DAVIES, DR. HAROLD LLEWELLYN
March 18, 1922 – January 5, 2020
Doc to his friends, Dr. Babies to patients and Papa to family, Harold passed away just short of his 99th birthday. The eldest son of Tom and Phoebe, he shared a 2 bedroom home in Winnipeg with brothers Ken, Art and sister Marjorie. Harold excelled at school and went on to specialize in Paediatrics with an office in St. Boniface for over 40 years and generations of families.
Harold met Cecilia Sneddon in high school. Over 68 years, Nan and Papa lived extraordinary lives together with sons Bob and Jim, daughters-in -law Lila and Donna, grandchildren Robb and Joel, great-grand-daughter Rhyanna and the many children and grandchildren of sister in law Jeanette and Harold’s brothers and sister. Har and Cec loved to entertain with family and friends at home and their cottage at Falcon Lake. The Boxing Day party was a favourite for all of us. They retired to Vancouver Island at age 70.
Papa loved sports, travel, reading and exploring new ideas. He volunteered in community activities as a counsellor and educator throughout his lifetime. He always had a toast to offer at celebrations.
We are fortunate to have shared in his life. Here’s to you, Papa. We’re glad that you’ll be together with Nan again. Clink!
My Dad loved people of all ages, was devoted to his immediate and extended families, loved sports (especially the Blue Bombers), and loved his times at Falcon Lake and the cottage that he and friends built from scratch. But the cottage was most fun for him when there were people around him. He would spend hours taking a lineup of kids for a ski around the island and back.
He had a highly regarded paediatric practice in Norwood adjacent to our first home. In the early days, he made house calls and sometimes accepted food for payment. He became chair of the Manitoba Paediatric Society and later the National president. He taught at St. Boniface Hospital. He was active in our community and church as a member of Kinsmen, a counsellor with youth and a school board member.
Dad maintained close ties with his siblings and their families as well as my mother’s family although our relatives were scattered across North America. At times he surprised us like the time he bought a motorcycle and had a road trip with my brother Jim down to Mexico. By the time they got there, they both had beards but no passports and were refused entry. Another time he crossed Canada solo in his van, surprising family members when he pulled into their driveways.
My parents designed and built their home in St Vital. Papa helped to landscape with a multi-ton rock that was engraved with the words “Love” and “Peace”. In the backyard he erected a totem with figures representing each of us including our dog.
After retiring at 70, my parents moved out to Vancouver Island, soon to be followed by Lila and I, Joel, Jim and Donna (Jim’s life partner) and Lila’s brother Doug.
Shortly after our arrival, my Mother had a stroke and moved into long term care. Papa visited every day, bringing a lunch and sometimes walking miles uphill to be there. He helped to establish a partner advisory group for the care centre (Malaspina - remember that name.)
After Nan died, we drove Papa and her ashes to Winnipeg. Robb then provided his boat to take her ashes for us to scatter on Loon Island - the one we used to ski around from the cottage. This is the place where Papa will join her.
Joel helped Papa to continue living independently and with companionship by moving in with him. Papa was always energized by being around people and discussing ideas. The two of them developed a very special bond. When Joel finally moved into his own condo, Papa chose to move into an assisted living residence where he was very happy for a few years with a huge scooter that took him to the library in record time. He also had a meal companion who liked to share some wine at dinner.
He was devastated when Jim died from cancer. Jim asked to have his ashes scattered at Long Beach on the west side of the Island. On a lovely summer day we drove out there with Donna and followed his request.
Two months ago, Papa’s heart began failing and he suffered from increasing falls that led to a long hospital stay. Finally he was transferred to a long term care home - Malaspina. But it was now a new building rather than Nan’s placement.
However Papa got a warm greeting on his arrival from staff , including the director, who remembered him and my mother. Lila, Joel and I were able to meet with him on Christmas in an outdoor tent with plexiglass separating us. He was in a wheelchair and attached to an oxygen machine and needed two staff to transport him.
Shortly after, some cases of the COVID were found in Malaspina and all visits were curtailed. Although we talked regularly by phone with Papa, he missed direct contact with other people. He died of regular causes after twice testing negative for COVID.
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