Elburn James (E.J.) Ottewell

It is with deep sadness, we announce the loss of our beloved husband, dad, and grandpa. Elburn passed away peacefully at Saanich Peninsula Hospital on February 7, 2021.
Born March 11, 1939, in Edmonton, Alberta, Elburn was raised in Clover Bar and graduated from the University of Alberta in 1960 with a degree in Civil Engineering. In November 1964, Elburn married the love of his life, Margaret. Together they had two boys; Kevin, daughter-in-law Jennifer, and Stephen, daughter-in-law Christine. E.J. took extreme pride in his three grandchildren Aaron, Sarah, and Emma, for whom he would move mountains to ensure they were loved, supported, and cared for. Elburn is also survived by a nephew and two nieces.
Elburn cherished spending his time with Margaret including trips to Hawaii, Casa Grande for some winter sun, and a 50th Wedding Anniversary at Disney World with the grandchildren. E.J. was social by nature, and together with Margaret, enriched his life with countless friendships, many of which endured a lifetime. He had a keen mind for math and for how things worked. Being a patient and skilled builder there was not much he could not fix or construct, always whistling while he worked.
Elburn enjoyed many pastimes including fastball and golf. Hockey, however, was his passion from an early age until the very end. Many of E.J.’s days were spent in an arena coaching his boys, playing old-timers hockey with the Sidney Old Bouys, and then into his seventies playing with the Sidney Retreads. For 20 plus years, summer meant a trip to Northern California for the famed “Snoopy” tournament.
Elburn will be fondly remembered by his family and friends. E.J. was generous to all with his time, knowledge, thoughts, and experience. He will be greatly missed and forever in our hearts.
The family would like to thank the doctors, nurses, and health care aids at the Royal Jubilee Hospital, especially 8N and the HAU. A special thank you to the nurses in the Palliative Care Unit at the Saanich Peninsula Hospital and Dr. Charlie Lamb for their dedication, kindness, and compassion in caring for Elburn in his final days.

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Condolence Messages

  1. I’m so sorry for your loss. Sending love to all the family.

  2. So very sorry for your loss, Margaret. Prayers and deepest sympathy for you and your family.

  3. Margaret,
    So sorry to hear about Elburn passing,
    Praying for you and your family in this sad time.

  4. Lynne Schroeder/Dig Pedneault

    Sorry for your loss of your husband, Dad, Grandfather. Keep your memories close. Nice write up, wish we had lived closer to enjoy Elburn and your family.

  5. Judy & John Heal

    We will miss you Elburn, you were a great friend and neighbor. We will miss listening to you whistle Christmas songs in the summer while mowing your lawn, it made me laugh so hard. Our thoughts are with you Margaret, Kevin, Stephen and all the family. Love to All. Judy and John Heal

  6. Pearl & Thor Lien

    So sorry for your loss. Elburn was a good friend & neighbor & always a happy, fun guy to talk to. I know he will be greatly missed by the family of whom he was so very proud & loved so much.

  7. Helen and I and Nicole and Stephanie are sorry to hear of Elburns passing. Very fond memories of all those times we spent together: with Helen and Elburns ‘ in-depth discussions, summers around the pool, lots of laughter and Boxing Day get togethers. We are here for you and your family
    Mike,Helen, Nicole , and Steph

  8. In addition to being missed by his family Elburn will be missed in the Oldtimers Hockey world. He had a positive influence on any team on which he played and/or managed, especially in organizing the annual junket to Snoopy.

  9. In the short time I got to know both of you , you always made me feel so welcomed into your lives. At Royals games I will miss our chats and hugs. Our dressing room banter will be missed. Our prayers are with the whole family.

  10. faubert jean-claude

    Sincere sympathies to the family,

  11. I knew Elburn only through Retreads hockey and picture him now as having skated to the big dressing room in the sky. He was a friendly and exuberant presence in the room and on the ice. He was missed when he stopped playing, and now even more.

  12. MY thoughts are with you and I care so much…so many wonderful memories
    MUCH love to all of you..

  13. I will miss you Elburn!!
    Elburn was one of my Retread hockey role models. His off-ice chats were inspiring. Laurie and I will miss you at Royals games. Margaret, if you ever need to connect or need a post Covid hug, we will always be available.

  14. Yvonne Montgomery

    I am so sorry to hear of Elburns passing. He was such a nice man and I do remember how much he loved his hockey. My sincere condolences to your and your family.

  15. Yvonne Montgomery

    My sincere condolences to you and your family Marg. Elburn was such a nice man.
    I do remember how much he loved his hockey. With love.

  16. R.I.P. Big guy.

  17. Marg
    My thoughts are with you and your family
    I only knew Elburn for a short while but he was a great guy and a tough competitor
    Sorry for your loss

  18. Margaret and family,
    E.J. Will me missed and remembered by many of his hockey friends. I always felt welcome and comfortable with you Margaret, and Elborn, whether it was here, Casa Grande, or Santa Rosa. A great guy to play hockey with, and a real competitor. May you Rest In Peace my friend.

  19. Bruce and Thel Morrison

    So sorry to hear of Elburn’s passing.
    Will miss his dressing room wisdom, and our impromptu coffee sessions with both of you.
    Bruce and Thel

  20. Dear Margaret and family .. there are no words to say how sorry we are .
    Elburn was a treasured friend . He will be missed beyond measure .
    Have so many happy memories of hockey trips , fun times in Santa Rosa , golf trips to Casa Grande . He was one in a million !! Sending lots of love to you and the kids . Ann & Steve xo

  21. Quent and Diane Nelson

    We are so sad to hear of Elburn’s passing. He enjoyed his life with Margaret and his friends in Casa Grande. It was our pleasure to meet him through Ann and Steve. We are so sorry.

