Memory by Sam May 21, 2015
I hadn't written a poem in over thirty years, but for you Ian, here goes...
Your Decision (title)
What emotions were most intense?
What reasons did not make sense?
What actions or inactions kept you up at night?
What mix of chemicals could have set the world right?
Was there a switch that could have turned off the turmoil?
A lance that could have removed a boil?
What circumstance weighed heavy on your brain?
Was there a word or gesture that could have eased the pain?
So many theories and queries
just leading to more questions, a different series
of answers that never explain.
Two thoughts come up again and again
Things will never be the same and
There is no one to blame.
A wise man once told me,
And I believe it true,
That something close to serenity lies
in embracing that what is still murky to me
had become clear to you.
It was your decision in the end.
It was your decision, my friend.
Memory by Judy Hope May 19, 2015
Hard to believe it's almost two years...
It's incredible how often your name comes up in stories and memories. Wish I could talk to you.
Memory by Elizabeth Rush May 7, 2015
I miss you.
Memory by Anonymous Nov 29, 2014
To the living I am gone.
To the sorrowful, I will never return,
To the angry, I was cheated,
But to the happy, I am at peace,
And to the faithful, I have never left.
I cannot be seen, but I can be heard.
So as you stand upon a shore,
gazing at a beautiful sea - remember me.
As you look in awe at a mighty forest
and it's grand majesty - remember me.
As you look upon a glass of milk and
admire its simplicity - remember me.
Remember me in your heart, your memories
of the times we loved,
The times we cried, the times we fought,
the times we laughed.
For if you always think of me, I will never be gone.
Memory by Harrison Memorial Weekend- May 22, 2014 May 22, 2014
Friends and family gathered this past weekend at Ian's Harrison Lake 'cottage-creation' to remember and celebrate the many wonderful things that made him who he was.
It may now be a year since he passed, but he remains fully on our minds and forever in our hearts.
You are greatly missed Ian and we trust that you rest in peace.
Memory by Ann Walmsley Jan 13, 2014
Ian's Family are very touched by those of you who have so generously donated to the Fund at Queen's University in Kingston In Memory of Ian for Mental Health Research and Anti-Stigmatization.
As one Donor and Friend articulated - There is an Urgent need for this Mental Health Research.
Ian would wish for us to Choose Hope through this ongoing Research and also to Celebrate Life.
Thank you so much.
Memory by Ann Oct 14, 2013
A celebration of Ian's life was held this weekend hosted by Ian's longtime friends Scott Cooper and Jane Taylor. Ian's family, his "County Family" and other special friends gathered at Scott's wonderful waterfront home near Picton, Ian's hometown, for an intimate afternoon gathering. What a special day it was this beautiful Thanksgiving weekend.
Memory by Ann Walmsley Sep 5, 2013
A HEART FELT THANKS FROM IAN'S MOTHER
Christopher and I wish to acknowledge and thank all those who have given of yourselves and contributed to Ian's Memorial Site. We are humbled by all your individual acts of creative kindness and generosity from all over Canada and beyond.
The various facets of Ian's life that you have written and spoken of are truly a vivid kaleidoscope of his reality...forever in our collective memory.
As his mother I especially remember and hold close to my heart his integrity, sensitivity, generosity and kindness towards our small family. He also bestowed an aura of these same qualities on you dear friends who I know he cherished.
Depression is often considered INVISIBLE and often is a DESTRUCTIVE ILLNESS. A person can be surrounded and loved by many yet at the same time feel cloaked in hopeless despair and aloneness. Christopher and I must 'choose hope' that in the near future the mysteries of the brain will be unraveled and that appropriate treatment will be available for this so common disease.
Could I ask that those of you who have read this belated thank-you to you all, please convey this message to those who might not have read this...thanks.
We would ask that you in your own individual way, will join us in CHOOSING HOPE...that would be Ian's wish and his legacy.
I love you Ian,
Memory by Tim Hoy Aug 16, 2013
I never had the pleasure of meeting any of you (at least not from being able to recognize your names). I knew Ian from work, met him in the early 2000's. I only found out about what had happened today from one of our mutual acquaintances.
Writing this will likely be more cathartic for me than anything but I hopefully can illuminate another aspect of Ian's life.
Ian and I spent the majority of our time working on a drive that never did (and may still not) work properly. Though this venue we developed a mutual trust and respect that allowed us to dive deeper into Japanese drive parameters that anyone should ever be forced to go. One positive outcome was that we were able to travel to Japan together on one of the famous Arrow Speed customer trips.
Although I wasn't really a customer (I was the consultant on the project), I was treated to the finest hospitality I could ever ask for by Ian. Gary, Ian and I even got the opportunity to sneak off to get some sushi - we shared a mutual dissatisfaction with being in Japan for almost a week and only having one feed!! I still remember sitting in a tacky sushi shop in the mall in Japan eating sketchy sushi while the people in the shop whispered about the strange gigantic gaijin that were eating their restaurant out of raw fish!!
On a side note from that trip, I think Ian had the only surviving copy of us singing "Bohemian Rhapsody" in some strange Japanese karaoke bar!! Nuff said!
As we moved up in our respective companies we spent less time together, eventually losing touch for a year or so at a time. Ian was always quick to answer the phone and always willing to offer a hockey ticket or two. He was one of only a few sales people that I truly respect. He was a man of integrity and would always deliver.
This has hit me hard. There have been a number of things in my life that have sideswiped me and broke me down but this is definitely one of them. This is such a difficult thing to digest and I am left wanting to tell Ian so many things. I wish we had spent more time together. Through sadness and frustration, this focuses my attention on my wife and kids and the limited time we have together. It also challenges me to make the most of all the interactions that happen on a daily basis as many of our work acquaintances are also good friends.
