DOUGLAS (DOUGALL) IRVING HALL

June 6, 1922 – August 27, 2017
At the age of 95 and 2 months he left us. It was a life well lived, and lived on his terms. He was a Son, Pilot, Father, Farmer, Teacher, Builder, Sailor and Friend. Born in Timmins, Ontario, he was the only son of Lenold and Grace Hall (nee Jones) and grandson of Douglas and Elizabeth Jones (nee Hutcheon). His early years were spent in Schumacher where his family worked for the McIntyre and Hollinger mines. Douglas left the north to join an uncle in Toronto to finish his schooling at North Toronto and then at Lawrence Park Collegiate. He returned to the North after his schooling and listed his occupation as miner. Douglas was one of many who flew with the RCAF during the Second World War. He joined in July 1941 at age 19, at Toronto and received his wings at Dunnville, June 19, 1942. During his time with the Air Force he was referred to as “Sammy”. He under went flight training (while training others) at No 9 Bombing and Gunnery School, at both Mt. Joli and Bagotville, before going overseas with 400 Squadron on Sept 19, 1943. Douglas was then posted to 414 Squadron from 1944 to 1945 then finished his tour of duty with 411 Squadron. He was a photo-reconnaissance fighter pilot flying high and low altitude sorties, initially in Mustangs and then Spitfires. He received his first Distinguished Flying Cross while with 414 Squadron on March 29, 1945. In May of 1945 he engaged a formation of enemy aircraft at Neuntadt and downed 3 FW and one ME, while damaging two others, and he was awarded his second DFC for his exploits and he became the Squadron Ace. After the cessation of hostilities before repatriation from England he was one of the first test pilots for the first Operational Jet Fighter, the Gloster Meteor. (F/L, 1941 to 1946, Photo Reconnaissance Fighter Pilot, DFC and Bar, Knight of the French National Order of the Legion of Honour (awarded 2015), Star of Germany, Star of France, 1939 to 1945 Star; 1939 to 1945 War Medal, Defense Metal, CVSM, RCAF Reserve.) While in England he met, fell in love and married Margaret Flavin, who joined him in Canada after his repatriation in March of 1946 and subsequent release on July 5, 1946. They initially set up home in Millikan, then in Barry’s Bay, and finally settled on a farm outside of Uxbridge. He farmed for many years while supplementing income by working as a miner, a long distance truck driver and a lumberjack (during the winter months) in Northern Ontario. By the mid-1950’s he obtained employment at GM and continued to farm and take courses in Toronto. After receiving his certification from the Radio College in Toronto, he opened his first store in Uxbridge in 1957 and two years later sold the farm and moved to the new family residence on Toronto Street. It was a busy time, finishing the new house, running his business, and raising their family, he still made time to be an active member of the community. Douglas was a Kiwanis member and was President of the Uxbridge Kiwanis Club (1964), he was on the Management Board Committee of the Uxbridge Music Hall (1966), voted onto the Uxbridge Town Council and was Deputy Reeve of Ontario County (1966 – 1969). He held executive positions with the Royal Canadian Legion, Uxbridge Branch. He was also a ham radio operator and made contacts world-wide. In 1969 he completed the Technology Program at Durham College in Oshawa. He started teaching night school while working during the day in the technology department. He continued taking advanced courses at the University of Toronto towards his degree and moved to the analytical chemistry area as a Laboratory Instructor and then was promoted to Teaching Master at Durham College in the Chemistry Department where he taught until his retirement. He was a man of many interests. He curled at the Uxbridge Curling Club, golfed with a wood, five iron and putter (and still managed to win once in a while!). He played squash at the courts in Uxbridge and then at Durham College, was a competitive duplicate bridge player, and managed to spend nights at the symphony. He was also an avid sailor and runner.. He sailed every summer on the waterways of all the Great Lakes and trained to run marathons. He took summer courses in welding and blacksmithing and applied his various skills to building a steel hull 36 Robert’s sail boat on his side yard in Uxbridge. He sailed his boat (Castle Dougall) in and around Georgian Bay before gifting it to Leo. He rigged and sailed a 22 ft. boat with H. Brown on the Mackenzie River to Inuvik (their goal was the Beaufort Sea), explored the Yukon River with his sons, took a kayak trip on the Danube, and biked the hills of Ireland with Ike and Kevin. Then he visited the countrysides of France and Germany en route to visit Leo and Kathleen at Lahr. Many winters were spent at Ike’s cabin in Washington State skiing (had a Master Ski pass for Mt. Baker) and in Maple Ridge, BC. between daily skiing (on the black diamond slopes), visits to the local coffee shop, and working with Ike on various projects, he was busy all winter. Road trips were taken to see the sights of Canada, traveling to the coast many times (regardless of weather) to visit with Cathy and the grandchildren, to visit with Aunt Joan in California or just to spend time in the warm sands off the Florida Keys. One of his last major trips was via the Alaska Marine Hwy Ferry from Bellingham to visit Kevin in Whitehorse (with the dog, his two daughters, and son in tow). The Northern Lights danced that night in welcome. Over the past twenty-five years, with periodic visits to Uxbridge, he spent his summers in Little Current on Manitoulin Island, initially living on the Castle Dougall and then in the residence that he built. Yearly he made concrete as one of his projects as well as helping neighbours. At age 87 he commenced, with Ike, designing and building a second steel boat on the side yard of his home. Sam, Leo and Kevin also did “time” on the boat. It was a point of interest for Little Current to monitor the progress of this 39-ft. custom steel boat. Douglas is predeceased by his spouse Margaret Flavin (2002), his youngest son Leo (2009) and his middle son, Sam (2012). His memory will be cherished by all those who knew him. We who are left will tell the stories and remember his life’s adventure; his children Peter, Margaret, Cathy Komourdjian (Martin), Kevin, Ike, Theresa Usprech, his daughter-in-law (our sister) Kathleen and our special sister Wendy. Loving grandfather to Maria (Hani), Ali and Amanda. A sincere thank you to all the persons at Sunnybrook Veterans’ Centre (George Hees – L Wing – East) for their support, comfort and responsiveness since 2014. Everyone’s kindness and attentiveness provided an environment of comfort to Douglas during his time at the residence. Theresa, your family thank you for your cheerful face and daily encouragement in providing family support to Dad over these years. Please join the family on Friday, October 13, 2017 at the Uxbridge Cemetery at 12:30 for the interment service with a Legion Tribute followed by A Celebration for Douglas, from 2:00 until 4:00, at the Royal Canadian Legion, Uxbridge Branch #170, 109 Franklin Street, Uxbridge, ON. On Sunday, October 15, 2017 the family will welcome friends for fellowship and refreshments at the Little Current, Royal Canadian Legion Branch #177 in a Celebration for Douglas, Downstairs Club Room, from 1:00 to 3:00. In Douglas’ memory, consider a donation to the Veteran’s Comfort Fund re: Creative Arts Therapy, Sunnybrook Veterans Centre, L Wing, L1108 – 2075 Bayview Avenue, Toronto, ON M4N 3M5 or the Royal Canadian Legion, Branch #170 or Branch #177 or your preferred charity. For online condolences, please visit www.lowandlow.ca. He fought the good fight and true, Let the world be the better for you, Carry on, old one, Carry On!