In memory of those who have Crossed the Bar


August Elmer Pokotylo


Lieutenant, RCN


Died: 25 Sep 2022, Victoria, British Columbia


POKOTYLO, August Elmer - With deep sadness, we announce that August Pokotylo, our wonderful, brilliant and beloved father and husband, known to everyone as Gus, passed peacefully at Glengarry Long Term Care Hospital in Victoria, BC on September 25, 2022. The youngest of eight children, Gus was born in Dauphin, Manitoba to Ukrainian-born parents. His sister Elizabeth Maldonado (nee Pokotylo) of Mansfield, Texas survives him.


Gus graduated in 1963 from Royal Military College (RMC) in Kingston, Ontario and trained to be a Naval Aviator. He loved flying, and flew CS2F Trackers aboard HMCS BONAVENTURE. Though he loved his aircraft and time at sea, Gus decided to pursue a PhD in Economics at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. He obtained a Sir Izaak Walton Killam Scholarship and was awarded a Canada Council Doctoral Fellowship in the late 1960s for his research.


In 1970, Gus and his young family moved to Ottawa, Ontario where he worked in the federal government. Always enjoying new challenges and the pull to aviation, he left public service for a short period to be the marketing manager for Dominion Pegasus Helicopters in King City, Ontario. When he returned to Ottawa, he worked mostly for Transport Canada, in all modes of transportation, including aviation before retiring with 25 years service.


In 1986, Gus got his dream job when promoted to Director General of Air Policy and Programs. He and his staff developed Canada's position on international aviation matters, both technical and economic. He was also responsible for overseeing all international air service treaty negotiations. One benefit for a keen adventurer was the extensive foreign travel while he oversaw the Permanent Canadian Delegation to the United Nations, International Civil Aviation Organization based in Montreal as the Deputy Chief Delegate for Canada.


At RMC, Gus met the love of his life – Eleanor (Mary) - his wife of nearly 59 years. They were blessed with two children, Elizabeth Crews (spouse Peter Crews) and Steven (spouse Elisabeth Graff), many loving grandchildren (Lucas, Emmie and Joseph) and step-grandchildren (James, Natalie, Jacob and Leila). For twenty years, family and friends enjoyed their beautiful Thousand Islands cedar cottage on Howe Island, St. Lawrence River in Ontario. In 2003, Gus and Eleanor moved to Victoria, BC to be closer to their children and enjoy retirement.


Gus was an active member of St. Andrew's Cathedral in Victoria, BC and a long-time member of the Bishop's Diocesan Finance Committee. For several years, he was also the chairman of the Bishop's Building Commission and a member of the Diocesan Strategic Planning Committee.


Gus had the deep admiration and respect of his whole extended family, as well as his peers, colleagues and lifelong friends from the Navy, government, the cathedral, associations, and anyone he came to know. He lived every moment to the fullest with humour, happiness, and contentment. All will sorely miss him.


A Memorial Mass will be celebrated on October 13th, 2022 at 1:30 pm at St. Andrew's Cathedral, 740 View St. Victoria, BC. Gus will be interred at The National Military Cemetery of Canada (Beechwood Cemetery), Ottawa. In lieu of flowers, donations in memory of Gus can be made to the BC Cancer Foundation and are greatly appreciated by the family. (The Victoria Times Colonist 06 Oct 2022)


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