the CF-86 Sabre could never be equaled and was a proud member of SPAADS. While in the RCAF, he assumed the roles of Chief Flying Instructor, Quality Check Pilot and was Base Flight Safety O cer at CFB Comox, when he retired. He was also a Careers O cer when posted to Winnipeg, and President of the Mess Committeewhenwith416SquadroninChatham,NB. Afterhis’ rst’ retirement, he found time to commercial sh with his older brother Chuck aboard their 62′ seiner, the Quesnel Lake; however the lure of west coast ying meant the loss of sea legs (‘second’ retirement) and regaining his wings, this time strapped into a Cessna 185 on oats, exploring British Columbia’s west coast in support of shing operations with Quality Fish Company and the Canadian Fishing Co., the latter company at which Byron o cially retired for the third time.
Byron and Gerrie had an exciting and ful lling life due to their postings in Europe and across Canada. They ultimately found home at Crown Isle Resort & Golf Community in Courtenay, BC, among retired military friends and new acquaintances. Note though, their lifetime of being posted and moving every 3 – 4 years continued, and they did feel the need, for one last ‘move’ within Crown Isle, to their last home which became an oasis of serenity for Byron and Gerrie to host soirees, children, grand and great grandchildren and friends.
Byron was an avid golfer and enjoyed the comradery of playing 18 holes just outside his doorstep – he was competitive with an enviable handicap and was an obvious choice to complete a foursome for tournaments. His golf cart was seen from fairway to grocery store, and often with a grandchild at the wheel.
Byron and Gerrie for many years would vacation with family and friends in sunny Arizona. Bryon loved animals, especially his Schnauzer, Charli, and for many years supported the local branch of the SPCA.
Another passion was riding 2-wheeled vehicles: one would never have thought Byron was bike gang material, however he did pull this o with a louder-than-he-would-care-to-admit Harley Davidson cruising about on Vancouver Island and Mainland BC outings with the ‘gang’. When asked why he so enjoyed longer trips he replied “… because the best cinnamon buns are on the road”. He cultivated many friends from his motorcycling sessions and they remained active in his life, despite handing over the keys a few years ago. Byron’s other 2-wheeled mode of transport was his prized Colnago racing bicycle and this kept him active on the backroads of Comox and Courtenay, reveling in human-powered freedom: it was amazing to relate to others that Byron continued to bicycle well into his 89th year.
He was active as a volunteer with the Comox Valley Hospice Society, and supported the Comox Valley Transition Society, as well as the Comox Valley & District BC SPCA Branch.
Byron was two and a half months from his 90th birthday when he passed away, and his family had planned to celebrate this milestone with a gathering of the clan to fete his accomplishments of life. Unfortunately, this was not meant to be as Byron was diagnosed with a terminal illness which wreaked its nality in a matter of weeks.
As a family, we came together to ful l our father’s wish to remain at home and to pass in his oasis of peace and comfort. His children were at his side to assist this transition to join his beautiful bride and their mother, Gerrie. Byron knew he was terminal and he accepted his fate with grace, strength and humor, con rming he had lived an adventurous and full life with no regrets and, of course, replete with love. He was determined to exit this world on his own terms and at his own pace, which he did.
A heartfelt thank you to Dr. Anderson and sta , as well as the Home and Community Care Team who were exceedingly attentive to Byron’s care.
A Celebration of Life will be held at the O cers Mess, CFB Comox, September 3, 2022 commencing at 1:00pm.
Per Ardua Ad Astra.
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