NOVEMBER 25, 1947 – OCTOBER 6, 2018
We, the broken-hearted kids of David Cogdon, are sad to announce that the most important man in our lives left this earth on October 6th at the age of 70. Also feeling our pain is his loving wife and best friend, Jane Campana.
Born on November 25, 1947 in Toronto, Dad grew up in cities across Canada and in Tokyo with his Naval Officer Dad Noel (Nibs) Cogdon, Mom Marion and sisters Donella and Ann. Throughout his youth he enjoyed playing baseball and basketball, riding his motorcycle through the streets of Japan and cherished his summers at the family cottage in Muskoka.
Dad was a proud graduate of the Royal Military College (RMC) Class of ’70. His time at RMC was the beginning of an accomplished career in the Canadian Navy and also the start of many important lifelong friendships. Looking back, Dad would say being Commanding Officer of HMCS Cowichan, HMCS Athabaskan and the 5th Destroyer Squadron were his most memorable positions. In senior roles with the Department of National Defence, Dad served as the Director General of Information during the Oka Crisis and also as Director General of Military Plans and Operations during the Somalia operation. Dad’s final role before he retired as a Commodore was Chief of Staff of the Canadian Navy.
Following his military career, Dad spent five years as the Director General of Public Affairs for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) and then seven years as the Executive Director of the Aerospace and Defence Human Resources Partnership. He also volunteered for more than 25 years with the Nova Scotia International Tattoo, committed his time to the Last Post Fund and played music to raise money for the Nova Scotia Special Olympics.
We, his kids Deanna and Michael, did not know the strict military officer that we’ve heard stories about. The man we knew played the oldies as part of Frank’s All-Star Amateur Band on weekends. The man we knew loved biting ice cream off wooden spoons. The man we knew loved all things Star Wars with a particular fondness for Yoda. The man we knew was passionate about feng shui, Chinese and Western astrology and created astrological natal charts for each of his grandkids. The man we knew collected silver coins like a pirate. The man we knew discovered a love of emojis at 70. The man we knew asked us the same question and gave us the same answer almost every time we talked – “You know what guys?” “What Dad?” “I love you.”
We will be forever grateful for how Dad opened his arms and welcomed our spouses, Sheldon Miller and Alison Snow, to the family. Our children Sara, Addison, Myer, Sam, Louie and CeCe were so very lucky to have him as their cherished Gumpa. Dad found a special love when he met Jane five years ago. She made him a skater. He made her a skier. Together they traveled Ireland, biked France, did the Caldera hike in Santorini (Greek Islands) and visited Skellig Michael. They never walked anywhere without holding hands. Jane’s family Cheryl, Stu, Liz and Alexander meant a lot to Dad. Also special to Dad was his 99-year-old aunt Joan Cogdon and the friendship he shared with our Mom, Anne Cogdon.
All of this happened way too fast but we are incredibly thankful for our recent family trip to Japan and the time we had together over the last few months continuing to make special memories. You know what Dad? We love you.
Please join us for a stand-up reception to share stories and celebrate his life on Sunday, October 14 from 2:00-4:00pm at the Wardroom Ballroom at Stadacona (2648 Lorne Terrace – enter via Gottingen Street, photo ID required). In lieu of flowers please consider a donation to the Canadian Association for Disabled Skiing or the Last Post Fund.
“Observe don’t judge”