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District Chief Charles Douglas "Topper" Topliffe, Ret.
August 26th 1943 - August 13th 2018
Doug, Dad, Grandpa “Topper” passed away peacefully on August 13, 2018 surrounded by his devoted wife of 38 years, Annette, his children, Jeff (Eileen), Tim (Jeanette) and Jesse (Andrea), and his precious grandchildren; Nicole, Mitch, Jake, Shaelyn, Pierson, Hudson and Riley. Much loved by sisters Illah (Albert) Bryan, Fran (late Arnold) Hawkins, and Marilyn (Dr. Carlos) Villarreal, brother in law Ernest (Uncle Looney) St. Denis and sister in law Lucille (John) Whitehead. He will be sadly missed by his many nieces and nephews. He is predeceased by his loving parents Delos and Sylvia Topliffe, siblings Harry (Yvonne), Shirley (Richard) Chittim, Herb Topliffe, Marcia Topliffe and was the son in law to the late Ernest and Anne St. Denis.
Grandpa Topper loved to spend as much time with his 7 grandchildren. He was always attending recitals, plays, hockey games, graduations, bike rides, birthday parties or just stopping in when he was in town. He was so proud of his grandchildren and loved making memories with them. Grandpa Toppers letters and “GAMBONIS” will always be special in their hearts!! Doug proudly spent 36 years as a Windsor Firefighter and retired as a District Chief in 2002. Doug spent a majority of his career as a Firefighter not only serving and protecting the Citizens of Windsor but also the men and women in the Fire Service. He was involved with the Windsor Professional Firefighters Association as the Vice President of the Executive Board, Chair of the Joint Health and Safety Committee, Inaugural Chair of the Critical Incident Stress Team and as Chair of the Windsor Firefighters Benefit Fund. Doug had a passion for every aspect of the Fire Service. He was involved with the Ontario Professional Firefighters Association as the Chair of the OPFFA’s Health and Safety Committee, Member of the Ministry of Labour’s Section 21 Committee and as a Member of the Canadian Standards Committee for Firefighter protective equipment.
Doug was a tireless supporter and advocate for Firefighter protection and recognition of the dangers Firefighters face. He was especially proud after several years of advocating for recognition, when the Ontario Government enacted legislation providing coverage for several Firefighter related cancers; not knowing, that he would ultimately be diagnosed and succumb to one of these cancers. After retirement Doug was the Canadian Customer Service Manager for the Total Fire Group, Honeywell First Responder Products and finally Commercial Solutions Inc. travelling North America providing expertise and equipment to help keep Firefighters safe.
His love for sports, children, compassion for others and commitment to his community is evident by the many organizations that he was involved with throughout his life. His love of sports started in his youth while growing up in Riverside. He loved playing football at Corpus Christi, Riverside High Schools and for the AKO Fratmen and hockey with several leagues. He coached Hockey and Baseball in Riverside, was a founding member and Coach of Windsor Minor Football Association and was a dedicated volunteer with the Special Olympics.
A passionate supporter and participant with the MS bike rides, Bike rides for Cancer and any childrens organization the Firefighters supported. He was actively involved with many community organizations that shared his passion for helping people in need and in attempting to make our community a better place to live. He loved his work with the Multicultural Council of Windsor/Essex where he was the Vice President on the Board of Directors, as well as Hospice Windsor, where he was a board member. As well as aboard member of Sandwich Teen Action Group.
Always an eager volunteer for the Chili Fest and Muscular Dystrophy Telethon. Doug was willing to help out a good cause from: using his house as collateral to buy the new football equipment for Windsor Minor Football Association, to shaving his head to raise money for cancer or collecting door to door for support with his annual MS bike ride. A special thank you to the many friends that visited Doug, made him laugh, gave him comfort and offered support to the family during this difficult journey and fight.
The care and support Dad received from the staff at Hospice, Malden Park, Metropolitan and Hotel Dieu Hospital was greatly appreciated by our family. If you so desire, donations to The Hospice Giving Tree Windsor Essex would be appreciated by the family.
“Peace is the hand of God touching our aching souls.”
Visitation Friday 2-5 p.m. and 7-9 p.m. with a Firefighters Walkthrough at 7:30 p.m. Funeral Saturday at 2:30 p.m. at Families First 3260 Dougall Ave. South Windsor, 519-969-5841. Procession to Heavenly Rest Cemetery. Share memories, photos or make a donation at www.familiesfirst.ca