I also wish that I had the chance to share my hope and fundamental belief in the author of our universe with Ian. There never seems to be a right time to bring these matters up and often it isn't "appropriate" to talk about it. The challenge is that one of my friends from college that I did not share with was going to take his life until someone intervened and told him the truth. I am left wondering what impact this might have had if I had the courage to talk to Ian about Jesus Christ. For me, Jesus is the Rock that gets me through the hard times. I challenge anyone who feels that there is no hope to consider the hope that is offered through the sacrifice that Jesus made for every one of us.
Ian was one of the most refreshing people I have ever met. He was always willing to tackle a challenge, was immediately clued in to what was going on and shouldered the responsibility of delivering what the customer wanted.
I remember the joy that he expressed when he told me about his marriage, the enthusiasm that he had with his adventures, and I always appreciated his willingness to share them with me.
I ache deeply and can only partially appreciate the loss that all of you feel at Ian's untimely passing. Thank you for creating this forum for us all to share our memories, frustrations, emotions and love for Ian.
Memory by Mom Jul 21, 2013
My Dear Ian,
How I love you so much and feel the love you bestowed upon our family and dearest friends.
Trustingly I have been priviledged to open my heart with those nearest and closest. As painful as it is, we have spent numerous hours weaving the pieces of your life together and have tried to understand and respect your thought process.
I need you to know I understand and longingly wish I could have washed away your pain.
Since you left, the special connections I have made comfort me in ways you would be happy. You were loved and will continue to be loved forever.
Rest in peace, my dear son, forever in my heart you will be.
Memory by Chris Walmsley Jun 24, 2013
I would like to post a few thoughts about Ian.
The emotional feelings I have been through over the past month covers the entire spectrum. Shock initially, then guilt, frustration, anger, and lots of sadness sprinkled through all of that. The incredible support of Ian’s friends, and there are many of them, have helped mom and I, and my family, get through all of these emotional hurdles. Many thanks to all those who have been there.
The two wonderful memorial events have revealed how many people Ian had affected through his unstoppable enthusiasm, positive outgoing nature, and perpetual quest to do and accomplish so many things.
Now comes the hard part. As things settle down, and we all face the reality of what has happened, the size of the hole left in all of our lives becomes more evident. For me, quiet times now elicit thoughts of family holidays with one less family member, no more long chats about projects or adventures planned or recently completed, as well as a lot of second guessing how things could have turned out differently. Happy memories are there too, and those are the ones that I try to focus on.
He was a true friend to me, and as a younger brother, I looked up to him in so many ways throughout my life. While we had different approaches to life, I have always been more cautious, and not as outgoing as Ian, but we always found time to keep in touch and let each other know about what we were doing with our respective lives. He always provided me with sound, sage advice when needed, encouragement when I was hesitant and support when I needed it. I’d like to think I was able to reciprocate in kind. I was always impressed with what he had accomplished throughout his life, and his natural desire to try new things and embrace exciting new challenges. I always felt like the lesser person when I stacked my accomplishments up against his. Though I knew I could live vicariously through the stories of adventure he told me.
Through all of this, he had the added challenge of battling depression. And battle he did. He had a number of episodes and he always did his best to tackle it head on, get better, and get on with his life. It never defined who he was, it was just part of him. This battle took its toll. It had not been long since his previous episode and when, mere weeks ago, he felt it coming back, it was too fresh in his mind. While he was the fittest any of us had ever seen, and appeared to be on top of his life, he hadn’t recharged his mental batteries enough to take it on again so soon, or at all.
I wish him peace, and will treasure all the memories he has left.
Jun 23, 2013
Memory by Linda: I didn't know Ian very long but he was one of those people who just seemed larger than life. He was successful professionally and as evidenced at his memorials in Vancouver and Toronto he was successful personally, with long-standing, deep relationships. He certainly knew how to have a good time, but he was caring and honest with no time for bullshit. I only saw him at family gatherings for holidays and such. We were thrilled to have him with us in Kingston at Christmas last year and it seemed then that he was starting to get his feet underneath him, with renewed vigor and anticipation for his next adventures. He loved his nephews and took every opportunity to spend time with them while he was here. He had recently made some dramatic changes to become fit and overcome Type2 diabetes, and cursed me daily (with his mouth full of cookie) for doing so much baking.
He gave people so much joy, but in the end he didn't seem to be able to feel happy enough himself. Ian, you've left a big hole in our family. You are dearly missed. LL Linda
Memory by Joe Wiseman Jun 21, 2013
Thinking back on it, Ian and I spent a lot of time together long ago. We met on our second day at Queen’s, we spent our first year together in Section G along with the rest of the ‘bottom’ of the alphabet (S-Z), and then spent 3 years bringing up the rear in Engineering Physics. Wherever he went, a story and chuckle (or laughing fit) were sure to follow. For me, one particular story highlights both the mystery and clarity of “Ian-ness.”
In 4th year at Queen’s, we had this crazy guest professor from Cambridge (or Oxford) for “Numerical Methods”. The topic was impenetrable and the prof was certifiable. When Christmas exams rolled around, the Engineering Physics exam schedule was nuts so someone convinced the prof to let us write the Numerical Methods exam on a Sunday morning at 9 a.m.
Well…Sunday 9 a.m. rolls around and all 35 of us are there…except for Ian. We got started and, as usual, everyone flipped through the exam, groaned, and settled in for three hours of misery. Around 11 o’clock, Ian walked in, looking neither particularly put together nor entirely awake. The prof gave him the test and Ian sat down. I watched Ian write his name on the test booklet, flip through the questions, scribble a couple of things, and then put his pencil down - all within 15 minutes! When the clock struck 12 – just like everyone else - Ian stood up and walked up to drop off his exam. The prof said, “Ian – don’t worry, you can stay until 2 if you want.” Ian paused, thought for no more than two seconds, and said, “Thanks but it won’t make a difference.”
