In memory of those who have Crossed the Bar


George Grainger Weston


Acting Lieutenant, O-77180, RCNVR


Born: 12 Nov 1923, Toronto, Ontario


Died: 07 Oct 2023


WESTON, George Granger - It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our remarkable, unconventional, and visionary father, George Grainger Weston, in his 100th year, on October 7, 2023. He was an original man of great resilience and unwavering dedication to his ideals, one who creatively questioned authority at every opportunity, leading to a full extraordinary life, that - though sorely missed and appreciated - we celebrate. Grainger's long, rich, event-filled life lasted nearly a full century. At a time when he watched the world change again and again, he sought to chart his own distinct path, unbound by convention or the status quo. He was a true polymath who could read and write in multiple languages, including Spanish, Russian, French, and a little Hindi; He played multiple musical instruments, including piano and accordion; and he conceived multiple businesses. A global citizen, he was equally at ease on any continent as he was in any business meeting or herding cattle bouncing across fields in his antiquated pickup truck. In the end, he felt most at home on his ranch in South Texas. He was the eldest son of nine children born to one of the century's greatest industrialists, Garfield Weston and his wife, Reta Lila Howard Weston. Grainger was an heir apparent, who might have played a major role in his father's empire, but that is not the life he was destined for, nor the one he wanted. Grainger was born in Toronto, Canada, on November 12, 1923, and would spend his formative years in Marlow, England, just outside of London. There, at fourteen, he was accidentally shot in the legs during a pheasant shoot. It would take him one year to fully recover after serious damage to his legs and major blood loss. He would carry pieces of gunshot in his body for the rest of his life. This experience would forever shape his character. Grainger attended Oxford, but his education was interrupted by World War II, as schools closed, and fellow students rushed to join the war effort. Canadian by birth, he proudly joined the Royal Canadian Navy, where he served as an officer that patrolled the dangerous U boat infested waters of the North Atlantic, protecting supply ships searching for submarines. While he was on the ship's bridge, he memorized poetry and Bible verses. After the war's end, Grainger was asked by his father to explore business prospects in India. He did not hesitate, venturing into the challenging, chaotic subcontinent market to scout potential sites for a biscuit manufacturing facility. During this trip, he met and corresponded with Mahatma Gandhi. In 1947, back in Canada, Grainger was introduced to The Honorable Caroline Cecily Douglas-Scott-Montagu. After a courtship of handwritten letters to her in England, they were married in 1950 at her ancestral home in Beaulieu, Hampshire, Great Britain. Grainger took his new bride and left the gentle rolling hills of England for the hot prairies of Texas, where he apprenticed for his father's cookie manufacturing company in Fort Worth. Grainger and Caroline lived in a single room at one end of the factory, with the bathroom at the other end. They awoke every morning to the sound of the dough mixer along with the aroma of cookies baking. Grainger was a man of fierce independence who for the first few years of his career, had exclusively worked under the direction of his father, where he moved his young family from Boston, first to Los Angeles, then Seattle, New York and finally, Texas. Grainger would come to love Texas and everything that it meant to be a proud Texan. Grainger's entrepreneurial spirit further encouraged him to leave the family business and acquire his own company called Grandma's Cookies, based in San Antonio. The brand can still be found on grocery store shelves to this day. In 1959, at his father's request, Grainger relocated with his young family to Jamaica to spearhead the development and management of the Frenchman's Cove Resort located on one of the Caribbean's most renowned beaches. With his keen eye for design, Grainger created a truly iconic property which the family still manages today. While in Jamaica, he pioneered the concept of the first all-inclusive vacation experience, now popular at resorts around the world. During this time, Grainger acquired a 500-passenger ship, that had previously operated in the Mediterranean. He rechristened the ship 'Jamaica Queen', which sailed around the Caribbean as an early-concept cruise ship. A visionary, Grainger foresaw the rise of what is now the massive, global, cruise-ship industry. Grainger made substantial contributions to the local Jamaican community where the hotel was built, providing scholarships and financial support to students from Draper's School and Titchfield High School. Recently, Grainger received the esteemed Order of Distinction from the Jamaican