Bert passed away peacefully on Monday, November 3rd, 2014 at the age of 93, joining his beloved wife, Marie who predeceased him in 2004, as well as parents, Joseph and Mercy and brothers, Cal (Eleanor) and Cec (Bess).  Born in Castor, Alta., Bert is survived by his son, Don (Nancy); daughter, Karen (Chip); grandchildren, Andrea (Chris), Jennie (Trevor), Jon, Jamie and Jeff and great-grandchild, Zachary.

Bert is lovingly remembered as a selfless, kind and gentle soul – a humble hero who risked his life as an RCAF pilot in the Second World War to help preserve our freedom. Raised in Nelson, B.C., he lived there until 1967Royal Canadian Airforce when his government work took him to Victoria, where he retired as a director of the B.C. Assessment Authority 30 years ago. A devoted family man and Christian, Bert inspired us with his grace and courage, especially in dealing with failing eyesight in later years.

A memorial service will be held at 1:00 pm on Friday, November 14, 2014  at St. Aidan’s United Church, 3703 St. Aidan’s Street in Victoria.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Bert’s name to the CNIB.

Condolences may be offered to the family below.

McCall Bros. Funeral Home
www.mccallbros.com

 

  • Gennifer Stainforth

    I was thinking of Bert today when I decided to look him up and learned that he had passed on. It is with very fond memories that I recall meeting Bert. We met when I hosted him for the 404 Squadron reunion weekend in 2006 in Greenwood, Nova Scotia where I flew as a flying instructor at the time. Bert shared his very moving and personal memories of his time with 404 Squadron with us. My fellow air crew and I felt honoured to meet him. When I was posted to Ottawa, I worked in a job that found me travelling to Victoria. I contacted Bert to see if we could meet again, and sure enough he agreed. I have a wonderful memory of him coming to pick me up and take me out for fish and chips one fine evening and I so enjoyed spending this time with him.
    Bert was one of my heroes and how he handled himself served as an example to me and is a story that I share with my children. I am so thankful that our paths crossed.
    My condolences to all who miss him.

  • Colleen Ratushny nee Ramsden

    I’m so sorry to hear of Bert’s passing. We didn’t communicate often but enjoyed it when we did. We both are admitted procrastinators. I’ll miss his notes.

  • Herb & Dorathy Lexa

    To Don & Karen & everyone in the extended Ramsden family.

    Both Dorathy and I are deeply saddened to learn of Bert’s passing.

    While it is challenging to find the right words to acknowledge the loss of a loved one, our condolences and deepest sympathy go out to you and everyone in the Ramsden family.

    May the precious memories and cherished moments you hold dear to your heart help comfort you during this time of loss

    In Memory of H.W.R. Ramsden – AKA to some as BIll, Bob & Bert

    WITH OUR SYMPATHY

    Herb, Dorathy, Darren & Jason Lexa
    Dawson Creek, BC

    To Don & Karen,

    I had the good fortune to meet your Dad in 1968, my rookie year with the Surveyor of Taxes Office which, in part, morphed into BC Assessment in 1974. I consider it both an honor and a privilege to have known Bert as a mentor and as a friend. A more genuine person would be very difficult to find in anyone’s lifetime.

    A couple of my special memories include (1) celebrating Bert’s 50th birthday while working on a re-assessment project in Fort Nelson, BC and (2) an opportunity for me to get Bert behind the controls of an airplane during a beautiful evening low level flight hedge hopping across the Peace River region of NE BC during one of Bert’s visit to our local Assessment Office.

    Herb

  • Bette Jean Scott

    To Karen and Don and families
    Please accept our condolences on the passing of your Dad.
    (Brenda was kind enough to let us know)

    From Shirley and George Mowat, Gay Robinson, Jim and Eileen Scott, Bette Jean Scott and Tom and Bonnie Scott
    (Agnes and Jim Scott’s kids)

  • t.millar bryce

    BERT AND I WERE SQUADRON MATES ON #404 SQUADRON. HE WAS A PILOT AND I WAS A NAVIGATOR. #404 SQUADRON SPENT MUCH OF THE WAR FLYING THE BEAUFIGHTER, AND IN THE LAST MONTHS OF THE WAR WE FLEW MOSQUITOES. BERT AND I WERE THE ONLY TWO MEMBERS THAT SERVED ON #404 DURING WWII THAT ATTENDED THE NORWEGIAN MEMORIAL TO #404 SQUADRON AT FJORD, NORWAY. THIS TOWN AND HARBOR ARE THE LOCATION OF THE BLACK FRIDAY CATASTROPHE. BERT FLEW ON THIS MISSION AND GAVE A VIVID DESCRIPTION OF WHAT HE EXPERIENCED.
    I AGREE WITH WHAT MANY HAVE SAID ABOUT BERT, AND I ALSO AGREE THAT HE WAS A VERY FINE PERSON. HIS FAMILY CAN BE VERY PROUD OF HIM.