Some might say that this happened because Ian simply wasn’t prepared for the test. But everyone who had sat through the full three miserable hours knew he was saying something else – “this test was ‘un-preparable’, you over-educated idiot, and I demonstrate our collective contempt by simply not engaging in your futile exercise.” In my memory, this was quintessential Ian – declaring the truth (no matter how uncomfortable), doing it in a way that was irreverent, and doing it on behalf of his friends.
Yep - wherever Ian went, a story and chuckle were sure to follow. I last saw him at Queen’s in 2102 and - true to form – yet another (unprintable) story followed. His sense of fun, truthfulness, fearlessness, and irreverence struck yet again. He will be sorely missed - the world could use a little more Ian.
Memory by Richard Woodruff Jun 19, 2013
A chat with my friend Ian:
Walmo, it's Woodrow.
You have created quite a stir down here.
I don't think you are going to be able to fix this one all by yourself...but I will give you a hand to straighten things up a little bit...even if it is only just for me.
We have known each other for a long time. In fact we have been constant best friends half again longer than than before we knew each other.
We have had many of our greatest life adventures together:
- We went exploring in France and Spain on an epic 4 month roadtrip after university.
- We lived together in Toronto with John, and Jeff, and Chris at Ashdale Manor Golf and Country Club - John's house - which also became a Yacht Club when you took off the fence boards and stored your sailboat in the back yard for a year.
- We've been extreme skiing in two continents...although some of the extremeness was not intentional!
- We have gone scuba diving in hot water and very cold water - and underground -which was one of the coolest things I have ever done and you were right beside me.
- We have chased each other across the sky - piloting planes dog fighting over the pacific.
- We like being on the water and have gone boating in big and small boats - with sails and engines - in salt and fresh water. You have even sunk one of my boats!
- We have enjoyed our cottages together...both of our favourite places I think. I have always admired you and been proud of you for building your own.
- And we've been at lots of remarkable parties together over the years.
And we were planning some more adventures:
Another lazy weekend cruising the Gulf Islands when Cath and I were back here next.
We had talked about you coming back to Honey Harbour this summer. It is many years since you have left your mark there.
And I was looking forward to going flying with you soon. Yes - really!
I honestly can't remember us ever being angry with each other...about anything.
Sure you broke some of my stuff...but honestly, in such spectacular ways that I get more mileage out of telling those stories over and over again than it has ever cost me to repair or replace what you wrecked.
I think we became and stayed friends for so long because we understand each other very well. We find the same things funny and interesting and cool; we wonder how things work; and we share a pragmatic and objective approach to projects and problems.
So - I have been trying to understand how I feel about how you left us.
In better times - after you had passed through the Darkness the last time - you told me how black it got and how you never wanted to be there again. For a guy who never got cold or felt pain, that caught my attention. I think you lived with the fear that the Black Dog would come back and find you.
You are incredibly strong...physically and logically.
I know you worked hard and tried everything you could to fix this. That is just how you are and how you would react.
But you just couldn't fix this. I get it.
I trust you.
I trust you that you knew what you were doing, its finality, and the effect it would have on all of us. None of us will ever really ever understand the pain you were going through and the horrific alternatives you faced.
I don't question the decision you made.
But I am upset and frustrated.
When people get sick, they deserve to have the people who care about them to help them through it. Even if they can't beat it, they get to have their friends beside them to comfort them through their toughest times.
This thing you had denied you the chance to call for help. Ironically - as so much was standing by so close.
It hurts us that you were forced to face this thing alone.
But we are all still with you Ian. I know you know that.
I am heartbroken that you are gone.
I will think of you constantly...especially when I am doing something fun, cool, interesting or slightly dangerous - that we would normally do or talk about together.
I will miss you forever.
I'll talk to you again soon.
Memory by Pat Brady Jun 14, 2013
Jesse's Eulogy given at his Memorial Service May 30th...
I am honored to pay tribute to our friend Ian and especially to help us remember his Life in Full out here on the West Coast. First, Iâ€™d like to thank his mom, brother, Ann, Mike Walsh, Bailey and many others who have put toniteâ€™s celebration together and give us all a chance to share Ian memories and laugh through our tears.
I tried to pull an Ian and stay up way past midnite last night to write my speech. Made it to 10:30pm.
Its amazing that tonite, after 20 years of knowing him, that I meet dozens of Ianâ€™s friends for the first time. Only a brilliant person such as Ian could have built, entertained and maintained so many diverse circles of friends. In my mind, OK my bar is pretty low, Ian was a genius. He knew something about everything. Literally and figuratively, Ian had his fingers in a lot of piesâ€¦.plus some chip dips, burgers, fries, burritosâ€¦.
I first met Jesse way back in the early-nineties through the Dwayne Derban family tree. Unfortunately Dwayne couldnâ€™t join us tonite as he is in Europe with his Dad. Through Derbs social network, a close knit group of about 50, by and large, young single adults (except Larry) met to play beach volleyball at Kits beach. Many of us were transplanted easterners eager to suck up the Vancouver lifestyle. Jesse included.
I knew Jesse was cut from a slightly different cloth though when he mentioned that he often slept on his Kits apt balcony in the nude. It wasnâ€™t long before I realised what a unique guy he was. Jesse was a real spirit lifter â€“ which is incredible given he suffered from depression. Yesterday, I was reading some of his memorium website entries and saw a message from Liz Rush that really hit home. She described how every time Ian met her he always had a deep drawn out â€śLiiiiizâ€ť that just lifted her spirits. For me, it was the same with â€śPhhhhatttyâ€ť and Iâ€™ll bet many of you had a pet â€śpicker upperâ€ť greeting from Jesse.
