It is with sadness that we announce the passing of Paul Ivor Dalseg at the age of 93.
He passed away peacefully, at home, with the loving care of family and caregivers.
Paul was born on the family farm in McInnes Creek, Spohn Township on Aug. 5, 1924.
His wife, Eleanor, with whom he shared a loving and blessed marriage for 50 years, predeceased him. He also was predeceased by his siblings, Harley, Norman, Melvin, Roy, and Judy.
Paul will be immensely missed by his son, Paul (Martha), and daughter, Pam Williams, and their families. He was a proud grandfather to Chris Dalseg (Sheena), Tim Dalseg (Amanda), Graham Dalseg (Katelyn), and Kirsten Williams (Durrell Borden) and great-grandfather to Eloise, Lachlan, and Harrison. They will remember him fondly for his positive attitude and adventurous spirit.
Paul was born to Paul and Bricken Dalseg. He spent his formative years on the family farm in McGinnis Creek. Once WWII broke out, Paul waited impatiently to “sign-up.” He was accepted, at age 18, and served with the Royal Canadian Air Force.
He was posted to a Royal Air Force group and trained to fly on Lancaster bombers. He was the youngest of seven crewmembers and served in the position of mid-upper gunner. The crew was posted to Squadron #57 in Lincolnshire, England.
On May 22, 1944, their plane was shot down in the north of Holland and only two crew members survived. Paul served as a P.O.W. and was part of the “long march” in the winter of 1945. He gained his freedom in May of 1945.
In his later years, Paul would recount his war experience to those who inquired. He prefaced his comments by always saying that his story was only one of many and there were countless others who served that had it much worse than he did.
When telling his story, he often expressed his gratitude to those who helped him through the tough times. In particular, he was grateful to the Red Cross, Veterans Affairs, and to the Dutch citizens of Groningen who, to this day, continue to care for the graves of his fallen crewmembers.
After Paul's return to Canada, he settled in Dryden, Ont., where he met and married Eleanor Gofton. It was in Dryden where Paul started his business career. He built the local Brewer's Retail store and managed it for 10 years.
He saw the potential for an automotive and hardware store in Dryden. In 1961, he became a Canadian Tire dealer and opened a store in Dryden. In 1965, he acquired the Canadian Tire store in Port Credit, Ont. and in 1971 became the dealer of the Sault Ste. Marie store.
The Queen Street store was relocated to a new store on McNabb Street in 1974. It was here that Paul often was remembered as the fellow sweeping or shovelling the front entrance of the store while cheerfully greeting staff and customers as they arrived in the morning.
He enjoyed his years with Canadian Tire and it was clear that it was all about the people. That philosophy rang true when it came to his community and his interest in finding ways to engage and help make a difference.
He was fully supportive and engaged with the United Way, Chamber of Commerce, Rotary Club, Canadian Bushplane Heritage Centre, Royal Canadian Air Force Association, and the Masonic Lodge, among many other organizations. He did what he could to live up to his commitment to build stronger communities and supports for its citizens.
A funeral service took place on April 23, 2018.
In memoriam donations are gratefully received by the Riverside Foundation for Health Care or a charitable organization of your choice.