VICTOR ALLAN MULHALL
June 16, 1918 to June 12, 2017
With hearts full of sadness, and also full of pride at his long and productive life of serving and loving humanity, we announce the peaceful passing of Victor Allan Mulhall, our dearly loved father, grandfather, great grandfather, and good friend, on June 12, 2017 – four days prior to his 99th birthday.
Dad was predeceased by: his beloved wife of 69 years, Nora Winifred (Win) (nee Platt); his infant son Victor; parents William George and Nora Elizabeth Mulhall (nee Tucker); infant sister Ethel; brother Michael (Louise nee Laidman); sisters Patricia (Ken) Laing; and Olive (Wilbur) Thompson; the spouses of both; his paternal grandparents Michael and Elizabeth (nee Sinclair) Mulhall; his maternal grandparents Albert Edward and Mary Elizabeth (nee Fairbridge) Tucker; his Father- and Mother-in-Law, Alfred and Rose (nee Hancock) Platt; his wife’s five siblings Rose, Alf, Lily and two great WWII war heroes Frank and Arthur; and aunts, uncles and cousins in both Canada and England. In addition, the loss of a beloved dog, Butch after many years of companionship.
Dad is survived by seven of his children and their families:
son Allan (Dianne nee Stovin); and their children: Lara (Dave) Loraas and grandchildren Riley and Alex; Tasha; Brad (Tina nee Neufeld), and grandchildren Shyla and Samuel;
son Dennis (Sharon nee Woroniuk); and their children Dean; and Tracey (Tylor Curtis), and grandson Benjamin.
daughter Barbara (Yves Beaudin) Woodard; her children’s father Gregory A. Woodard; and her children: Greg (Sheri nee Lund) and grandchildren Ronan and Keeley; and Stacey (Robyn) Anderson(Robyn;
daughter Jacqueline (Allan) Kay and their children: Lee (Ed) Houck and grandchildren Brandon, Marshal, and Hunter; Kasey; Shawn (Tracy) Kay and grandchildren Katharine, Alison and Olivia; and Gail (Scott) Hipfner and grandchildren Bodhi, Felix and Winifred;
son Douglas (Judy nee Tracey), and their sons: Darren (Krysten nee Leroux); and David (Tasha Simes) and grandchildren Nora, Sofia and Evelyn;
daughter Gail (Alan Nelson), and Gail’s son Noble Mulhall-Riggins
son Michael (Pam nee Grafe) and sons: Kurt (Kayla nee Hicks) and Troy
nephews: Ken Thompson (Suzanne Pelletier), Ian Laing, and Brent Mulhall
nieces: Wendi Schulz (nee Laing), Candace Mulhall, and Debbie Mulhall
Dad/Papa was born at home, 1350 Douglas St. Regina, Sask, June 16, 1918. He attended Public School at Benson School in Regina (until1926) Yorkton (1926-28), Balcarres (1928-30), Estevan(1930-31), and Weyburn (1931-32), and High School in Weyburn.
Dad excelled academically, winning the Leslie Gold Medal for academic excellence in grade twelve and a university scholarship. Although Dad placed great value on an education and always strongly supported his own family in their academic pursuits, his family finances prevented attendance at university immediately following grade twelve. Undaunted, Dad effectively used his high intelligence together with his love of books and all knowledge to achieve success in life. At age sixteen, he attended the Weyburn College of Commerce and became expert at Gregg shorthand, typing and all aspects of bookkeeping. In 1970, he attended university for two after-hours diploma courses and one French language immersion course
At age 18, Dad joined the RCMP in April 1937, training in Regina, followed by a posting to the Intelligence Branch at Ottawa Headquarters in July 1937. Dad was following in the family police work tradition. His father was an RCMP Sergeant-Major, his mother was a Police Matron, his paternal grandfather Michael was with the Liverpool police, and Michael’s maternal grandfather, Micheal McEvoy, the source of the family name Michael, was a policeman in his native Ireland and in Liverpool, England. At the time of his death, Dad was the oldest member of the RCMP Veterans.
However, Dad’s potential lifelong career was cut short by world events. Adolph Hitler’s ambitions of global domination threatened humanity’s freedom and security, resulting in World War Two. Dad was foremost a man of peace, with a great respect and love for humanity, and in the value of the spoken and written word, rather than the use of force in negotiations and for settling differences. However, he recognized that his personal feelings were not the top priority in the looming struggle. He volunteered in May 1940 to serve in the Royal Canadian Air Force, and was subsequently trained in Eastern Canada as a Sergeant-Pilot, and, strongly supported by his love of the sciences and mathematics, as a Navigator. Navigation became his chosen field, one which he subsequently described as “a high-risk occupation”. On his 23rd birthday, June 16, 1941, he navigated a Hudson bomber across the Atlantic from Gander, Newfoundland to Scotland, with the heavy fuel load causing the undercarriage to clip trees during takeoff from Gander and ferrying their branches across the Atlantic.
In the UK, Dad flew his initial tour of operations with two RAF squadrons, navigating Stirling bombers against European targets, being promoted from Pilot Officer to Squadron Leader and in 1943 being awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross. He didn’t ever bear any malice towards the citizens of the opposing countries, but deplored the ambitions and strategies of their leaders.
Following his initial tour of operations, Dad was posted in October 1944 to Warrington, near Liverpool to be returned to Canada for a speaking tour in support of the war effort. However, this was not to be. During his time in England, Dad had met and fallen in love with his future wife, Nora Winifred Platt, a beautiful and talented member of the Women’s Air Force (WAAF), with intelligence and a winning personality, who was a cook in the Officers’ Mess. Returning to Canada with the war still in progress would have interfered with Dad and Mom’s wonderful relationship. Dad has been very persuasive all his life, and effectively used this talent to be close to his sweetheart, signing for a second tour of operations over Europe, flying Halifax and Lancaster bombers. Fortunately, and against onerous odds, he also survived this tour. As the war was now ending, Dad and Mom were married in April 1945.
