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"BLY" 2003 Obituary


BLYTH 

BLYTH o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2003-05-21 published
BLYTH, Reverend Patricia (née WILLIAMS) M.A. (Oxon)
Born January 10, 1916, Reigate, England; died, after a long and impressive life - as war bride, army wife, teacher, headmistress, diplomatic spouse, priest, chaplain, volunteer - in Ottawa on May 20, 2003, with her children at her side. Dearly beloved wife of the late David Wilson BLYTH. Much loved and loving mother of Susan PERREN, Sally BLYTH (Alan BULL,) Carol FINLAY (Bryan,) Molly BLYTH (John MILLOY,) Jane O'BRIAN (Geoffrey) and Sam (Rosemary PHELAN.) Loving grandmother to Max (Sarah,) Bianca and Henry Emily (Brian) and Megan; Molly (Sam) and Charles; Michael-John, Bridget, Jeremy and Clare; Patrick and Katie; Frannie and Maddie great-grandmother to Quinn and Rachel. Mourned by her many Friends and colleagues, including those at Rideau Place, Island Lodge and St. Bartholomew's Church. A celebration of her life with Holy Eucharist will take place at St. Bartholomew's Anglican Church, 125 MacKay Street, Ottawa, Friday, May 23, 2003 at 11: 00 a.m. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Primate's World Relief Development Fund, 600 Jarvis Street, Toronto M4Y 2J6 (or through www.pwrdf.org). Funeral arrangements with the Central Chapel of Hulse, Playfair and McGarry, Ottawa 613-233-1143 Condolences/donations at: mcgarryfamily.ca

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BLYTH o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2003-07-04 published
Patricia BLYTH
By Sam BLYTH Friday, July 4, 2003 - Page A18
Wife, mother, teacher, headmistress, priest. Born January 10, 1916, in Reigate, Surrey. Died May 20 in Ottawa, of cancer, aged In the middle of the night, in the middle of February 1953, in a blinding snowstorm, mother disembarked from the Canadian in Brandon, Manitoba, with her five young daughters in hand. Dressed in a full-length mink coat and direct from London via Halifax, she watched as the porter hurled her trunks onto the platform and told her: "If this is where you are going to live -- God help you." Fifty years later she dryly observed that He certainly did.
Mother was born Patricia WILLIAMS to a gentler life in England. Educated at Cheltenham Ladies College and Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford, she read English and was tutored by C.S. LEWIS and J.R.R. TOLKIEN. Oxford life between the wars was both elegant and edgy, with the likes of John PROFUMO and Harold WILSON in her year. While mom inherited a strong Christian work ethic from her great-grandfather, Sir George WILLIAMS, she was not above enjoying some of the better things in life.
The war brought both drama and excitement and then devastating loss as her only sibling Graham was killed in action.
She met my father on a golf course in Kent during the darkest days of the war. He was a clean-cut Canadian from Regina who went on to command a flight squadron. Their romance played out in London during the blitz and on their wedding night the fires burned so brightly that they could read at night without turning the lights on. Undeterred, they produced three children before the end of the war and went on to have three more, including a son born in Camp Shilo, Manitoba, where mom was bound that February in 1953.
After the family relocated to Ottawa, Mom's career as a mother and a military wife soon gave way to a second career of teaching at Elmwood School. Success in the classroom led to her appointment as headmistress. Mrs. BLYTH was an imposing figure and not to be trifled with. But she was also caring of her students and they returned her devotion.
It must have been with a heavy heart that she gave it all up to accompany dad to diplomatic posts in England, West Germany and Greece. In Bonn, she decided to learn to drive and, after buying an orange Volkswagen, took to the roads and autobahns with a determination that impressed even the locals. Her third career as a diplomatic spouse was unfulfilling.
Mom's fourth career was perhaps her calling in life. Following dad's death in 1985, she started as a lay reader in a small Anglican parish in the West Country of England. Soon she ran up against the Church of England's refusal to ordain woman so she relocated one last time to Ottawa, where she was ordained shortly before her 70th birthday. Every summer thereafter she returned to Devon, installed herself at the local inn and met her former parishioners.
For the last 17 years in Ottawa, she spent her life ministering to the elderly and dying in a large public health facility. In this grim setting she was superb and much loved by both the patients and the caregivers. In her last months, she cared for people who were likely both younger and healthier than Mom as she dealt with terminal lung cancer. Typically, she refused to see a doctor, knowing that the diagnosis would be bad and perhaps curtail her day-to-day life. When she finally agreed to see a doctor she would have less than a week to live.
Several weeks prior to that she summoned the priest in charge of her church to discuss her funeral arrangements. She told him that he should do what he thought was best and then proceeded to tell him exactly what to do. At the funeral, he told an enormous congregation that Pat had insisted that there be no eulogies and then proceeded to deliver one. It was a fitting tribute.
Sam BLYTH is Patricia BLYTH's son.

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