March 24, 1924 - May 4, 2018
Lieutenant-General K.J. Thorneycroft, CMM, CD
Kenneth John Thorneycroft passed away peacefully on 4 May 2018 at the age of 90. Born on 24 March 1928, Ken spent his early years in Swift Current, Saskatchewan until he joined the Royal Canadian Air Force in 1946. Ken enjoyed a fantastic and very successful 37 year career in the Air Force. He became a pilot in 1948 and flew many types of aircraft; the Vampire, Sabre, Harvard, CF 104 Starfighter and the CF 101 Voodoo. His career included many postings in Europe, Canada and the United States.
Early in his military career, Ken met and married the love of his life. Joan Isabelle (nee Rowland) was a registered nurse working at the Montreal General Hospital. They got married on 12 September 1953 and for the next 30 years both Ken and Joan dedicated themselves to Ken’s career in the military, often acting as Canadian ambassadors in a multitude of ways. They both loved meeting new people and travelled extensively throughout Europe, Canada and the United States. Highlights of their travels included touring our Great Canadian White North while stationed in Yellowknife, NWT and living in Germany and Colorado Springs. As much as Ken enjoyed his work, it was always the people that he and Joan met along the way that touched their hearts the most. Probably his most rewarding posting in the military was his last one in Colorado Springs, Colorado. He was appointed Deputy Commander in Chief (DCINC) NORAD and was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant-General. He and Joan became an integral part of the Canadian NORAD family and thoroughly enjoyed their 3 year posting.
Following Ken’s retirement from the Royal Canadian Air Force in 1983, Joan and Ken enjoyed living in Stittsville, Ontario where they became involved in the local community. Ken worked as the head of the Transportation Safety Board as well as being the Chairman of the Canadian Aviation Safety Board until fully retiring in 1988. Ken was also a proud member of the Bravery Awards Advisory Committee at Government House for 25 years. The area of expertise that Ken brought to the Board was as Special Adviser, specifically using his military background. He had an especially soft spot in his heart for the Search and Rescue Technicians (SAR Techs) who put their lives at risk anytime they went out on a mission to save lives.
Aside from his dear Joan, Ken’s love was centred on his 3 children; Sandra (husband Bruce), Diana (husband Michael) and Robert (wife Kathy). During their retirement years, Ken and Joan spent many happy years at their beloved cottage on Lac St Pierre, Quebec. This was a “little piece of heaven” that he and Joan shared with both family and friends. A place where his grandchildren Lindsay, David, Andrew, Whitney, Jordie and Christine loved coming to visit and to learn to swim, waterski and truly appreciate the outdoors.
On Joan’s 80th Birthday, she and Ken became benefactors to the newly formed Goulbourn Girls Hockey Association. Even following Joan’s death in 2012, Ken continued to support the association and enjoyed handing out the hockey awards at the end year banquet. The family asks that any donations be made to this exceptional organization on his behalf.
The family would also like to thank the staff of the Almonte Hospital who took such great and tender care of Ken during his last few weeks on earth. Thank you.
Ken (or Puzz or Grandaddy or Great Grandaddy) will be sorely missed. He enriched the lives of all that he met, showed us that a great sense of humour goes a long way and remained a true gentleman in every sense of the word until the day he died. We love you Dad. You are now with your sweet Joan, with God in Heaven.
Relatives and friends will be received at the Garden Chapel of Tubman Funeral Homes, 3440 Richmond Road, (between Bayshore and Baseline Road) on Wednesday May 9th, 2018 from 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
A funeral service will be held on Thursday, 10 May 2018 at St Thomas Anglican Church, 1916 Main Street, Stittsville, Ontario at 2:00 PM.