Also on the website are an incredible array of photos of Ian. As part of the Vancouver crew, it was new to me to see Ian, with that cherubic face and with a full head of hair â€“ almost mods quad hair. I urge you to check that site out if you havenâ€™t already.
By the way, I keep switching from Ian to Jesse. My main claim to fame in life is that I gave Ian a lasting nicknameâ€¦Jesse the Head. It hit me as I was staring at him in our Whitewater raft on the Nahatlatch Riverâ€“ Man, he really looks like WWF and movie star Jesse â€śThe Bodyâ€ť Ventura â€“ but only from the neck up.
Speaking of his body, I finally got to meet his brother Chris this week - all 6ft 2â€ť of him. It confirmed that Jesseâ€™s thighs must have stopped growing shortly after birth. Heâ€™s the only guy I know whoâ€™s spandex bike shorts looked like Capri pants.
That body of his could take a licking and keep on ticking though. First off, Ian was not your role model granola west coaster. What he put in that body of his and how he put it in- is the stuff of legends. Long time friend Rodger reminded me how Jesse would come over to their home unannounced with Bailey. Jesse would give him a hug then head straight to the fridge and dig in. Leftovers for himself and hot dogs for Bailey. Drink some milk, wonder why there was no 2% milk, watch Bailey drag his food around their kitchen and then out the door theyâ€™d go on their merry way. Jesse could make himself at home with anybody.
A few yearâ€™s ago, my wife Debbie and I were at Jesseâ€™s house for dinner with Ann..and of course Bailey. After Bailey licked half the chip dip bowl clean. Jesse would spin the bowl around and offer us the other half to keep using for dipping. They loved that dog.
Our buddy Riley sent me a classic Jesse story: up at Whistler they get up early, which for Jesse was anytime before 10am. Jesse eats leftover pie a la mode for breakfast, and sneaks back and has a 2nd slice. 3 runs into skiing Jesse says heâ€™s hungry â€śRiles, that piece of pie didnâ€™t quite do it.â€ť Riles said â€śWhich one?â€ť
Another Whistler food story. After scarfing down a burger, fries and shake. Jesse put an apple and salad on his by then empty tray and heads over to a table full of girls. They all commented on how well he was sticking with his diet. Did he mention the burgers. Not a chance.
The history of Jesse would not be complete w/o mentioning his lust for chocolate milk. While I gab on pls try and grab some milk for a toast later on.
In spite of a dubious diet, Jesse was an incredibly strong person. As you know, he built, by hand, a beautiful wooden chalet on an island up on Harrison Lake. This was a 3 yr project that he tackled with his characteristic obsessiveness and indominatble will with the loyal assistance of Ann and several friends notably Mike Walsh. No power, no running water, no road access and he built it on a 30 degree slope. I was up there one weekend to help out and I watched Ian lift 300 lb 6x6 pillars to hold up his balcony. He was a very strong man.
I remember Ian learning to windsurf in Mexico with Ernie and I, and how much effort he put into it. Even to the point of snapping a mast in half as he pulled it out of the water.
That body could handle all kinds of nasty weather that the mountains could deliver. Those who skied with him in the nineties probably remember how Ian would not wear the usual goretex ski jackets. He went for the old wool sweaters that usually picked up a thick layer of classic Whistler snot snow.
One memory that fellow skier Steve Symon reminded me of was our backcountry ski trip to Black Tusk about 15 yrs ago. It was a hot day and several of us got ahead of Ian. We turned around, and saw Ian coming with his jacket tied around his waist and what looked like a black sweater on. As he got closer, we all realised that it wasnâ€™t a sweater â€“ he was topless. Our hariy bear of a friend didnâ€™t need a sweater.
However, in the last year Ian has lost about 50 lbs and really cranked up his road riding. He transformed his body. He transformed his eating habits. Joe Cohrs, Ian and I did a â€śbusiness tripâ€ť to San Diego this January to road ride. Typical luck for Canadian travellers, we happened to arrive when San Diego was getting record low temperatures. It was below freezing at night. For the first time ever, I actually heard Ian complain about the cold. He still kicked our butt riding. That was a definite passion for him.
We all know Ian was a â€śstimulationâ€ť junkie. His hyperactive mind kept him awake late into the nights. He was constantly seeking new activities and challenges, many of the sporting nature. Some of his latest endeavours were Kiteboarding in Baja and the Gorge and also learning to fly. He definitely liked the freedom of the wind.
He also liked his toys or â€świdgetsâ€ť which Iâ€™m sure satisfied his enormous child-like curiousity. The good folks of Arrowspeed let him have some great company vehicles - fully accessorised. Iâ€™m still uncertain if Jesse drove a company jeep or his own Jeep into the lake near Tofino a few years ago? Hopefully, Arrowspeedâ€™s accountant is not hereâ€¦
I always enjoyed driving up to Whistler with jesse. Not just the leather seats and conversation but the ongoing sales calls he made with Arrowspeed customers and his colleagues were just a great lesson in salesmanship and problem-solving by Ian.
A fairly recent annual ritual has been the Boyz weekend at Jesseâ€™s cottage in June when Harrison Lake is a balmy 45 degrees. There he pulled out a few more fun toys â€“ including the infamous hooka pipe innocently given by Annâ€™s mom and a potatoe gun built by brother Chris? We had lots of late night discussions on worldly issues like the Canucks and nuclear fission. As usual Ian could talk about any topic and make it interesting.
Ian was any kidâ€™s dream uncle. My boys Toryn and Riley were always pumped about his visits and he was always playful. My 9 yr old Toryn was insisting on joining our upcoming Boyz wknd â€“ anything to be with Ian. I feel the same way â€“ anything to be with Ian -its going to be tough wrestling with his loss.