Dad remained overseas until August 1947, serving as the RCAF Liaison Officer With MRES (Missing Research and Enquiry Service). This group managed teams locating aircraft that had crashed during operations, and identifying the burial locations of their crew members.
After living in a badly bombed section of London for two years, Dad and Mom and their firstborn Allan travelled to Canada on the luxury liner converted to troop carrier, Aquitania, in August 1947. They landed in Halifax and subsequently rode the train to Regina.
In October, 1947, the family moved to Weyburn, Saskatchewan, where Dad was employed as a bookkeeper with his brother-in-law Wilbur’s car dealership, Thompson Motors. In 1948 Dad became an entrepreneur, as the owner/ operator of an appliance and radio/TV sales and repair business, which in 1950 he named Western Agency.
Dad and Mom were very happy during the years of raising their large family with limited resources in Weyburn, always saying that the many joys of raising a large family more than compensated for the hard work required. Dad worked long hours to balance income with expenditures, and Mom did the same to ensure the family was well-dressed, well-fed, and happy and healthy.
In 1961, Dad accepted employment with Canada Manpower as an Employment Counsellor, rising to the position of Manager of the Weyburn Office. Dad accepted subsequent moves as the Manager of a much larger Canada Manpower Office in Red Deer in 1973 and then to Edmonton in May, 1977 as Assistant to the Area Manager. The Red Deer assignment resulted in the family, now with only two children still home in the nest, being uprooted to Red Deer, leaving behind many cherished friendships that were maintained through letters, telephone calls and periodic visits. The assignment to Edmonton was in the twilight of Dad’s career, and he chose to commute, spending weekdays in Edmonton and weekends in Red Deer, rather than again uproot his family. Dad retired from the Edmonton posting in December 1978. However his boundless energy again called on him, and he became a Labour Relations Officer in Red Deer in September 1979. finally retiring from employment on his 65th birthday, June 1983.
Dad greatly enjoyed the opportunities retirement provided to have time with Mom, and with his large family, which continued to grow with grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Dad remained self-reliant to the end, with his wonderfully sharp mind fully intact. He lived alone in his home after Mom’s 2014 passing; maintaining a driver’s license, shopping for groceries and other items, and leaving the house a few times each week to meet with groups of friends to keep up with events and opinions. His passing was exactly as he would have wanted. He had driven to attend an Air Force meeting, and parked; as he was walking hurriedly through the parking lot, His body was unable to keep up with his mind’s strong desire to see his friends, and he fainted and fell. He was taken to hospital, with several family members by his side. A day and a half later, he slipped peacefully away.
Dad was at all times, a man of integrity. His word was his bond. He was also constantly eager to supress his own needs for the good of his family, friends and business associates, knowing that this path leads to true happiness.
As a family man, Dad realized as children grow into adults, they need wisdom, counselling and gentle guidance. Dad was always very capable at filling these needs. However, his wisdom extended beyond being able to provide useful information, to a much deeper understanding of human nature. He knew innately that adolescents cannot be constrained within tight bounds, but instead require the freedom to stretch and explore their capabilities. Along with this freedom come risks. Dad and Mom at times felt much pain as members of their growing family made less than ideal choices. However, he knew that the unconditional love and support from both Mom and Dad would see us through these times, and on the other side would emerge – similar to ugly caterpillars entering a cocoon and exiting as beautiful and exotic butterflies – happy and productive adults. Dad and Mom gave all of us a great start to enter our own lives.
In addition to his love of science, Dad loved the humanities. Following a typical lengthy work day, reconnecting with Mom and his kids, and another in a long series of the nutritious and delicious hot home-cooked meals prepared by Mom, he would often regenerate by laying on the carpet in the living room, absorbing the melodies as his large collection of classical and jazz LPs spun on his Hi-Fi, while reading Scientific American, a classical novel, a treatise on philosophy, and even the odd MAD magazine. He wrote long, informative letters, and composed numerous excellent poems.
On weekends, Dad would reserve family time. He had a gift for story-telling, and would enthrall us with colorful tales of global events and daily life, usually concluding with a moral to provide guidance in our lives.
Family get-togethers were always filled with much laughter and swapping of new stories. Dad also participated for many years in an annual fishing holiday for the males of the clan that was the source of long-lasting legends and unbelievable fish photos.
Dad’s lifetime of service to others included the following: leader in Weyburn of a troop of Air Cadets; and leadership roles in Kinsmen, Rotary, with the City of Weyburn Economic Development Committee, and with Home and School associations. For his service to others, Dad was awarded the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal in 2002, and again in 2012 the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal. In 2014, at the age of 96, France awarded him the rank of Knight of the French National Order of the Legion of Honor, for his valued contributions to the successful D-Day campaign, a key battle in winning World War Two.
Although Dad is no longer with us, his wisdom, gentle guidance and unconditional love will remain with us always.
SERVICE, INTERMENT AND MEMORIES:
A Service of Remembrance will be held 1:30PM July 15, 2017 at the Parkland Funeral Home 6287 – 67A Street (Taylor Drive) Red Deer, Alberta. A private interment will follow at a later date in the Veterans Section of Hillcrest Cemetery, Weyburn, Saskatchewan.
In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to the charity of your choice. To share condolences and memories, please visit www.parklandfuneralhome.com.