September 21, 1923 – June 29, 2019
Our dearly loved high-flyer of the family, J. Howe Thomson left us on the evening of June 29, 2019. Born in Peace River, AB the youngest child of Kenneth and Winifred Thomson, he spent his early years as the ‘man of the family’ when his father was away operating a sawmill many muddy north-east miles at Faust. To the end of his life he retained fond memories of his youth in Peace River. His early life with his mother and sister Margaret carried its many responsibilities but gave him a versatility which fitted him for his whole life and his eventual entry into the RCAF during WW2.
As a Navigator he was part of the crew of Lancaster and Halifax bombers in the 408 Goose Squadron stationed at Linton-on-Ouse in Yorkshire. While serving overseas he met and married Margaret Crombie Denny of Dunfermline, Scotland and they would eventually be together for 56 years until her death in 2001.
His love of flying continued through to the end of his life and took many forms. He built models of the Lancaster and Halifax bombers and attended several air shows featuring those aircraft. In his later years he took a flight over the South Pole 63 years after actively flying.
Following the war, Howe worked at Swift’s Meats in Edmonton and then in the Okanagan when the family relocated in 1958 to Summerland. From 1960 to 1965 he operated the IGA store in Trout Creek. Joining the Federal Government in 1965 as an Employment Counsellor for Canada Manpower and Immigration, he became a Branch Manager in several locations including Kamloops, Revelstoke, Vernon, Cranbrook, and Penticton.
Howe and his wife Margaret were volunteers for the Summerland General Hospital. Margaret was a four decade Health Care Auxiliary worker with wide-ranging contributions. Howe as a Board member and Chair of the Summerland General Hospital went on to lead the Community Health Care Committee which replaced the hospital during the transition to Interior Health. He also served on Summerland’s 0fficial Community Planning team.
He loved the house that he built on Jubilee Road and it was the center of the Thomson family life for many decades. Howe was noted for being an eternal optimist – always finding the positive in people and situations. He was a great storyteller, cook, bread baker, rock wall builder, and gardener and loved to putter at his workbench and greenhouse. He enjoyed golfing and as an active member for the formation of the Summerland Golf Club helped with landscaping and planting trees at the Summerland Golf Course. Howe and Margaret enjoyed a wide circle of close friends in Summerland. Those who knew Howe will remember him as a true gentleman.
Howe was predeceased by his parents Kenneth and Winifred Thomson, his brother James Howard Thomson, and his first wife Margaret. Sharing the loss are daughters Lynn DuBourt of Tsawwassen, Lesley (Michael) Carmody of Portland, Oregon, and Sheila (Jim McCrank) Thomson of Faulder; four granddaughters; three great granddaughters; four great-grandsons; and his sister Margaret Johnstone of Summerland and her family members. Howe will be greatly missed by his second wife, Doiran Blagborne (Bruce) Thomson whom he married in 2004 and shared with him fifteen companionship years together. Howe and Doiran enjoyed the garden and were able to travel extensively.
The family is very grateful for the care and kindness extended to Howe by Dr. Alistair Bannerman and by the staff at Summerland Seniors Village.
As a long-time member of St. Stephen Anglican Church in Summerland, he will be interred beside his wife Margaret in the Garden of Remembrance. A Celebration of Life will be held at St Stephen’s on a date to be announced later.
Donations in memory of Howe can be made to the charity of your choice or to the Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB), Donation Processing Centre, 1929 Bayview Ave., Toronto, ON M4G 3E8.
Condolences may be directed to the family through providencefuneralhomes.com 250-494-7752.
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