George & Shirley Brickenden
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Obituary of George & Shirley Brickenden

GEORGE McCORMICK BRICKENDEN

Born: London, ON., November 15, 1922

Died: Toronto, March 27, 2018

 

Son of the late Judge G.A.P. Brickenden and the late Catharine Keziah McCormick.

 

Superb raconteur with a delightfully twisted sense of humour.  Highly respected international show jumper.  Competed successfully in the Royal Winter Fair for over 60 years.  Quintessential gentleman.  Lover of music.  Animal whisperer.  Athlete extraordinaire, excelling in any and all sports he chose to tackle, including swimming, skiing, track and field, football, rugby, hockey, golf, polo, shooting, fencing, tennis etc. Pilot of a de Havilland Moth.  Light-heavy weight boxing champion both at St. Andrew's College and while in the Navy.  Attended Western University until he volunteered for the Royal Canadian Navy during WWII as an officer aboard the HMCS Oakville, notably the first Canadian ship to capture a U-94 submarine in the Caribbean.  The ship decisively out-maneuvered German Battle ships in the Mediterranean.  They also took part in missions off the coast of France gathering intelligence and U-Boat locations.  Founding partner of Meyer Brickenden Lyons Insurance Brokerage, Montreal.  President of the English-Speaking Union, membership over 10,000.  Grandson of Thomas McCormick who in 1854 founded McCormick Biscuits which eventually was acquired by George Weston Limited.  Above all, he was a fabulous father, grandfather and husband.

 

 

SHIRLEY JANE SACKVILLE BRICKENDEN (NEE BROWNE)

Born: Montreal, PQ, on January 26, 1924

Died: Toronto, ON., March 27, 2018

 

Daughter of the late Major Sackville Browne DSO and the late Margaret Edwards Woods.  Predeceased by brother Dal Browne.  Granddaughter of celebrated Dr. Arthur Adderly Browne one of the founders of the Montreal Children's Hospital.  Her ancestor, St. John Browne fought on the Plains of Abraham with General Wolfe who died in Browne's arms.  At age 16 she achieved first class honours in drawing and painting from the Royal Drawing Society of London, England.  Internationally recognized for her oversized watercolour and acrylic art works.  Her pieces were sold at Waddington's and Kastel Galleries in Montreal, the Art Gallery of Ontario, Nancy Poole's Gallery in Toronto among others.  Her works have been acquired by many of North America's top collectors and corporations.  Shirley volunteered for the Royal Canadian Air Force.  Selected to do classified work in the Operations Room of the Eastern Air Command (WWII).  Always active in numerous charities such as the Maycourt Club and the London Regional Art Gallery.  In Montreal she worked tirelessly for the Symphony, the Ballet, the Art Gallery and the Lake of Two Mountains Hunt Ball.  Shirley was a lady of great faith as demonstrated by two years spent designing and overseeing the production of 27' of needlepoint kneelers for the alter of Christ Church Cathedral in Montreal.  With daughter Pamela, in 1966, started Brickpoint Studios Inc, with outlets in Montreal and Toronto, the first original hand painted needlepoint outlet in Canada.  Shirley was glamour personified.  A chic and outrageous character.  Infinite source of all wisdom, great convictions and opinions, solicited...on not.  Famous for her wildly contagious laugh.  Amazing and enthusiastic dancer especially when with her favourite partner, George.  Lived life passionately and in superlatives.  Irrepressible optimist.  Gourmet cook.  Lover of etiquette. World class Scrabble player.  Keen golfer and tennis player.  Above all, a warm, natural and enthusiastic mother, grandmother and wife.

 

Theirs was a true love story which began when they were set up on a blind date arranged by George's mother 1944.  Six days later, they were engaged to be married.  So began a lifetime of love, laughter and adventure.  In 1945 they settled first in London Ontario then in Montreal in 1961 where they lived for 21 glorious years further enhanced by Expo '67.  Next, the family moved to Toronto in 1982 after which the city was never quite the same.  Always impeccably attired for any occasion, Shirley and George were often chosen by various publications as two of Canada's Ten Best Dressed.  Although always stoic, both Shirley and George were dealing with chronic and incurable health issues.  As age and overwhelming infirmities overtook them, on a beautiful spring day, after 73 years of marriage, they toasted each other with family and good champagne, held hands and left this life gently and together, on their own terms.  This was their final act of love, hoping their act will pave the way for others who are suffering.  They were fully at peace with this decision and had the support of their four devoted children who have always known this was how they wanted it to be when the time came.  We are all forever grateful for the compassionate assistance of Dying with Dignity.  They have blessed this earth together for 73 years and it’s time for them to bless the stars. 

 

They are survived by Pamela (David Dunlap), Dal (Solveig), Saxe (Sherry Karlo) and Angela (Richard Colterjohn) and George's sister Dorinda Greenway. 8 grandchildren: Amanda Sanabria (Alberto), James, Matthew, Cam (Krissie Morley) Brickenden, Ian, Andrew, Brock, and Annabel Colterjohn. 6 great-grandchildren.  In lieu of flowers, donations to Dying with Dignity (dyingwithdiginty.ca) 416-486-3998 or Sinai Health Foundation in support of Dr. John Floras Cardiology Research (supportsinai.ca/inmemory) 416-586-8203 would be greatly appreciated by the family.

 

Funeral at ST. JAMES CATHEDERAL, 65 Church Street, on Monday, April 2, 2018 at 2:00 p.m.  Condolences, photographs and memories may be forwarded through www.humphreymilesnewbigging.com.