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Born: May 02, 1925
Date of Passing: May 28, 2021Send Flowers to the Family Offer Condolences or Memory
Ronald Stanley Blicq was born on the May 2, 1925, on the idyllic Island of Guernsey in the English Channel. In 1940, as the Nazis raced across France, occupation of the island became certain. His parents, Arthur Stanley Blicq and Marjorie (nee Steele) made the difficult decision to evacuate Ron, age 15, and his two younger brothers to England and then Canada, where Marjorie had relatives.
The family left everything behind and began again in Winnipeg. Ron attended Kelvin High School until 1942 when, on his 18th birthday, he enlisted in the Royal Canadian Air Force and trained as an airborne navigator and wireless operator and then on Mosquito fighter-bombers. He served in England, before being returned to Canada and discharged at the end of the war.
Ron was bored with civilian life and loved flying. He decided to join Britain's Royal Air Force and returned to England. He served in Bomber Command from 1947 to 1952 at the Suez Canal, In Singapore and in Australia, then as a navigation instructor and as a member of the RAF's Radar Research Flying Unit.
After a long courtship, often interrupted by his overseas postings, in 1951, Ron married the love of his life, Irene Winifred Stratford, a child care worker he had met in Oxford. Sadly, he lost her to cancer in August, 1956. Ron then made the difficult decision to resign his commission and in 1957, he moved his young family to Canada, to be closer to his parents and other family members.
For 10 years he worked at CAE Industries in Winnipeg, writing and editing technical manuals for radar and associated equipment, before joining the staff of Red River College. For 23 years Ron taught technical communication skills to engineering technology students and observation writing to Child Care Students. He was a gifted educator and produced six successful textbooks. Technically-Write! is currently in its eighth edition.
In 1990, at 65, Ron retired from the college and embarked on another extraordinary chapter of his life. He travelled extensively, teaching workshops on effective business writing to scientific and technical organizations, and later in partnership with his colleague Lisa Moretto. Their work took them to Dominica, Moscow, Texas, Germany, and England and across Canada. He was the first Canadian appointed as a Fellow by the Society for Technical Communication and he was a Lifetime Member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and the Professional Communication Society, which in 2000, established an Award in his name. In 1996 Red River College awarded him an honorary degree and he received many more accolades for his teaching and leadership, in Canada, the United States and Great Britain.
It was Lisa who convinced him, at age 72, to try downhill skiing and mountain biking at Grouse Mountain in BC. In 1990 he returned to his love of flying, earning his glider pilot's wings at the Winnipeg Glider Club shortly after his 70th birthday. He travelled extensively, eventually becoming a member of Air Canada's million mile program. He continued teaching workshops into his 90s and only recently moved out of his home on Oxford Street and into the Shaftesbury Park Retirement Residence where he made many friends. At the Shaftesbury he met and became close with Isaac Gotfried. He helped Isaac edit and publish his gripping memoir Lucky to Survive. Isaac was a holocaust death camp survivor who testified against Nazi war criminals at the International Court and Tribunal in Dachau.
Ron continued writing and editing both fiction and non-fiction right until the last weeks of his life. He had a great love for the theatre and in retirement became an award-winning playwright. Productions of his work have been mounted in Canada, America, New Zealand and Australia, on BBC Radio in the United Kingdom and on his beloved Island of Guernsey where he was a member of the Guernsey Amateur Dramatic and Operatic Society. His play Closure was recently turned into a feature film called Connecting Flights and is currently being released internationally.
Ron is survived by his children, Ian (Joanne), Andrew (Cindy) and Ali and her dog Echo, who was a special companion for Ron; grandchildren, Phoenyx, Graham, Edward, Caroline, Melanie and Krista; and great-grandchildren, Noah, Heidi and Jonah. Ron also had a special relationship with his nieces, Stephanie and Justine and their families. We will miss him terribly. He was an inspiration to all of us and we are celebrating his long life. A life well-lived.
We would like to thank Ron's many friends, colleagues and acquaintances who have come forward to share their memories of him. He was intelligent, gentle, kind, thoughtful and generous to all who knew him.
The family would like to acknowledge the exceptional kindness and care shown to Ron and all of us over the last few weeks and months by the Shaftesbury Park Retirement Centre, the Riverview Health Centre and the staff of the Grace Hospice.
