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HUGH COMACK  Obituary pic

HUGH COMACK

Born: Dec 12, 1920

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BRIGADIER GENERAL (RET'D) HUGH COMACK, C.M.M., C.D. Passed away peacefully, with his family at his side, at 1:45 p.m. on Tuesday, April 16, 2013. Hugh is survived by his wife, Agnes, and his four children - Margret (Mitchell), Donald (Jude), Elizabeth (Wayne) and Alyson (Scott) - as well as grandchildren Shannon (Jody), Thomas (Amity) and Tannis (Todd); Arinbjorn (Aleli), Timothy and Donald (Michelle); Jessica and Arthur (Heather); Stefanie (Leon) and Benjamin, and five great-grandchildren, Greydon and Avery, Noah and Owen, and Cowan. He is also survived by his sister Margaret Stephen, his sister-in-law Violet Comack and his lifelong friend Hugh Tait. He was Uncle Hughie to many Comack as well as Bardal nieces and nephews. A service will be held at Neil Bardal Funeral Centre, 3030 Notre Dame Ave. (across from Brookside Cemetery) on Saturday, April 27, 2013 at 1:00 p.m. The full obituary ran on Saturday, April 20. NEIL BARDAL FUNERAL CENTRE 204-949-2200 neilbardalinc.com
Publish Date: Apr 26, 2013

BRIGADIER GENERAL (RET'D) HUGH COMACK, C.M.M., C.D. Passed away peacefully, with his family at his side, at 1:45 p.m. on Tuesday, April 16, 2013. Hugh is survived by his wife, Agnes, and his four children - Margret (Mitchell), Donald (Jude), Elizabeth (Wayne) and Alyson (Scott) - as well as grandchildren Shannon (Jody), Thomas (Amity) and Tannis (Todd); Arinbjorn (Aleli), Timothy and Donald (Michelle); Jessica and Arthur (Heather); Stefanie (Leon) and Benjamin, and five great-grandchildren, Greydon and Avery, Noah and Owen, and Cowan. He is also survived by his sister Margaret Stephen, his sister-in-law Violet Comack and his lifelong friend Hugh Tait. He was Uncle Hughie to many Comack as well as Bardal nieces and nephews. Hugh was predeceased by his parents, Mary and Hugh Comack, his brother John and sister-in-law Lorraine, his brother James, his sister Mary Morton and brother-in-law Jack, his brother-in-law Jack Stephen, and nieces Marlene and Lynn Stephen. Hugh was born in Glasgow, Scotland on December 12, 1920. His grandmother brought him to Canada, along with his sister Mary, in 1929. With several aunts and uncles, they settled into a big house on Carlton Street. When his parents and remaining three siblings came over in 1930, they lived in Winnipeg's West End during the Depression years. These were times of hardship and Hugh had to leave school to bring in some wages to help support the family. Reliance Ink was not an easy place to work. His $9.00 weekly paycheque went to his mother and in return he received one dollar. When war broke out in September, 1939 he bicycled down to the Recruiting Station and joined the Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders of Canada (Q.O.C.H.). He often claimed it was the best move he ever made. Hugh was a veteran of the Dieppe Raid on August 19, 1942. He felt grateful to be one of the few who returned to base. He was selected for Officers' Training and left the Q.O.C.H. to take his commission. Returning home in 1945, he was admitted to Deer Lodge Military Hospital for surgery. There he met DVA Nursing Sister Agnes Bardal, who became his wife and lifelong partner on September 11, 1946. Hugh joined the Q.O.C.H. Reserve Unit in 1948 and served faithfully, becoming Commanding Officer in 1961. Four years later he was selected as Commander of Winnipeg District and in 1973 was promoted to Brigadier General, Commander of Prairie Area. He retired from the Militia in 1977 after being awarded Commander of the Order of Military Merit at Government House in Ottawa. In 1948 Hugh was hired by the Manitoba Telephone System and became Commercial Supervisor until 1967. From 1961 to 1964 he was Chairman and Producer of four St. Andrew's Society Highland Pageants at Minto Armoury. During the 1967 Pan Am Games he was Chairman and Producer of the Opening and Closing Ceremonies. Following that he was offered the position as President and C.E.O. of a new company, Greater Winnipeg Cablevision. He was a pioneer in this venture until his retirement in 1987. Hugh had numerous other involvements. He served as National Chairman (1983 to 1985) of the Canadian Cable Television Association and National Chairman (1987 to 1989) and Life Governor of the Canadian Corps of Commissionaires. He was a member of the Advisory Board of the Q.O.C.H. He served as President and Honorary Past President and was a Honorary Life member of the St. Andrew's Society of Winnipeg. In 2000 the St. Andrew's Society recognized him as its Citizen of the Year, which "honours persons who have performed exemplary service to the public and thus brought honour and prestige to the Scottish community in Winnipeg and Canada". From the time he arrived in Canada in 1929 Hugh attended Knox United Church. He joined the Knights of Knox as a boy. Later he worked on the Session, was Chairman of the Board of Managers and served on the Board of the Duval Foundation. He was, for many years, a member of the Manitoba Club, the YMCA Health Club and the Re-Fit Centre. Hugh had a strong work ethic. Our homes on Hazel Dell Avenue and then on Valley View Drive were always well maintained. He was a strict disciplinarian and expected perfection, but tempered that with his sense of humour and comical expressions. His grandchildren can attest to his practical jokes, which kept them on the alert. His family was the pride of his life and it was at the cottage we all built at Caddy Lake beginning in 1957 where we cemented our family bond over the years. Life will not be the same without the love of Hugh, Dad and Grampie. He will be sadly missed. Our family is very grateful to all of the wonderful staff on T4 Deer Lodge Centre. Their affectionate, kindly and professional care throughout Hugh's final years will always be remembered and appreciated. Donations in Hugh's memory to the Deer Lodge Centre Foundation, 2109 Portage Ave., Winnipeg, MB R3J 0L3; the Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders Association c/o 207 - 5445 Roblin Blvd., Winnipeg, MB R3R 3W7, or to a charity of your choice would be gratefully appreciated. A service will be held at Neil Bardal Funeral Centre, 3030 Notre Dame Ave. (across from Brookside Cemetery) on Saturday, April 27, 2013 at 1:00 p.m. There's many a man of the Cameron Clan That has followed his chief to the field High, high are their hopes, for their Chieftain hath said, That whatever men dare they can do. NEIL BARDAL FUNERAL CENTRE 204-949-2200 neilbardalinc.com
Publish Date: Apr 20, 2013

