A couple of weeks ago the handsome, kind and gentle man on the left, suffered a catastrophic stroke. As he had wished, no heroic measures were taken, and this morning, my Dad, Horace Herbert Crowston slipped from the planets' grasp.
This photo was taken on my wedding day, some 15 years ago, to my loving and supportive partner, 
Shelley McGaw
. Dad stands with his wife of almost 70 years, Beverly Rose Crowston and my lovely sister K.C. Lawrence, both of whom have passed.
My Dad was a 'depression baby', born August 4th, 1931 in northern Saskatchewan. Imagine! At 14 he was shipped west to Vancouver - a journey he made by rail and by himself to a home he did not know. He caddied at the UBC Golf Club to get by and spoke quietly about going for walks alone on Christmas Day to glimpse 'other families' happiness from the street. Somehow he managed and graduated from King George High. He met my Mom playing baseball - she was the score-keeper and cared for all the fellows wristwatches during the games. Dad was a natural at sports. He wasn't big, but he was fluid, fast and nimble on the ice. He often complained that he didn't have a strong slap-shot, but he could place his wrist-shot anywhere there was a hole. Off the ice, the links were his home. In fact, had he not been married, he could have seriously considered going pro. "Don't try and murder the ball son, just give it a reason to go where you want it to go". I believe his grandson 
Alex Crowston
 inherited that gene, while his artistic hand passed on to 
Graham Crowston
He worked for a number of years with Swift Premium Meats as an 'Efficiency Expert' - a joke my Mom milked to death for their entire marriage. There followed a succession of sales jobs - he was a personable, friendly guy, sales came easy to him. In retirement he and Mom were dedicated and long-time volunteers at the Surrey Memorial Hospital. He once recieved in appreciation, a little pin commemorating his 2000 hours of community service. He also contributed both on-stage performance and stage-hand assistance for 'The Vaudevillians', a travelling road-show and fund raising group for seniors. His performance of McCrae's 'In Flanders Field' has never failed to bring a tear to my eye.
Mom and Dad moved to the Comox Valley a few years ago, and loved it here. "Should have done this years ago!" he often said.
After Mom's passing in 2019, my Dad and I grew much closer. Together we would chat, me, the recording engineer, speaking overly loudly and precisely in one word sentences while he read my lips. (The man couldn't hear a thing! And wouldn't Freud have fun with that bit!) But lucky, lucky me, because without all those encounters, I might never have learned that his sweet-tooth handily eclipsed my own, that he believed strongly in social responsibility and in extending good will towards others.
He was, I know, loved to bits by his grand daughters 
Tricia Lawrence
Kristina Lawrence
 as he loved them both back. To my brother, Chris Crowston, and me, Dad was a real-life, honest to goodness Hero.
I will miss terribly his wonderful sense of humour, his wit, his caring compassion, and his loving, considered council. Were that I might ever rise to be half the man he was to me I can only wish.
And so, as we always shared in toast; 'Here's to those who wish us well Dad, and all the rest... '