In memory of those who have Crossed the Bar


Thomas Forbes


Radioman, RCN / C.A.F.


Lieutenant-Commander (MARE), C.A.F.


Born: 20 Dec 1936, Johnstone, Scotland


Died: 18 Sep 2020, Ottawa, Ontario


FORBES, Thomas  - (20 December 1936 - 18 September 2020) The family of the late Thomas Forbes regret to announce his passing on Friday, September 18, 2020 at the Ottawa Civic Hospital. Born on December 20, 1936 in Johnstone, Scotland, Thomas was the son of the late Thomas and Agnes Forbes (McGuigan). He grew up with his siblings and cousins together, one big family. The fathers were away during the war and the cousins were close. The children kept busy in and out of the house entertaining themselves and Tom loved playing tricks on his sisters. His mother insisted that he do something worthwhile after he stopped school and was working at a race track caring for horses, secretly betting on the races too.


At the tender age of 16, Tom took a train to London, England and joined the Royal British Navy as a Boy Seamen. His naval career included travels all over the world and family postings in Victoria, B.C. and Sorel, Quebec.


Tom ended his naval career in 1986 as a Lieutenant Commander Combat Systems Engineer. Some of the 37 ships he sailed on are ALGONQUIN, IROQUOIS, PROVIDER, BONAVENTURE, CAPE SCOTT, and PROTECTEUR. He then worked for HDMQ until 1996.


Tom and Charlotte Louise Forbes (Harrison) were married on May 6, 1960. She was the love of his life. Tom was a family man, he taught his children and grandchildren to value each other and be close. He instilled by his actions that hard work and a strong work ethic are a benefit in life. The importance of family, church, community service, and education were valued both by his words and by his behaviors.


Working in his gardens and yard gave him great happiness, the family chestnut tree tradition lives on with his children. A man of deep faith, Tom volunteered at Saint Thomas Moore on the Parish Council as President and taught catechism classes. Tom was a community member who helped those in need. He was a founding member of the Woodlawn Hockey Association and he could often be found at the hockey rink. Tom was on the Royal Canadian Sea Cadet Foundation for many years.


In Ottawa, he volunteered at Saint Patrick's Home. Tom gave generously of his time and presence for many of the residents and their families. He was a dedicated volunteer for 29 years in the Pastoral Care department. Tom will be remembered for his kindness, genuine faith and gentle humour. In his younger years, Tom was a competitive soccer player with the navy and the Halifax Olands. Sports were a source of pleasure, especially cheering the Montreal Canadians. Whatever sport or activity his children or grandchildren participated in, Tom was there to cheer or help. The family loved to travel, dad drove across Canada and most of the USA while camping and visiting relatives.


Tom is survived by his wife Charlotte of Ottawa, daughter Anne Ring (Mark) of Dartmouth, Derek of Lawrencetown, Thomas (Virginia Lesuik) of Richmond, B.C., and Ian (Janice) of Ottawa. He will also be missed by his grandchildren Jessica, Andrew, Charlotte, Duncan, Ashli, Jackson, Sydney and Clair. He is survived by his brother Malcolm Forbes (Katie), sister Patricia Ketchum and brother-in-law Charlie McPherson from Hartford, Conn., nephews Bruce, Kenny and Aaron and niece Rachel. Tom was predeceased by his parents Thomas and Agnes Forbes (McGuigan), parents-in-law Russell and Annie Laura Harrison (Clancy), sister Marie Obermeier, Cecilia McPherson, Helen Draper, brother-in-law Donald Gallagher, sister-in-law Dayle Wilson and niece Carolyn Quinones.


Donations can be made to the Dementia Society of Ottawa or The Royal Canadian Navy Benevolent Fund. Liturgy of the Word will be celebrated on Friday, September 25, 2020 beginning at 3:00 p.m. Interment will be held later in the family cemetery, Maccan, Nova Scotia. We give thanks for Tom's service to our country and dedication to his family. (Ottawa Citizen 24 Sep 2020.


Ships served in:









Crossed the Bar Index