As published in the Winnipeg Free Press on Apr 26, 2013

Condolences & Memories (9 entries)

  • May Hugh rest in peace. He will be missed. - Posted by: Ric and Nero (Pet Visitor at Deer Lodge) on: May 19, 2013

  • Although our family had anticipated the end of my Dad's life for some time, as his failing health had been a continued stress both for him and my Mom, his death a few weeks ago has precipitated a depth of grief that is hard to contemplate. He was a great man, for all of us and many who had contact with him over his lifetime. I am left with the eternal feeling of gratitude for his courage in fighting against the odds that were presented to him as a small boy, the challenge he volunteered for as an 18 year old when he joined the Queens Own Cameron Highlanders and the indominatable strength of character that had him survive the landing at Dieppe at age 21 in 1942. His enduring legacy will always be that he fought the good fight to the very end and that he valued truth and integrity all of his life. Without his determination to succeed, we would not be who we are today, because really he was fighting for us and our future. He will always be remembered for his high expectations, his incredible sense of humour and to the last moments of his life, his ability to stay in command of his situation. Commander to the end. Life will never be the same without him. - Posted by: Margret Comack (eldest daughter) on: May 01, 2013

  • I remember Hugh and Agnes with great affection. When they came into my store at West Hawk lake there was always a good laugh. When Hugh was unable to get around easily in later years, I would visit with him as he sat in the car while Agnes shopped. It was at those times that I got to know him a lot better and to appreciate his sense of humour. He will be missed. - Posted by: Beverley Mason (Majors Service Centre Store West Hawk Lake Owner) on: Apr 25, 2013

