MARKHAM, Clyde Harold - Sqn Ldr (Ret), World War II Vet - (1921 - 2016) -
Clyde Harold Markham died peacefully at Fairmount Home, near Kingston, Ontario, in the early morning of 8 September 2016, five months after the death of his wife, and two months short of his 95th birthday.
Clyde was predeceased by his loving wife of 71 years, Frances Naomi Elizabeth (Kelland) Markham, Kingston; his sister, Jean Veronica Hinchman, Santa Barbara, California; and his brother, Ralph Hawley Markham, Richmond Hill, Ontario.
He is survived by his daughters, Carol Naomi Markham (Donald Gibson), Ottawa, Ontario, and Susan Elizabeth Matsalla (Ivan), Bath, Ontario; grandchildren Sean Matsalla (Kristin), Dallas, Texas and Laura Matsalla, Taylor, British Columbia; step-grand-daughter, Andrea Matsalla (Carlan Wilbon), Winnipeg, Manitoba; and five great-grandchildren.
Clyde was born in Toronto, Ontario, on 2 November 1921, the son of Harold William Markham, of Princes Risborough, England, and Veronica Evelyn Hetherington, of Codys, New Brunswick. On 8 May 1945 (VE Day), he married Naomi Kelland in Canso, Nova Scotia. His career with the Royal Canadian Air Force took the family to Ottawa, Belleville, Sudbury, and Ottawa; Ramstein Air Base (then home of SHAPE) in West Germany; Winnipeg; and Ottawa. Upon retirement from the RCAF in 1967, Clyde joined Queen’s University in Kingston, where he and Naomi lived continuously for 49 years.
As a young man in the 1930s, Clyde was privileged to study art with Arthur Lismer, a member of the Group of Seven, and cabinet making with his father, Harold. A desk that Clyde made won first prize at the Canadian National Exhibition in Toronto.
In 1941, at the age of 20, Clyde volunteered to join the RCAF as an enlisted man, rising to Squadron Leader by 1945. Of note in his air force career specializing in the development and use of radar, from 1943 to 1945, he was the Chief Technical Officer in Iceland at Camp Maple Leaf where the first RCAF Squadron 162, fully logistically supported from Canada, was maintained. During that period he was honoured in March and April 1944 to fly with Flt Lt David Hornell and his crew in operational anti-submarine sorties, demonstrating the effective use of radar. (Shortly thereafter, Hornell became the first RCAF officer in WWII to receive the Victoria Cross.)
In August 1945, along with engineers at Trans Canada Airlines, Clyde supervised the design and installation of LORAN equipment in the first Lancaster Number 105 to be converted to long-range, overseas commercial post-war service. (During the war, aircraft were unable to cross the Atlantic on their fuel tanks, and had to hopscotch across the ocean via Greenland or Iceland.) In 1946, he was the RCAF officer in the first post-war Northern Exercise for Canada, working out of Churchill, Manitoba.
In the following years, as a senior RCAF Technical Officer he was responsible for establishing several important radar installations in Canada. By 1961, he managed the Technical Wing at RCAF Station Winnipeg, the third largest of 44 in the RCAF.
After retirement from the RCAF in 1967, Clyde was appointed the Senior Administrator of the Physics Department, and later of the Education Department, at Queen’s University until his retirement in the mid 1970s.
Clyde sang bass in many church choirs throughout his life, and was an accomplished organist. He studied the pipe organ in Toronto, Ottawa, and Germany, where he was fortunate to study with Karl Richter, one of Germany’s most acclaimed conductors, and virtuoso harpsichordists and organists. Clyde served in several appointments at Anglican churches in Ottawa (St. Matthews), Kingston (St. George’s Cathedral) and Picton (St. Mary Magdalene) as Organist and Choirmaster.
Clyde was extremely grateful for the outstanding care he and Naomi received from staff at Fairmount Home.
Clyde will be interred at Glenhaven Memorial Gardens, 2563 Division St., Glenburnie, Ontario on Friday, September 16th at 12:00 noon. The interment will be followed by a reception at the Robert J. Reid & Sons funeral home, 309 Johnson Street, Kingston, at 1:00 pm.
The family has requested that there be no flowers or gifts. Instead, they know that Clyde would be most happy with a donation to a charity of your choice, perhaps one that assists veterans, or the Heart and Stroke Foundation, for which he was a dedicated canvasser.