My father’s 100th birthday is being celebrated at our Thanksgiving Dinner tomorrow, though there are still 2 weeks until the official day. (Yes, I was a late in life baby). 🙂
Dad was born in Montreal in 1914. He had two older brothers, but he was the only one to survive to adulthood. He remembers the soldiers returning from World War One. He was run over by a (new!) Model T Ford when he was 3. He was an active member of Boy Scouts and saw Lord and Lady Baden-Powell when they visited North America in 1935.
He worked for Burroughs-Wellcome Pharmaceuticals in the 30s. During WW2, he tried to enlist, but they refused him, because the doctor heard a heart murmur. He built aircraft at Fairchilds in Longueuil, instead. In the 50s, he and a friend came to Vancouver and started Maco Industries, a building supply wholesaler. For the next forty years he worked for them, retiring finally around 70.
He was married twice. He had 3 adopted sons with his first wife who had tuberculosis and couldn’t have children. His second wife brought 3 children into the marriage, they had one biological child (me!).
He was an avid tennis player and table tennis player. He was playing tennis into his 70s. He was still playing table tennis when legally blind, into his 80s. He couldn’t see the ball, but he could see the shape of his opponent’s paddle, and knew where the ball would be. He walked several kilometers each day until his 90s.
Dad never passes a children’s drink stand without buying a cup.
For entertainment at his party tomorrow, I’m looking for questions for an Ask a Centenarian! event.
Here’s your chance. Leave a question in the comments, and we’ll ask him. If technology allows, we may even film him responding to your questions. If there are quite a few, I’ll keep asking over the next few weeks during the season of his birthday festivities.
So– what would you like to ask?
Obituary- Herbert Mosses Duguay July 25, 2015
Tags: death, grief, Herb Duguay, loss, mosses, obituary
HERBERT MOSSES DUGUAY
October 25, 1914 – July 25, 2015
Herb Duguay passed away peacefully Saturday, July 25, 2015 in his 101st year. Herb was a devoted father and husband. He was the son of Charlotte Coombes Mosses Duguay and David Owen Mosses, but raised as the son of Joseph Georges Duguay in Montreal. He was married to Alison MacMillan Duguay Baker for over twenty years. He was married to his beloved Lalita Ortlieb Fuson Duguay for fifty-three years. He had one daughter by birth, Shawn (John) Bird, and three children by the heart, Wayne Fuson, Stewart (Gail) Fuson, and Naomi Verbonac. He had 8 grandchildren: Veronica, Shane, Lalita, Jolene, Trista, Charlotte, Nicholas, and Kyle. He had 9 great-grandchildren.
Herb’s first memory was seeing the World War 1 soldiers coming home in 1919. Around this time he was run over by a brand new Model T Ford. We are thankful for their high wheel clearance.
He was an avid Boy Scout and saw Lord and Lady Baden-Powell when they came to Canada in the 1920s.
In the 1930’s Herb worked in quality control at Burroughs Wellcome Pharmaceuticals. As a result, he was a lifetime believer in the power of Polysporin.
He built bombers at Fairchild Aircraft in Montreal during World War 2 because the army didn’t want him. They said he had a bad heart. They were wrong. Herb was all heart.
He moved to Vancouver in the 1950s to start up Maco Industries with Reg Baker. For the next thirty years he travelled through Western Canada selling their products to building supply stores. He was proud of his ethics and the good relations that garnered him respect and openings everywhere, because he only sold products he believed in. He was still selling in the care home, pitching his daughter Shawn’s books to staff and residents at every opportunity.
He was a travelling salesman who never missed a school performance or event of significance.
Herb never walked past a child’s lemonade stand without buying a glass and chatting.
He always had a good dog to keep him company.
He was an avid tennis and table-tennis player throughout his life. Though blinded by macular-degeneration, he still played into his 80s with unerring accuracy. In the last few years, he was the goalie for the award winning Bastion Care Home floor hockey team. Until two weeks ago, he walked up 2 flights of stairs each day.
He was proud of the letter from the Queen for his 100th birthday. He was prouder of the accomplishments of his children and grandchildren.
Herb was friendly, funny, honest, kind-hearted, and loyal. The world is a less gentle place without him in it. He was truly a “man of worth.”
Thanks to the Bastion Care Home staff. You were his favourites.
Herb Duguay (age 85) and Teddy
Herb Duguay (age 70) and Shawn
( ^ In that picture he always reminds me of Maurice Chevalier. Dad loved to sing Chevalier’s Thank Heaven for Little Girls to me when I was little).
Herb (age 40ish) behind Maco with Kinky the dachshund
Herb Duguay tennis champion
He told me he’d won a big tournament in Montreal once. I just received this photo which I had never seen. I wish I could ask Dad about it! No idea of year- somewhere between 1945-55 I’m guessing. Let me know if this trophy looks familiar!
From the cast photo of A Nautical Knot performed Nov 30, Dec 1-2, 1939 by St Andrews Operatic Society Montreal
A Nautical Knot was a comic operetta by William Rhys-Herbert. Dad could not sing a note, but he was filler on stage. He used to laugh about it. I believe it was put on by the St Andrews United Church in Lachine, which held its last service Dec 18, 2011.
Vincent Martin, Herb Duguay, Kenneth Dow Boy Scouts Montreal 1930ish
Vincent Martin joined the Merchant Marine and was killed Sept 1941, age 26.