21 March 2009

Remembering Pat Wohler

Genealogy is richer and poorer. Poorer as John Patrick (Pat) Wohler passed away on March 14 in his 70th year. Richer for the contributions he made to family history and his community.

Pat was a BIFHSGO member, had given a Society monthly meeting presentation and only last September chaired a session at the Society annual conference. He practically accused me of high-jacking him to fill that role, which he performed with accustomed dispatch and good humour!

For several years Pat published a genealogy column in a local paper. He was always ready to boost local family history. In January I noticed the column was not appearing and enquiries told me he was not well. Contacted by email he wrote "I have had a great time and have no regrets."

My condolences to his wife and family.

The following is extracted from the notice in the Ottawa Citizen.

WOHLER, John Patrick
Pat returned to God, exactly as he wished, peacefully at home, in the loving arms of his wife, Judy on Saturday, March 14, 2009, after more than 44 years of the most beautiful marriage. He embraced the end of this life with us as he had always lived-with faith, dignity and grace we can only hope ourselves. Born in Montreal, July 24, 1939, son of the late John and Hilda (Hannan) Wohler, he met his bride one fateful evening when a table was moved and so was he; together they lived in Yellowknife, St. John's, Fredericton and Nepean, before settling outside Carp, near Almonte, raising their loving family all the way. From the Museum of Man to Signal Hill to Algonquin College he was always a man who did what was right, not what was easy or fashionable. He was a scholar, curator, woodworker, author, beekeeper, genealogist, columnist, ("The Family Historian"), farmer, historian, volunteer, philosopher, and so much more...yet always, a teacher. As his physical abilities changed to the end, so did his pursuits to match; baking sprang into his day and his recipes are already treasured by his family, his spice cake is swiftly approaching legend. But to him, his most important roles were husband and father, followed so closely by brother and son. Pat was a man you couldn't measure easily; he was full of contradictions of the best kind, the kind that make you think about yourself, what you believe and what you should believe. Though he is remembered for his intelligence, compassion, faith, integrity, wit and profound wisdom, it is love for which he will always be known. His legacy is foremost, not in the works he created, but in the hearts of those who had the privilege of knowing him. He has been, and remains, a beacon for that which guided his life

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