Obituary of Gerald Arthur Davies
GERALD ARTHUR DAVIES MRAIC, ARIBA July 26, 1923 – January 3, 2020 Husband, father, grandfather, architect, fisherman, nature lover…. After a long and productive life, Gerry (aka Old Ger and Freddy the Fearless) has, at 96 years of age, left this world for the next stage, whatever and wherever that may be. He died peacefully at home, in his sleep with family by his side. Gerry was born in Norwich, England to Geoffrey Davies and Edith May Peachey and grew up with modest means in East Anglia as an excellent student who spent his spare time fishing on the Norfolk Broads. With the onset of WWII, Gerry volunteered at the age of 18 for the British Navy Fleet Air Arm. Assigned to Royal Navy Aircraft Carriers, he spent the next 5 years in England, the US and the Pacific theatre and ended the war on a de-muster assignment to a sheep station in the Australian outback. During his war service, he made a brief excursion to Canada, which would later become home. In 1957, after training as an architect and working in London, he immigrated to Canada with his wife, two children and a golden retriever. They had little, and so were seeking all the best things the “New World” had to offer. In 1958 Gerry started as a junior for Page & Steele Architects in Toronto and by 1962 had become a partner in the firm. During this time the family moved from a shared apartment on Broadway Avenue to a modest three bedroom house in Don Mills where the children were raised. Gerry loved the outdoors and the family travelled widely and camped in Provincial and National parks. In 1965 he advanced his dream of owning a cottage by buying land on beautiful Kennisis Lake in the Haliburton Highlands. This was the first step in assembling a cottage empire consisting of three adjacent lots and four cottage buildings largely constructed using recycled materials from architectural projects. Nothing was more heavenly to Gerry than a swim in the lake after the long drive up from Toronto. He loved to enjoy a scotch in the cedar plank fishing boat while futilely trolling for lake trout, puffing on his pipe and sporting his tattered tweed hat at a jaunty angle. In 1968 he joined the Osler Bluff Ski Club and became an avid skier, a legacy his family has built on for over 50 years. Gerry was a long-time member of the Granite Club where he enjoyed family gatherings and regular swimming, providing refuge from a busy professional schedule. Gerry blossomed at Page & Steele and participated in numerous major projects during the golden years of growth in Ontario. After leaving Page & Steele in 1985, Gerry worked as a consultant for the Ontario Ministry of Health, retiring in his late 70’s. In his later years Gerry and Rose-Ann enjoyed diverse travel adventures often accompanied by friends. Predeceased by his parents and his sisters, Margaret Davies and Beryl Shropshire, Gerry is survived by his wife of 41 years, Rose-Ann (nee Simonsky); children, Julia (Bernard) and Geoffrey (Carolyn); step-children, Suzy Sibbert and Adam Shully (Vicky Bohm); and grandchildren, Laurie, Sophie (Galen), Chloé (Patrick) and Curtis; as well as Rosemary Graydon, mother of his two children. As per Gerry’s wishes, cremation has taken place and a private family gathering held. A celebration of Gerry’s life will take place on Thursday, January 30th from 4:00 – 7:00 p.m. at the Humphrey Funeral Home A.W. Miles – Newbigging Chapel, 1403 Bayview Avenue (south of Davisville). Donations to his favourite charities, Doctors Without Borders, the Salvation Army, or to the charity of your choice are appreciated. Condolences may be forwarded through www.humphreymiles.com.