July 21, 1939 – August 17, 2017
Ian Moore Wilson died on August 17th, 2017 in Barcelona, Spain. Dad was doing several things that he enjoyed just prior to his death – visiting a beautiful city to watch his grandson play soccer with the woman he loved for over 53 years.
Born in Edinburgh, Scotland on July 21, 1939, Dad left home to join the Air Force at a young age. In the RAF, he was a technical Sergeant who worked mostly with radar.
Dad often spoke about the day he met my Mum, Valerie, at a social event in Salisbury in 1964. He claimed that from the moment he set eyes on her, it was true love, and he knew he wanted to spend his life with her. He did with steadfast respect, passion, friendship, and loyalty – holding her in his arms right up to the moment he died.
Following his bride to Canada in 1966, Dad secured a job with IBM and went on to have what he would describe as a fulfilling, interesting and privileged career.
Building a home on acreage in Surrey, Mum and Dad cleared the land themselves and went on to raise sheep and chickens and even housed a cantankerous rooster that had to be extinguished in what turned into a legendary story about the final showdown between bird and man (Dad won but the experience left him with a life long mistrust of the Chanticleer).
Dad loved poetry and was even known to write the odd verse or two over the years. Valentine cards, birthday celebrations and wedding anniversaries often provoked a mildly-cheeky dissertation that would leave us in fits of laughter. A true life long learner, Dad was an avid reader and could explain even the most complex scientific theories in plain language. He took a keen interest in events around the world and was always game for a lively debate about almost anything from religion to local politics – his arguments getting more provocative as an evening of good food and drink unfolded.
With a rare combination of both intellectual and artistic talent, Dad was also a natural athlete (he was an original Duke of Edinburgh recipient as a young man) and enjoyed a variety of sports throughout his life from sailing to distance running and, in recent years, cycling.
Able to fix or build almost anything, there was never a need for a new washing machine, vehicle, refrigerator, or vacuum because when something broke down, Dad would inevitably fix it – often much to Mums disappointment!
Perhaps because he started this life often a bit cold and hungry, Dad had an attitude that left one with the impression that he always felt so very lucky. Lucky to have found love, to watch his family thrive, to have lived in a great community, to have loved his career, and to have the benefit of retiring at a relatively young age so he and Mum were able to sail the Gulf Islands, travel to warm places, and develop friendships with so many eclectic and wonderful people. No matter how dire a situation, how challenging a task, how heated an argument, Dad always had a quiet appreciation for whatever was going on – a dignified air of gratitude and a deep understanding that our lifetimes are brief.
He was a staunch atheist and thankfully we had many conversations about life, dying and death – discussions that have brought us all comfort over the past year. Only two weeks before his death, he talked about how these recent years were ‘gravy’ – extra time after the most important milestones in his life had been fulfilled. We all know that he would have been grateful that death came quickly, and he was able to spare Mum from a similar fate in his final act of devotion.
Dad left behind a family who loved him fiercely and his loss has left a void in our lives that we will learn to live with but will never be filled. In the wake of his untimely passing, we were supported by many people both here at home and around the world. We will be forever grateful to those who held us up during some very dark days and will endeavour to pass on their compassion as we move through our lives.