WATSON, IAN GRAY – October 5, 1936 - April 6, 2017 — It is with great sadness that we announce the death of our husband and dad, Ian Watson. He was born in Toronto, Ontario and later moved with his family to Grey County near Owen Sound. As a young man he served as a Lieutenant in the Royal Canadian Regiment, First Battalion. In 1962 in London, Ontario, he met his ex-pat American wife, Jane with whom he was happily married for 53 years. He left the service in 1963 and began studies at the University of Western Ontario in the newly created Mature Students admittance program. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts (1966) and a Master of Arts in Philosophy (1971); during this period he also trained as a teacher at the Althouse College of Education. He taught in several Ontario high schools, including H.B. Beal in London, where he became interested in drawing, painting and other visual arts, and then briefly in Red Rock, Ontario, before moving to Kenora, Ontario in 1973 to teach at Beaver Brae High School. In Kenora, he taught Special Education, English and a variety of other subjects. He enjoyed teaching of all kinds and was equally committed to coaching basketball and assisting on Outdoor Education trips. Through teaching, he met a great community of colleagues and friends who shared his interests in canoeing, camping, basketball and jazz. In recent years Ian helped coach the Dragon Tamers (Breast Cancer Survivor Dragon Boat team) and enjoyed supporting this amazing team of paddlers.
Throughout his life he travelled with his family by canoe, by car on long road trips, and on foot backpacking in Europe with Jane. Most of all, Ian was a kind and supportive husband and father. He laughed hard, he made three-point shots on the basketball court (on a good day), whispered to colicky babies, welcomed a menagerie of misfit but loveable dogs into our home, and made a perfect pie crust. Ian will be greatly missed by his wife Jane, his daughters Anne (Paul) of Molesworth, England, Sarah (Etienne, Femke) Montreal, Quebec, and Beth (Dave, Izzy, Sophie) of Calgary, Alberta.
We would like to thank the nursing staff at Community Care Access Centre, as well as all of the nurses and doctors who offered expertise, kindness and care over the years. At Ian’s request, there will be no funeral service. While he had some bad luck with his health in recent years, this is but a small part of his story. We will remember him hoisting up canoes, swimming, building things, and most of all, laughing.
In honour of Ian’s interest in education and reading, we invite family and friends to consider a donation to the Kenora Public Library Endowment Fund set up with the Kenora and Lake of the Woods Regional Community Foundation www.klwcf.ca/our-funds/ or a charity of their choice.
Alcock Funeral Home & Cremation Services (Highway 17 West, Keewatin) in care of arrangements, 547-6000.