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"NAI" 2007 Obituary


NAIMISH o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2007-08-25 published
McKEAG, Honorary Colonel (Retired) The Honourable William John, CM, OM, CD, B. Comm., LL.D
At home on Thursday, August 23, 2007 William John (Jack) McKEAG died surrounded by his family. Beloved husband of Dawn CAMPBELL for 56 years. Loving father of Janis (Clifton RICHARDSON,) Darcy (Tom CRAWFORD), Kelly and Douglas (Onalea GILBERTSON), and grandfather of Scott and Colin REES and Stephanie (Alan SAMUELS,) Shannon and Matthew CRAWFORD. Survived by niece Ellen (Kowalski) sisters-in-law Sharon (Vic NAIMISH), Sonya (Scott WRIGHT), Dilly (Bill BURNS) and Pat (Drewett) and one brother-in-law Keith CAMPBELL. Jack was born on March 17, 1928 to Thomas and Isabelle McKEAG in Beresford, Manitoba. He was 18 months old when a car/train collision at Chater, Manitoba killed his mother and older sister. Jack was thrown clear, unharmed, and with the consent of his father, was adopted by George H. McKEAG (cousin of Thomas) and his wife Elizabeth BIGGAR. Jack grew up in Winnipeg, attending Queenston, Robert H. Smith and Kelvin Schools. He graduated from the University of Manitoba in 1949 with a Bachelor of Commerce. He then joined the family business Security Storage Ltd. (sold to British Traction in 1956) remaining there until 1960, serving as President 1952-60. He helped found McKeag-Harris Realty, latter known as McKeag Realty, and maintained an active role until 2000. Jack was a 'generous and giving guy' who volunteered in his beloved Winnipeg in a great variety of causes. He was a life-long member of St. Andrew's River Heights United Church. He joined the Kiwanis Club in 1951 and thoroughly enjoyed his association, keeping up contact with Friends that he met and worked with in the organization. He served as the President of the Winnipeg Club and as District Governor of the 67 Clubs in Western Canada. The family excursions to Kiwanis conventions across Canada and the U.S.A. rank high in memorable family trips, full of happenings and mis-happenings. Jack loved politics and worked locally for the Liberal party through many elections. In 1977, Prime Minister Trudeau appointed Jack as Lieutenant-Governor of the province of Manitoba, a position he held for 6 years. He was deeply honoured to have served Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth. He enjoyed travelling the province, attending fairs, festivals and curling bonspiels. Over 36,000 people from all walks of life attended functions at Government House. Following his tenure as Lieutenant-Governor, Jack returned to the business sector. During this time he served on a number of Boards of Directors provincially, nationally and internationally. These Boards of Directors included: Canadian Motorways Ltd. (1963-80); M.E.P.C. Canadian Properties Ltd. (1974-77); The Investors Group (1975-98) Johnson and Higgins Willis Faber Ltd. (1976-92); Grace General Hospital (1976-86); Manitoba Museum of Man and Nature (1976-84) Greater Winnipeg Gas Company (1978-86); Norcen Energy Resources Ltd. (1980-86); The Council for Canadian Unity (1981-87); Governor of the Olympic Trust of Canada (1983-91) and various community organizations. He was also a member of the St. Charles Country Club, The Manitoba Club, and past member of Winnipeg Winter Club, and Lakewood Country Club. Jack loved duck hunting with his Friends and family. He became a member of Ducks Unlimited (Canada) in 1976, serving as President 1984-85 and as Chairman 1986-88. He was a big booster of the Winnipeg Jets too, serving as President 1976-77) In 1973, Jack was appointed Honorary Colonel of the Fort Garry Horse, enthusiastically supporting the regiment until retirement in 1998. Jack was the recipient of many honours during his lifetime, including: The Knight of Grace in the Canadian Priory of the Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of Saint_John of Jerusalem (1971), Knight of Justice (1982); Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee Medal (1978); Canadian Decoration (1986), Commemorative Medal for the 125th Anniversary of Canadian Confederation (1993) Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal. Jack and Dawn were keen travellers and covered a great part of the world. Always, however Winnipeg was home. The favourite place for the family to gather each summer was at Granite Lake, Ontario. In spite of all Jack's honours and activities, he always had time for his family activities - be it school, hockey, soccer, baseball, swim meets or the horse barn. He was always ready with a little 'walking around money' for 'his Buds'. For the first time since 1980, Jack could not spend part of the winter in Sarasota, Florida. He was too ill to travel. During his illness, Jack was looked after by a legion of caring people at the Grace Hospital and by the Home Care and their Palliative Care Unit. Angels All! It allowed him to die at home in the midst of his family. A special thanks to Doctor T. Morgan and Colonel Max Ryan. The service for William John (Jack) McKEAG will take place on Wednesday, August 29, 2007 at 1: 00 p.m. at St. Andrew's River Heights United Church, Winnipeg, Manitoba. Internment will take place at a latter date. The pallbearers will be members of the Fort Garry Horse Regiment. Flowers are gratefully declined. Donations in fond tribute to Jack's Memory can be made to Cancer Care Manitoba or the Manitoba Diabetes Association or a charity of your choice. Neil Bardal Inc. (204) 949-2200

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NAIRN o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2007-07-14 published
NAIRN, Mary " May"
Peacefully at the Headwaters Health Care Centre in Shelburne, Ontario on Tuesday, July 10, 2007 in her 83rd year. Beloved wife of the late Jack NAIRN. Cherished mother of David (Leisa WAY) and Arlene (David MacPHERSON.) Treasured 'May-May' to granddaughters Madeline and Michelle MacPHERSON. Predeceased by her sister Anna ALLAN. May's love of life and laughter will always be remembered. In 1949 she left her home in Scotland and followed her husband Jack to Canada. They spent 10 years in Vancouver, where David and Arlene were born, then eventually made their home in Thornhill, Ontario. After Jack retired from his position as vice president of Westinghouse Canada, May and Jack enjoyed traveling together all over the world. May was a valued member of the Inner Wheel and Rotary Club of Toronto for more than 40 years. She loved to sing and especially to dance, and her children and grandchildren loved to hear her recite poetry and sing songs from her childhood, in the beautiful Scottish brogue that she never lost after all her years in Canada. Her family would like to thank Margaret and Gretchen and all the wonderful caregivers at Compassionate Care; Friends and caregivers at The Donway Place in Toronto, at Avalon Retirement Home in Orangeville and the caring nurses at Headwaters Health Care Centre in Shelburne. In lieu of flowers, donations to the Alzheimer's Society of Ontario, Dufferin Chapter ( or Osteoporosis Canada ( would be appreciated. A memorial service to celebrate May's life will be held in late August in Orangeville, Ontario. Condolences for the family may be offered through Egan Funeral Home Baxter and Giles Chapel, Orangeville (519-941-2630) at May will be missed always and never forgotten.

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