  • Beloved Uncle Hughie. I have so many wonderful, happy memories of time spent with you. As a little girl in Port Arthur, I remember the days when we were told Hughie and Agnes were coming for a visit. The happy excitement filled our little house on Rupert Street. My dad, Caryl Byers, would then start working on his "next" trick, in order to get "one up" on his "brother-in-law" from Winnipeg. They always tried to outdo each other in the joke department. The Comacks would arrive and laughter would fill the little house on Rupert Street. We would sit around the dining room table and then, with breathless anticipation would come the opening of Uncle Hugh's "famous" bottle of liquers. Hughie would pour a "wee" one, and then light a match. The flames would rise, and then "ooh's and Ahhs". We didn't want to go to bed for fear that we would miss something. Once in bed, we could hear the roar of laughter coming from downstairs. Always happy memories surrounded time spent with the Comacks. Summers at Winnipeg Beach, long, dusty drives to Winnipeg, 91 Hazeldell, all bring a smile to my face. I envied my cousins for having both you, Hughie and Agnes as parents. I so looked up to Hughie that I decided that I wanted to join the Port Arthur Girls Pipe Band. In my little girl's mind, I wanted to somehow pay tribute to my sweet, loving uncle. The uncle who always made me feel special and loved. God Bless dear special man. I know my Dad was waiting to greet you and the funny thing is that you got the last laugh. - Posted by: Carolyn (Byers) Easter (Niece) on: Apr 22, 2013

  • Met Hugh Comack by fate chance in the late 70s to find out he had saved my grandfather's life at Dieppe. Nester Orlesky had been severely wounded and Hugh dug him into the beach at Dieppe until he could be carried off of it. Thanks General for sharing those pictures. Say hi to grandpa Nero for us. God Speed sir!! - Posted by: Shane Hardwick (Friend) on: Apr 21, 2013

  • I was a member of 407 Queen's Own Cameron Highlander Cadet Corp in the mid-1960s. Although I never actually met Brigadier Comack, his name was very familiar to me and any time he inspected our corp was preceded by late nights spent polishing brass and making sure our kit was immaculate. At the time, I knew little of him. But after reading his obituary, I am comforted in the knowlege that the respect I had for him at the time was well-founded. Deepest sympathies to the family. - Posted by: Dunc Malcolm () on: Apr 21, 2013

  • Nice tribute, Roger Currie. Thank you for your service, Mr. Comack. God Bless You. - Posted by: Charlie (A grateful Canadian) on: Apr 20, 2013

  • This past week I lost a dear friend who served with the Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders on that stony beach at Dieppe. It was August 19, 1942 – Canada’s darkest day in World War Two. Hugh Comack was a young signalman that day, and I guess you could say he was one of the lucky ones. He wasn’t seriously hurt, and he didn’t end up in a German prison camp. But the horror that he saw as a 21 year old stayed with him until he died at the age of 92. Hugh Comack continued to serve his regiment for many years after the war, rising to the rank of Brigadier General. I first met him almost 40 years after that dreadful August day. He sat down for an interview that left me speechless. He said “Imagine standing at center field in Winnipeg Stadium, with machine guns firing at you from the upper decks on both sides. That was the scene on that beach.” We chatted several more times on the 19th of August, and Hugh would often be commemorating the occasion at his family cottage in the Whiteshell. A few years ago he was knocked down by a stroke, and he spent his remaining days at Deer Lodge Centre in Winnipeg. He married Agnes Bardal just after the war. She had been a nurse at Deer Lodge, and they were together almost 67 years. I first visited them just about a year ago. Hugh said he was honoured that I came to see him. I told him it was I who was honoured, as all Canadians should be. I shall miss him. - Posted by: Roger Currie (friend) on: Apr 20, 2013

  • My uncle Hugh always made me feel special and important. He would take the time in his busy life to talk and tease and show his love for all of his family in many special ways. Even last October when I was able to visit with him and my favorite Aunty Agnes he rose to the occasion with his love and appreciation for my being there to visit with him. We have all lost a wonderful human being. Good bye "Best Uncle". - Posted by: Karla Thomson (Niece) on: Apr 20, 2013

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Neil Bardal Funeral Centre (Winnipeg)

Neil Bardal Funeral Centre (Winnipeg)

3030 Notre Dame Ave (Map)
Ph: 2049492200 | Visit Website

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