Tuesday, July 13th, 1937 – Thursday, October 1st, 2020
It is with profound sadness to announce the passing of David Neylan on October 1st in Waterloo, Ontario. He was 83 years old and had a rich life. He was born in Toronto but at a young age moved to Hamilton. He spent his youth there with his parents Ethel Maude Beasley and Lawrence Neylan and his younger sister Lynda. He was intelligent, sporty, kind and a strong moral sense. He met his wife Joan while attending St. Christopher’s United Church in Hamilton. Joan and her parents were particularly impressed with this young man who attended church on his own. Joan’s friends referred to him as ‘the Professor’ since he was so knowledgeable and worldly. While at McMaster, he continued to participate in long distance running races. Here he was given another nickname, being known as Dave “the horse” Neylan. He galloped along serving as the pacer for his team, tiring the others out and allowing his team’s sprinters to take the lead near the close. Working hard for his team but not needing the glory is a trait that continued his entire life as evident in his many voluntary efforts. Studying Geography married many of his interests: the outdoors, maps, urban landscapes and humans’ impact on the environment. He returned to Toronto for his professional career as a high school geography and history teacher. He began teaching at Runnymeade Collegiate Institute, but the rapid expansion of Scarborough meant that just three years into his career he took up a department headship at Sir John A. Macdonald Collegiate institute. He remained at Mac for the remainder of his career – always proud to be a Black Scot. He retired with over a year’s worth of sick days accumulated which is a testament to the way in which he approached his work. He was a popular teacher both because he taught wonderful lessons, based on his wide knowledge base but also because he was fair and kind. He also dedicated many windy afternoons to coaching girls’ soccer teams while at Mac. He and Joan had three kids which became their focus. Dave, spent many hours driving Susan, Dan & Chris to various games, practices, rehearsals. Dave and Joan provide so many opportunities for their children and to their grandchildren.
Joan and Dave were married for 56 years and thankfully were able to stay living together until the end. After Dave had a stroke, they moved from Toronto to Waterloo and made their home the Westhill Retirement Residence. Near to daughter Susan & grandchildren Dawson & Riley. Dave enjoyed time spent watching his grandchildren grow. Dave was also lucky to have his son Dan nearby for support right until the end. Although far away in Malaysia, he was truly loved by Chris and his wife Jen Hardie and their children Liam and Finley. Dave enjoyed the opportunities afforded by the Westhill, particularly the trivia sessions. The staff at the Westhill took great care of Dave and Joan as things got harder. They are particularly thankful for the dedication of all the PSWs who live and breathe compassion and care.
His memory will also be cherished by David’s sister Lynn Volzke & husband Fred; niece Lysa & her children Alyssa, Kianna, Kiarra & Adejah; and nephews Jeff & Jodee; and by his brother-in-law David Harrison & wife Heather. His loss is also felt at Jubilee United Church in Don Mills, where Dave volunteered his time freely in a variety of positions helping steward the amalgamation and growth of merging of many churches into one. He enjoyed summers travelling, especially across Canada and there are the slides to prove it. In the beginning it was camping, but gradually they became hotel stops. Dave did all the driving until the final few, but he relished it as a wonderful way to see the country that he loved. When not visiting their timeshare in Banff, time was spent relaxing at his cottage in Harcourt Park – swimming, canoeing and quiet reading. It also included the occasional loud breakfast prep, when Dave the early riser was tired of waiting for the rest of the family to awake. Whether with basketball friends, work colleagues or others, weekly pub visits with his friends, sharing trivia and sports’ talk were also important to Dave. He will be remembered as a generous, intelligent and loving man. He will be missed by so many.
Friends and Family may join the service via livestream 11 am Thursday, October 8 at the following link: https://www.henrywalser.com/live-streaming
Please feel free to share memories and photos on this forum. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Jubilee United Church or the Heart & Stroke Foundation.