I spoke with a psychologist friend last night about depression and asked if he had any advice to pass on to all of us. His words were to simply help remove the stigma attached to depression and hopefully those suffering will feel more comfortable talking about it.
Thereâ€™s a lot more Jesse stories and Iâ€™ll never forget them. Iâ€™d like to toast our Jesse â€“ may he rest in peace
Memory by Jackie Sheehy Jun 5, 2013
I started kindergarten with Ian in Picton. I remember him as curious and bounding with energy. I admired Ian because he was quite smart in my opinion and was always packing in lots of excitement .Sometimes too much as I recall sitting in the back seat of his blue car white knuckled as he sped down the highway between Picton and Belleville. We made it though. I wish you peace Ian , I know you have it now.
Jackie Sheehy, Toronto
Memory by Donna D'Arcy Jun 4, 2013
I didn't have a long history with Ian, but I am comforted to read these memories and get a better understanding of what a full life he had. These last two weeks that I spent in Vancouver with Ian's wife Anne certainly made it very evident to me what truly wonderful friends and family Ian had who loved him very much. I am glad to have known him.
Memory by Nicholas Hatherly Jun 4, 2013
Ian was a good man and he treated me nicely. I have good memories of the potato canon and shooting the pellet gun for Bailey to chase in the lake. Ian and I made a big bonfire out of the stairs to the old dock at the cabin. I know Ian made my Mom very happy and he cared a lot for my Mom.
Memory by Anne Collins Jun 3, 2013
I met Ian soon after moving to Vancouver in 1998. We were inseparable for the next 14 years. We married in the Yucatan in 2005 with many of our friends and family in attendance; one of the best parties ever.
Crazy days to follow with the building of our cottage on Harrison Lake. Of course it Had to be on an island and Ian had no doubt that our Seadoo boat could move the 70,000 lbs of building materials we would need. With the purchase of our new, lovely aluminum lake boat, and the generous help of many, we locked it down in a year managing to only fell one tree onto our temporary living cabin. Many happy weekends followed with surprisingly few injuries, despite lots of opportunities, especially involving fireworks ( sorry again to our neighbours).
Much fun and travel with friends saw us sailing in the San Juan's, Gulf Islands, Sunshine Coast, the BVIs and Croatia, with yet more fun on land through London, France, the Cotswolds, and Italy. We still had a lot more to do.
We welcomed a third and very important member to our family a few years back who will always be with me as a reminder to his best pal, Ian. Thank heaven for Bailey.
There were struggles too, as I am sure everyone can understand more fully now. We thought the worst of it was over. The question mark in our relationship has very sadly ended with a period. I will miss my husband and best friend but know that he has found the peace he sought. He just wasn't to be with us forever.
Memory by Luis Alegre Jun 1, 2013
He was a fun loving and most of all a free spirit. Many years ago, when I was living in Houston, he stayed with me for a couple of weeks. In his own in inimitable way, he felt very comfortable anywhere he went.... clothing to him was optional as he was not by any means bashful. I came home from work to find him drinking milk sitting on my nice white chairs in his clothing optional comfort... I almost feel to the ground in tears laughing. Ian was always one that would make us all laugh with his antics and unique sense of warmth friendship. Ian, you will be missed by those of us who shared the privilege.
Memory by Sam Haffey May 31, 2013
In my mind, more than anything, Ian will be remembered for successfully living with Major Depressive Disorder. He was not just a victim. With dedication, he was able to stave off having a debilitating episode of depression for over twenty years by continuously employing every successful strategy there is. All the things we came to know and love about Ian are also the things that kept his mind healthy, and are the things that experts recommend to help manage this disorder: He used his brilliant intellect at his work (which also helped him build a successful career). He spent lots of time outdoors – hiking with Baily, building a cabin, playing sports. He always got lots of exercise – in fact, he was in the best shape of his life. Ian was always learning and trying new things. He was constantly reaching out and ready to offer a hand. He was always supportive of others and connecting with his friends (both new and old) no matter where they lived. Ian would partake in shenanigans, many of which involved alcohol, but I never saw him try to drown his sorrows. He was committed to taking his medication and having a regular check in with his psychologist. He kept a journal. Major Depression didn’t define him, but it was part of what made Ian, Ian, the man we all loved.
When I lapsed into a dark episode thirteen years ago and was finally diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder, Ian was one of the people I turned to and he was there for me. I really appreciated his knowledge and insights and how readily he shared them. Over the years, he periodically made an effort to ask me how it was going, even when all appeared well on the outside. When Ian and I talked, it was always positive; we didn’t compare “war stories.” Instead, we talked about our experiences with medications, our experiences with counselors, the merits of different therapeutic approaches; we talked about what was working, and what was most effective for each of us to stay of the path of wellness. Over the years, having Ian as a friend helped me to live, not only a happier life, but a healthier one as well.
I have lost a mentor. Major Depressive Disorder takes on many forms, so I can’t pretend to know what thoughts were in his head when he took his own life; the bare facts are that 3.6% of people with Major Depressive Disorder commit suicide. For some, the disorder is very treatable and a diagnosis can be the start of a journey that can lead to a much fuller and richer life. Unfortunately, for some, Major Depressive Disorder is an ongoing, day-to-day challenge and the black dog never seems very far away. As I began to learn and uncover new strategies to recognize and react to my moods, I recovered. I’m not currently on any medication and I have enjoyed many years of healthy living. I say this from a place of humility. I say it only because I know that Ian would want this positive message to be known. He wouldn’t want his death to lead to increased fear of the disorder. Ian was able to accomplish so much.
