Ronald Stanley Blicq
2 May, 1925 – 28 May, 2021
Peacefully, on May 28, 2021, at age 96, Ron Blicq passed away at the Grace Hospice in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, bringing down the final curtain on a remarkable life.
Ronald Stanley Blicq was born on the May 2, 1925, on the idyllic Island of Guernsey in the English Channel. In 1940, as the Nazis raced across France, occupation of the island became certain. His parents Arthur Stanley Blicq and Marjorie (nee) Steele made the difficult decision to evacuate Ron, age 15, and his two younger brothers to England and then Canada, where Marjorie had relatives.
The family left everything behind and began again in Winnipeg. Ron attended Kelvin High School until 1942 when, on his 18th birthday, he enlisted in the Royal Canadian Air Force and trained as an airborne navigator and wireless operator and then on Mosquito fighter-bombers. He served in England, before being returned to Canada and discharged at the end of the war. Ron was bored with civilian life and loved flying. He decided to join Britain’s Royal Air Force and returned to England. He served in Bomber Command from 1947 to 1952 at the Suez Canal, In Singapore and in Australia, then as a navigation instructor and as a member of the RAF’s Radar Research Flying Unit.
After a long courtship, often interrupted by his overseas postings, in 1951, Ron married the love of his life, Irene Winifred Stratford, a child care worker he had met in Oxford. Sadly, he lost her to cancer in August, 1956. Ron then made the difficult decision to resign his commission and in 1957, he moved his young family to Canada, to be closer to his parents and other family members.
For 10 years he worked at CAE Industries in Winnipeg, writing and editing technical manuals for radar and associated equipment, before joining the staff of Red River College. For 23 years Ron taught technical communication skills to engineering technology students and observation writing to Child Care Students. He was a gifted educator and produced six successful textbooks. Technically-Write! is currently in its eighth edition.
In 1990, at 65, Ron retired from the college and embarked on another extraordinary chapter of his life. He traveled extensively, teaching workshops on effective business writing to scientific and technical organizations, and later in partnership with his colleague Lisa Moretto. Their work took them to Dominica, Moscow, Texas, Germany, and England and across Canada. He was the first Canadian appointed as a Fellow by the Society for Technical Communication and he was a Lifetime Member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and the Professional Communication Society, which in 2000, established an Award in his name. In 1996 Red River College awarded him an honorary degree and he received many more accolades for his teaching and leadership, in Canada, the United States and Great Britain.
It was Lisa who convinced him, at age 72, to try downhill skiing and mountain biking at Grouse Mountain, in B.C. In 1990 he returned to his love of flying, earning his glider pilot’s wings at the Winnipeg Glider Club shortly after his 70th birthday. He travelled extensively, eventually becoming a member of Air Canada’s million mile program. He continued teaching workshops into his ‘90s and only recently moved out of his home on Oxford Street and into the Shaftesbury Park Retirement Residence where he made many friends. At the Shaftesbury he met and became close with Isaac Gotfried. He helped Isaac edit and publish his gripping memoir Lucky to Survive. Isaac was a holocaust death camp survivor who testified against Nazi war criminals at the International Court and Tribunal in Dachau.
Ron continued writing and editing both fiction and non-fiction right until the last weeks of his life. He had a great love for the theatre and in retirement became an award-winning playwright. Productions of his work have been mounted in Canada, America, New Zealand and Australia, on BBC Radio in the United Kingdom and on his beloved Island of Guernsey where he was a member of the Guernsey Amateur Dramatic and Operatic Society. His play Closure was recently turned into a feature film called Connecting Flights and is currently being released internationally.
Ron is survived by his children Ian (Joanne), Andrew (Cindy) and Ali and her dog, Echo, who was a special companion for Ron; grandchildren Phoenyx, Graham, Edward, Caroline, Melanie and Krista, and great-grandchildren Noah, Heidi and Jonah. Ron also had a special relationship with his nieces Stephanie and Justine and their families. We will miss him terribly. He was an inspiration to all of us and we are celebrating his long life. A life well-lived.
We would like to thank Ron’s many friends, colleagues and acquaintances who have come forward to share their memories of him. He was intelligent, gentle, kind, thoughtful and generous to all who knew him.
The family would like to acknowledge the exceptional kindness and care shown to Ron and all of us over the last few weeks and months by the Shaftesbury Park Retirement Centre, the Riverview Health Centre and the staff of the Grace Hospice.
In light of the pandemic, there are no plans for a service at this time. Those who wish to may make a donation to the charity of their choice, or to the Agape Table, in Winnipeg.
Lift him now you mighty Merlins
From Shakespeare’s mortal coil
Plot a course for sunlit uplands
Then on home to Oxford and Irene
And eternal rest together
In his Scepter’d Isle.
No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.
