Denis Brown was born in South Wales in 1929 to William and Gertrude.  From an early age, he was fascinated by aircraft, apprenticing with the Bristol Airplane Company, completing his BSc (Eng) at Bristol University, going on to a Masters (Toronto) and Ph.D. (Bristol).  In Bristol, Denis met the love of his life, Joan Fuller, marrying her in Lyddington, Wiltshire, England in 1953; Denis looked so handsome in his Royal Navy (Fleet Air Arm) since he was doing his two-year military service at the time.  In 1954, the young couple emigrated to Canada, first to Quesnel where his parents and sister Lilian (Stuart) were living on a remote bush farm.  A few months later, Avro Canada hired Denis so they moved to Toronto where Christina (Tom) was born.  In 1960, Denis moved to the National Research Council in Ottawa, beginning a 32-year career as a research engineer testing aerofoils in the supersonic wind tunnel.  Helen and Morgan (Catharine) were born within a few years of settling in the nation’s capital.  The most difficult part of his life was the loss of Helen at the age of fifteen.  But he said that, through Joan’s God-given strength, they were brought through that time of profound grief.

Upon retirement, he and Joan moved to Victoria where they spent many happy years, becoming involved in the welcoming church of St. David’s-by-the-Sea Anglican Church.  His Welsh heritage was always important to him; he was very active in the Victoria Welsh Society and edited their newsletter.  He also played cricket up island at Shawnigan Lake.  Throughout his career, Denis travelled to places including USA, Israel, Italy, and Australia.  Denis and Joan took many trips together to visit family in the UK, as well as their children, grandchildren and great-granddaughters (Julia and Katie) in Canada.

Denis was interested in many things, especially debating history and politics!  He loved music, singing with St. David’s choir and attending Victoria Symphony concerts.  He was also twice warden of St. David’s and helped instill in his children a deep faith.  Another joy was his sailboat Slider; he was always looking for crew to ride the waves.  He encouraged further education, and it was a great pride and joy to see his children and five grandchildren: David (Eilidh), Heather (Clint), Megan (Christopher), Nicholas and Severn, obtain university degrees.  Denis lived his life with integrity; his love for family and commitment to whatever he took on were key components of a life well lived, and well loved.  We shall miss him – beloved husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, brother and friend.

A Memorial Service will be held at St. David’s-by-the-Sea Anglican Church, 5182 Cordova Bay Road, Victoria, at 4:30 pm on Saturday, July 14, 2018, with a reception to follow.

In lieu of flowers, donations would be appreciated to a charity of your choice.

Condolences may be offered to the family below.

McCall Gardens

  • Jen Pearon
    July 17, 2018

    Dear Joan and family,

    Denis was a faithful member of the Victoria Welsh Society, and as editor of the newsletter he will be greatly missed. We all thoroughly enjoyed the informative and entertaining news he managed to find for each edition, and it was much appreciated by all.

    Please accept our sincere condolences, our thoughts are with you.

    The Victoria Welsh Society

  • Jocelyn & Hardy
    July 13, 2018

    Dear Morgan, Katherine, Nick & Severn:
    Please accept our sincere condolences on the death of your father and grandfather. Our prayers for peace, strength and courage are offered for you daily.
    Jocelyn & Hardy

  • Richard (Rick) Williamson
    July 13, 2018

    It was with real sadness that I saw the death notice of Denis Brown in the Ottawa Citizen. I had known Denis in the 1960s at the NRC in Ottawa, but had never realised just how similar our original paths had been. Although 9 years younger than Denis, I too had completed a 5 year apprenticeship with Bristol Aircraft, and a BSc and later a PhD at Bristol U. I first met Denis when I joined the Gas Dynamics Lab, and found him a great help in getting to know the way things worked. Although in later years our paths in NRC diverged somewhat, I always enjoyed my contacts with Denis, and was sorry to lose touch as he migrated West on his retirement. I can only offer Joan and the whole family my sincere condolences on his passing.

  • Hilda Young
    July 12, 2018

    sorry for your loss. thinking of Morgan, Catherine, Nick and Severn. I know the he passed on his passion for life to Morgan and his family.

  • Ian McMaster
    July 12, 2018

    My condolences to Dennis’ family and friends. I worked with Dennis at High Speed Aerodynamics in the late sixties, and I fondly remember our daily conversations (often longer than my boss would have preferred!) in which we traded views from opposite sides of the political fence. Dennis was always a thoughtful, gentle, articulate man, and I enjoyed our three-year stint together. I’m sure he has enriched many lives since then, and am glad to hear of the fullness of his later years in British Columbia. Diolch, Dennis.

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