William Richard Topham
Feb. 26, 1918 - Jan. 7, 2013 Passed away peacefully at Extendicare Port Hope with his family around him, aged 94, after a 4 year struggle with Alzheimers. Beloved husband of Eileen Florence Garrett (d. 2010) whom he married on Christmas Day 1941. Son of Richard Topham (d. 1978)and Anna Nyrerod (d. 1996) of Togo, SK. Elder brother of Harvey (d. 2000); Hector (Kay) , Surrey BC; Irene Pearson (Bert) , Red Deer AB; and Victor (d. 1999) Loving father of Susan Ford White (Lloyd Ford), Cobourg ON and Robin Cliffe (Robert), Grimsby ON. Proud grandfather of Joanna, Jay (Christine), Adam, Sarah (David), Dave (Lindsey), Becky (Elton) and Mark (Shannon). Great-grandfather of 6. Fondly remembered by Joe Big George. Bill was born in Togo, SK. where his father ran the general store. He graduated in Civil Engineering from the University of Saskatchewan in 1940. and after graduation worked at an aircraft firm in Ottawa; then for Canadian Industries Ltd. explosives plant in McMasterville, P.Q. In Dec. 1941 he enlisted in the RCAF as Engineer Officer and completed the RCAF course in Aeronautical Engineering on aircraft and engine maintenance. He served in Estevan, SK.; Dafoe, SK.(British Commonwealth Air Training Plan No. 5 Bombing and Gunnery School); Winnipeg MB; and Patricia Bay and Port Hardy, Vancouver Island (122 Squadron). After the war he rejoined CIL until joining Standard Brands Ltd. In 1948 he transferred to their Ville Lasalle, P.Q. plant as plant engineer and in 1950 transferred to the Calgary plant as Assistant Plant Manager. In 1958 he returned to Montreal and became Plant Manager at Lasalle in 1962. He was appointed Vice President of Manufacturing for the Fleischmann Company in 1972 and then Vice President of Technical Services with responsibility for product quality and research and development. He thoroughly enjoyed his retirement years from 1978 on, researching Canadian inventors and investigating lighthouses in North America and England; writing articles for the Brighton Independent; travelling to England and Scandinavia to research and write his family's history; collecting clocks and enjoying time with his grandchildren. He was twice published in the Smithsonian Journal; appointed a Fellow of the National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors; was a member of the Association of Professional Engineers of the Province of Ontario and of Quinte Timekeepers Chapter 119. A man of many hobbies, he curled; collected stamps, coins and antiques; painted; built clocks; enjoyed woodworking and made many fine pieces of furniture for his family, and was an avid photographer. Always proud of coming from Togo - the Gateway to the West - he also appreciated the qualities of everywhere he lived. He was a proud Canadian and loved to travel across the country, and he will be greatly missed by all his family. Thanks to Dr. Mark Essak, the staff at Penryn House, Port Hope Extendicare, and especially Orlando Polanco for his kindness and care. A Memorial Service will be held on Tuesday, January 15 at 2 p.m. at St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church, 200 King Street West, Cobourg. Visitation will be held at the church from 1-2 p.m. Those wishing may make donations by cheque to the Alzheimer Society (Research) or Extendicare Port Hope. Condolences received at www.MacCoubrey.com.
Saturday January 12, 2013
© Copyright 2013 The Globe and Mail Inc. All Rights Reserved.
The Globe and Mail, 444 Front St. W., Toronto, ON Canada M5V 2S9
Phillip Crawley, Publisher