Russell Stafford Allison
Russ passed away peacefully on Sunday July 29, 2018 at London in his 94th year. Russ was the loving and cherished husband of Jean Allison (McKillop) for over 65 years. Russ was born in Tichborne Ontario. He was educated at Queen's University where he graduated as a Civil Engineer. Graduating in 1946 Russ started work at CP Rail where he had the unparalleled joy of working at his hobby through his entire 44 year career. He often said he never worked a day in his life. Russ's first job at CP Rail was a Transitman in the London Engineering Department. Russ worked through the ranks and retired in 1989 after 6 years as President. Russ was a railroader.
What made Russ special was that he was able to work with people. He said "I was fortunate to work with great people throughout my career". Russ earned trust through honesty, integrity, humility and a tremendous ability to listen. He never could have achieved what he did without the unfailing support of Jean.
Russ worked on numerous major projects throughout his career that added value to the railway, Canada and all Canadians. Russ believed in thinking big and believed in reaching further his whole life. He participated in projects such as bridging the St. Lawrence Seaway, the building of Roberts Bank (now known as Westshore Terminals) and with this project came the development of the Bathtub Car Unit Trains. The crowning achievement of his career with his participation in the abolishment of the Crow Rate came the potential to complete the grade reduction of westward CP Rail tracks in the Rocky Mountains from 2.2% to 1%. This allowed the building of the 1 Mile Shaughnessy Tunnel and the 9 mile Mount MacDonald tunnel through the Selkirk Mountain range. This project solved the capacity issues the railway had in serving the Canadian west coast ports. This project also earned Russ the Sir John Kennedy Medal from the Engineering Institute of Canada in 1991.
Russ served as President or Director of numerous companies and organizations: Toronto Terminal Railway Company, Shawinigan Terminal Railway Company, Sault Ste. Marie Bridge Company, Soo Line Corporation, Algoma Steel Corporation, Incan Ships Limited, The Railway Association of Canada, Canadian Pacific Consulting Service Ltd., Canadian Pacific Subsidiary Companies Pension Plan, Canadian Transportation Education Foundation, University of Manitoba Transport Institute Advisory Board, Alliance for a Drug Free Canada. Fellow of the Engineering Institute of Canada.
In retirement Russ and Jean became world travelers and loved to spend time with their family. Russ was an elder in the Metropolitan United Church and he volunteered with the University of Western Ontario.
Predeceased by his parents William and Gertrude Allison, his loving wife Jean , sisters-in-law Cela Sloan, Mary Bailey; brothers-in-law Jack Turner, Murray Bailey, Duncan McKillop and Dr. George Sloan.
Survived by daughter Joan Mowle (Kevin) and son John W. Allison (Noreen). Loving Grandfather to Darius Maze (Jen) and Siobhan Farrell (Jon); Delage, Aibhlin and Declan Mowle; Sydney and Jane Allison. His sisters Valorie Engle(Greg) and Edith Turner; sister-in-law Lilias McKillop. Fondly remembered by many nieces and nephews.
Friends will be received at the Harris Funeral Home, 220 St. James St. at Richmond London ON, on Tuesday August 7 th from 2-4 and 7-9 pm. A Celebration of his Life will be held at Metropolitan United Church, 468 Wellington St. London ON on Wednesday August 8th at 11 am, with Rev. Dr. Jeff Crittenden officiating. Private interment later at Mount Pleasant Cemetery. As an expression of sympathy and in lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Metropolitan United Church Foundation, 468 Wellington St., London, ON N6A 3P8 or a charity of your choice.
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