Valley Lives - Ron Grant

The following article first appeared in "The Low Down to Hull and Back News" in the January 12, 2005 issue. Reprinted with permission.

WWII vet, family man, and Clogger dies at 95

by Ian Lordon

One of the oldest men in the hills passed away Jan. 8. Ronald Davidson Grant, 95, of Chelsea died in his sleep at Gatineau Memorial Hospital leaving behind loving family, many friends, and memories of a generous and loyal man.

"Dad always said having friends was more important than having money," eldest daughter Melanie Alan said. "And it's true, he had tons of good friends."

Valley Lives
Ron Grant.

He is survived by Elizabeth Grant, known to friends as Lee, his wife of 63 years with whom he had four children - Melanie, Jennifer, Cathrin, and James.

A native of Ottawa, Grant met his future bride at the outset of World War II, before marrying in June 1941. Daughter Melanie arrived in April the following year before Grant volunteered for service and was shipped overseas to fight as a lieutenant with Ottawa's Cameron Highlanders.

"He fought in the liberation of Holland and Germany," Melanie said. "He was right in there doing the street fighting. My mom gave me a piece of shrapnel that narrowly missed him."

It would be nearly four years before Grant was reunited with his young family, a time he later described as one of the most difficult in his life.

"They kept the faith," Melanie said. "My mom would write him every day and sometimes she wouldn't hear from him for months."

Upon his return, Grant resumed a career with the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company that spanned 45 years before he retired to the family's riverside cottage in Chelsea in 1973.

There he devoted himself to community causes like the Ottawa Vanier Lion's Club, the Wakefield Legion Branch 214, the Gatineau Clog, and to his growing stamp and coin collections.

Before his passing Grant could boast six grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. The family will host a celebration of his lfe at the McGarry Memorial Chapel on Valley Dr. in Wakefield from 3:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. on Jan. 15.

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