It is with mixed emotions and sadness we announce the passing of Sydney Read, cherished father, grandfather, great-grandfather, papa and best friend! He passed away on December 12, 2017 at the young-looking age of, in his words, 95 1/2 years, having had a fulfilling and blessed life.
Syd was born on June 2, 1922 on the farm at Section 22, Township 19, Range 16, West of the 2nd to William and Edith Read, who had immigrated from England quite a few years prior to his arrival. Dad was the eighth of nine siblings and some time after this, his dad and oldest brother Harold each homesteaded a quarter of land in the Snowden or Choiceland area of northern Saskatchewan. Dad often said he was born into a family that didn’t have a lot of wealth but there was always enough food to eat and lots of love.
In November of 1942 at the age of 20 years, Dad went to Edmonton and on the 16th of the month enlisted in the Royal Canadian Air Force. From Edmonton six weeks later he was sent to Lethbridge for further training. Then from there he was sent to the East Coast and to England on the QE Ship. He celebrated his 21st birthday near Southhampton where he was in the 6th Group Bomber Command. “D” Day took place on June 6, 1944 and on June 30th Dad’s unit went to Normandy and then on into France, Belgium, Holland and Germany. After the war ended he spent some time in Germany and then back to England where he sailed from Southhampton on the Ile-de-France to New York and then train to Halifax. Finally after two weeks in Halifax he headed back home to Saskatchewan and on the 31st day of May 1946 was formally discharged in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
On February 15, 1947 he married the sweetheart who waited for him to come home from overseas! Dad said his brother Stan came with them to Prince Albert to witness the wedding. They had very little cash and no job but the very next morning a stranger stopped Dad on the street and asked him if he was looking for work. In turn that job led to a career with the provincial and federal governments working in Natural Resources and Northern Development! There was never a doubt in Dad’s mind that God blessed him then and throughout his life.
In March of 1948 they were blessed with a son and again in 1954 with a daughter. Shortly after Arlene was born Dad tried his hand at farming for about three years, but with the persuasion of several Northern Development co-workers he returned to the federal government until retirement in 1979.
In 1979 they moved to the farm east of Davidson where they lived until 1995 when they moved to Regina. There Dad and Mom were blessed to spend time getting to know Arlene and Rick’s two children, Brittany and Aaron, plus we were blessed that our youngest daughter Chelsea lived with them for four years as she attended the U of R.
In 2000 they moved back to Davidson and Dad and Mom enjoyed 10 years travelling, camping and their favourite, fishing up north!
Then in February 2010 Mom had to move into the long-term care facility in Davidson and until her passing on December 20, 2013 Dad was still her constant companion. Dad was amazing as, although legally blind, he continued to live on his own in the Elks units by the Davidson hospital. He was so blessed by friends Art and Emma Shaw, Marcella Strange, Frances Haugerud, Francis and Valda Cool and many others who took time to touch his life!
Family was so important to Dad and he is survived by his son Dale (Ruth) Read of Davidson and daughter Arlene (Rick) Kyle of Cochrane, Alta.
He is also survived by his grandchildren Kimberly (Darren) Bull, Troy (Leanne) Read, Chelsea (Jason) Craig, Brittany and Joe Dijker (Kyle) and Aaron Kyle; great-grandchildren Courtney (Braeden Lang), Brooklyn, Andrew and Emily Read, Samuel, Tucker and Isabella Bull and River Craig; also step great-grandson, Tyler Bull.
Syd was predeceased by his parents, all of his siblings and his wife Helen.
The interment took place on January 4, 2018 at Family Plot, Crockin Hill Cemetery, Choiceland, Sask.
Arrangements entrusted to Hanson’s Funeral Home, Davidson.
A celebration of Syd’s life was held on Saturday, Jan. 6, 2018 at 2 p.m. at New Life Pentecostal Assembly in Davidson with Rev. John Slemming and Rev. Scott Crawford officiating.