Dr. Daniel Leslie Britt
BRITT, Daniel Leslie
March 16, 1929 - January 14, 2016
It is with heavy hearts that the family of Dr. Daniel L. Britt announces his passing in his 87th year at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Saint John N.B. on Thursday January 14, 2016. Devoted husband of 60 years to his beloved Olga (nee Wowchuk); loving father to: Valerie Britt (Charles), Lorrie Zed (Michael), Sharon Laidlaw (John), Geoff Britt (Denise) and Danna Sanford (Greg). Cherished "Brawney"of 18 grandchildren: Sean Dolan (Kathleen), Katelyn Stokes (Nathan), Jill Dolan, Jennifer Austen (James), Laura Zed, Alexandra Zed, Stephanie Zed, Brian Laidlaw, Olivia Laidlaw, Eric Laidlaw, Adrienne Laidlaw, Daniel Britt, Liam Britt, Rory Britt, Conor Britt, Britt Sanford, Lauren Sanford and Rachel Sanford. Great-grandfather of two great grandsons: Grey Daniel Stokes and Emmett Sean Dolan.
Born on March 16, 1929 at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Saint John N.B. to Mary (nee Donovan) and Leslie Britt. Throughout his life, Dan loved Saint John and its people. He was proud of his fifth generation Saint John Irish roots, and always considered himself fortunate to be a Canadian.
Besides his parents, he was predeceased by two brothers: Raymond and Kenny; two brothers-in-law: Dr. Eric Dysart and Ron Levasseur. He is survived by three sisters: Shirley Dysart of Saint John, N.B., Joan D ‘Amours (Guy) of Sorel, Que., and Anne Levasseur of Saint John, N.B.; two brothers: John "Jack" (Marjorie) of Saint John,N.B. and Gerald (Mary) of Trenton, Ont. Also mourning his loss are three sister-in-laws: Bonnie Britt of Fredericton, N.B., Ellen Britt of Surrey, B.C., and Alyse Quarless of Somerset, New Jersey; brother-in-law Dr. Jerry Wowchuk (Marlene) of Rothesay, N.B.; several nieces and nephews, and extended family and friends.
Danny, along with his brothers and sisters, grew up in the East End of Saint John in the Cathedral Parish. He graduated with honours from St. Vincent’s Boys High School in 1947 where he was active in high school sports, CYO Club and Cadet Corp. He was the first recipient of the Bishop Patrick Bray Bursary. He obtained his BSc at Loyola College in Montreal, where he played intercollegiate hockey and rugby. At McGill Faculty of Dentistry, he played on championship intramural softball and touch football teams. It was in Montreal where he met and wooed the beautiful Olga Wowchuk – an extraordinary love story that has left us all in awe. After they married in 1955 in Montreal, they moved to Renforth, N.B. to start a family while Dr. Dan began his dental practice in Saint John. Actively pursuing continuous education throughout his career, he was a pioneer of Preventative Dentistry in Saint John, inspiring many young students to follow his path. He was President of the N.B. Dental Society, which later recognized him as Honourary member; President of the Saint John Dental Society; and Founder and President of the Fundy Dental Study Club. He received an Honourary Doctor of Science degree from UNB Saint John for his contributions to his profession and community.
Danny was a born organizer. Even in his early days in the East End, he raised funds to buy baseball jerseys for his neighbourhood team by selling raffle tickets for a box of chocolates.
He often said, "Saint John is a city of volunteers"; and throughout his life he gave back to his community: President and First Life Member of Kennebecasis Lions Club; Lion of the Year Award; International Melvin Jones Fellow Award; President Renforth Community Club; First President Kennebecasis Park Home and School Association; Chairman of the Children's Aid Society; Coach and Manager of Hockey, Softball and Baseball clubs; original K-park outdoor rink committee member; Chairman Renforth Regatta; Weekly panelist on CFBC radio "Vox Pop"; Parish Council Our Lady of Perpetual Help; Liberal Candidate 1960 Provincial Election; President Kings County Liberal Association; President C.A.M.R (Saint John); Fund Raising Chairman for: Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church, Chalet - School for children with developmental challenges,Belfast Children’s Vacation Fund, Saint John United Way, St. Joseph’s Hospital Rooftop Garden; Founder and Fund Raising Chairman for First Annual Hospice Dinner; Honourary Oarsman for Kennebecasis Rowing Club; Director Market Square Corporation; Co-Chairman 150 Irish Famine Commemoration; Chairman 60th St. Vincent’s Boys Reunion; President and Life Member St. Patrick’s Society; Director of First Board of the Irish Canadian Cultural Association; Founding President and Honourary President of the Saint John Chapter of the Irish Canadian Cultural Association; Parade Marshall and Keynote Speaker St Patrick’s Week Celebrations; Provincial Program Chairman and Director of the International Gathering of the Irish; Co-Chairman St. Mary’s Cemetery Celtic Cross; and just two months before he passed away, Dan received a personal honour from the Government of Ireland for his efforts in promoting Irish Canadian identity and heritage in Saint John.
Dad was a wonderful father. He had strong values for love, tolerance and fairness. Kind and compassionate, all of his family sought after and immensely valued his wisdom and advice. Dad had a wonderful wit and charming sense of humour, and always had a story or Irish song to share with his grandchildren. A voracious reader, Dad’s bookcase was filled with biographies, politics, and Canadian and Irish history. But above all, he loved Olga with an awe-inspiring and everlasting love. The love and respect they showed to each other is a beautiful legacy for our entire family. They loved their travels together including many trips to Ireland, and that amazing trip to Moscow in 1972 to watch the Canada-Russia Hockey series. Dad was passionate about hockey, especially his Montreal Canadiens. Later in life, Dad would always say how lucky he was to have loved and to have been loved by our mother, Olga. We are grateful that Dad was blessed with a long, full and purposeful life. He will be sorely missed by his large extended loving family.
The family appreciated the skilled care of Dr. Elizabeth MacDonald and Dr. Donald Sutherland, and of all the nurses and caregivers who gave Dad that extra support during his last few days as he rested peacefully at St. Joseph’s Hospital.
Arrangements are under the care of Brenan’s Funeral Home, 111 Paradise Row, Saint John ( 634-7424) with visitation on Monday, January 18, 2016 from 2-8pm. A funeral mass will be held Tuesday, January 19, 2016 at 11:00 am at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church in Rothesay. The family will receive guests at a reception at the Shadow Lawn following the funeral. Interment will take place at a future date at St. Joseph’s Cemetery. If you wish a donation of your choice may be made.