12338 Ritchie Smendziuk

September 15, 1957 – December 21, 2020

It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of Ritchie Smendziuk, who died suddenly December 21, 2020 at the Ottawa Hospital in the company of his son Kyle and good friend Bonnie.

Ritchie will be lovingly remembered most by the mother of his 3 children, Lynn, 3 sons, Justin, Craig & Kyle, sisters Darlene & Alice, brother Elwyn & good friend Bonnie.

Passing away at only the age of 63, Ritchie lost his battle with colon cancer just some 3 years after initially being diagnosed.

Growing up in the small town of Winnipegosis, Manitoba, he was one of six children.  Upon graduating high school, Ritchie was thrilled to be accepted to Royal Military College where he graduated with a degree in electrical engineering, all the while making some of his best lifelong friends. He was a navigator for many years and later retired from the forces after ~20 years as a Lieutenant Colonel.  He then went on to work as a project manager and consultant on many different space projects.

Ritchie was officially retired less than a year at his time of passing.  He loved to travel, spend time at the lake, and it seems like just yesterday that he was out waterskiing with a big smile on his face. Many thanks to all the doctors and nurses that helped Ritchie over the last several years. A burial ceremony will take place at a later date in the National Military Cemetery.

Editor’s Note: A different obituary for 9233 Mike Duncan appeared in the last edition of eVeritas. At the request of Mike’s classmates the following obituary has also been included in eVeritas. Thank you. 

9233 Mike Duncan

It is with heavy heart to share Michael W. Duncan has moved on to his next adventure – skiing, golfing and curling in God’s Country. The Angels of The Glebe Centre worked their miracles with Michael, care-giving him in such a loving manner.

Michael was born in Lively, Ont. and his naval career started at RMC 1968; the ‘Mighty Dunc’ excelled in football and hockey; serving primarily on the West Coast – HMCS Kootenay, the Naval Officer Training Centre, Training Group Pacific, Ship Repair Unit and with fond memories of the Esquimalt regional Calibration Centre. There were many postings to NDHQ Ottawa that eventually led to his retirement in Ottawa in 2004.

Sadly, 7 years ago Michael was diagnosed with dementia, living the last 3 years of his life with The Glebe Centre Family where he received excellent care. The Family would like to thank all persons who befriended Michael throughout his life and especially the caregivers of The Glebe Centre Family and Dementia Society of Ottawa – Renfrew. He was predeceased by his first wife, Jennie Lynn (Prosser). Survived by wife of 19 years Katherine (O’Rourke-formerly of Fredericton, N.B.), son Andrew (Melissa Morrow) of Toronto, granddaughters Violet and Holly and daughter Heather Jefferies (Tim) of Albany, Western Australia, twin grandsons William and Oliver (first 3 grandchildren all born on the same day), and sister Ann (Ron) of Lindsay.

Michael was predeceased by his father William S. C. Duncan of Scotland and his mother Elizabeth Cahill of Ireland. Fate being always just around the corner, in 1947, Michael’s parents met on their flight immigrating to Canada. In 1995, Michael and Katherine met on a ski bus trip to Mont Tremblant.

A strong, caring and wise man and as reflected by his colleague’s comments that Michael was a most supportive boss and a friend who could be counted on to help ‘sort’ things out. ‘William Henry Harrison’s adage that, “Never with my consent shall an officer of the people, compensated for his/her services out of their pockets, become the pliant instrument of the executive will”, also describes Michael to a Tee.

In retirement, Michael and Katherine’s love for dogs evolved into hosting their neighbour’s doggies; nicknamed Duncan Doggie Daycare. His passions for skiing took them to the Canadian and American Rockies, with Panorama, B.C. becoming their annual happy place. Golfing weekly in Ottawa and yearly in the fall at Hilton Head Island and Sandestin, Fl. rounded out the year along with many years of his other love of curling, with the Navan Club. Ocean and Riverboat cruises in 2016 and 2017 were the pinnacle of their worldly adventures.

As planned, a Celebration of Life for Michael will be hosted in a future year when COVID-19 allows for safe travel from Australia and USA. Thank you to First Memorial for their respectful transition of care. Donations are welcome to The Glebe Centre ( https://glebecentre.ca/) and/or the Dementia Society of Ottawa and Renfrew County (https://dementiahelp.ca/) in Michael’s memory.

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