Our family sadly announces the passing of Derek Ellis on January 3, 2022.
Predeceased by his wife of 69 years, Patricia and his son, Robert. Derek is survived by his three daughters; Gerry Harper (Orest Iwaszko), Wendy Johnston (Robert) and Pamela Bryant (Michael) and daughter-in-law Li-Shien Lee. Derek is fondly remembered by his grandchildren, Ian, Christine (James Beard), Dylan (Krystyn Tully), Jennifer (Dave Lyon), Antony (May Petitfrere), Derek, Julia, Cameron (Dee DaSilva), Courtney (Steven) and Kyla (Toby). Cherished by his great grandchildren, Calla, Hadley, Mackenzie, Silas, Honour and Leo. Derek was predeceased by siblings Joan, Norman, Daphne, Dorothy and Colin. He leaves behind a brother, Ken (Shirley) from England.
Derek was born in Pitsea, England in 1929. His teen years were spent outside of London during World War II with his family. After the war he served in the British Military Police for nine months in Singapore at the age of 18. Derek met his “only girl” Patricia back in England after she ventured across the Atlantic to meet him at the urging of her brother. The story goes that she almost immediately suggested “why don’t we get married?” Derek thought it a good idea and agreed resulting in Patricia jumping into his arms. They soon had two little girls in tow. Wanting to always do best for his family, Derek moved them to Canada back to Patricia’s home town of Oshawa, Ontario. They traveled by ship, the Empress of France, arriving in Montreal just a few days before Christmas. Two more children arrived and a busy family life ensued.
Derek worked as a supervisor and retired from Bathurst Containers, a subsidiary of MacMillan Bloedel in Whitby, Ontario. Derek loved to sail his CS-22 and Contessa 26 on Lake Ontario and into the Bay of Quinte. He spent many years as part of the Whitby Yacht Club helping out with the junior sailing program. He and Patricia later purchased and finished a cottage in the Haliburton Highlands where they hosted many a weekend with visiting children and grandchildren. A tradition we loved at the cottage was all crawling into a pull out bed in the living room and Derek delivering cups of tea and plates of toast to start our day.
He loved to garden with our mom creating a beautiful oasis in the Haliburton Highlands. In the summer, he would light up the wood fired BBQ grill for campfires and family cookouts. In the winters, he would clear a beautiful ice skating area for kids and grandchildren to enjoy. He wasn’t much for the cold but he still took up ice fishing just to try it out. Derek took up stained glass artwork and created many beautiful windows and ornaments. He gifted each of his children a beautiful “Tiffany” style lamp. Derek loved to travel back to England for visits and holidays with brothers and sisters. He always enjoyed strolls along the beaches followed by fish and chips with a pint of beer at a local pub. While in their 80’s Derek along with Patricia relocated to Port Alberni to be closer to family again. We will miss his infectious laugh, his whistling while he worked, his uncanny winning skill at cribbage, his appreciation for wildlife in his surroundings and the ongoing love and care for his family.
Special thanks to the caring staff at Echo Village who doted on him until he discharged himself from care to live with family. Thank you to the lovely neighbours along Mozart Road who often checked in with him during his many daily walks along the roadway. Many thanks to the staff at West Coast General Hospital who cared for him in his final days. Special thanks to the RN’s Hilary and Andrew. Your kindness and support will not be forgotten.
Funeral to be held at Yates Memorial Services in Port Alberni on January 18, 2022 at 11:00 am. Private family gathering for the burial will follow immediately afterwards.