Staley George Chambers

Staley Chambers, who was residing at the Perley Rideau Veterans Health Centre in Ottawa, died August 22.

Born May 25, 1921, he is survived by his wife Cecile, his only daughter Carol Belanger (Al), grandson Brandon (Tara) and great-grandaughters Adelaide and Charlotte.

Staley grew up, the eldest son of a large, rural farming family, northeast of Chesterville.

He experienced first hand the struggles and challenges of the hungry 20s and the depression of the early 30s.

Once grade eight was completed, he remained on the farm to permit younger siblings the opportunity to attend school.

During his teens, he ventured out to the prairies, during harvest time, to earn extra money to send home.

When WWII began, Staley joined the Air Force and was soon selected to be Military Police.

His gift of the gab soothed over many tenuous situations, as his preference was always peace over brute force, although he never lacked for physical strength.

Returning to Chesterville, post-war, Staley was delighted to discover a Belgian family, consisting of six brothers and one sister, who had just emigrated to Canada and was living next door.

He married that Belgian beauty, Cecile. He was her husband for 67 years, and father to one daughter Carol.

After working at Nestle’s factory for 14 years as inventory manager, Staley and Cecile decided to farm in earnest and expand their efforts.

With Cecile always at the helm, Staley was always assured of hunting and fishing, regaling stories on Holstein bus trips and of course socializing.

The farm sold in 1978, and a move was made to Mariatown.

Always a shovel in hand, Staley enjoyed gardening, visiting with neighbours and enjoying new companions, with whom he continued his love of the outdoors.

His was a very happy retirement.

During his late 70s and 80s, an artistic gene flourished as Staley produced beautiful wildlife scenes, played guitar and became a guru of 1,000 piece puzzles to make winter more palatable.

November 2014, a move was made into an apartment at the Hartford Retirement Residence. But, by January 2016, persistent pneumonia resulted in his admission to the Perley Rideau Veterans Health Centre. The pneumonia left him in a weakened state. A hip fracture resulted in four hip replacements that kept him at the Ottawa General for nine weeks. He returned to Perley, but succumbed to his weakened state on August 22.

To the very last, Staley remained a peaceful and contented soul. He was blessed with compassionate care and  was constantly in the presence of family.

As a father, few could surpass his qualities of being optimistic, encouraging, forgiving, loving and very patient. Maybe all that ‘fishing’ enhanced this virtue.

His name was Staley. The story, that his name was taken from an elderly priest caused Cecile to often chuckle, but it caused Staley much consternation over his lifetime, as he tried endlessly to convince, correct, and defend the spelling of his name – no he had not omitted an ‘n’ – it was Staley not Stanley.

Many have enquired as to Staley’s decision to forgo a wake. Carol believes that he knew he wouldn’t be able to actively participate in the celebration of his life and thus miss out on all that ‘visiting’.

The family is very grateful to all who offered a kind embrace, words of consolation, recalled comical stories, sent devotional cards and flowers, offered masses at church and prayers.

Echoing Dad’s last words, “Until we all meet again in heaven.” 

Love you always and always.

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