Halvor Elias Bjornestad

April 15, 1922 - November 09, 2014
Halvor Elias Bjornestad

RNAF 1941-1956
RCAF 1956-1971
Associate Professor, RMC 1969-1989

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Wing Commander (Ret’d) Halvor Elias Bjornestad, PEng, at home in Kingston, Ontario, on 9 November 2014, at the age of 92, with his loving wife Gerda de Bokx and family at his side.

Hal was predeceased by his first wife Eileen Alice Richmond (1992).  Cherished father of Erik (Nadine) Bjornestad and Margit (Jason 2008) Hart. Loving step-dad to Lisa Pennock and Holly (Dan) Medeiros.  Devoted Grandpa to Chris (Sarah), Liv (Alex), Justin, Taylor, Alex, Andrew, and Papa to Jack and Owen.  Proud GG to Laia, Noa and Autumn. Predeceased by his parents, Edvin and Margith Bjornestad, brothers Sven, Hans and sister Solveig. Survived by his sister Gerd (Per) Oglaend, his brother Eivind (Turid) Bjornestad in Stavanger, Norway, and sister-in-law Bette in Seattle, WA. He will be greatly missed by members of the de Bokx family.

Hal was a man of many accomplishments during his long life.  In 1940 after the German invasion, he escaped from Norway into Sweden.  He joined the Royal Norwegian Air Force travelling through Sweden, Russia, Iran, India, South Africa, England and finally to Canada where he trained as a pilot at Little Norway, Gravenhurst, and Medicine Hat.  He served overseas as a spitfire fighter pilot with 332 squadron, flew 130 missions and survived being shot down by ground-fire twice.  After the war, he continued in the RNAF and was sent to Canada where he earned a degree in Engineering Physics (BA Sc Aero) 1950, from the University of Toronto. In 1956 the family emigrated to Canada where he joined the RCAF enjoying postings in Ottawa, California, and Michigan.  During this time, he also earned two post graduate degrees in Aeronautical & Astronautical Engineering, and Instrumentation Engineering from the University of Michigan. His last posting in 1969 was to the Royal Military College of Canada, as Professor-in-Charge, Engineering and Management Programme. Upon his retirement from the RCAF in 1971, he continued on in civilian life as Associate Professor, Engineering and Management Department, RMC, retiring at the age of 67 in 1989.

In retirement he continued his passion for sailing, reading, writing and golf.  He and Gerda were avid sailors, exploring Lake Ontario and spending a year sailing in the Bahamas.  He reluctantly gave up golfing at age 91.

At Hal’s request, cremation has taken place. A private graveside service will be held at Cataraqui Cemetery.  Please join us for a Celebration of Life at Portsmouth Olympic Harbour Restaurant on Saturday, 15 November at 5 p.m. For those wishing, donations to the UHKF Cancer Clinic would be appreciated by his family. 



Online condolences and memories may be left in the space provided below. Private condolences may be emailed to info@cataraquicemetery.ca.

Share this Tribute

Note: Before being posted, all condolences are reviewed Monday through Friday, 8:30am - 4:30pm.