  • Jeannie Burns

    My heartfelt condolences to Karen, Don and your families on the loss of Bert. He was one of the sweetest young men I ever had the pleasure to work for and I will always remember him and Smokey. I will miss his smile, kind heart, and sense of humor. I am happy he is now at peace and reunited with Marie.

  • Ginny Lang

    Karen, Don and families,

    My memories of Uncle Bert are warm and many – he was as a treasure, a joy, a gentle soul, an unsung hero and a true gentleman who had a remarkable way of making every one of us feel cherished and special – our lives were made richer and gladder with his presence. He will be missed by so many.

    Thinking of you with heartfelt sympathy,
    Ginny

  • Greg Bunyan

    Don. My condolences to you and your family. Haven’t seen you in years. Let’s catch up and tell some old stories about the old days.

  • Russell Hennessey

    Bert was a real gentleman with a great ability to make friends easily. He was one of the finest men I have ever had the pleasure to be with, on and off the Uplands Golf Course. Always smiling and comforting to anyone whom he associated.
    God Bless you Bert; your friend Russ.

  • Dene Mainguy

    Though I did not know Bert for very long, I delighted in his gentle friendship, and the chats with Don and Karen. I will miss him, and I offer my sincere condolences to the family.
    Dene

  • Daryl Hayward

    I worked with Bert for twenty years and it was only many years after he had retired that I learned that Bert was a true Canadian hero. He was a quiet dignified man who never once discussed or mentioned his WW II experiences. Bert was a Beaufighter pilot during WW II and he participated in the infamous Black Friday raid (07 February 1945) when Bert and other Beaufighter pilots attacked enemy ships in a fjord on the Western coast of Norway. Bert survived but 9 Beaufighters were shot down (6 were from Bert’s RCAF 404 Squadron).

    We owe much to heroes like Bert. On November 11th please pause for a moment and think about Bert – a young man flying a twin-engined Beaufighter under heavy enemy fire from ships at anchor in the cold Norwegian fjord on 07 February 1945.

  • Margaret Minter

    I got to know Bert when he moved into Ophir Place. He was a gentle soul and always had a smile. I used to tease him about waking me up when I was a little girl growing up in Scotland, and we would hear planes droning overhead on their way across the North Sea.
    Peace my friend, you have earned your rest.
    My condolences go out to his family.

  • Lorna Allen

    So sorry to hear of your father’s passing. Condolences to all the family,

  • Lieutenant Colonel David Proteau

    Dear Ramsden Family:
    Although I never met Bert, I was told that he was previously a member of 404 Squadron, the Squadron I currently Command.
    As a Beaufighter pilot participating in Black Friday, probably the most significant event on our Squadron’s history, Bert cemented himself as a “404 Buffalo” forever.
    It is with great sadness that I hear of his passing. On behalf of all members of 404 Squadron, past and present, please accept our deepest sympathies in these difficult times.
    Respectfully,

    LCol David Proteau
    Commanding Officer
    404 “Buffalo” Squadron

  • Major Chris Larsen

    Meeting and getting to know Bert, a 404 Squadron veteran, was a highlight of my military career. His bravery and service during the Second World War, when he was a Beaufighter Pilot with 404 (Buffalo) Squadron, was truly inspirational. Being able to participate in the Black Friday memorial in Norway with Bert and Don, to hear Bert’s stories and singing of a quiet hymn while divers were placing a monument at a crashed Beaufighter deep in a fjord near Naudstal is a life memory for me. I wish I could be there for your farewell to Bert.

  • Dorothee Friese and Terry Moore

    Although we did not know your father very well, we remember him as a gentle man with a twinkle in his eye. We are so sorry for your loss but know that he is in a better place.

    Dorothee and Terry

  • Edena Ralph

    Thinking of you and your family in this time of sorrow. Sincere condolences to all the family. Love Edena xoxo

  • David & Patsy Cress

    We were so sorry to hear of Uncle Bert’s passing. He was one of the sweetest persons we have ever known. Please accept our deepest sympathy.

  • Emmy & Val Kamaldnieks

    Bert was truly an amazing man, whose kind gentle soul touched everyone. I was lucky to have known him. He will be missed by his family, friends and many acquaintances.

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