Stan Hems


HEMS, STAN - October 1, 1922 – January 21, 2022


Stan passed away quietly and peacefully on Friday, January 21, 2022 at Hillsdale Terrace, Oshawa where he had resided since 2019.  He was a much loved resident and always had a wink or a smile for everyone.

Stan was born in Toronto, where he attended school and worked with his father until volunteering with the Royal Canadian Army Service Corp on July 8, 1942.  Stan was assigned to the 3rd Canadian Infantry Division where he volunteered as a dispatch rider. He traveled outside of the army columns in France, Holland, Belgium and north to Berlin, Germany.  Stan was part of the Juno Beach landing on June 6, 1944 D Day, where he drove an army truck off a transport ship onto the beach.  The Canadians suffered 1,000 casualties, with 359 dead of the 14,000 who landed on D-day and the 3rd Canadian Infantry Division penetrated further into France than any other Allied force.

Before landing in Europe and while in training, Stan met his future wife, Phyllis, in Farnborough, England.  They married after the war on May 12, 1945.  Stan returned to Canada in April 1946 on the Queen Elizabeth.  Phyllis joined him later in Toronto, travelling from London, England by ship with many other war brides. 

Stan worked for the post office for five years before joining Automotive Hardware as a tool and die maker until retirement in 1986.  He enjoyed volunteering with the Boy Scouts as a cub leader, square dancing and, since 1971, made an annual canoe trip to northern Ontario with other family members and friends until his last trip in 2018. 

Stan and Phyllis took many driving trips across Canada out to B.C., stopping in provinces along the way to reconnect with Stan’s army buddies.  Once their children were grown, Stan and Phyllis also had many holidays in England, spending time with Phyllis’s family.

They moved to Markham in 1986.  Phyllis passed away in 2011 after a long struggle with Alzheimer’s.  Stan was an active member of the Markham District Veterans Association and greatly enjoyed participating in their many events throughout the years. 

Stan is survived by his children Pat (Bruce), Karen (Ray) and Rob (Dianne).  Papa (grandfather) to Steve (Megan), Lisa (Jason), Rich (Sarah), Nikki, Tom (Trang) and Scott, and (great-grandfather) to Hailey, Maddie, Oliver, Sam, Addie, Owen and Elliott.

Donations in Stan’s memory can be made to the Markham District Veteran’s Association by interac email transfer to or by sending a cheque payable to Markham District Veterans Association, 7 Washington Street, Markham, ON L3P 2R3.


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