In light of the pandemic, there are no plans for a service at this time.
Those who wish to may make a donation to the charity of their choice, or to the Agape Table in Winnipeg.
Lift him now you mighty Merlins
From Shakespeare's mortal coil
Plot a course for sunlit uplands
Then on home to Oxford and Irene
And eternal rest together
In his Scepter'd Isle.
THOMSON FUNERAL HOME
Condolences may be sent to
As published in Winnipeg Free Press on Jun 05, 2021
Condolences & Memories (16 entries)
Reading Ron's obituary makes us realize how fortunate we are to have shared even briefly in the life of this remarkable man. He was talented in so many fields so that we lesser mortals were envious. He was generous in sharing modestly his private life. Not many of us have had the privilege of sharing the front page with the Pope and Queen Elizabeth! He was immensely proud of his family and seemed to have wonderful friends all over the world. I first was in contact with Ron as one of his instructors in his correspondence courses and subsequently met him several times over the years in various provinces and had the pleasure of having him pay a visit and meet my family. I only by happenstance came across Ron's Christmas messages again as I was cleaning house yesterday and decided today to try to contact him again. Sadly I was too late but I could not help but articulate however imperfectly my feelings for one of the greatest human beings I have been fortunate enough to know. We all miss you, Ron.. Jim Wyllie in Calgary - Posted by: Jim Wyllie (Friend , student, colleague) on: Dec 09, 2021
I was saddened to learn just now that Ron passed away last May. He was a wonderful man and I will never forget him. I got to know Ron in the late 1980s when I moved back to Winnipeg from Southern Ontario, and he met with me to give me advice on finding technical writing work in Winnipeg. His introductions set me on a course that eventually saw me open a consulting business in the city. Ron honoured me by inviting me to help him teach his Technically Write and Administratively Write courses to Canadian clients, and as he showed me his teaching techniques I realized that I was learning as much as any of his students. He was a Renaissance man. He radiated joy. My life has been so much better thanks to his friendship and teaching. – Jamie Conklin - Posted by: James Conklin (Colleague and friend) on: Nov 30, 2021
Ron Blicq was a god to those of us who struggled with technical writing. Years ago I was an engineer in the Manitoba Telephone System and was responsible for preparation of the annual budget for our entire technical department. Our new president correctly realized that our writing had to improve, as it was terribly bureaucratic and dated in style. Unfortunately, my draft budgets began to be rejected with a simple instruction to “Add Fire”. But how do you add fire to what must be one of the most boring documents in the world? After much effort and very slow improvement on my own, Ron Blicq was hired to teach us “Technical Writing”. He was wonderful, it all made sense and I still use his techniques. Thank you Ron. Bruce Jacobs - Posted by: Bruce Jacobs (Former student) on: Oct 11, 2021
Mr. Blicq was our Technical Writing instructor at Red River, in 1967. He brought an energy to writing and the class picked up on it. Our big assignment for the year was to write weekly reports on "The Hole". This was the excavation for the MIAA addition at the college. Even though "The Hole" was just that, a hole in the mud, we actually learned the art of making it exciting. Thank you for the lessons Mr. Blicq. Deepest condolences to yours family. RIP - Posted by: Ian Brown (Former student at RRCC) on: Oct 11, 2021
I have known Ron for more than thirty years and I can call him a good friend. He gave me good advice with my own writing and he and I talked about his plays and I went to see them in Winnipeg and enjoyed them thoroughly. My condolences to all his family. I will miss your Christmas letters, Ron. You will be greatly missed. Rest In Peace, my friend. Kathy Guilford. - Posted by: Kathryn Guilford (Friend) on: Jul 31, 2021
My condolences to Ron's family and friends. I didn't know Ron well but his book, "Technically-Write!," was a game-changer for me. After struggling throughout my school years with writing essays and assignments, having "Technically-Write!" as a textbook in College gave direction to my writing. By using his "six hidden words" approach to begin all my communications ("I want to tell you that..."), my written world expanded ten-fold and never was I to struggle with how to start a piece of correspondence ever again! I still have the textbook; it's a keeper. Thank you, Ron, for your guidance. Rest in peace. - Posted by: Shirley Jenken (Acquaintance) on: Jul 05, 2021
