Obituary of D'Arcy Coulson
Born in 1936 in Ottawa, died after a brief hospital stay in the Pontiac, of pneumonia not related to Covid, Thursday April 2, aged 83.
D'Arcy was easy to love: handsome, charming, kind, and courteous.
He had nine lives, surviving polio in 1947, high school football, World Cup and Olympic luge and bobsleigh, a 10 day coma after a fall off the roof, rolling the golf cart and dislocating his hip last year, and an ill-advised drive to Barry's Bay. It's like a mighty oak has finally fallen.
He was a student at St. Pat's, Loyola and Carleton, a priest at St. Mary's in the 1960s, a social services administrator at Ville Marie in Montreal 1973-1982, where he helped initiate the CLSC system with Jean Lesage, Deputy Minister of Social Services in Alberta 1982-5. Author, athlete, family man, friend. He had no fear of death and even wrote a book on Death and Dying.
D'Arcy was a gentle giant whose kind and generous nature is legend. He made you feel special and loved unconditionally. Entirely devoted to his wife Ann for 51 years, they spent time in their riverside home in Luskville and their summer home in Metis-sur-mer, where he maintained 5 ancient houses and a saltwater pool with water pumped from the St. Lawrence for many years where he swam every morning. Completely humble and ready to repair siding, tidy a garage, install safety fence around a deck, without even being asked.
Until Alzheimer's diminished his capacity around 2008, he was the go-to problem solver. He handled aging with grace, letting go of one passion after another: driving German cars, cooking, travel, biking, boating, power tools, especially chainsawing, his golf cart-ATV, woodworking, building saunas, workshops, kitchens and decks. He even gave up drinking and we were able to enjoy his company for some bonus years as a result. His essence seemed to distill down to courtesy, love, generosity. He also loved the mountains, and was a great alpine and cross country skier, spending time at Lake Louise and Canmore, and Val d'Isere.
So grateful for a life well-lived with countless celebrations, birthdays, anniversaries, and neighbourhood parties. He was part of the daily life of his 3 grandkids, seeing them grow into amazing young people. He was a racing dad, driving us to Gatineau ski hills. He was coach of the hockey team in St. Lambert. He created a skating rink and bobsled run in the backyard. He was a dog person, sharing life and dinner from the table with Tara, Fred, Cotton, Clancy, and Yoho.
D'Arcy's natural emphasis on family, nature, the humour to be found in all things, will inspire and touch all those who knew him for years to come. D'Arcy was a natural observer and philosopher, seeing beauty in people and the world around him. He loved Hercule Poirot, Father Brown, Tom Clancy, and Andrea Bocelli.
He lobbied the Pope to allow married priests as part of the group Corpus, travelling to Germany many times.
We very much appreciate the daily help of caregivers France, Marion, Nancy, and Sue. And the team at Bruyere Family medicine who kept him going for many years.
D'Arcy is survived by his wife Ann who cared for him through his cognitive decline, son Dominic, daughter Julie, son-in-law Josh Fine and beloved grandchildren Zack, Henry and Sophia Fine, brothers Tom (Martha Grace), Donegan (Rollande Burke), sister Dede (John) Carroll, brothers-in-law Tim (Val) and Brian Powell and Ken Grimes and many bereaved nieces and nephews and lifelong friends Bob and Cathy, Sue S, Gloria, Sean and Pat and many others. We will all miss him so much.
No funeral arrangements at this time of distancing. Possible zoom funeral, check in with Julie on facebook for details. Please see many great photos on Julie's facebook and leave comments, the family very much appreciates that way of reaching out. And stay home and stay safe!
He joins his parents D'Arcy and Denise, sister Mary-Anne and Guy, and sister Jane for a large happy wake in the sky.
Funeral Mass will be celebrated on Saturday, June 3, 2023 in St. Dominique Church, Luskville, Quebec at 4 p.m.