Bruce HICKS (1939-2021)
It is with great sadness that we wish to announce the peaceful passing of Bruce Hicks.
He will forever be in the hearts of his wife Gail; his children Kimberly (Bjarki Hallgrimsson), Randy (Laurie LeGallais) and Jamie; his grandchildren Björn, Kaj, Simon and Gabrielle; and his nephew Scott (Shelly Jackson) and niece Elaine (Robert Reaper) who became part of the family fold at a young age. Bruce also leaves behind his sister Joy (Keith McBain), his sisters-in law Diane and Barbara (Ted Knight) and cherished nieces and nephews whose company he always enjoyed.
Bruce was born on February 13, 1939 in Quebec City to Freeda McKinley and William Hicks of Valcartier Village. He was the youngest of seven children, with four sisters (Willa, Shirley, Norma and Joy) and two brothers (Lynn and Conrad). Bruce passed away on July 8 at the Garry J. Armstrong Long-Term Care Home in Ottawa after a prolonged battle with Alzheimer’s disease.
In 1961, Bruce married the love of his life, Gail. They had almost 60 years together of building memories and celebrating milestones. They never missed a chance to hit the dance floor, which is where their love story began. Even as his memory faded, Bruce always responded to the music that they enjoyed together as dance partners. Throughout their married life, they loved to spend time with family and friends, play cards, fish, sing and travel. Enjoying life to the fullest is very much part of who Bruce was, especially with Gail by his side. Anyone who knew Bruce will also tell you he loved to laugh and was a brilliant prankster. He seemed to always have a twinkle in his eye, a grin on his face and a funny story to tell. His laugh was infectious.
He will also forever be remembered as a kind, caring and personable man who had time for everyone, be they close friends or people he just met. He had a true gift for making people feel comfortable in his presence, and for helping people in whatever way he could.
In 2009, Bruce received the Moe Rosenhek Award for his outstanding contribution to volunteerism within Quebec City’s English-speaking community. This award was in recognition of his many years of service to several community foundations and attested to his innate desire to help others.
Bruce served as secretary-treasurer for the Valcartier Village Municipality for 17 years and worked for 40 years at Daishowa (formerly Anglo Pulp & Paper) until he retired at the age of 59. Sadly, Bruce was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease at the beginning of 2011. In 2014, he bravely agreed to be part of a clinical trial at Toronto Western Hospital to study the effect of deep brain stimulation on the memory portion of the brain for treating Alzheimer’s patients. We remain grateful to him for his participation in this study, as we feel it gave us all some added quality time together. Unfortunately, as with all who suffer from Alzheimer’s, Bruce continued to lose his memory and his cognitive function declined. His final and lasting gift to his family, and to those impacted by this horrible disease, is the donation of his brain for Alzheimer’s research.
Aside from his beloved family, Bruce’s greatest joy in life were his friends who spanned all age groups. In 1995, when Bruce was about to become a grandpa, the Quebec Chronicle- Telegraph’s “Newsy Notes” included this mention: “We hear that Bruce’s many friends are agonizing over a question so difficult that the upcoming referendum pales in comparison. This is: Now that Bruce is about to become a grandfather, will this be the year that he finally starts to act his age?” As a family, we feel this summarizes Dad’s/Grandpa’s character perfectly. And, in answer to this question from 1995, the response is “Fortunately, no!” Thank you to our dear family and friends for your love and support throughout this journey. Thank you as well to the wonderful staff at Garry J. Armstrong who were so compassionate and professional. Although Bruce could no longer articulate his appreciation, he could certainly feel the kindness and care you provided.
A private family visitation took place on July 12 at Beechwood Funeral Home and a celebra- tion of Bruce’s life will be held at a later date. Memorial donations to the Alzheimer Society of Canada (Alzheimer.ca) or to the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, which has a dedicated focus on Alzheimer’s research (camh.ca/en/camh-news-and-stories/camhs-world-leading-alzheimers-research), would be greatly appreciated.