With sadness and love we announce the passing of Arthur Towgood after a lengthy and valiant struggle with cancer at St. Paul’s Hospital on March 6, 2010. Art is survived by Mary, his adoring wife of 54 years, his loving children, Anne (Miguel), Jean, Liz and John (Hanna), his three granddaughters, Emilia, Evabelle and Frida, and two brothers Jim and Rob. Arthur was born in Summerland on November 17, 1930 and enjoyed a delightful childhood with his brothers among the fruit farms and lakes of the Okanagan, learning to love boats from an early age, a passion that lasted him a lifetime. Art studied mechanical engineering at UBC graduating in 1952. He first worked in Brockville, Ontario, where he met and married Mary Houle, a nurse, on December 29, 1955.
Art and Mary moved to Vancouver as newlyweds where he worked for a pulp and paper company, and where his first daughter was born in 1957. Art moved his young family to Montreal in 1958 where he began a lengthy career with Shell Canada. Three children were born in Montreal. Art became a highly respected engineer, and was promoted to Head Office in Toronto as Chief Instrument Engineer for Shell Canada. Art accepted early retirement in 1984, after which he and Mary bought a home in Tsawwassen. There he dedicated himself to various social causes, such as fighting unethical advertising and gambling. He was a worthy contender and often won his battles with wit, determination and brilliant arguments. Art was known for his philosophical discussions and pursued growth and understanding to the end. His greatest passion was sailing, and he sailed the Georgia Straight extensively, first in his 41 foot cutter and later his 28 foot sloop. Here are a few passages from ‘The Rime of the Ancient Mariner’ that Dad sometimes quoted:
“Oh sleep! it is a gentle thing,
Beloved from pole to pole!
To Mary Queen the praise be given!
She sent the gentle sleep from Heaven,
That slid into my soul…
And soon I heard a roaring wind :
It did not come anear;
But with its sound it shook the sails,
That were so thin and sere…
And now ‘twas like all instruments,
Now like a lonely flute;
And now it is an angel’s song,