Memory by Jennifer Roche May 30, 2013
I was blessed to have known Ian over the last six months. From the day Lora brought Ian home to meet everyone we all knew he was a stand up guy. My "fondest" memory of Ian would be Sunday mornings at our house, Lora making breakfast and coffee (with baileys) and Ian sitting at our dinning room table with a LARGE glass of milk and mapping out his flight plan for the day. Ian was wonderful with all of our kids and they too are struggling with their loss of this amazing man. Time will heal the rawness of it all...until we meet again buddy.....Rest in Peace now....
Memory by Gordon Verrall May 30, 2013
I first met Ian when he came out to BC representing Davis Controls. He presented himself as a young, intelligent, engineer with a great sense of humour. Ian moved on to a position with Arrow Speed, where he provided our firm with drives and soft starters. Sometimes Ian and I sat on opposite sides of the bid table, but he always conducted himself with professional confidence, always backed-up with a good story or joke. I will miss our conversations.
Memory by Sam Haffey May 29, 2013
I got to know Ian through my friend Mike Walsh 20 years ago. I remember the day that the bonds of friendship began to be forged. I was living with Mike, Phil and Patrick in a house on West 22nd in Vancouver. One particular day, we were getting ready to throw a big party. Ian wandered over to the fridge and opened it up. I don’t know what he was expecting to find because you could be pretty sure that we didn’t have much in the fridge in those days. (I really don’t know what we ate?) There was one item that caught Ian’s eye. Sitting alone on the middle shelf was a big jug of chocolate milk. “Whose is that?” he said, pointing to the jug. I said, “It’s mine. When I wake up hung over tomorrow, it’ll come in handy.” Ian just looked at me and gave me a smile and nod that said it all. Anyone who was planning to drink 4 liters of chocolate milk in a day was OK with him. A million memories since, but it still makes me smile…
Memory by Doris Stuart May 29, 2013
Ian was a student in my Kindergarten class.
I would like to think that is where he learned to give such wonderful hugs!
At five years old, Ian was endearing, inquisitive,impetuous,fearless,carefree and everybody's friend.
Our families lived in the same block in Picton and we were friends.Ian and Rob and Chis and Graham were inseparable.
When they were teens, I shudder to think of the adventures they had....that we never knew about.
Those friendships endured, even though they have been separated by miles.
I loved having Ian come to visit as an adult, ..to be lifted up, twirled around and receive one of those wonderful hugs.
Ian will live in my heart.
Memory by Elizabeth (Rush) Brooks May 29, 2013
The first sentence Ian ever said to me was, “Show me your breasts.” I was a dumb frosh at my first ever Queen’s football game and Ian was carrying one wine skin full of Kahlua and one of Vodka – perfectly balanced Black Russians, on the go. That was his response when I asked for a sip.
I will miss his voice. I can still hear the timber of his “Liiiz”, with the drawn out “i” in the middle. And the sentences that began with, “Now Liz”, when he scolded me after one transgression or another.
I visited Ian quite often in his early years in Vancouver and that voice regularly greeted me at the arrivals gate in the Vancouver airport. “Liiiz, hop in the truck, we are going to Nanaimo for the Naked Bungie Jumping Festival. Liiiz, Hop in the Jeep, we are going tubing on the Cowichan River. Liiz, hop in, we’re going skiing at Whistler. Liiz, why’d you bring so much stuff, I picked you up on my motorcycle.”
I’m sorry we had lost regular contact but I am grateful that none of that mattered when I got to listen to Ian in laughter and in song one last time at Clark Hall Pub last October. It is one of the places I knew him and his great big bear voice the best.
Memory by Shirley May 29, 2013
Ian, you did a whole lot of living in a short period of time. May peace follow you on this next journey.
Hark now hear the sailors cry
Smell the sea
And feel the sky
Let your soul and spirit fly into the mystic.
Memory by Rob Simmons May 29, 2013
Ian was in my "Frec" group, a small cadre of incoming Freshmen you are assigned to by Queen's Engineering to get (dis)oriented with before school starts. He would have been among the first few dozen people I met at Queen's. One night, Richard Woodruff and I got Ian back to his residence after a night of what was known in the olden days as "drinking". At that time, Ian had a moustache (and a full head of hair!). I like to think it was Woody's idea to shave Ian's moustache, but it was mine to only shave half.
After we were done, all I could think of was "I only met this guy a few days ago, I don't know him very well, he's a LOT bigger than me, and he isn't going to be very happy when he wakes up." But I was pretty sure I could run faster than Woody.
The next day, Ian hunted us down and I have never felt dread or fear like that; Ian could not have been more sanguine and mellow about it; the gist of it was "Oh, God, no, it'll grow back. My fault entirely. I'd have done the same - and worse - to you." I was shocked - and relieved; but what struck that day and was never contradicted, was what a fun loving, warm and big heart beat inside that great bear of a man.
I hate it that the Black Dogs chased you down, Ian, I really do.
Memory by Wayne Dephoure May 29, 2013
I have kept this story mostly to myself all these years. I can’t think of a better time to tell it.
In 4th year engineering, Ian came over one day to visit my housemates at 36 Aberdeen. He may have been working on a lab with Dennis. However, in typical Ian fashion, the schoolwork quickly turned into a conversation about other topics, including flying. I still remember Ian almost dripping with enthusiasm while discussing the possibility of joining the Air Force.
His spark that one solitary afternoon helped change my life. His energy was so infectious that it moved me to investigate the idea myself and eventually join. Now many years later, I can’t help but wonder the following-
If listening to Ian for only one afternoon moved me to make a life changing decision, imagine how his energy must have changed the lives of those who were closest to him.
Ian, every sunset at 35000 feet will now be in your memory.
God bless you for your gift that day. I know you are already flying with the angels.
