In memory of those who have Crossed the Bar


Joseph Gilmore Paquette


Lieutenant-Colonel (Pilot), RCN / C.A.F. (Air)


Born: 28 Sep 1942           Died: 23 Oct 2023


PAQUETTE, Joseph Gilmore - Age 81. I really regret to report my passing as a result of a courageous but vicious battle with bone cancer.


While predeceased by my incredible parents Muriel (nee MacDonald) and Angus Paquette, I am survived (I hope) by the angel that I married (Family edit: Not only Dad’s angel and soulmate, but his tireless, dedicated, and nurturing caregiver) Joan Elizibeth (nee Higgins) Paquette and my children Kelli Anne Holdsworth, Kym Louise Paquette, Karen Joan Paquette and Stephen Joseph Paquette. To you, my blood, I love you and wish I could have met the standard of patience and calm love that your Grandpa Gus had but he was one in a million. (Family edit: Dad, as visions of campfires, ghost stories, car trip singalongs, snorkling, skating, and skiing continue to flood our memories, trust us, you did awesome! ) To my grand children, Chelsea, Zack, Samara, Madison, Maya, Shaylyn, Jayda, Natha, Max and Great Grandchildren Olivia, Jacob, and Rowyn I say please take care of each other, love one another and I look forward to meeting grandson Carter who waits for me in the beyond.


I am also survived by my siblings Ronald (and wife Diane) (my first job, my first motorcycle ride, my first flight, how to shovel snow, Ron provided it all); Judith (my dancing partner) (and husband Wayne) - I will say “Hallo” to Nigel; Rise (and late husband Terry), Paul (and wife Ann), Donna (and husband John). I can’t wait to see my brother Wayne (my twin but for the 21 months separating us) who succumbed to the effects of Alzheimers in 2014 leaving his lovely Emilia to grieve; and my beloved baby sister, Sharon, who barely just beat me there (I’m on my way Shar).


There are so many others who have guided and touched my very rich life in the military and afterwards.


I served in the RCN, CAF and RCAF for 31 years, first as a pilot flying TRACKER aircraft from our aircraft carrier HMCS BONAVENTURE and later the much aligned but stout SEAKING helicopter from numerous ships. With intergration of the forces we navy pilots branched out and I got to serve in the cockpit, the classroom and headquarters (Training Command and National Defence HQ) in the Instrument Flying Standards and Search and Rescue roles flying both helicopters (KIOWA & LABRADOR) and fixed wing aircraft (DAKOTA and T-33).


The people I served with were the most dedicated collegues anyone could ask for and I thank all those who shared their skill and wisdom with me and I hope those whom I mentored eventually appreciated what I was trying to pass on. It used to be said of my father Gus that “He treated his family like his employees and his employees like his family.” I truly saw you all as my family and hope I succeeded in treating you all as such.


For those with me on the more scary flights, thank you for your skill, your confidence and your support. I hope I didn’t add to the “scare” factor.


After my years in the military I was fortunate to fly in the civilian world with Cougar Helicopters and Canadian Helicopters, first in Yarmouth NS, then Medical Evacuation in Halifax NS, then for the oil industry all over the world. My coworkers were a unique blend of characters and mentors and I discovered that I had so much more to learn about my trade and this group of professionals were the ones to teach me.


I was also able to fly as a member of the Civil Air Search and Rescue Association in the Tri-County Flying Club. It was ironic that this organization (CASARA), that I had help establish in 1985 allowed me to continue in a volunteer SAR role meeting and re-meeting so many dedicated military and civilian SAR people.


I have to mention my other interests so you realize it was not all work and no play. I loved to travel with Joan whether by car to see the kids, grandkids, and great-grandkids by airliner, train and ship to see the world or by motorcycle to smell the fields. I truly loved to be going down the road on a motorcycle. Didn’t matter what kind, (loved my Honda GoldWings and my Harley Davidson Road Glide; OK I loved the Road Glide more)


And now it comes to the end ... or is it the beginning. I believe fervently, hopefully and faithfully in the latter and look forward to HIS/HER embrace. I am sorry for any sadness my passing causes because I have not gone far and, if I can, I will make you feel my presence.


(Final family edit: In typical Joe (Dad) fashion, he has beautifully and perfectly taken on and alleviated the burden of his own passing and paved the way forward. He was a giant, authentic, adventurous human being that truly loved and lived his very best life. We love you and we will miss you beyond what mere words can convey.)


A Celebration of Life Visitation & Reception will be held on Saturday November 4, 2023 from 2-4pm in J. A. Snow Funeral Home, 339 Lacewood Drive, Halifax, NS. (J. A. Snow Funeral Home)


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