Ian Grant

Ian Van Felson Grant

Saturday, July 20th, 1929 - Monday, March 2nd, 2020
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An Extraordinary Life

On 19 April 2020 we will gather for A Celebration of Ian's Extraordinary Life -- because the life of Ian Van Felson Grant was most certainly extraordinary.

Born 20 July 1929 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Ian spent much of his youth in Ottawa, Ontario, and attended Lisgar Collegiate in the Glebe. After studying at the Ontario College of Art in Toronto, he married Antoinette "Toni" Grimm -- a marriage that would last until his passing, more than 65 years later.

Initially moving to Vancouver, BC, Ian and Toni built themselves a home and began to fill it with children. Later they moved to Scarborough, and then to London, Ontario, where they remained for the next 22 years, raising their kids -- David, Allison, Frances, Duncan, Cameron, Alex, and Glenn.

When not at work crafting communications for the London Life Insurance Company, Ian pursued an astonishing array of interests.

A violinist, he performed with Orchestra London, where Toni was first violin. Of course
they passed their deep love of music on to their children, and the house on St. James St. rang almost constantly with the sound of violins and cellos, horns and guitars, two pianos, occasional string quartets, and opera on the stereo. Ian's house was a warm and supportive incubator for all forms of art and creativity.

Golf was another of Ian's life-long passions, one he inherited from his mother. In the winters he could be found on the ski hills, or building an ice rink in the back yard where he would teach the kids to skate.

Ian took the family on epic cross-continental road trips, as meticulously planned as any Polar expedition, as well as camping and boating trips to Muskoka or Georgian Bay. He loved piloting his sailboat (a Flying Junior) across London's Fanshawe Lake. He named the vessel "Nonet", which means "a musical family of nine members."

A raconteur known for his lively and intelligent conversation, Ian could entertain a crowd with funny anecdotes. As a writer, his prose was never less than scintillating. And his talents were not limited to a way with words: his trusty Pentax camera was always at hand, capturing every moment with an unfailing sense of light and composition. Even his slide shows were masterworks of visual storytelling.

Somehow he also found time for volunteer work, such as sitting on the boards of the London YMCA and Orchestra London.

Eventually Ian and Toni returned to the west coast, retiring to Cobble Hill on Vancouver Island -- though this meant being rather too far from their much-loved grandkids: Simon and Adrian (sons of Frances and her husband David Dennis), Alexandra and Ellena (daughters of Duncan and his wife Natalie Howard); and finally Maeve (daughter of Alex and his wife Tammi Hensch).

Ian Grant passed peacefully at Highview Residences in Kitchener on Monday, March 2, 2020 at the age of 90.

A Celebration of Ian's Extraordinary Life will be held from 1-4 p.m. on Sunday, April 19, 2020 at the Henry Walser Funeral Home, 507 Frederick St. Kitchener. In lieu of flowers, donations to the Alzheimer Society of Canada may be made (cards available at the funeral home).

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Donations are being accepted for: Alzheimer Society of Canada.


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