And I have one small favour to ask. Save me the right seat in heaven buddy.
I will gladly look you up and be your co-pilot when I get up there.
PER ARDUA AD ASTRA
Memory by Rob Stuart May 29, 2013
Ian is my oldest friend. Outside of immediately family, I knew him for longer than anyone in my life, over 40 years. We went to kindergarten together, and as kids, I remember a ball of energy that would never stop wrestling unless you handed him a book. We attended different primary schools but reconnected for 5 great years at PECI, and the die was cast. We learned to drive, ski and sail together – Ian was better than me at all of them. We then went separate ways for university, and careers, but Ian always made a point of dropping by my house at Xmas (and lifting my Mom off the floor), and going out of his way to introduce me to his university friends and other friends in Toronto and Vancouver, and including me in their many escapades.
And of course I can’t help but call out a few favourite memories and adventures: doing donuts in the snow on Picton airport runway, a superb sailing trip out of Vancouver in the sun (1993?), a most memorable wedding next to the adults-only resort in Mexico, and our last dinner together in London – tapas and Black Russians all around. I will miss you very much, and while I may get forgetful of a few of four decades worth of individual memories, I will always remember a life-long friendship.
Miss you Waum-baum!
Memory by christina May 28, 2013
like everyone, I've been thinking about all the fun times with Ian, and laughing thru my tears. The memory I will forever go to happened with just the two of us horseback riding. Part way thru the trip, Ian's horse decided it was time to go back to the barn, and no matter what that strong, determined man tried, he could not change that animals mind.
He tried getting off and turning it around, but by the time he got his foot back in the stirrup, the horse had swung round towards the barn and was on the move, with Ian hanging off the side trying to get his butt back in the saddle. Ian's cursing and swearing got fainter and fainter as he lost that battle of wills. He of course saw the humour in it afterwards and we laughed til our sides hurt.
miss you big guy.
Memory by Riley May 28, 2013
They say the flame that burns the brightest burns out the quickest. And nobody lived with more gusto than Jesse. When he entered a room, you knew it - instantly. I remember the first time I met the big furball, we were biking up Old Buck, a 1+hour climb, and I was going with 2 athletes. I knew I was in trouble, and they told me this new guy was coming. When I saw him, as a fellow slob, it was love at first sight and the beginning of a 20-year friendship.
The stories are endless, but one of my faves was bumping into him at Whistler at lunch. Jesse was skiing with some girls, but sat down with us for a moment to suck back his burger, fries and shake. He cleared the debris off his tray, and left to join the girls, with an apple and a salad. That night, they commented on how well he was doing on his diet, "You only had an apple and a salad for lunch!". We looked at him, waiting for him to come clean, but he just soaked it up!
My son Nate adored him, and Jesse was the only friend of mine whom Nate would wrestle with. He was such a big cuddly bear.
I am heartbroken to lose you, Jesse. Love Riley.
Memory by Nancy Harison May 28, 2013
We have lots of great memories from Clark Hall to skiing in Whislter but i think one that describes Ian's heart the best was his ability to always want to play with Noah and to hide and wrestle with him, give him his first wedgie and generally be a kid. He was a kind, lovely heart all wrapped up in a big body. We hope he knows how much we all loved him and will continue to love him and the memories he gave us.
Memory by Graham Stuart May 28, 2013
Ian lived a block away from my childhood home. He and my brother were close friends, and Chris and I were close. When Ian arrived at the house, I always hoped my parents were home...if they weren't I would be suspended over his head and swung like a towel, or held upside down by my feet until I gave the location of cookies, as Ian had already found the milk or ice cream!
As an adult I remember the warmth that Ian exuded just upon entering the room. I am sad that he suffered with a darkness, but hope that he has found peace at last.
His impact on everyone he knew is undeniable.
Memory by Judy Hope May 28, 2013
As I sit here, it all seems so surreal to be writing about Ian. I have to laugh about the similarities in the beautiful memories written by others. The hugs, the crazy toys, the key lime pie, milk....
Ian was a true friend. One I could laugh with, cry with, vent with, let him know when it was a good time to use his "edit button". He was the friend I felt safe driving with over Lions Gate Bridge on his motorcycle. The friend I drove with ,at white knuckling speeds, through the bush near Tofino. The friend I let tape my children to a pole while taunting them with ice cream. Ian was my ski buddy, my kayak buddy, my dear friend. Rest well, sweet man.
Memory by Dianne Groll May 28, 2013
I met Ian as a lifeguard at Queens– before I met Chris… Ian was the one the older (I was 16, they were 19) girls flocked to. Despite not being in the “inner circle” he was so nice to us younger guards. And so out going. It was not until my second year at Queens that I realized the guy named Bird with the “Walmsley Road” sign was Ian's brother.
And then the stories spill forth ... Ian was the most reckless, life loving, envelope pushing person I have ever known. From the stories of him sitting on Chris (which I totally believe) to me being worried he’d kill my boys with “love” ... he was the absolute best uncle the world has known…
He “taught” the boys everything any sane parent wouldn't. They shot things, they destroyed things, they blew things up…. It was willful ignorance on our part. But honestly, it was the best. And Ben and Andrew will NEVER forget the freedom Ian gave them, and the unconditional love. Uncle Ian is their “fun” rock… and everyone needs a “fun” rock… someone who says life is worth living and life can be fun ... Especially when your parents are harping on grades and work and stuff.
Ian has given us a gift. For Many years he has sheltered us from the pain of what is a chronic illness - like the pain of arthritis, Ian has battled the pain of depression.. With its’ ups and downs. While he decided the pain was too much to bear, and we can feel angry with him, or disappointed, he has left us with with an understanding of his reality…. We are feeling his despair, his sadness, and while we might still not understand it.. we can feel it. And imagine living with it…
I will miss Ian for the rest of my life. And so will Andrew and Ben, who think he is the coolest person on earth. And I hope they will grow to be like him. And he will forever be the “best uncle in the world”. .. A force of nature, a wonderful man.
