Cover photo for George Patrick Crichton Vibert Douglas's Obituary
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George Patrick Crichton Vibert Douglas

April 19, 1931 — February 17, 2024

George Patrick (Pat) Crichton Vibert Douglas, beloved husband, father, grandfather, father-in-law, and uncle, died, age 92, peacefully at Christie Gardens, Toronto, Ontario, on February 17, surrounded by family. Patrick was predeceased by: wife, Audrey of 59 years; parents, Olga and George; siblings, Elizabeth, Mary, and John. He is survived by children, Stephen (Valerie), Daniel (Caroline), Krystyne (Deji), Isabel (Matthew); twelve grandchildren, Vivien, Hannah, Gareth (Endicott-Douglas); Naomi, Nadia, James, Sophia, Sami (Douglas-Najem); Isaac (Akinniyi); Aaron, Reuben, Benjamin (Abogado); nephew, John Cleasby; nieces, Sarah Cleasby, Marianne Douglas. He is loved and fondly remembered by many close family and friends in North America, England, and Ireland. Born in N’Changa, Zambia on April 19, 1931, Patrick was the third child of four children to Olga (Crichton) and George Vibert Douglas. The family moved to Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1932 where his father was professor of geology at Dalhousie University. Patrick enrolled at Queen’s University completing an Honours BA in History in 1955, and later his Masters of History in 1966. Patrick taught in Nova Scotia before graduating from the Toronto Teachers’ College in 1958. After teaching at Humberside Collegiate, he became Head of History at Monarch Park Collegiate Institute in Toronto until he retired in 1991. Patrick was passionate about teaching and an inspiration to students and colleagues. But more than anything else, he was a family man; a devoted husband to his wife Audrey and a loving, attentive, magnanimous father of four children and grandfather to 12 grandchildren. Strong like an ox and always energetic, Patrick could cross-country ski, hike, journey in a canoe, row a boat, cut (with a buck saw) and chop wood with the best of them. A jack of many trades and a farmer/gardener in his spare time, he spent so many happy vigorous summers at the extended family cottage in the 1000 Islands, and especially at their house-on-the-hill property in beautiful Cape Breton; blending leisure, hard work, and fun with family and many local and visiting friends, as the main ingredients of happy times. Patrick and Audrey immersed themselves into local communities wherever they lived. In Toronto as members of Bathurst United Church since 1960, they volunteered in Hi C, an inner-city youth group, and later for many years, Patrick helped in local drop-in centres for the homeless. He was always caring for and about people in so many ways, too many to mention. Patrick was a long time grass roots campaigner and canvasser for the NDP, winning polls by hard work and contributing to the surprise federal victory of Dan Heap in Spadina Riding. After a year (1978/79) spent with all the family in scenic Howgill, Cumbria, England (Patrick on leave and Audrey researching local history) and subsequent post-retirement stays in this small farming community, they established enduring connections with many people in the area. For a while, Patrick even worked several months a year as a hired hand for a local farmer and builder. Patrick believed fundamentally in peace and social justice; he marched and protested in support of, and was generous of his time and donations to, many causes. Above all his integrity, big heart, and unwavering sense of decency shone forth and was a beacon of light to family, friends, and people he met. Patrick learned to play the cello, knit, cane chairs, make bread, and he was an inveterate writer of letters. He read widely, enjoyed discussions on a range of topics and displayed a spontaneous conviviality and a keen interest in people and their life stories. His big smile, warm handshake, care and compassion, and love of life, family and friends were always evident even in his final days.


The family owes enormous debts of gratitude to the SE Health Care and VHA providers; Assisted Living, Courtyard Community and pastoral care care teams at Christie Gardens; and to Dr. Chase Everett McMurren, Patrick’s doctor prior to entering the Courtyard, for their compassion and care. In lieu of flowers, gifts in his memory can be made to Community Peacemaker Teams.

 

A Celebration of Life service for Patrick will be held in St. Matthew’s United Church, 729 St. Clair Ave. West, Toronto, at 2 PM on Saturday, May 4, 2024.

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