Rick passed away peacefully at the May Court Hospice in Ottawa on Saturday September 9, 2023, at the age of 85. Beloved husband of Beverley Williamson (Whitehead). Loving father of Ian (Teressa), Peter (Anita), Derek (Katie), and Sue Brown (Mike). Cherished grandfather of Sabrina and Sam (Abby); Eric, Megan, and Krista; Laura, Julia (Andrew Breslin), and Patrick; Erica (Julien), and Nicole. Brother-in-law to Janet Whitehead and the late Bruce Whitehead.
Rick was born July 11, 1938, near Nottingham, England to Eric and Lorna Williamson. An only child whose father soon left to fight in World War II, Rick developed a keen interest in flying and airplanes at an early age. This led to an aeronautical engineering degree from the University of Bristol and the opportunity to fly Chipmunks with the RAF University Air Squadron.
In 1961 he emigrated to Canada to pursue a career with the National Research Council. Once here he soon embraced new activities - sailing, skiing, canoeing, and hiking, and this is how he met his very active wife. He married Bev in 1962 and went on to raise four busy children. Together they spent hours on the slopes, went on canoe trips and hikes, and enjoyed many road trips to Saint John to visit relatives and sail. To relax, he loved to play piano by ear, creating his own arrangements of familiar tunes. One could always count on Rick to pick up new tunes quickly, and sing harmony when others started singing carols or happy birthday.
In retirement, he and Bev travelled extensively, including ski trips out west, windsurfing in Hatteras, and hiking in the Rockies, the UK, and the Alps, to name but a few. Rick was exceedingly proud of his 4 children and 10 grandchildren. He loved to hear stories of their accomplishments and new adventures. Last year he and Bev celebrated 60 years of a happy marriage!
Always ready with a quick pun and a great laugh, Rick taught us all so much. He will be missed greatly by his family but also by former colleagues at the NRC, skiers at Camp Fortune, sailing and windsurfing friends, fellow model aircraft flyers and the close community of neighbours.
Family and friends are invited to attend Beechwood Funeral, Cemetery and Cremation Services (280 Beechwood Avenue, Ottawa), on Sunday, September 24th, 2023, for a Celebration of Life from 2:00 to 4:30 p.m. with Words of Remembrance at 3:00 p.m. For those who wish to make a donation in Rick’s memory, please consider giving to the May Court Hospice.
Bev and Family, I am…
Bev and Family, I am saddened to learn of Rick’s passing. May he live on in the many memories of good times shared.
Heather (Whitehead) Erickson
I have known and loved Uncle Rick from as far back as I can remember. His abundant positive energy and bright smile filled the room with joy and laughter. With Uncle Rick everything was possible and the challenge of learning it was fun. I already miss him.
Dick & Sally Keilty
Thinking of you, Sue, at this very difficult time.
We hope your special memories of your father bring you comfort. Our sincere condolences to you, Mike, Erica and Nicky.
Obviously Rick passed on a lot of very admirable traits to his son, Ian. I'm sure he was very proud of the man you became. Our condolences to you, your family, your siblings and to your mother.
Bruce John Day
Very sad news. Ann and I send our condolences to Bev and family. It was a privilege to know and work with Rick.
Thinking of all of you at this time. He live an inspiring life and was a man to be admired. He will be missed.
So sorry to hear of your loss Bev and family. May the good memories bring you solace.