ALAN ERNEST ROFFEY August 16, 1921 – September 4, 2022 Alan Ernest Roffey died peacefully at his home on the morning of September 4th at the age of 101. He was predeceased in 2004 by his wife Non, the love of his life, and his three siblings, Peg, Ken, and Mel. He leaves behind his two sons, David (Karen) and Lucas (Carol), three grandchildren, Simon (Katherine), Maia (Fynnigan), and Benjamin (Elizabeth), and two great-grandchildren, Alice and Thomas. Al enjoyed many visitors throughout a lengthy and gradual period of decline, maintaining his smile and sense of humor to the end. This was made possible by the incredibly kind and unfailingly patient support that he received from his caregiver, Grace. The family extends their heartfelt thanks to her. Al attended Oakwood Collegiate where he won the Blake Prize for the highest aggregate marks in Maths and Sciences across Ontario. At age 16 he received a scholarship to study Maths, Physics, and Chemistry at the University of Toronto. In order to join Canadian Naval Intelligence, he graduated after only three years of university. His first posting was to Ottawa where he met Donalda “Non” Cowan. Both were incredibly shy and might never have ended up together if not duped into a double date by Al’s older brother Ken. Non’s large and rambunctious family put Al’s retiring nature to the test, but true love won out and they married in 1944 at Glebe United Church in Ottawa. Afterwards, Non relocated to Toronto to be close to Al’s family while he returned to naval service. Al served with the Triangulation team locating German submarines based in Harbor Grace, Newfoundland. Al was then sent to Bletchley Park in the United Kingdom where he was a code breaker on the Japanese team. He was very proud of his time at Bletchley and returned to the UK to visit three times in later life. After the war, Al wrote his actuarial exams while working for the federal Department of Insurance. He then transferred to the private sector to work as the actuary for the T. Eaton Life Assurance Co. He spent most of his working life there, rising to become president. In their retirement years, Al and Non traveled extensively. They loved to cruise, and their adventures took them to too many countries to count. When not globe-trotting, they enjoyed summers with their extended family at Lac Coeur (Heart Lake) in Quebec’s Laurentian region. Non’s father had built a cottage there in 1945, and many of the next generation followed suit. Their summers were filled with family and visitors, especially for the annual Cowan Croquet Tournament. Al and Non were life-long members of the Anglican Church. They were especially active at St. Philip the Apostle, where they served in many positions. Al was a kind and thoughtful man, extremely modest, and entirely devoted to his large extended family. Al – aka Uncle Al, Grampy, and most recently GG to the youngest generation – relished being the beloved family patriarch, and will be greatly missed. A Celebration of Life will be held at St. Timothy’s Anglican Church, 100 Old Orchard Grove on Thursday, September 22nd at 11 am The service will be live-streamed and can be watched by visiting the St. Timothy’s website www.sttimothy.ca and choosing the “watch live” button. Reception to follow. His ashes will be scattered at Heart Lake, joining those of his beloved Nun.
Published by The Globe and Mail from Sep. 17 to Sep. 21, 2022.