Davidson, Dick

Published: 
Friday, September 7, 2012

It is with deep sadness that we announce the passing of Dick Davidson (Richard Allen Davidson) on August 18th, 2012. Born July 24th, 1942 in Timmins, Ontario to Aura Marie Trottier and Allen Albert Davidson he spent most of his early childhood in Smooth Rock Falls, Ontario. He was the second oldest boy in a family of seven. He married Julianne Marie Wojick in 1963 at St. Mary’s Polish Church in Sydney, Nova Scotia. He was serving with the Royal Canadian Armed Forces at the time, the forces helped put him through the University of British Columbia. Being in the RCAF gave him the opportunity to see much of Canada and he and Julie were blessed with five children through the course of his early postings. Allen & Suzanne in cities in Nova Scotia and Laurie, Michelle and Christopher in cities in British Columbia. The two youngest being born 11 months apart. After graduating from the University in 1972 as an Engineer, his next RCAF posting was to Sioux Lookout, ON. Driving in and seeing how pretty the town looked across Pelican Lake started a love affair with the area that stayed with him the rest of his life. Dick’s dreams began to take root in Sioux Lookout and he started by looking for lake front property to raise his family. With his mother Aura’s assistance he bought the Sunset Lodge and Camps and ran this with her help from 1972 to 1975. His father had died a few years earlier in a snowmobile accident. He had just finished building his new home when in 1977 he was transferred to Ottawa, ON. It was here he would take what would be his last posting with the RCAF. After serving 18 years he took his release from the Forces and used his newly acquired pilots licence to explore the possibility of returning to Sioux Lookout. This exploration led to the purchase of the Sioux Hotel from Stan Werbiski in July 1978. He was by now a single parent. On September 9, 1978 he flew home from Toronto, ON with the purchase approval and had just sat down in the office when the fire alarm went off. That day most will remember was the day the Sioux Hotel burnt to the ground. Dick’s desire and motivations were unstoppable and with the help of a loan from NODC and his second wife Myrna the Sioux Hotel arose from the ashes and was even one story taller. He didn’t do anything small. His business ventures would continue to grow over the years with the design and development of the Sunset Inn, later adding the Sunset Splash Water Park and the Sunset Suites. A dream project of his was the Guardian Eagle Fly In Fishing Resort hewn right from the bush in Northwest Ontario featuring 8 full service log homes, main lodge and outbuildings. He would also go on to build many restaurants both in Sioux Lookout and Thunder Bay the most recent being Beaux Daddy’s which many will recall was the former Uncle Franks’ Supper Club. This last venture he took on just in the last 3 years. Besides creating, building and running multiple businesses Dicks’ interests were in his community. He would serve with the Rotary Club for 23 years (2 as President), be on town council and was even the president of the Chamber of Commerce. Dick was very active in creating vibrant, vital projects that would promote Sioux Lookout directly and indirectly through tourism and local employment. He would become the initiator behind the local Rotary Club’s international Canoe Trip, be one of the founders of "The Northern Experience" tourism magazine and also be one of the founding members of Sioux Lookout’s pride of the summer, the annual Blueberry Festival. He was very proud to see it into its 3rd decade. Dick was predeceased by his father Allen and his beloved mother Aura. He is survived by six brothers & sisters, Ken (Roma) of BC, Don (Gloria) of BC, Lynn Smyth of Thunder Bay, Cathy (Wayne) Robinson of SK, Patricia (Blake) Haverluck of Thunder Bay and Joanna (Mark Hartley) of Toronto, ON and numerous cousins, nieces and nephews. Also his children, Allen Davidson of Ottawa, ON, Suzanne (Randy) Favot of Sioux Lookout, ON, Laurie (Richard) Fenelon of Sioux Lookout, ON, Michelle Davidson of Ottawa, ON and Christopher (Kathryn) Davidson of Sioux Lookout, ON, his grandchildren, Brandon, Samantha, Drew, Easton, Jordyn, Daniel, Robyn, Lea, Joshua and one great grandchild Makayla. A memorial celebrating Dicks’ wonderful life was held on the front lawn of his home on Saturday, August 25, 2012. His children have created the Dick Davidson Legacy Scholarship to encourage the development of young minds in the pursuit of engineering, business management and aviation. Donations can be made c/o CIBC, Box 149, Sioux Lookout, ON, P8T 1A3 Allen, Suzanne, Laurie, Michelle & Chris would very much like to thank all those who were able to join us that day and all those that sent their kind words of condolences. A very special thank you goes out to Harvey Friesen, Rich Hulina, Derek Flynn and Marcus Friesen for their fly by salute to our Dad. It will forever be remembered in our hearts.

Davidson,  Dick

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