Sunday, 28 October 2018

Althea Douglas RIP

DOUGLAS, Althea Cleveland (McCoy) McGill U., M.N.I., IMAX 1926-2018

On October 21, 2018 at Ottawa, ON in her 91st year. Predeceased by her husband of 58 years (m. February 28, 1948), J. Creighton Douglas. Only daughter of the late George E. and "Nan" (Chapman) McCoy of Moncton, N.B., Toronto and Montreal. She is survived by her good friend and sister-in-law Margaret Douglas of Sutton, QC, nephew Dr. David Douglas (Shelley) of Navan, ON, and nieces Deb Armstrong (Dr. Don) of Guelph, ON and Sharon Westbrook (John) of Ottawa, ON. Also survived by seven great-nieces and nephews; Meghan, Jessica, Stephanie, Lisa, Brittany, Trevor and Douglas. Born in Moncton, NB, Althea grew up in Toronto, attending Branksome Hall School. Her family moved to Montreal where she received her B.Sc. and M.A. degrees from McGill University, married and lived in that city for over 30 years. For 10 years she enjoyed herself as a costume designer in Montreal and New York, then changed careers and became an associate editor with the Burney Project at McGill University. This meant research in England, the U.S. and France. Later, as archivist of the Dr. Wilder Penfield Collection at the Montreal Neurological Institute, she served researchers from the other side of the desk. In the process, she became a genealogist and was certified by The Genealogical Institute of the Maritimes (Canada) in 1989. In 1981 her husband joined IMAX Corp., moving to Toronto where Althea was soon contracted as a technical writer and editor at IMAX. She is the author of numerous articles on genealogy, local Canadian history and heritage conservation. She and her husband collaborated on Canadian Railway Records: A Guide for Genealogists published by the Ontario Genealogical Society (OGS) in 1994, an expanded and revised edition of which came out in 2004. After moving to Ottawa where she worked as a professional genealogist, Althea continued to write. OGS published 3 books of genealogical advice, others on conservation and Genealogy, Geography and Maps (OGS, 2006) - probably her favorite. Finding Your Ancestors in English Quebec was published by Heritage Productions in 2001, Finding Your Ancestors in New Brunswick in 2002, and Research at the Library and Archives Canada in 2003 with several revisions in subsequent years. Her last book was A Time Traveller's Handbook- A Guide to the Past (published by Dundurn /OGS in 2011). Always the archivist, her later years were devoted to sorting and finding homes for family letters and documents accumulated over several generations as well as files and books from her own varied career.

The above paragraphs were written by Althea in August 2014 using her motto "On the principle that if you want it done right, do it yourself!" To carry on from this however, we would like to add that Althea was a unique soul. She was smart as a whip, with a quick wit and an enviable memory right to the end. She and Creighton were a perfect match and shared a love of travel and the arts - visual, theatre, music, the ballet (not the opera!). While she had very fond memories of the various places they lived, she was immensely proud of her New Brunswick roots and her cottage in Brulé held a very special place in her heart. Althea moved from her home in Ottawa to a retirement residence in 2015. We are grateful to the staff for the care she received. The family will hold a private graveside service at a later date. Should you wish to make a donation in Althea's memory we invite you to consider Habitat for Humanity, University of Ottawa Heart Institute, and the Alzheimer Society Canada. Condolences/Tributes/Donations Hulse, Playfair & McGarry 613-233-1143

From the Ottawa Citizen, 27 October 2018

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