G. Ross Douglas
Garnet Ross Douglas
(November 25, 1939 – May 13, 2016)
Ross died peacefully, with his family by his side, in Ottawa. He is survived by his wife of 53 years, Loretta, his daughters Michelle Douglas (Nabila) and Lynda Kurylowicz (Stan), and by Mitchell, his grandson. He is also survived by his mother Jeanne Douglas, of Gull Lake, SK. He is predeceased by his father Gordon Douglas.
Ross led a most improbable journey as a son of the prairies to devote much of his professional life to the oceans that he loved. He was a graduate of Dalhousie University and lived over the years in Dartmouth, N.S., Burlington, Ontario, and since 1987 in Ottawa. Ross had a distinguished 35-year career in the public service of Canada, serving with the Canadian Hydrographic Service. He retired as Canada’s Dominion Hydrographer in 1994. On the occasion of his retirement, he wrote that he would be happy to repeat every minute of his 35-year career. He travelled extensively by land, sea and air, and leaves a permanent legacy in the charts he was so proud to have worked on. He had a passion for Canada’s Arctic and the North, having spent many years there in the early part of his career. He also loved airplanes, having learned to fly as a young man. He could identify a plane by its sound and took pride in learning every detail about a plane. It seemed right that his home was near the flight path of an airport so he could watch the planes come and go.
He battled diabetes for more than 30 years and fought hard to keep its clutches at bay. Enduring much, he became a student of this disease and helped others in the community by establishing a support group and meeting all those he could to talk about organ transplants or insulin pumps.
He loved his family boundlessly and was especially proud to have seen his beloved grandson graduate high school and proceed to university. He got great enjoyment from sports, politics and the family dogs, which were always by his side. He enjoyed supporting his family in all ways, but he especially treasured watching those early morning soccer games followed by breakfast.
Ross was a great Canadian; he was a kind, gentle and a brilliant man, and he was loved and respected by those who knew him. He was also deeply informed and he had an opinion. His family will miss him so. His final days have offered time for reflection and lots of love. His care has been so kind and compassionate and for that the family is ever grateful.
A gathering to celebrate his life will take place on Tuesday, May 17th – from 4:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. at the Kelly Funeral Home (3000 Woodroffe Ave., Nepean). Should you wish to make a donation in his memory, his wish was that it be directed to Project Jenga (www.projectjenga.ca) to help build a boys high school in Kenya.