Clifford Cowcill

Clifford Cowcill

Clifford Cowcill passed away peacefully on April 18, 2024, at the age of 83 due to complications from vascular dementia and Alzheimer’s. He was born in Bolton, England April 23, 1940, became a master mechanic, and married Maureen in 1960.

In the June of 1967, he booked ship passage to Montreal, and then took a train to North Bay. Within a day he’d found a job as a mechanic and a place to live. In September, his family joined him.

As a mechanic, he was gifted in that he could look at a mechanical problem and know what was needed to fix it. He became known as the guy who could fix vehicles other mechanics couldn’t fix. He worked at several garages in the city, and then at Jarvis Clark where he helped build and test the prototypes for the underground mining machinery.

When the Jarvis Clark plant closed, Cliff was hired to work in the city yards where he worked on anything with an engine. Eventually, he became Foreman of the city garage. He retired in 2005.

One of his favourite places was Camp Mishewah on Round Lake (Renfrew County). He ran fishing contests for children and teens (Cliff was an avid fisherman and loved to introduce others to fishing). He took campers water skiing and tubing, and he ran the Hubba-Bubba Treasure Hunt for decades.

Cliff loved being with people. He learned to play guitar and would enthusiastically lead people in hymns and choruses at church and at camp. As a general handyman, he would volunteer to fix engines, build a shed, and help with renovations at the camp, at church, and other folks’ homes. He became an enthusiastic woodworker and built many useful items for family and friends.

A big project he undertook was buying and restoring a1928 Bickle Fire Engine. He drove it in the parades for years. He later donated it to the North Bay Museum where it was further restored by Peter Martin. The fire engine is currently on display in the museum.

Both Cliff and Maureen liked to travel. They toured Canada and the states in their RV, they took cruises up the coast to Alaska, they flew to England and other countries in Europe, and wherever they met people, Cliff would start chatting and laughing with them.

He had a life that was well-lived, full of adventure (some inadvertent), and filled with a love for helping wherever he could. He was blessed to be surrounded by friends and coworkers who were also willing to help Cliff and his family during lean economic times.

Cliff is predeceased by his brothers, Keith (Catherine) and Nigel (Maureen), and is survived by his wife of 64 years, Maureen, his children Kevan, Philip (Shirley), Mark (Lauren), Shelley (Dale), and his 6 grandchildren and 3 great grandchildren. They greatly miss him.

There will be a celebration of his life at 3:00 PM Friday April 26, 2024, at Lakeshore Missionary Church. Light refreshments will be served after the celebration.

The family would like to express their appreciation for the care Cliff received at Cassellholme. In lieu of flowers, donations to Camp Mishewah by way of Lakeshore Missionary Church, or to Alzheimer’s Society of North Bay would be welcome.

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