A 66-year-old retired member of the Canadian Forces whose body was found in the Rideau River earlier this week was a great uncle and an avid photographer, his sister says.
Darlene Davies travelled to Ottawa and identified her brother’s body on Friday after police and firefighters recovered it from the river one day earlier.
Davies’s body was found in the dangerous waters near Hog’s Back Falls where it’s believed he fell while taking photos.
Darlene, who lives just north of Barrie, Ont., said her brother was a loving uncle from a military family of seven children, who became a soldier himself.
When he retired from his job as a master warrant officer, where he worked on airplanes, John Davies became an avid photographer and a volunteer with a group called Ottawa Airport Watch, a group of people with an interest in aviation photography.
“If there’s going to be a vision anybody has, it’s going to be him photographing something, and sharing and capturing those moments that are special to all of us,” Darlene said Saturday from her brother's home, where she perused through photos and videos he took of family memories, wildlife and airplanes.
She said the last photos on her brother’s computer were dated April 7. Davies had missed a doctor's appointment on April 15 and he was reported missing on April 17.
'Reason I love aviation photography'
His vehicle was found at Hog’s Back Falls two days later with his camera bag inside, but his camera was nowhere to be found.
On the Facebook page for the Ottawa Airport Watch, fellow airplane photographers shared their memories of Davies, indicating his love for photography.
Davies also had a plaque from the group at his home honouring his 10,000 hours of volunteer work at the Ottawa airport.
“John is the reason I love aviation photography,” fellow member Guy Poirier wrote on the group’s page. “John was very glad to share with me tips and tricks.”
Another member, Shahriar Shah, said Davies put in more hours than any other member of the group.
Darlene said John’s body would be taken back to Barrie on Sunday, where a funeral will take place at a later date.