Peacefully with family at his side, Nigel Van Loan returned to the welcoming grace of God on the night of the fifteenth of May, 2022 at the age of 81.
Loving husband of Patricia for many years before she was stolen from him by the ravages of ALS on March 6, 2007. Loving father of sons, Ross & Andrew, and the late baby Stewart. Devoted grandfather of grandson and granddaughter, Mitchell & Holly. Dedicated younger brother of Paul, married to the lovely Amanda. And finally, faithful partner of the marvellous Alice.
Nigel proudly served Canada for over thirty-four years in the Canadian Armed Forces. After graduating from Royal Military College in Kingston, Nigel commenced his career in the Signal Corps. The bulk of his career was spent within the Signals Intelligence realm helping to protect this nation from foreign aggressions during the Cold War.
Nigel was a family man. He would spend time cooking up tasty meals for family gatherings and would be careful to select just the right wine to accompany his creations. Nigel enjoyed spending time and puttering around at the cottage he designed and built at Lake Skootamatta. He was a handyman and there was little he couldn't fix. He was an avid sports fan having played many and coached some throughout his adult life. He was a loyal Toronto Maple Leafs fan and played goalie until at age 75 when he decided that he had pressed his luck far enough and donated his equipment. Being a man of many interests, he was a model railroader, a formidable bridge player and avid gardener. He was well known for his deep singing voice and was never happier than when he was singing with his various choirs. Nigel was a natural leader. Whenever something needed to be done, Nigel would soon find himself in charge. He was an adventurer at heart and loved travel. His military career took him and his family to some far flung places on the globe but Nigel always made the most of those assignments and introduced his family to his love of discovering new things. Some of his fondest memories were trips he took with his two sons to visit Civil War locations which he would research thoroughly ahead of time. Nigel always found time for charity work because he enjoyed helping others. Even though he has departed, his love continues to sustain us and the example of how he lived his life helps to light our way.
A Memorial Mass will be held at St. Patrick's Church , Fallowfield, 15 Steeple Hill Crescent, Ottawa on Thursday May 26, 2022 at 11 am. For those unable to attend in person, the funeral mass will be livestreamed at: https://foveo.stream/arbormemorial-kelly-kanata/nigel-ward-van-loan Donations can be made through the ALS Society Ottawa or Hospice Care Ottawa.
It was only the Atlantic Ocean which prevented my wife & I from seeing Nigel more often. We are from UK and when we first met in the late 60s/early 70s I was serving in the British Army (Royal Signals) and stationed at our School of Signals in Dorset, when who should turn up as the Canadian exchange officer but Nigel. This was the start of what turned out to be a long and happy friendship. In the late 70s I was fortunate enough to be posted to Kingston as the British exchange officer, so a few trips to Ottawa ensued. After 2+ years I was posted to Germany about the same time as Nigel went to SHAPE HQ in Mons, Belgium so again we were able to meet up a few times. Towards the end of my Army career, I had postings in MOD, London which luckily meant visiting North America on several occasions, so I tried (often successfully) to arrange my schedule to include a visit to Ottawa so that we could meet up again. We also saw Nigel during his visits to UK, most recently with Alice. We always kept in touch, and it has been my great privilege to have known Nigel. He was a true gentleman and fun to be with. My only regret is not to have seen him play hockey - he was always talking about it!
The void you leave behind defies description. Everything I see, hear and do reminds me of you. Thank you for being my refuge and my strength and for allowing me to be the same for you. You have left an incredible legacy in your two sons, Ross and Andy. My morning coffee will never be the same again without you. Go in peace my dearest Nigel.