government in recognition of his exceptional work with both the local community and services to tourism in the country. Grainger was very interested in psychology, the life of the mind, and personal development. He sponsored many international seminars over the years on this subject, including educational programs at Frenchman's Cove in Jamaica. In the early 1960s, upon his return to Texas, Grainger bought land near the small town of Marion in Guadalupe County and built the Santa Clara Ranch. This foray into ranching marked the inception of a new chapter in his life, and it swiftly became one of his most cherished places on earth, where over the next 60 years, he acquired land from every neighbor possible. Embracing the role of a Texan rancher, Grainger watched the ranch flourish into an idyllic setting for his growing family. Grainger was ahead of his time with his focus on land management and conservation. He saw himself as a steward of the land, prohibiting the use of chemicals or fertiliser on the ranch. He refused to prune the trees, loving the way that nature naturally chose to shape them. Grainger also expressed his passion for environmental sustainability inside his family's by installing unusual geo-thermal air conditioners that use cold groundwater to cool the house efficiently. When diesel cars were first introduced due to their fuel efficiency, he bought a fleet of Volkswagen cars for his family and ranch-hands to use. He may have been the first landowner in Texas to use Volkswagen and Toyotas as ranch vehicles. Grainger had a very special relationship with his land and the cows. He dreamed of the ranch becoming a Lone Star version of an English country estate, preserved for all time and unthreatened by encroaching development. Today, the Santa Clara Ranch is the largest land holding in the area, with more than 4,000 acres acquired over six decades. It is a poignant legacy to Grainger's Texan country life. Over the course of two decades, Grainger initiated the Weston Ranch Foundation and supported the Texas Lutheran University in nearby Seguin. His vision statement for the foundation in 2001 was to 'preserve the ranch and agricultural land and structures of the Santa Clara Ranch in a condition that accurately depicts the natural surroundings of a Texas ranch and its native wildlife.' He not only loved his ranch, but also the community around it. He was always inspired to help where he could. Grainger's sense of innovation and courage to experiment drove him to construct an apartment building in the '60s in San Marcos using an all-new construction method widely used today, called 'tilt-wall' construction design. Grainger generously contributed to the community of New Braunfels, leading to the establishment of the Weston Soccer Fields, "a place where kids could kick a ball." The fields have had an impact on thousands of local youths and will be enjoyed by families for generations to come. Grainger also invited Boy Scout troops to utilize the Santa Clara Ranch for campouts and other events. He established scholarships that allowed local high school students studying music to attend TLU in Seguin. He later made a major gift to TLU for the creation of the Caroline Weston Performing Arts Center, a world-class facility where students study and perform. Grainger instilled loyalty amongst all who worked with him, and as their boss, he cared deeply about their lives and would often become their benefactor with out-of-pocket gifts. Grainger was preceded in death by Caroline and their son, Glenn. He is survived by his children with Caroline: Galvin and wife, Michelle, Sarah and husband, Mark, Gregg and wife, Monique, and Graham; with Monica Chen: Ben and wife, Christina, Melanie and husband, Michi, and Craig and his wife, Shelly; and with Aurora: Grainger Garfield. He is also survived by nineteen grandchildren, eight great-grandchildren, and one great-great-grandchild. Grainger's leaves his most cherished possession, his ranch, to be preserved in perpetuity. A memorial service for George Grainger Weston will be held Saturday, November 11, 2023, where family and friends will gather to honour and remember a man who lived life to the fullest and made a lasting impact on all who knew him. We remember, many times, Dad telling us this, 'the Truth shall set you free,' and Jesus is the truth. Registration for the November 11th Celebration of Life is required. (The Globe and Mail 08 Nov 2023)


Ships served in:

HMCS NIOBE - Appointed to NIOBE 30 Jul 1942 as  a Prob. SLt, RCNVR (Navy List Sep 1942)

HMCS DISCOVERY - Appointed to DISCOVERY 05 Jun 1943 (Navy List Mar 1943)

* Appointed A/Lt, RCNVR 15 Jan 1944 (Navy List Feb 1944)

RCN BARRACKS AVALON - Appointed to RCN BARRACKS AVALON 26 Jun 1944 for Disposal (Navy List Jul 1944)

HMCS VILLE DE QUEBEC - Appointed to VILLE DE QUEBEC 03 Jul 1944 (Navy List Sep 1944)

* Last noted in the Navy List of Mar 1945 on HMCS VILLE DE QUEBEC as an A/Lt, RCNVR



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