February 10, 1932 - March 21, 2020
David Broadbent passed away peacefully at his home in Victoria, British Columbia on March 21st. He was 88.
The only child of Charles Hartley and Ruth Ella Broadbent, David was born and raised in Huddersfield, England. David excelled in school and also became one of England’s youngest Eagle Scouts. He enjoyed cricket, tennis, and swimming, but he loved golf. He spent many years as a member of The Royal Ottawa Golf Club.
David was educated at the University of Manchester where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree (honours mathematics). He received pilot training flying Tiger Moths and Harvards as a member of the University’s Air Squadron while doing graduate studies in economic statistics. David later graduated from the University of Colorado with a Master of Business Administration degree.
David joined the Royal Canadian Air Force in 1955 after immigrating to Canada with his wife Joan. He first served in Ontario as a Flight Instructor, achieving the highest instructional qualification (category A1), he then flew the CF-100 and CF-101 aircraft in all-weather fighter squadrons in St-Hubert, Quebec and Comox, British Columbia. He became a member of the Caterpillar Club after ejecting from a CF-101 (Voodoo) over the coastal range of British Columbia. He was located six hours later in a canyon on the edge of a glacier and was picked up by the US Coast Guard. Joan was home baking a cake for Sue’s first birthday, and later vowed she’d never make a chocolate cake again!
David’s other military service included a variety of staff positions in Ottawa and at NORAD Headquarters in Colorado; graduation from the Canadian Forces Staff College; was 425 Squadron Commander in Bagotville, Quebec; spent two years duty as Defense Attaché at the Canadian Embassy in Moscow; and was loaned as a Brigadier General to the foreign and defense policy secretariat in the Privy Council Office.
Following 26 years of service in the armed forces, David was recruited into public service in 1981as assistant secretary to Cabinet for government operations and labour relations in the Privy Council Office where he also served as secretary to a number of Cabinet committees, the Ministerial Task Force on Program Review, and the Official Residences Council.
In 1987 David became the Deputy Minister of Veterans Affairs. It was during this time that he was brought in by the government as Executive Director of the Citizen’s Forum on Canada’s Future (the Spicer Commission) in 1991, then in 1992 he assumed the same role with the Special Joint Committee on a Renewed Canada. David was a staunch supporter of veterans and Canada.
David was fluent in English, French and Russian, and pretty good at Latin. He was an extremely intelligent and charming gentleman, a deep thinker, and a no-nonsense kind of guy with a quick wit.
David moved to Victoria in 2009, where he led a quiet, reserved retirement.
David is survived by his two children, son Chris (Cathy), and daughter Sue Eddings (Mike); six grandchildren, Daniel, Alanna, Chris (AmyJo), Jessica (Gene), twins Madison and Mackenzie; eight great-grandchildren; Wyatt, Kenley, Reagan, Logan, Alexander, Christian, Tripp and Riley, and his many cherished cousins and friends in England and around the world.
David was predeceased by his wife Joan Mary Broadbent (nee Carpenter) who passed away in 1996, and his second wife Davida Broadbent (nee Moore) who passed away in 2013.
As per David’s wishes, he was cremated and requested there not be a service. In lieu of flowers or charitable donations, we’d ask that you pour a generous serving of your favorite drink, think of him and raise your glass in a toast.
Please feel free to leave a message or memorable story about David in the comments section.
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