NB. Obituary for RJ from the eVeritas
September 19, 1957 Greenford, England – August 29, 2019 Victoria
On Thursday, August 29, 2019, Richard John Summers, loving husband, father, grandfather, brother and friend, passed away at age 61.
Richard was born on September 19, 1957 in Greenford, England. He moved to Burlington, Ontario with his family in 1965, joining sea cadets at RCSCC Iron Duke in high school. He attended the Royal Military College of Canada, receiving his bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering, and making many lifelong friends. On graduation, he married Liz, with whom he made a wonderful life and raised six children over 40 years of marriage. He served in the Canadian Navy for nearly 22 years, living in Victoria, England, Halifax, Kingston, Ottawa and Toronto. In the service, he served in HMC Ships Mackenzie, Qu’Appelle and Preserver, earned a master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from RMC, and held various shore positions, including a rewarding job with the Canadian Patrol Frigate project. On retirement from the forces as a Commander, he worked in the marine private sector, living in White Rock, BC. He later answered the call of the navy again as a public servant, moving to Victoria to hold senior positions at the Fleet Maintenance Facility, and finally worked part-time for the Naval Engineering Test Establishment after his second ‘retirement’. He had only recently retired for good when he became ill in 2018.
Richard not only had a strong sense of responsibility for his family but also for his country and for society, and seemed to have a limitless capacity to support all of these. He volunteered on many boards and executives over the years, even whilst raising his young family. He was most recently honoured by the Navy League of Canada for his leadership in establishing and growing a scholarship program that has benefited many sea cadets as they moved on to post-secondary education.
Richard was preceded in death by his parents, Fred and Vee, and his sister, Anne. He is survived by his wife, Liz (n. Brennan); his children, Simon (Shannon), Tim (Katrina), Mark (Olga), Richard (Natalie), Peter (Patricia) and Becky (Kory); his grandchildren, James, Keira, Julian, Hanna, Naomi, Vincent and Blake; and his siblings, Joan, Peter and Stella. A funeral service will be held on Monday, September 9th, 2019 at noon at St. Andrew’s Cathedral on View Street in Victoria. Donations may be made to the St. Vincent de Paul Society.
The eVeritas Editor noted that Richard’s son Simon, College Number 22565, graduated from RMC in 2003, but Chris Willmes confirmed that his son Peter, College Number 25370, also graduated from RMC, in 2012, and that his daughter Rebecca (Becky), Pete’s fraternal twin, is an officer in the RCAF, having initially joined the Canadian Forces as a musician in the Governor-General’s Foot Guards.
Class Notes: Craig Wood notes that when he went out to visit Richard and Liz Summers in Victoria the first weekend of February, 2019, after learning that RJ was seriously ill, he noticed a picture of them as toddlers in England, along with their wedding photo. He thought that was quite amazing especially because Richard had moved to Canada a few years after the first photo was taken, but they always stayed in touch and eventually were reunited on this side of the “pond” and got married. Simon, his son, of course was quite proud of that bond and so sent the two pictures which are included here. Interestingly, they were “smoking” the British version of what we remember as children being Popeye Cigarettes here in Canada, but really they were just candy sticks.