First Memorial Funeral Services Ottawa Header Banner

GELDART, Penelope

Penelope Grace Dawson Geldart (Sparling) d. December 22, 2017

Penny was born May 10, 1920 to Grace Atkin and Hugh Sparling and lived near Heswall, Cheshire; she graduated from Wycombe Abbey, Buckinghamshire.

Her grandmother was Eva, daughter of Sir Wm Dawson, palaeobotanist and key figure at McGill. Eva’s brother GM Dawson was a geologist-explorer and head of the Geological Survey. She was close to her cousin Hibbert. During WWII she was with the Women’s Timber Corps, after which she went to work in scenery design and painting at the Old Vic Playhouse, Liverpool, and came to Canada from England to continue work as a set designer for LaSalle Academy, the Canadian Repertory Theatre, Stratford Festival and other theatres. As was said in “Life Before Stratford, “She was vivacious, outgoing, frank, honest, yet elusive and secret: very English and young for ever.” At CJOH TV News she worked on photography and graphics, and many years at Secretary of State, Multiculturalism. She later volunteered at the Chelsea Library.

Penny loved walking, nature, the moon and sea. She was brought up to write letters, draw and sketch, and read — filling many notebooks with interesting words and sayings. Penelope’s brother Peter married Helen and had two children, Lois and James. Penny married David Geldart (d.) in 1950 and raised three boys: Peter (Danielle), Robert (Anne) and Alan (Natalia), with grandchildren Ian, Dawson, Vanessa and Mia. Penny will be missed by her family, friends and neighbours. We wish to thank the care-giving community at the CCAC, Governor’s Walk, The Edinburgh and The May Court.

She easily made friends and “did well with everyone”.

“Skies domed and blue, fragile as a pigeon’s egg, liquid horizons where the sea clung to the edge of the world like a drop of silver.” —Lawrence Durrell

Photo 1938

Please join us Sat. January 27, 2-4 pm at the First Unitarian Congregation of Ottawa, 30 Cleary Ave. (Woodroffe & Richmond).


8 responses to “GELDART, Penelope”

  1. Tanya Smith says:

    I will always remember your mother as a strong intelligent woman with a mind of her own. Penny was one of a kind. My sincere condolences.

  2. Betty Nygaard King says:

    I remember Penny as a fine, intelligent, cultured lady of many talents, from playing tennis to generously entertaining all kinds of guests. I’m sorry to hear of her passing.

  3. tasse geldart says:

    Aunt Penny was the calm centre of chaos! I was too young when we spent time at her home to appreciate her intelligence. Later in life I could appreciate that. I am so sorry to hear that she has passed. She leaves wonderful memories for her family.

  4. Lois Sparling says:

    My partner Tim and I will always remember our stays at Skyridge, learning to carve a pumpkin, stack a cord of timber and live side by side with the indigenous wildlife! Thank you, Aunt Penelope.

  5. Loraine Geldart says:

    I was saddened to learn of the passing of my aunt Penny. I was fortunate to get to know Penny when I lived and worked in Ottawa from 1984 to 1993. Penny and David welcomed me into their Skyridge home often and included me in so many activities. I remember long walks in the Gatineau near their property, museum and art show visits, family dinners with lively discussions and many celebrations. I admired Penny’s intellect and her kind and generous spirit. I will always cherish the happy memories. My deepest condolences to you all.
    Loraine Geldart

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.