Richard Dumbrille
Richard Dumbrille

Obituary of Richard M. Dumbrille

Richard MacDowell Dumbrille, CM, KStJ.; GCLJ(J), GOMLJ Suddenly at his home, Sprucelawn, in Maitland, Ontario with family on the evening of Thursday, September 23, 2021 at ninety years. Born in Brockville, Ontario, son of Clifford Frank Dumbrille and Eula Grace MacDowell. Loving husband of Sarah Jane. Dear father of Clifford Harold Connell (Monika) Dumbrille, Eula Sarah Ruth (Jeffrey) Hamm, and Richard Charles Philip (Alexandra) Dumbrille. Dear grandfather of Lillian, Martin and Mattias Dumbrille. Richard’s great love was the preservation of the beautiful homes in his beloved village of Maitland, one of the oldest inhabited villages in Ontario. For this ongoing work of private preservation, he was greatly honoured by being an early Member of the Order of Canada in 1976. With an abundance of energy, Richard continued even in his 91st year to maintain the buildings he had renovated or restored. Enjoying sharing his knowledge of Maitland, in 1985, he co-authored “Maitland A Very Neat Village Indeed” and has been acknowledged by over a dozen authors for his contribution to their books. By giving practical use to his preservation, he wanted to make sure many had an opportunity to live in comfort in this pretty village. Richard was always very proud to have been the village Postmaster for 25 years, the 4th generation of his family to hold that position over a span of 100+ years. Running his family store, C. F. Dumbrille & Son in Maitland, he always felt that much of business was not just about making a profit, but knowing people from all walks of life and being able to share an anecdote with them. He worked tirelessly to serve his community in matters related to heritage by being a Founding Member of the Ontario Heritage Foundation. In this position, he encouraged the gifting of several heritage properties, including spearheading negotiations to encourage the then DuPont Company to gift “Homewood,” and initiating the interest of George Fulford to gift “Fulford Place” to the Ontario Heritage Foundation, now Ontario Heritage Trust. He was a member of the Board of Directors of St. John Ambulance, Leeds, Grenville and Lanark for many years and was greatly honoured to receive the Knight of Justice of the Venerable Order of St. John in 2018. Over the years, he served his community in many other ways as President of the Grenville County Historical Society, Chair of the Prescott Suburban Planning Board, Lay Reader, Vestry Clerk and Warden at St. James Anglican Church in Maitland, Secretary of St. James Cemetery Committee, Founding Member of the Brockville Power Squadron, Commodore of the Brockville Yacht Club, Associate Member, Officers Mess, Brockville Rifles, Member of the Board of St. Vincent de Paul Hospital Foundation, Member of the International Advisory Board of the Frederic Remington Art Museum in Ogdensburg, New York, President of the Ballymenagh Foundation overseeing the distribution of foundation funds to many worthy recipients in the community each year, Commander of the Ottawa Commandery of the Military and Hospitaller Order of St. Lazarus, and Grand Prior, Canadian Grand Priory of the Military and Hospitaller Order of St. Lazarus. Up to his passing, he was a member of the Board of Directors of St. John Ambulance Leeds Grenville and Lanark, and Founding Director and Chair of the Y Foundation. Richard was greatly honoured to receive Honourable Mention from Heritage Canada in 1978, the Doers and Dreamers Award by the Township of Augusta in 2011, the Bill Thake Memorial Economic Development Leadership Award for outstanding commitment to Leeds Grenville in 2014, and the Queen Elizabeth II Silver, Golden and Diamond Jubilee medals. Although a busy person, family and friends always came first for Richard. Due to COVID restrictions, family and friends will be received by invitation only to a private Visitation and private Funeral Service. Arrangements are entrusted to Barclay Funeral Home, 137 Pearl Street East, Brockville, Ontario K6V 1R2. Messages of condolence may be made online at www.barclayfuneralhome.com. In Richard’s memory, donations to the St. James Church Foundation; St. John Ambulance Leeds, Grenville and Lanark; and the Brockville & District Hospital Foundation will be greatly appreciated.
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