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Obituary for Paul Williams

Paul Williams
February 24, 1952 - January 19, 2020

On Sunday, January 19, 2020, Paul Williams died suddenly, and unexpectedly, as a result of a heart attack, at the age of 67. Paul was born in London, England, in 1952. He immigrated to Canada with his family in 1965. Paul once wrote about his move to Canada, which came about following the death of his younger brother Trefor (aged 4 years). His mother had been corresponding with his paternal aunt, who lived in St. Catharines, Ontario. Based on his aunt’s descriptions of Canada, including the photograph of her “ranch bungalow,” Paul’s mum was “smitten.” His parents concluded that Canada would provide the family with “a better life overseas” and “a new beginning for us all.” This certainly proved to be the case. Paul spent his teenaged years in St. Catharines. He later moved to London, Ontario to attend Western University, where he obtained his BA (honours) degree in anthropology. This was followed by graduate studies at York University in Toronto. Still on the move, Paul, by now a Canadian citizen, eventually relocated to Australia with his then-wife Mary Elizabeth, where his only child Corbin was born in 1983. Sunshine, koala bears, and kangaroos aside, Canada beckoned, and Paul moved once more, this time to Ottawa, Ontario, the city he called home for the rest of his life.

So, what kind of person was Paul? What was he really like? Well, where to start? Paul was an award-winning writer. As a long-time member of the Automotive Journalists Association of Canada he published hundreds of reviews of the cars he tested, many of which required him to travel to Singapore, Anchorage, Madrid, and all points in between. Speaking of automobiles, Paul was an avid collector of British sports cars. His MGs and Triumphs were often judged first in their class. Paul loved wine and cheese, a hot cup of coffee, a pot of tea, and a good mug of beer. He loved camping, including cross-Canada road trips with the beloved Boler “Lola” in tow. Discussing politics, photography, reading, hiking, biking, birding, dancing, cooking, gardening, listening to music (blues and jazz), antiquing, and anything mid-century modern appealed to Paul. He loved to tell stories, the topics of which he often found in the quirkiest of places. And what an incredible sense of humour! Time spent with Paul often involved lots of laughs. Paul was a first-class individual in every respect. He fiercely loved his family, who loved him equally so. He was always willing to lend a hand; he was an optimist who could always be depended upon for sage advice. He knew so much about so much. He is so dearly missed. Paul was preceded in death by his mother Sylvia, his father James, and his brother Trefor. He is survived by the love of his life, travelling companion, and soulmate, Susan McLeod, and her family members, all of whom welcomed Paul into their hearts, which made him feel so special (Susan’s grandson Searlas had befittingly taken to calling him GrandPaul); his son Corbin, indisputably Paul’s proudest achievement, period; his sisters Wendy and Sharon; his brothers Chris and Simon; his sister-in-law Christine; his nieces Simone and Camille, Cassandra, Chelsea and Marcy; his nephew Jake; and his many friends.

Friends are intived to visit at the Central Chapel of Hulse, Playfair & McGarry, 315 McLeod Street (at O'Connor), Ottawa, on Saturday, January 25, 2020, from 11 a.m. until the time of the Memorial Service at 1 p.m. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to Christie Lake Kids Foundation.
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