The Lochead family and the town of Forest, Ontario, lost a very special father and dedicated citizen with the passing of Arthur James Lochead, age 86, at London’s Parkwood Hospital at 5:20 p.m. on Sunday October 14, 2012. Loyal and devoted son of William G. and Evelyn Lochead, Arthur was born in London, Ontario, the eldest of their two boys, leaving behind his brother David. His formal education began at Forest Public School and Forest High School, where he played on both the junior and senior hockey and baseball teams, and continued at Trinity College, University of Toronto. Following four years of study, he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree.
Arthur was proud to serve as a Lieutenant in the Royal Canadian Navy, and it was during this time that he met his wife, Joan Stuart McDermott of Port Credit, Ontario, who was a Sub-Lieutenant Nursing Sister with the Royal Canadian Navy. They had been posted to Victoria, B.C., where a mutual friend set them up on a blind date. A short time later, on September 7, 1949, they were married. They took up residence in Arthur’s hometown of Forest, where in the late 1800s his great grandfather, William Lochead, had established the town’s first hardware store. The William Lochead Hardware Store was a success from the day its doors opened, and after William’s son James retired, it was taken over by William Grant Lochead, the younger of two children. Arthur was tireless in his enthusiasm and involvement. Arthur and his father worked together in the hardware store until it was finally time for Arthur to take the helm. For four generations, the William Lochead Hardware Store provided for the hardware and sporting goods needs of Forest and the surrounding area.
While Arthur’s first responsibility was to his family, his commitment to St. James Presbyterian Church came a close second. He was a faithful member for the entirety of his life, and for six years he served on the Board of Managers of this church. . He was also a steadfast supporter of the community, which he expressed through membership in a variety of organizations that helped people of all ages and nationalities. Most prominent among these was Branch #176 of the Royal Canadian Legion. throughout his sixty-three years of membership, acting as Secretary for nine years. as well as the President of the Legion for one year (1960/61), as Zone A5 Canadian Legion Poppy Chairman for two years (starting in 1962), as Zone A5 Commander for one year (1965/66), and District A Scholarship Chairman for four years (starting in 1965).
Arthur served the Rotary Club of Forest with honour and distinction for thirty-two years. He was President for one year (1982/83) and Governor of Rotary District 6330 for one year (1987/88), and was unique for being one of only a few members who achieved perfect attendance over the course of his membership. Art was the proud manager of the Rotary sponsored Ontario C, 2 time runner-up, Bantam Hockey Club, for five years.
Arthur gave the same level of attention to his combined twenty-six years of volunteer service as a member of the Forest Scout Troop, where he was Assistant Scout Leader for one year, the Forest Cub Pack, the Forest Centennial Committee and the town’s Chamber of Commerce. He was a member of the local school board, acted as Secretary of the Curling Club, and was deeply involved in the activities of the Canadian Retail Hardware Association, where he was on the Board of Managers for several years and served for one year as the President of the Canadian Retail Hardware Association, and another year as a Past President. For two years he was also the Canadian Representative of the European Hardware Association. Few among us have served their community so dependably, especially over such a long period of time.
Arthur is survived by his four children, Janet (Mark) Jim (Becky) and Bill and Peter, and their respective wives Annette and Sandy, and his grandchildren Forest, Peyton, Dustin, Shannon, Brendan and Willy, and his brother David, with whom he had a great life long relationship, whether it was with their family or their common association as Officers in the Royal Canadian Navy.
The visitation will be held at the FOREST CHAPEL OF DENNING FUNERAL DIRECTORS on Friday, October 19th, 2012 from 2-4 and 7-9pm. Funeral Service will take place at St. James Presbyterian Church (19 Main Street North) on Saturday, October 20th at 2pm. Rev. Joanne MacOdrum officiating. Interment to follow at Beechwood Cemetery. Donations to the Strathroy Middlesex General Hospital Foundation or the St. James Presbyterian Church Elevator Fund would be greatly appreciated by the family. Donations and condolences may be left online at www.denningfuneralhome.com. Posted free at www.canadaobits.ca .