In memory of those who have Crossed the Bar


Teresa Sheila Anne Drabick


Chaplain, C.A.F. / RCN


Born: 04 Apr 1964          Died: 26 Dec 2020


DRABICK, Teresa Sheila Anne - Unexpectedly, on December 26, 2020, Teresa Sheila Anne Drabick passed into the next life. She was in her 57th year. Tess was the daughter of Tony (1987) and Margaret Drabick nee Doxey (2016). She was the beloved sister of Gerry (Haerim) and Mark Drabick (Paula), both of London. Tess was the cherished Aunt of Tara, Ji Ae and Marcel Drabick. She leaves behind many friends, aunts, uncles and cousins she was very close to. Teresa recently retired from a full career as a military chaplain. During her career, she travelled to many parts of the world and was the first female Roman Catholic chaplain to enter a theatre of war. Visitation will be held at John T. Donohue Funeral Home, 362 Waterloo Street at King Street on Sunday, January 3 from 1:00 to 5:00 o'clock in the afternoon. Due to restrictions from COVID-19, and the mandate from the BAO, visitors will be received, by appointment only, please call John T. Donohue Funeral Home at (519) 434-2708 or e-mail to reserve a time. Funeral service will be live streamed on Monday, January 4 at 10:00 o'clock in the morning. Interment in St. Peter's Cemetery. Donations to the St. Paul's Social Services Food Bank and Fellowship Centre would be appreciated.


Teresa Sheila Anne Drabick (AKA Tess) was the daughter of Margaret and Tony Drabick. She was born and raised in London, Ontario. She attended St. Martin, Jean Vanier, Catholic Central High School, and Western University where she obtained her B.A. and M.Div. While studying at Western she started her military career as a cadet camp Chaplain at CFB Trenton where she served for four years. In the summer of 1991, she became a Reserve Force Chaplain at HMCS PREVOST. She was the first, female, Roman Catholic Chaplain in the Reserve Forces. Upon completion of her M.Div. in 1992, she joined the Regular Forces where she was posted to CFB Baden for some brief training and then on to CFB St. Jean in Quebec. During her posting in St. Jean she made two trips to CFS Alert on Ellesmere Island, Nunavut. It was here that she crossed the Arctic Circle. In 1995 she was posted to 16 Wing Winnipeg and was employed as the Hangar Line Chaplain. During that posting she made four more trips to Alert, a tour in Kuwait, many re-supply trips to Bosnia and Croatia and repatriated the remains of a Sgt who was killed in Trinidad. She was published twice in Reader’s Digest under “Humour In Uniform”. Since she was the Hangar Line Chaplain, she was fortunate enough to have visited 20+ countries courtesy of the back end of C-130s and Dash 8 aircraft. In 2001 Tess was posted to CFB Esquimalt. Shortly after her arrival in Victoria 9/11 occurred and she was part of ROTO 0 on Operation Apollo in the Persian Gulf. She was the first female, Roman Catholic Chaplain to go to war. On ROTO 0 she sailed with HMCS VANCOUVER. The Vancouver broke a naval history record on their tour by staying at sea for 79 days straight, a record that is still held to this day. On this tour the crew went from being tadpoles, to shellbacks to GOLDEN SHELLBACKS, meaning that they had crossed the Equator at the International Date Line. Tess came home from that tour in 2002 and exactly one year later did the tour again, this time onboard HMCS CALGARY. In 2007 Tess was posted to CFB Borden where she was the CFSAL Chaplain for 4 years. In 2011 she was posted to CFB Gagetown in New Brunswick where she served as the hospital chaplain. In 2013 she was posted to CFB Halifax where she served as a Dockyard Chaplain. She retired from Canadian Armed Forces in January of 2018. So, after serving for six years in the Reserve Forces and 25 years in the Regular Forces, after travelling to at least 36 countries around the globe, crossing the Tropic of Cancer, the Tropic of Capricorn, crossing the Arctic Circle more than six times, crossing the Equator more than that, dipping her toes in the Atlantic, Pacific, Arctic and Indian Oceans, being to every continent except South America, and visiting every province and territory in Canada, her watch has finally come to an end. She has hung up her bowler and gone to her rack. Great job, good and faithful servant.


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