Give the man a halo and a set of wings. - Posted by: Ingrid Vickers (Ex) on: Jul 03, 2021
Ron was a man of integrity that passed on his passion of life to all those around him. Ian and Joanne we cannot express our gratitude for sharing Ron with us. When he spoke of the importance of living a good life to my Grade 9 students or eating dinner with us, Ron was the most positive person that demonstrated his zest for life. Having signed copies of his books will be treasured just as he was. Take care, we are here for you, Ian and Joanne. Dave and Laurie - Posted by: Dave & Laurie Maycher (Friend) on: Jun 29, 2021
Andy and family. Karen and I are sad to hear of your Father’s passing. Truly a life well lived. May the good memories carry you through this tough time. Sandy and Karen - Posted by: Sandy Cushon (Friend) on: Jun 08, 2021
We had the pleasure to meet Ron many years ago as he hired us to look after his property’s landscaping and maintenance. Over the years, we had many delightful conversations over tea or in the yard, where he greeted us every week. He was truly a special man - extremely intelligent, creative, kind, generous, modest. He gave us his books to read and presented us with beautiful travel books showing his beloved Guernsey. He shared memories of his truly amazing life and accomplishments. He gave us tickets to his play at The Fringe which we thoroughly enjoyed. He was an extraordinary man and we feel honoured to have had the pleasure of knowing him. Our condolences to all the family. Ray and Nancy - Posted by: Nancy Arason (Friend ) on: Jun 06, 2021
I Meet Ron while he lived at the Shaftesbury Retirement Centre, I work with a private companion company and whenever he saw me he always said “ Hello Neighbor“ sometimes I would sit at the end of the hall where his room was and whenever he poked his head out the door he would come all the way down the hall just to say hello, I remember not to long ago he had a party/ showing for his last play he wrote which was exciting he was the star of the afternoon, and I was honoured to read his last book that he wrote and then talked about it with him also at the pool table when not writing I could go write lots more but I’ll leave it here, it was a honour to known you Ron the short time I knew you and you will be missed, to the family he was a special person and always remember the good memories, till we meet again now go fly free. - Posted by: Meghan McWilliams (Acquaintance) on: Jun 06, 2021
I was saddened to hear the news of Ron's passing. He was a true gentleman, a statesman in life. He was a member of the Winnipeg Gliding Club and I had the honour to be one of his flight instructors. Ron had many flights at the WGC, several were over an hour, his longest being 2 hours 37 minutes. Ron remained in touch with me over the years and it was always a genuine delight when one of his emails popped into my in-basket. I will treasure his friendship forever. RIP Ron. - Posted by: Mike Maskell (Friend) on: Jun 05, 2021
My heartfelt condolences to the Blicq family, of whom Ron spoke with warmth and joy. I had the good fortune of being in his play Choosing Home. Working with him was a gift and rehearsals were a happy experience. Ron was like a magnet with people. You couldn’t help but be drawn to him and, although you wanted to hear him tell his life stories, he was always interested in hearing yours. I have very fond memories of this brilliant man. He has left us with quite a legacy. Dorothy Talman - Posted by: Dorothy Talman (Friend) on: Jun 05, 2021
Right out of high school in rural Manitoba, I went to ACC in Brandon in the fall of 1982 for 1st year of Electrical Technology. For the 2nd year of the Diploma Course, of the four choices we had to branch off into, I decided to take Computer Engineering Technology which ACC did not offer but RRCC in Winnipeg did, so I was off to the big city in September of '83. Our instructor for Communications was Mr. Ron S. Blicq, and the text book, Technically Write, was written by him. That was special. It was a long time ago now, but the second I saw his name and photo, I immediately remembered him. He was a very nice man. Condolences to his family. Rest in peace Mr. Blicq. - Posted by: Bradley Pisiak (former student, Computer Engineering Technology, Red River Community College, class of '84) on: Jun 05, 2021
I was lucky to have taken one of Ron’s writing classes and also got to know him when he taught writing courses at Manitoba Hydro. What a lovely man and what an extraordinary life. Truly an inspiration. RIP - Posted by: Judy Haynes (Acquaintance ) on: Jun 05, 2021
Deepest condolences to Ron’s family. Ron was a fascinating gentleman, a true pleasure to have met him. - Posted by: Jackie (Student) on: Jun 05, 2021
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