Suddenly but peacefully with his loving daughter Emily by his side, Cy Hoganson passed away on October 24th at 101 and a half years young. Predeceased by his first wife Margaret (née Murray), second wife Lois (née Mullins), sister Monica Leydon and brother-in-law Fred, daughter-in-law Beverley, and dear son Thomas. Proud father of Bernard Hoganson, Emily Gildner, Helen Hoganson, and Ann Edwards (Lawrence). Cherished uncle to Paula Leydon and to Margaret and Lois’ many nieces and nephews. Loving Grandpa to Kimberley Fox (Matthew), Geoff McLennan (Rachel), Laura Gildner, Chris Hoganson, and Ken Gildner (Anja). Honoured to be a great-grandfather to Katie, Ben, Asher, Arya, and Klara.
Cy lived a remarkable life. Born in Halifax on May 29, 1921 to Katie (née Cuddihy) and Arthur Hoganson, Cy grew up in Nova Scotia, often spending summers with his grandmother and cousins in Newfoundland. During the war he served as a lieutenant in the army, utilizing his engineering skills to employ tactical direction and his metallurgical knowledge to deactivate bombs. He studied at St Mary’s in Halifax before graduating from Nova Scotia Technical College with a degree in mining and metallurgical engineering in 1944, later pursuing graduate courses at MIT in Boston. As a student during his summer break, he worked for the American Core of Engineers to help build the Alaska Highway near Johnson’s Crossing, YT. This formative experience led him to become a topographical specialist in his field. Cy spent the remainder of his career working for the Federal Department of Energy, Mines, and Resources on the Geodetic Survey of Canada. He led several teams of engineers in surveying British Columbia, the Northwest Territories, and the Yukon by horseback to help create the first topographically accurate map of the country. Having never previously ridden a horse, he quickly bonded with one in particular, Dolly, whom he still remembered fondly and who accompanied him on all of his travels over the years he spent working in the mountains.
Cy’s greatest achievements were his five children. He would often reflect on their early years and how these were some of the most fulfilling times of his life. When his son Thomas was born with Spina Bifida in 1952, Ottawa did not have wheelchair accessibility in most public places, including within schools in the Roman Catholic School Board. Cy and Margaret petitioned tirelessly for infrastructural inclusivity in schools so that their son could learn with his peers, as well as for out-of-school programming that welcomed all children. This eventually led to spearheading an ongoing public swimming program inclusive to all youth and families at the Veteran’s Pool on Smyth Road.
Among the countless things Cy’s family will remember him for are his lifelong love of baseball and the Montreal Expos; his quiet nature yet bursting, wide-mouthed, monosyllabic laugh; his mathematical wizardry and love of learning; his 101-year run of eating Cornflakes for breakfast daily (“still testing them out”); his enjoyment of travel and gratefulness to do so; and his happiness in being around friends. In his later years, Cy’s steadfast positive outlook and indefatigable strength left those who knew him somewhat gobsmacked. He woke up each morning as he always had: excited to greet the day, and looking forward to every moment. As he reiterated to us just a few weeks ago, "every day you have on this earth is a fortunate one."
Cy’s family would like to thank all of his friends and the incredible staff at the Waterford Residences on Bank Street where he lived happily for the past 5 and a half years for being a cherished part of his life, and to the angels employed as doctors and nurses in the critical care unit of the Ottawa General Hospital where he spent his final hours. In lieu of flowers, donations to the Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus Association of Canada would be greatly appreciated: https://sbhac.ca/donate/
We love you so much Grandpa, and will miss you more than words can say.