  22. I remember my first game with the Retreads about 5 years ago. I was sitting across from Elburn in the dressing room and with his big smile he welcomed me to the club. He was a true sportsman and gentleman and will be missed by the many friends he made over the years. R.I.P. Big Guy.

  23. Dear Margaret sorry for your loss. I will always remember Elburn as having a big personality particularly with hockey. Also knew him through Rudy Nemeth who would often give me the other side of the story. Knowing him was a real pleasure. One who will be missed. RIP my friend.

  24. I knew Elburn through Retreads Hockey and remember him as a fellow who was never shy with a word and always had a great story for the dressing room. He was a competitor on the ice and will be missed.
    Thoughts and prayers are with you and the family
    Ron Boylan

  25. We knew Elburn through the Retreads Old Timer hockey club. Because of his skill and accomplishments, he quietly legitimized our hockey club and attracted many other local players. In tournaments he was known as the ‘terminator’ as he carried the puck from end to end while opponents gathered themselves behind him. Condolences to his family and all of us miss him.

  26. Keray and Vivi Wing

    Elburn welcomed me into the Sidney Old Buoy family years ago and Margaret ensured my family was included as well. Remember the Snoopy year when Geoff Hanak cleared the swimming pool by bringing a snake into the water!! I’ll never forget when I had the infamous “backward slide” at the Tsartlip Boat launch with my boat trailer and car. Elburn shared the story with everyone he knew before he and Lori presented me with a beautiful set of wheel chalks!! I could always count on “feeding EJ in the slot” as no one was moving the “big guy” out of there. Thank you for sharing so much of you and your family with so many in our community. Your memory and legacy shine in the faces of your kids and grandkids.


    Carolyn & I send our condolences on E-J’s passing. He was a genuine great guy and we will miss seeing him and visiting with him in the pool at Casa Grande, Az. We met in Palm Creek and along with the Ottwells enjoyed the time with them and some of their friends from home. Sipping adult beverages around the pool or the various patios was popular.
    We were very similar…….less than 1 yr age difference, both Civil Engineers, graduated 1 yr apart, married once, both have two sons and 3 grands, took family to Mexico for our 5th anniv. We both had boats and fished in the ocean but I did not play hockey.
    We will miss you big guy and will see you on “the other side.
    Jack & Carolyn

  28. Norm n Myrna Friesen

    Sad to hear of Elburn’s passing Kevin. Condolences and our thoughts and memories join your family’s.
    Tip of the developers hard hat to Elburn and Margaret. Norm and Myrna

  29. Colonel(ret'd) Stan Brygadyr

    Much regret to hear about Elburn’s passing. He was a great High School chum and athletic partner in Basketball and Fastball where he was known as the “Sultan of Swat”, a home run hitter par excellence. Many condolences to Margaret, Kevin, Stephen, spouses & grandchildren on losing their “rock”!

  30. A friend whom i admired and felt privileged to have played with and against. .Sorry for your loss Marg. Blaine Bernice

  31. Suzanne Gaby (Melville)

    My heart felt sympathy for the death of your husband, father and grandfather. My thoughts and prayers are with you as you grief his lose.

  32. Dear Margaret, Kevin and Steven
    My heartfelt sympathies for your loss. I have such fond memories of Elburn from my childhood days in Lake Bonavista. He will be missed.

  33. Dennis Francis, Krista & Allison

    Our condolences to Marg, Kevin and Stephen and their families. Many fond memories of Elburn and his family in Calgary, Vancouver Island and Texas.

  34. Allison Braun (Francis)

    Dear Marg, Kevin and Stephen. So sorry to hear this news. So many fond childhood memories with your family. I remember Elburn taking us out on the boat and seeing the orcas. Allison

  35. It is with great sorrow to hear of Elburn’s passing. Even though we only new each other for a few short years, I am proud to call Elburn my friend. R.I.P. you will be missed

  36. Just received word of your heartbreaking sorrow, Margo. Please know that my prayers are with you, Kevin and Stephen. Elburn will always be remembered as a caring and supportive man with a delightful sense of humour and a very warm smile.

  37. Our condolences to Margaret, Kevin and Stephen.
    Elburn was such a kind person with a witty sense of humor, on and off the ice.
    Elburn invited me to my first Snoopy Hockey Tournament, a fun-filled adventure that Carol and I will never forget.
    Carol remembers Elburn as a BIG gentle teddy bear kinda guy.
    Thinking of you fondly.
    Norm and Carol

  38. Dear Margaret;
    So sorry to hear of Elburn passing. Our thoughts are with during this difficult time.

  39. Bill and Darlene Ennos

    We were so very sorry to learn of Elburn’s passing. Please know you are in our thoughts at this sad time.

  40. Gord and Jan Wickware

    `Sorry to hear about Elburn. WE send out condolences to you Marg and you family. The hockey teams will miss him Our deepest sympathy

  41. Ed and Jane Carley

    We are sending heartfelt sympathy to all of you. Elburn was a gentleman and with a big and welcome smile. He will be missed in the neighborhood. I hope you find comfort in your treasured memories.

  42. Marie (Wallace) Westby

    Marg, Kevin and Stephen – so sorry to hear about Elburn. He was a gentle giant with a big heart and bigger laugh. So many fond memories of times our families spent together. He’ll be missed by so many.

  43. Carol, Karl and I were saddened to hear of Elburn’s death. I have many fond memories of playing hockey with and against Elburn. Our trips to Santa Rosa were highlights for us. Elburn’s organizational abilities both for on ice and off ice activities was exceptional; trips to San Francisco, golf, supper’s out and great fun around the pool His presence around the hockey community will be missed.

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