Arthur Patrick Colfer passed away in the early-morning hours of Monday, Oct. 1, 2012 at La Verendrye Hospital in Fort Frances, Ont.
He was born May 8, 1923 in Kenora, Ont., where, along with his brother, James, he starred on the hockey team and finished his education before enlisting into the air force in 1942.
In his air force training in Dafoe, Sask., he taught Browning machine gun training until moving to Regina, Sask. in 1943 for pilot training. After receiving his “wings” in Brandon, Man., he was transferred out of the air force on a “leave-without-pay” to the Canadian Pacific Airlines air observer school program at NO 5 AOS in Winnipeg, Man. as a staff pilot and pilot trainer, where he flew nights for bombing, gunnery, and night navigation practices.
He was recalled into the military in 1945 and discharged in 1946 into the Air Crew Reserve. He then flew commercial from 1946-49 with Starrat Airways after writing the first Senior Commercial Pilot’s Licence in Western Canada.
On Oct. 23, 1950, Arthur was united in marriage to Betty May Millan in Sioux Lookout, Ont. He accepted a job with the Department of Lands and Forests, Air Service Division, that year, spending winters in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. and summers at the flying bases in Orient Bay on Lake Nipigon and Fort Frances until 1957.
In 1957, the family, Betty with daughter, Ellen Lee, and son, Patrick John, moved permanently to Fort Frances, where Art flew for the ministry until his retirement in 1986.
Art had a rewarding and colourful career in flying before he retired from the Air Service Division of Natural Resources. He continued to fly his own airplanes: a twin engine Apache on wheels, then a Cessna 180 on floats until 2009.
What a joy it was to fly with Art as he pointed out the hidden waterfalls, creeks, and beaches of the lakes he knew so well.
Along with flying, Art enjoyed reading, cross-country skiing, carpentry, hunting, and fishing, and spent many hours on those peaceful northern lakes he had come to love.
Those who knew him will remember his gentle manner, playful but sometimes sarcastic humour, attention to detail, and perfection and pride in his work. His sense of loyalty to work only was surpassed by his pride and loyalty to his family.
Arthur was predeceased by his mother and father; and brother, James Colfer.
He will be sadly missed by his wife, Betty; daughter, Ellen Lee; son, Patrick John and his wife, Pamela; son, Johnathan Patrick; his brother’s wife, Betty; and nephew, Allan and his wife, Gloria, and family.
At Art’s request, there will not be a service or funeral.
You must know that if there are walleye in Heaven, Art already has his limit on the stringer, another on the hook, and a twinkle in his eye.
Happy fishing, Art.
Online condolences may be offered at www.northridgefuneralhome.com