Tommy Dobson died at the Colonel Belcher Veterans Care Centre on Sunday May 7, 2006 in his 89th year.
Tommy was born in Glasgow, Scotland on August 5, 1917, because his father was called back from Canada as a master machinist to make battleship guns during the First World War. He grew up in Dundas, Ontario and was an enthusiastic Canadian. When in Great Britain during his service on a Corvette in the Second World War, Tommy railed against being called a colonial.
Playing mixed doubles badminton with Wilma McKee in Dundas in the 1930’s led to their marriage on July 7, 1943. Wilma worked as a Registered Nurse in Halifax to be near Tommy, who occasionally came into port. Tommy was trained as a gunnery officer in 1942 in one of the first officer training classes (The Ninety Day Wonders) at Royal Roads, served (MID) in the North Atlantic, Europe, and Mediterranean, and was discharged with the rank of lieutenant in November 1945.
In March 1935 he started work at the Royal Bank of Canada in Dundas, thus beginning a lifelong career with the bank. Tommy gained his initial banking experience in Ontario before and after his service in the Royal Canadian Navy and moved west to Calgary in 1949 as assistant manager of the bank’s main branch. Subsequently, he held senior banking posts in Winnipeg (1953), Toronto (1958), Calgary (1963), and finally Montreal (1966) where he was on the board of Queen Elizabeth Hospital and ended his banking career as Executive Vice President in 1978.
Upon retirement, Tommy chose to return to Calgary to begin a second career as a valued director on many Canadian corporate boards, president and director of several family estate holding companies, and chairman of Easton United Holdings for almost 20 years. He served for six years on the University of Calgary Board of Governors and continued his leadership role in the church and various community organizations.
In keeping with a lifelong passion, Tommy was happiest when he was learning. His accomplishments ranged from self-guided senior matriculation courses resulting in graduation with honours, through acquiring the ability to speak French at the age of 49, to typing e-mail at age 81. His efforts were not limited to intellectual pursuits, he mastered downhill and cross-country skiing, curling, golfing, riding, sailing, canoeing, fly fishing, and was the notorious “wall of fire” to his hunting buddies.
Tommy was predeceased by his older and younger brothers and their wives Gordon (Elva) and Edgar (Marion) and his youngest brother Bob. Tommy is lovingly remembered by his brother Bill (Donna); his sister-in-law Mary; and his greatly adored wife Wilma. His three children and their spouses and eight grandchildren celebrate his precious teachings of honesty, humility, compassion, strength of purpose, flawless work ethic, unconditional acceptance of our fellow human beings, and the value of humour to get through the tougher days. His engaging sense of humour and ability to tell tall tales without a wink will live on as family treasures and his leadership role as head of the family will be deeply missed. May his values live on in all of us and all of those we touch, with great love and respect from Rick, Leigh, Thomas, and William; Ginny, Dale, Nancy, Stasha, and Kyra; Nancy, Rob, Ellen, Heather, and Patrick.
A Celebration of Tommy’s Life will be held at Grace Presbyterian Church (1009 – 15th Avenue S.W.) on Friday, May 12, 2006, at 1:00 p.m. with the Rev. Victor Kim Presider. Forward condolences through www.mcinnisandholloway.com. In lieu of flowers, memorial tributes may be made to the Thomas S. Dobson Endowed Fund for nursing students at the University of Calgary. Please contact the Development Office, 2500 University Drive NW, Calgary, Alberta, T2N 1N4 (telephone: 403 220-5854). The family extends their heartfelt gratitude to the staff at Focus on Caring and Carewest Colonel Belcher for their support and loving care
In living memory of Tommy Dobson, a tree will be planted at Fish Creek Provincial Park by McINNIS & HOLLOWAY FUNERAL HOMES Park Memorial Chapel, 5008 ELBOW DRIVE S.W. Telephone: (403) 243-8200.Print This Obituary & Condolences