Jack Albert (Bert) Daniel Attwell April 29, 1918 - October 29, 2012 Peacefully surrounded by his family, Bert Attwell was called home from the Chelsey Park Long Term Care facility in London at the age of 94. Loving husband of Joyce Attwell (nee Parkinson) for over 71 years and devoted father to Bonnie Roy, Marilyn McCuaig (Rob), Roger (Lynn), Ruth Wright (Dennis), Nancy Jackson (Peter), Janet Dickinson (Bob) and John, Bert was a true family man. In addition to his wife and seven children, he leaves behind 24 grandchildren and 30 great-grandchildren (and counting). Bert also leaves behind younger brother Harvey and his wife Beryl, who also happens to be the younger sister of Joyce. Bert was predeceased by his parents Jack and Nan Attwell (nee Ball) and younger brothers Douglas and Clayton. Born and raised in Toronto, Bert met Joyce Parkinson through the Baptist Young People's Union at Castlefield Baptist Church in Toronto. In January 1940, Bert enlisted with the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) to take air crew (pilot) training. After receiving his wings as a Flying Officer in May 1941, and with only two weeks to plan their wedding Bert and Joyce were married on May 20, 1941 in Toronto. On September 1, 1941 Bert was posted to the RAF Bomber Squadron #728 in Northern England as a pilot of a twin-engine Whitley bomber. He subsequently flew 11 nighttime bombing missions into German-held territory - first as a co-pilot and then as the Captain. In a letter to his new bride, Bert encouraged her with the words "Don't worry. Pray. The Lord is my convoy". At the conclusion of his 11th mission, while returning through heavy cloud in England to their base, the plane crash-landed on a high hill. Bert was always thankful that as the Captain of the plane that he received the worst of the injuries. These injuries - which came to cause him heath problems decades later, kept him from returning to active operations. After several months of recovery, he was posted to Winnipeg for the balance of the war where he assisted in the training of radio operators and navigators. After the war, through veteran assistance programs, Bert first completed high school then went to University of Toronto in the Engineering and Business program. By the time he graduated with a degree in 1951, he was the father of 4 children. For 6 years he was employed by Stelco in Hamilton and then in 1957 moved to London Ontario for a career as a Professional Engineer with Westinghouse Canada. Family was central to his life and each child, grandchild and great grandchild was unique, special and loved unconditionally. Over the years he enjoyed camping with his family, golfing and curling. After his retirement he and Joyce enjoyed travelling to visit family and to see sights in Europe and Northern Canada. Bert also served for many years with the Kiwanis organization and was passionate about his involvement with the reading program in elementary schools and his support of various charities. His faith was also an important part of his life and for more than 55 years Bert was an active member of First Baptist Church in London. He recognized the responsibility of those who have been blessed with much, to help the less fortunate. Visitation will be held at the Harris Funeral Home at 220 St. James Street, London from 2-4 pm and 7-9 pm on Thursday, November 1st. The funeral will be at First Baptist Church, 568 Richmond Street North, London on Friday, November 2nd, 2012 at 1 pm. Interment at Woodland Cemetery. The family extends their appreciation to the staff at Chelsey Park for their professional and compassionate care of Bert and for the extra assistance provided to the family over the past weeks. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that contributions in Bert's memory can be made to one of the charities suggested by Bert: "Ark Aid Street Mission Inc.' or the "Bequest and Endowment Fund of the Kiwanis Club of Middlesex Inc. (London)' or the charity of your choice.
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