BGen John Dilwyn Richards, CD, RCAF, RAF (Retired)

21 Oct 20

Brigadier-General (Retired) John Dilwyn Richards, CD, RCAF, RAF – Former C&E Branch Colonel Commandant

It is with profound sadness that the family of John Dilwyn Richards announces his passing at the Ottawa General Hospital on Wednesday, 21 October 2020, at the age of 97.

John was born in Ogmore Vale, Glamorgan, South Wales, to David John Richards and Gwynneth Mavis (Evans), both deceased. He was also predeceased by his three younger brothers and sister. John attended University College of South Wales, Cardiff, pursuing studies towards a BSc in Pure and Applied Mathematics and Electrical Communications until, in 1943 during WWII, he was commissioned into the Royal Air Force. He became a Radar Officer and worked on testing and fitting of radar systems in night-fighter aircraft. In late 1945 John was posted to Palestine as a Communications Officer on a one-year peace-keeping mission with the Middle East Air Force, RAF. Upon return to the UK, John left the RAF to complete his university degree while also continuing to work in the field of radar technology. In 1948 he immigrated to Canada to join the RCAF, where his expertise in radar saw him appointed RCAF Resident Engineer with General Electric, Canada, instrumental in the building of radar stations and aerospace early warning systems for the Pinetree Line. John continued in the field of Communications-Electronics throughout his distinguished thirty-year career with the RCAF, with postings in Quebec and Ontario, including assignments in Saint-Hubert, North Bay, and DND Ottawa. John also completed two tours of duty with NATO, the first with AFCENT from 1965 to 1968 split between Fontainebleau, France, and Brunssum, Netherlands, and the second at NATO HQ in Brussels, Belgium, for an extended assignment of over six years, from 1972 to 1978, where he met and married his wife, Susan (nee Martin), and also where their two children were born. Upon retirement from the RCAF in 1978, John brought his young family back to Canada, to settle in Ottawa, where over the course of the next 16 years he found further senior-level employment with the Canadian Telecommunications Carriers Assn., National Research Council of Canada, AFCEA Canada and lastly the Canadian Space Agency. In retirement, John also served in the honorary position of Colonel Commandant of the Communications-Electronics Branch of the Canadian Armed Forces, from 1984 to 1986.

Throughout his life, John pursued a variety of hobbies: skiing, fishing and golfing in his younger years, also woodworking, photography, computer technology, home improvement and fixing just about anything he could, including his car and anything technical/electronic! He was also an avid reader and had a great appreciation for classical music. John was a devoted family man, kind and generous, who will be sorely missed by all who knew and loved him. He is survived by Sue, his loving and devoted wife of 47 years, and their two children: son Allan (Kari Richardson), and daughter Caroline; also grandchildren, Landen, Claire and Fiona (all of Ottawa). John also leaves a daughter Stephanie Hook (Nigel) in Warwickshire, UK, two granddaughters Sophie-Jane Lake (John) and Annabel Fry (Simon), and four great grandchildren: Harry, Ella, Jack and Evie; also nieces and nephews in South Wales and England.

Due to current circumstances, a Memorial Service and Interment Ceremony will be postponed to a later date. For those wishing to make a donation in John’s memory, this can be made to The Dementia Society of Ottawa and Renfrew County, or any charity of choice. Messages of condolence may be left at