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Submitted by katrina on Tue, 07/04/2023 - 10:17:AM

                             Former Chief of the Defence Staff

                                         Order of Canada

On Saturday, July 1, 2023, at the age of 88 years in the presence of his loving family. Survived by his beloved wife and dear companion of 66 years, Margaret (née Nickel). Dear father of Bob (Joanne), Cathy (LCol David Wiley), Peter (Pamela), Karen (Andrew Hanlon), and grandfather of Christopher, Matthew (Samantha), Ross, Emily (Todd), and Willow. Also remembered by brother Tony (Ann, deceased), of Toronto, and several nieces and nephews. Predeceased by parents Robert and Mary Manson of Deep River, ON, and sisters Marie and Claire.  

Born in Trail, BC and raised in Montreal and Deep River, Paul attended Royal Roads Military College in Victoria and Royal Military College of Canada in Kingston, graduating in 1956 with the Sword of Honour. He received BSc degrees in electrical engineering from Queen’s University and RMC, and honorary doctorates from both Royal Roads and RMC. His life of exemplary leadership began with 38 years of military service as a pilot in NATO Europe and Canada, and saw him rise to positions of increasing responsibility, including Base Commander at CFB Chatham, NB, Commander of the Canadian Air Group in Germany, and Program Manager of the New Fighter Aircraft Program, leading to the selection of the CF-18 Hornet in the late 1970s. He commanded the Air Force from 1983 to 1985 and was Canada’s Chief of the Defence Staff from 1986 to 1989.

Following military service, he became president of a large aerospace company, retiring in 1997. He will be remembered for his significant contribution to the creation of the new Canadian War Museum as volunteer chairman of the Passing the Torch Campaign, and as Chair of the Building Committee. He was Chair of the Aerospace Industries Association of Canada and of Canada’s Aviation Hall of Fame, and President of the Conference of Defence Associations Institute. He also served for five years as a trustee of the Canadian Museum of Civilization. Among his many honours were the C.D. Howe Award (1992), the Vimy Award (2003), the Order of Military Merit, the RMC Wall of Honour (2009), and induction into Canada’s Aviation Hall of Fame (2018). In 2002, he was named an Officer of the Order of Canada. He was a frequent commentator on radio and TV on defence and security issues, and wrote numerous articles on related subjects. A truly modern renaissance man, Paul Manson actively pursued lifelong interests in astronomy, archaeology, history, and genealogy. In spite of an extremely busy professional life, his loving dedication to his family never diminished, and he always found time for friends and his beloved pursuit of golf and music. He was a longtime member of the Royal Ottawa Golf Club. A skilled trombonist, he played in several bands well into his later years.

A visitation will be held on Thursday, July 13, 2023, at Beechwood Funeral, Cemetery and Cremation Services (280 Beechwood Avenue, Ottawa, ON) from 5-7pm. A memorial service will be held on Friday, July 14 at 1 pm, followed by the interment in the National Military Cemetery. Live-streaming of the service will be available from Beechwood.

In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to the Canadian War Museum or a charity of your choice.


*There are several road closures within the City of Ottawa's downtown core from July 6 to 27th.  Please consider planning your route accordingly*

Digital Guestbook

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 07/04/2023 - 01:29:PM


Linda Colwell

My deepest sympathy to Margaret and all the family. Paul Manson was a man of honour, a man dedicated to family, friends, his causes and our country. It was truly an hounour to have known him.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 07/04/2023 - 01:31:PM


Maj Gord Jenkins P/Pres NATO Vets

You were a model gentleman and leader sir-you will be missed

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 07/04/2023 - 01:43:PM


Jan Calnan

A true gentleman, loving family man and great human. He will be missed deeply by all who knew him. To the Manson family, my deepest sympathies. May your happy memories help heal your broken hearts.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 07/04/2023 - 01:48:PM


Roy and Marianne Wood

Next door neighbour and dear friends with Paul and Marg for 19 years. A unique experience with all considering our peripatetic lives. We cherish this relationship. Metropole 1105

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 07/04/2023 - 02:07:PM


Susan Calnan Ashe

My deepest sympathies to the Manson family. I have fond memories of your kind Dad from our time together in Lahr, Germany. Sending love and healing thoughts from Oak Island, North Carolina

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 07/04/2023 - 03:02:PM


Tim Seburn

Sorry for your loss, Bob and Joanne. Thinking of you. Much love.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 07/04/2023 - 04:10:PM


Matthew Carson

A caring honest gentleman and the finest of leaders. May his memory be a blessing. A fellow NATO Veteran.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 07/04/2023 - 04:18:PM


Jack Granatstein

Paul Manson was a graduate of the Royal Military College whose motto is Truth, Duty, Valour. He exemplified those virtues.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 07/04/2023 - 04:20:PM


Jim and Sandra Lambie

To Margret and Family: We send our sincere condolences on the loss of a truly fine Officer and Gentleman! Our thoughts and our prayers are with you all at this most stressful time. Will raise “A Wee Dram” in his honour on the 14th of July! God Bless!

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 07/04/2023 - 05:04:PM


Yvon Durocher (BGen Retd)

A great man who will be sadly missed.

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