Ronald Stanley Blicq
have a memory or condolence to add?ADD A MEMORY
12 July 2021
To Ron's family,
We are part of Doreen Brownstone's Theatre family and got to know Ron while sitting around and chatting in Shaftesbury Coffee Bistro on many a Friday afternoon.
He was quite a guy and will be missed by many and wanted to send our heartfelt condolences.
3 July 2021
This man truly deserves a halo and set of wings
28 June 2021
Ron first touched my life in 1986 in his Red River Community College Technical Writing Class. He impacted my life by what he taught and by who his character that shone through.
After college whenever our paths crossed in communication courses or association events, it was always a delight and enriching.
An honourable man who has left this world better for his being here.
My condolences to his family and friends,
9 June 2021
I met Ron some of times when he spoke at the ISTC conferences in the UK. He could fit in anywhere he went. Ron left me with an impression of a person who was kind, curious, and active.
8 June 2021
So sorry to hear about the passing of your Dad. He was a great man and a good friend of our family. In fact, of all my friends, he is the Dad that I knew the best. I enjoyed his books and plays. He had a special friend in Janna. We will miss him at the Ding Doug parades. Au revoir, Ron.
Gary, Joan and Janna
6 June 2021
Sincere condolences to the family of my former colleague and friend of many decades, Ron Blicq. I shall remember Ron every time I see one of his books on my book shelves and when I need to write, using the skills he taught so masterfully.
Ron, you were a great educator, human being and friend.
Peter and Helga Elvers
5 June 2021
Saddened and sorry for your loss
Ron Blicq was one of my favourite instructors at Red River College.
I still have my textbook "Administratively-Write" from his course.
Fascinating to read the longer story of his life than the 2 years I spent in his classes.
Red River College 1969 - 1971
5 June 2021
My husband, Alan, and I were saddened to hear of Ron’s passing. We were proud to know Ron and to call him a friend. I met Ron at a meeting of our local STC (Society for Technical Communication) chapter back in 1988, but didn’t get to know him well until five years later, at the end of a conference we both attended in Nashville. We were on the same flight home, which was delayed due to weather, and ended up seated side-by-side at the airport coffee shop. We got to chatting and found out we both enjoyed writing fiction as well as ‘the technical stuff’. Since then, Ron has kindly read and critiqued some of my fiction writing, and I was privileged to do unofficial first edits on some of his books. We used to meet monthly for coffee, then less often as life became busy for us both. In the last couple of years, Ron occasionally invited Alan and me to lunch at Shaftesbury Park, followed by long chats into the afternoon. We will miss him greatly. Rest in peace, Ron.
5 June 2021
Ron was a gentleman we truly loved and respected. We owe gratitude to our daughter Lisa who brought him into our lives
Ron became part of our extended “family”
We have so many great memories of the GREAT MAN
3 June 2021
I am so saddened to hear of Ron’s passing. But I am so honoured to have known him, worked with him and been touched by his intellect, his generosity and his true gift for sharing his stories. I created advertising material for many of his publications and book covers and illustrations for his books. Whatever the project, he was all in! I have copies of his books, with lovely personal notes of thanks from him. I am so proud of the work we did together and will always think of him as inspirational. He was the real deal, a huge talent, and a wonderful human.
3 June 2021
The RRC Heritage Group has lost its most esteemed writer in virtual residence, and its most generous contributor. Thank you Ron. You have been (and will continue to be) an inspiration to us all.
2 June 2021
I am proud to of had ,Ron,in my life as the aspiring uncle he's was, again like cousin Nigel mentioned, he was married to Irene,who was also my mother, Janice's sister, she carries a life time of memories with her. As a family in the U.K. We all cherish to time we spent with you.
We will also be there, to greet you.at Oxford,
2 June 2021
Dear Ron we are so sad that you are not with us now but you will not be forgotten, you have been a kind and loving Bother-In -Law I will miss you Ron not having are phone calls Love from Jan and family ,you are with Irene now so rest in peace.
2 June 2021
Ron was my maternal Uncle. My mum had a special relationship with Ron who maintained a close link since she was Irene's sister. He was such a caring compassionate and interesting man. His network of family and friends was worldwide. His immediate family were so special to him. I hope to be there to greet him at Oxford when he rests forever with Irene.
We will miss you Ron
1 June 2021
I had the honour of acting in the Connecting Flights movie. I never met Mr. Blicq, but feel as though I did. And I am grateful to Ian for gifting me a copy of his memoir, "Oh No, Not Now!". Mr. Blicq will live on in the memories of those who knew him, and in the memories of many people he never met.
1 June 2021
Ron was my great Uncle. The distance between Canada and England never got in the way of Uncle Ron being a huge influence on my life. During his many visits to England we would meet up for a lovely meal and spend hours chatting away. His stories, experiences and knowledge continually amazed me. Emails and video calls kept us in touch always updating each other on our lives. I am incredibly proud to call Ron my Uncle. I will miss him always. Rest peacefully Uncle Ron xxxx