Memory by Kim ( Baker) Perrin May 28, 2013
Ian loved the '87 Queen's Nurses. He vowed he would marry one of us. I was one of them who felt his love! I would like to thank him for.... all the spontaneous "sport-humps", the rides in the "Blue Thunder", especially the one sitting in the hatchback leaving Clark Hall and going to another bar and finding out that this bar is where most men go to, to see women dance on stage that look cold!! It was my first and last experience at such an establishment! My most memorable ride was "flying" around theological hall after the hayride @ 100 m/hr with Woody as co-pilot laughing his face off and me screaming in the back seat going through "life review"! I want to thank him for taking a pyschology class with me (I went to class, he didn't) and showing up at my house at 10pm the night before mid & final exams looking for my notes! He made studying fun! Thank you for letting me cut your hair for almost 4 years. I know you could have gone to First Choice on University Ave for $6. Thank you for NOT lifting your kilt ALL the way during my solo performances with the Science '87 band since rumour had it that you were "commando"! Lastly, thank you so much for being my confidente during those times I felt sad and hurt. You raised me back up in your "Walmo" way! I will miss you my dear friend and treasure the memories.
Memory by CP& Rodge May 28, 2013
Ian - aka Jesse to us - brought a new meaning to living life big and having fun. A guy who loved his big toys. Remember when he drove the new SUV into Kennedy lake gang? The antics in Whistler. The rides up Cypress. And the big heart - the dog walks, those bear hugs, the spontaneous visits across town and the phone calls out of the blue from him just to check in. He cared deeply, he loved and he will be missed. Jesse - we will continue to seek a solution. Miss you our friend. Love Cp & and Rodge
Memory by Sarah May 28, 2013
I met him one weekend in France in 1987 - after spending only 4 days together, this (almost) stranger drove me through the night and through a snowstorm down a mountain and back up into Switzerland to catch my flight! Crazy guy, and warm, and loving with the biggest bear hugs and a bigger heart!
Turns out he and my future husband had lived together for four years at University.... who could have guessed?
Many years, and parties, and cities and events later ... we will miss him.
Memory by Larry Samuels May 27, 2013
Twenty years of fun-filled memories and bear hugs that would lift me right off the ground. Monday Night Football parties with the boys. Volleyball at Kits Beach. My 50th and 60th birthday bashes. Weddings. Laughing until it hurt. Kindness, caring, support and generosity. A loyal friend. Love you and miss you, Ian. I hope you are finally at peace.
Memory by Stephen Snelgrove May 27, 2013
Ian was the goaltender on our rec hockey team, The Wild Tripods. I have great memories of him flopping around the ice, diving in front of pucks, and even throwing his stick or helmet every once in a while after a particularly bad goal. He had so much heart and loved hanging with the boys in the dressing room after the game or in the bar upstairs afterwards. We will miss him terribly. Tripods forever buddy. Peace be with you.
Memory by Aline Jensen May 27, 2013
I will miss him greatly, we had our ups and downs over the past 13 years working together but he was a great friend and supporter to our company family. We will all miss him.
Memory by Chrissy May 27, 2013
Ground beef with maple syrup at Rock Lodge .
The list of things Ian broke at the moving out west pajama party.
Furniture dancing at Pecker’s cottage.
Thanks for being you,Ian and peace go with you.
Memory by Bill May 27, 2013
Tales of Ian's adventures (and especially his misadventures) have always been legendary amongst us. He will live on forever in our hearts and minds and I can't think of a finer testament to a rich life. I will miss him.
Reading Andrew Walmsley's story I am reminded of some poor soul who unwittingly walked down a long narrow hallway, passing between Walmo and myself at a house party at Pecker + Poley's on Robert St. in Toronto. Without a spoken word, Ian and I smiled as the stranger passed between us and commenced to belly-bucking....and kept belly bucking until the poor fellow was laid out on the ground half laughing, half in shock. Was it right...probably not, but one more story that is part of the legend of Walmo.
Peace be with you Ian.
Memory by Andrew Walmsley May 26, 2013
When we were smaller, Ian would play a game with us. He would hide between the mattresses of a bad and me and Ben would wrestle with him. This came to be known as playing sandwich bear, a roughhousing game we enjoyed until we were just too big for it. It was our favourite thing to do when he was over or when we went to Picton. As we grew up, he did some more extravagant things with us, but equally as entertaining or hilarious. When he came down over Christmases he was often accompanied by some flying machine, be it rocket, helicopter or RC stealth bomber, all of which would sustain some damage in our attempts to fly them with no experience. My most memorable was a rocket which we fired off in Picton and lost! we spent a while searching for it, only to find in up a tree which none of us were capable of climbing. I could go on about visiting him and all the great time, and perhaps i will sometime, for now though, I miss him dearly and still find it hard to type this.
Memory by Debbie Grant May 25, 2013
Ian...stopped by for peanut butter sandwiches....glasses of milk....helped me with the Sunday crossword puzzle. I will miss you.
Memory by Cath May 24, 2013
Hugs. Bear hugs. Big huge hugs that lifted me off my feet. Bright green, neon green key lime pie. A martini on the deck at Harrison HIgh. Sleeping in the back seat while Ian drove us safely up the Sea to Ski Highway. Lattes and the newspaper on Sunday mornings. Scientific explanations of all things that went something like..."the sproketification module encumbers the hendrometer...it's really quite straightforward." Making Richard laugh and laugh and laugh. Being happy to be with us and we with him.
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