WILLIS, David Charles

November 27, 1928 - November 10, 2023

Passed away peacefully at St. Joseph’s Health Centre on November 10, 2023, just two weeks before his 95th birthday. He was the beloved husband and best friend to Greta (Marshall) for 71 years. He leaves behind his daughter Sarah (Kevin), son Henry (Natalie) and grandchildren Jamie (Chantal), Natasha (Dillon), Lacey (James), Ivan and Katy (Alex) and great-grandchildren Anna and Nora. David was born in Wolverhampton, England on November 27, 1928. After completing school, he served two years of National Service as an aerial photographer with the Royal Air Force. After being discharged, he moved to London and studied at the prestigious St. Martin’s School of Art on scholarship for four years before attending teachers’ college at Hornsey Rise in North London for a further year. After a whirlwind six-week courtship, he married Greta in London in 1952, and emigrated to Canada in 1957 where they settled in Ancaster, Ont. David was an art teacher at both Hillfield-Strathallan College and Westmount Secondary School in Hamilton before retiring to Niagara on the Lake in 1985 where he and Greta ran a successful B&B. They moved to Guelph in 2001 where David found many wonderful friends amongst their very kind neighbours, as well as at the Hunt Bridge Club. David was always referred to as a gentleman, and was known for always wearing a tie, as well as ‘comfortable’ shoes. He had a kind nature and was lots of fun with a great sense of humour. Even days before he died, his sense of humour kept his health care aides smiling. David was an artist in every sense of the word. In his younger years in England, he was a keen fly fisherman who tied his own delicate flies. Despite no musical training, he was a multi-instrumentalist who could play many musical instruments with proficiency. He was very adept in all artistic mediums but excelled in portraiture. Among his many commissions, he painted portraits of the President of the University of Guelph, as well as the Dean of Veterinary Medicine at the Ontario Veterinary College. He was an extremely patient and loving father, and a dedicated baseball coach for a number of years in Ancaster. David was also a ‘reluctant’ bridge partner to his keen-playing wife which kept him well-socialized over their retirement years. He loved to travel to many European destinations and always memorized a few hilarious expressions or anecdotes in the native tongue of the destinations where he travelled. David was a very sweet man who loved his fish and chips and a cold G&T. He will be greatly missed by those who knew him. His family would like to thank their extremely kind, generous and thoughtful neighbours who aided them in the final months of his illness. They would also like to express immense gratitude to the nurses, doctors and PSWs of St. Joseph’s Health Centre in Guelph for filling his final days and weeks with dignity and compassion while delivering excellent and advanced care. Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to Gilbert MacIntyre & Son Funeral Home (Hart Chapel, Guelph). Per his wishes, David received a private burial, and in lieu of flowers, donations being directed to St. Joseph’s Health Centre in Guelph would be appreciated by the family.

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