Obituary of Thomas Keith Brownlee
Formerly of Kingston, ON – at the St. Vincent hospital, Ottawa, ON on January 6, 2024, in his 96th year. Beloved husband of Margery Brownlee (Johnstone), son of the late Thomas and Thelma (nee Newton) Brownlee of Albion Park, NSW, Australia. Loving father of Marcia Guthro (Ron) and Heather Wynen (Rick). Proud Grandpa of Ashley Black (Mathew), Christopher Guthro (Roxanne) and Benjamin Wynen and proud Great Grandpa of Zackary and Layla Black.
Keith was born in the outback town of Oodnadatta in South Australia in 1928, where his father worked on the railroad. The only child of Tom and Thelma, he had a large extended family of multi-generational Australians who had originally emigrated from Ireland and England. He had many fond memories growing up in Bexhill, NSW where he attended Lismore (State) public and high school. His love of animals began on the Virtue family farm, where he learned to ride horses and take care of cows. He was extremely self-sufficient and independent and when a keen sense of adventure and curiosity beckoned, he left home at 16 to explore the world. He sailed around the globe on numerous ships holding many different jobs and stories of his adventures continued to delight us. Taking a liking to Vancouver, he decided to emigrate and contributed to the building of the Alcan aluminum smelter in Kitimat, BC in the early 1950’s. He then joined the Vancouver City Police and a few years later, the RCMP. After serving in Burns Lake and several other towns in the interior of BC, he came to Ottawa where he met and married the love of his life, Margery. International postings followed and the couple enjoyed many new experiences in Rome, Italy; Tel Aviv, Israel; and Sydney, Australia. Keith made the move to CSIS when it was formed and spent the last years of his career there.
Keith had a great love of golf and enjoyed his memberships over the years at Highlands Golf Club, Ottawa; Caesarea Golf Club, Tel Aviv; Roseville Golf Club, Sydney, Australia; and Garrison Golf Club, Kingston, ON. He had fond memories of spectating at the Masters in Augusta, Georgia, the Australian Open in Perth, Western Australia, the Canadian Open at Glen Abbey and meeting Colin Montgomery and Ernie Els at the Dubai Open.
Keith and Marge had a lovely retirement in Kingston, ON where they enjoyed a large circle of friends. They continued to travel spending many winters in Dubai and Australia and then later Florida. Keith had a lifelong love of travel and his desire to talk to and get to know people remained till the end. He was the consummate host and his friends and family still talk about his bar-b-que chicken!! His love of good food and fine wine was contagious and his story telling never failed to disappoint. He loved a good poker game, was a voracious reader and was an avid Jay’s and Packer’s fan.
The last six months were extremely difficult, but he did not complain, trying very hard to regain his health and strength in hopes of returning home. He passed quietly early Saturday morning after spending the day prior with his family and hearing their words of love and gratitude. At Keith’s request there will be no funeral. Cremated remains will be interred in the family plot at Pinecrest Cemetery, Ottawa with a private family service.