Parrsboro, N.S., 10 August 2017
Curleigh, Brigadier-General Colin M. (retired), CMM, OMM, CD - Age 81, died peacefully Wednesday 9 August 2017 resting on his deck with his family, overlooking his favourite view of the Minas Basin.
Born in Aklavik, NWT, he was the son of the late Assistant-Commissioner (RCMP) George and Jean (Stoddart) Curleigh. He was a graduate of the College militaire royal de St. Jean, Dalhousie University, the Royal Naval College, Greenwich, UK, the Command and Staff College, Toronto and the National Defence College, Kingston. He served on several naval ships prior to his career as a helicopter pilot.
Following flight training in Patuxent River, Maryland in 1963, he flew the first Sea King helicopter to Shearwater. He served in four Sea King Squadrons, flew from HMCS Bonaventure, the Canadian DDH's and had a posting in the USA flying off several US aircraft carriers. He served on the Canadian Defence Liaison Staff (Washington), the Directing Staff of the Staff College in Toronto, was Commandant of the Canadian Forces Staff College, Toronto, the staff of the Commander-in-Chief of the Allied Forces' Central Europe in Brunssum, The Netherlands', Commander of the Maritime Air Group, Halifax and the Defence Attache to the High Commissioner at the Defence Liaison Staff in London, England. He was fondly referred to as “The Sea King” by his kids and their friends. He was on the board of The Royal International Tattoo and President of the Aeronautical Institute of Nova Scotia.
Colin and Nancy enjoyed retirement in Greenhill (Parrsboro) where Colin, a voracious reader, enjoyed his books and the beauty of his surroundings. He was active in the community, serving on several boards; the Parrsborough Shore Historical Society/Ottawa House which was his passion, the Parrsboro Band Association/The Hall, the Fundy Geological Museum and the RCMP Advisory Board.
He is survived by his wife of 54 years, Nancy (Melanson); his children, George and Jen (Coyle), Vancouver; Jon, Vancouver; James and Jackie (Brown), San Francisco and Sara (Curleigh) Parsons, London, England; his beloved “Treasures” his grandchildren, Sam, Emily, Kate, Thomas, Sarah, Chris, Hannah, Zan, James, Ben, Scotia, Olivia, Caroline and Joshua Colin; sister, Mary (Dick) Micklich, Idaho Falls; brother, Alan (Raymonde), Montreal; sister, Sue (Lloyd) Kay, Moncton; brother-in-law, David Smith (Brenda), River Hebert; sister-in-law, Dora Melanson, Hubbards; several nieces and nephews; and his “Florence Nightingales” Debby, Brenda and Shelley.
A farewell gathering will be held at the Ottawa House, Parrsboro from 2 - 4 p.m. on Sunday 13 August 2017. Committal will take place at a later date. In lieu of flowers, kindly make a charitable donation to the Parrsborough Shore Historical Society/Ottawa House, the Parrsboro Band Association/The Hall or to the Shearwater Aviation Museum. Arrangements entrusted to Smith’s Funeral Home, Parrsboro. Online condolences at www.smithsfuneralhome.com.
Dear Friends of The Curleigh Family,|
Most suitably, 423 Squadron from 12 Wing Shearwater provided a Sea King flypast which included several passes and a hover while
bowing in reverence followed by a salute from the crew. The event was a very powerful, emotional and a fitting tribute to Mr Sea King.
His four children followed with emotional tributes to their father reflecting on the significant role he played in each
of their lives, those who he touched along his journey and of course his 14 grandchildren and bride of 54 years- Nancy.
With appreciation and best wishes from the Curleigh family,