Cyril Dempsey

Cyril Douglas "Surry" Dempsey


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Obituary of Cyril Douglas Dempsey

DEMPSEY, Cyril “Surry” Douglas- 91 of Herring Cove, passed away on April 22, 2024.  Born July 1, 1932, the son of the late Everett and Theresa (Power) Dempsey, of Herring Cove NS.

Surry married the love of his life, Bernadine Orton, in 1955. They remained a happy couple for 65 years, until her death on February 1st, 2020. Surry and Bernie were the first up to dance and the last to leave after cleaning up when they put on events at Saint Paul’s Catholic Church Hall and the Herring Cove Volunteer Firehall. The whole family and many neighbors gathered annually on Canada Day in the Dempsey back yard, which was Bernie’s way of celebrating Surry’s July 1st birthday, even though he didn’t want the light shined on himself.

Surry was wise, resourceful, gentle, and capable. When he decided to build his family house, he figured out what to do by offering an acquaintance - who happened to be a skilled builder - a ride to work every day. Surry asked questions, learned, and built the home where he and Bernie raised their family, and where he lived until the end of his life. Surry started his work life early, fishing with his father while many of his peers were still in school. Later he became a sprinkler fitter, and then moved on to Halifax DND Dockyard pipe-fitting shop, until his retirement in 1993. After he retired, he kept busy reading, boatbuilding, furniture-making, gardening, and caring for his family. He also loved mayfly fishing. Surry made countless forays to a serene and somewhat isolated lake. The fishing was fun, but it was truly about connecting with nature and with his brothers, sons, grandchildren, and a few fishing buddies.

Surry died peacefully at home on April 22, 2024, at 91 years of age, but his legacy of living and loving well will remain in the hearts of countless family and friends. When asked, “What would you do if you could live your life over again?” he replied, “You can’t live your life over again.” He lived his one life fully.

Surry is survived by siblings; Donny, Reggie, Dermot, Marina (Forrester), Carlton, and Lylie (Pelerine); children, Sherry Field (Steve), Herring Cove, Sean (Diane LeBlanc), Cyril Jr.“Surry” (Kathleen) both of Portuguese Cove, Liam (Katherin O’Carroll), New Westminster, BCand Seamus (Chrissy Gray), Herring Cove; grandchildren, Steven, Christopher, Lesley, Brennan, Erin, Conor, Kimberly, Caitlyn, Aiden, Layla, and Ciara; great-grandchildren, Rylie, Lily, Juliette, Lainey, Clara, Scottie, Blake. Surry was predeceased by siblings Caroline, Harry, and Christopher; and his infant daughter, Tina Marie.

Arrangements and cremation have been entrusted to J. Albert Walker Funeral Home, Halifax.  In keeping with Surry’s wishes there will be no visitation.  A funeral service will take place Tuesday, April 30th, 2024, at 11 am at Stella Maris Parish, 6 St. Michaels Avenue, Halifax, B3P 1M5.  To place online condolences, please visit