Saturday, June 3rd, 2023 2:00 pm
This obituary is protected by copyright by MacCoubrey Funeral Home Limited. Proudly serving Northumberland County in the province of Ontario, Canada. All rights reserved.
On February 16, 2023, David Hackett died peacefully at home in Brighton, Ontario in his 101st year. A private family burial was held in the Green Meadow of Union Cemetery in Cobourg.
David is predeceased by his beloved wife of 65 years Jilyan (nee Simmons) and his grandson, Calum. He is survived by his five children: Jonathan (Carol), Antonia (Michael ), Andrew (Siobhan), Deborah (Richard), and Sean (Iana). He is also survived by his nine grandchildren; Niles (Michelle), Aidan, Kierin (Daniel), Michelle (Ray), Kyla, Sinead (Matt), Kaelyn (Ben), Jayne, and Rachel, and his great grandchildren, Eleanor and Charlotte.
David was born in Northern India and received his education in England and Wales. There were many aspects of his personal and professional life that he was very proud of. Some of the highlights were: graduating as an Old Carthusian (Weekite) from Charterhouse in 1940; joining the British Royal Navy in 1941, in which he served for six years as a naval officer/submariner, both above and below the sea during the Second World War, completing service as a Lieutenant (R.N); his career as a Chartered Accountant; "treading the boards" in amateur theatre; volunteering as a scout leader, and being honoured as a distinguished citizen and humanitarian by the Canadian Red Cross Society for voluntarily giving 64 donations of blood.
Serving in Royal Navy subs during the Second World War was voluntary and difficult. It was very meaningful to him that he was part of that "generation's greatest" contribution to ensure the freedoms we enjoy. He followed naval service with a rewarding 40-year civilian career as a Chartered Accountant in the private sector and government, retiring from the Office of the Auditor General of Canada in 1987. He was also very proud of the family he and Jilyan had raised, and thrilled at becoming a grandfather and a great grandfather.
Upon his retirement, David and Jilyan settled in Brighton, Ontario where they spent their remaining years together. On many occasions, they travelled to visit family in England, as well as their children and grandchildren living elsewhere. David was always happy to lend a hand with any outdoor work and projects that needed doing. David and Jilyan supported a number of environmental conservation programs and carried this interest into their own lives. They spent many hours creating lovely gardens at their homes and going for long walks in beautiful, natural surroundings. They also enjoyed spending time with their grandchildren, reading, playing games and taking them on outings. In 2012, they celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary.
David's value of service was an important one to him and enjoyed many years volunteering during his retirement. For three years he was editor of the Brighton Independent and, while there, he wrote a book of his own Haiku poetry, To the Hills From the Plains, published by Conolly Publishing Ltd. David was also a skilled calligrapher and throughout his adult life he would grace cards, certificates and more with his beautiful lettering. He volunteered for 12 years at the local public school sharing his love of literacy and literature one-on-one with students seeking help, reading stories to the primary grades, and running Haiku writing workshops for Grade 4 students. For many years, as a Veteran of the Second World War, he was invited to share an address with the school for Remembrance Day.
In November 2022, David was thrilled to celebrate his 100th birthday surrounded by family in person as well as on ZOOM. He received many messages of goodwill from friends, loved ones and dignitaries from various levels of government. We will always remember his love for words, the world, music, beauty, a good laugh and sharing an Irish whiskey in good company, not to mention the yearly tradition - flaming the Christmas pudding!
We would like to extend our sincere gratitude to the many agencies and individuals that not only provided personal care and companionship to David but support to the family as well. His wish to stay at home would not have been fulfilled without them: William James, Dr Svetlana Stryuts, Dr Erin Gow, The Lakeview Family Health Team Brighton, Community Care Northumberland, Ed's House Northumberland Hospice Care Centre, Home and Community Care Support Services, VON Smile, VON PSW Support, Bayshore PSW Support, Paramed Nursing, Jeanne, Valda, Sarah, Tammy, Dreena, Rachel and Kyla. Their compassion and support was invaluable.
David and Jilyan were ardent supporters of many charities that reflected their values. They were monthly donors to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, the David Suzuki Foundation, Eco Justice, the World Wildlife Fund and fostering girls in Nepal through Plan Canada. If so desired, donations may be made to any of the above charities and care services (Ed's House Northumberland Hospice, VON Smile) literacy programs and your local library in honour of his life.
I will always remember how supportive David and Jilyan were of the Brighton Farmers Market. They were frequent customers despite it being clear that it was not an easy outing for them as they aged. They were two of my first customers in the Brighton area and David was able to continue being a customer through the support of his daughter. I was very proud to supply him with fresh produce. I was so excited when he reached his goal of turning 100 years old. He will be missed.
A Memorial Donation has been made to the following charity:
Ed's House Northumberland Hospice Care Centre
Our sincere condolences Deborah to you and your family. While I hadn’t seen your father in recent years I have many fond memories of David and your mom. You were an amazing support for your father throughout the years. Much love.
Not too many people can look back on 70 years of knowing David! First met in England at the Simmons (Jill's lovely warm family) household, I was his brother-in-law's best friend's girlfriend! And then we all re-met up in Canada by which time David and Jill had a young family. How that amazing family grew and flourished! And how sad that the last of the two originators of it has now gone, after a very impressive innings. Please accept my deepest condolences. Patsy Beeson
My sincere condolences to Deborah and family. You will no doubt miss your father, grandfather and great grandfather. My, what a wonderful and long life he had. Deborah you were a gracious, supportive, kind and loving daughter to both your parents. I admire you very much. Wishing all the family memories that will make them smile.
Dearest Deborah and Kyla and family, What a wonderful life story.... a life well-lived. We are sorry for your loss. Wishing you insights and strength as you start a new path without your Dad and grandfather. Ted & Hilda Van Netten
To all of the Hackett clan, We send you our most sincere condolences on the loss of your Dad, Granddad, Greatgranddad. His was a life well lived loving and being loved by you and both his personal and professional communities. Sending loving hugs Jordon
Deborah and family - deepest sympathies to you and your family on your father's passing - although I never met your dad I see that he had a very interesting and enriching life - best regards to you and your family for the future
My deepest condolenses are offered to all of Davids beautuful family and to my dearest friend Deborah for the loss of her Dad. When I think of David, I immediately think, "dignity". I will always remember him, shoulders back and held held high, holding Jilyan's hand. May they fly free together and reunite with family in new worlds, their souls shininng infinitely bright.
Deborah and family, Sorry to learn of your loss. Wishing you all the best in celebrating the long and full life of your father. Anne