MOAR, Nicholas “Nick” Thornton

July 1, 1955, in Barrie, Ontario – April 19, 2022, in Calgary, Alberta

Nicholas Thornton Moar passed away on April 19, 2022 in Calgary, Alberta.

Nick’s father Rea retired from the RCAF in Ottawa in 1964. The family then moved to the rural town of Knowlton, QC, which straddles the Vermont border. This is where Nick spent his formative years, including an epic road trip in a $100 dodge with brother and best friend Chris, who put them on a boat to Australia. Fast forward after working various jobs there and a stint working on the reef, Nick’s trip went to South America, then the Canary Islands, and Portugal, before ending in England. Two years later, and after general military training, Chris and Nick found themselves changing guard on Parliament Hill as well as the present Governor General’s mansion. Next, a road trip through the western States in Nick’s $400 Chevrolet, landing on sister Sandee’s door in Kelowna. Opportunities then started. Working in Banff as a ski mechanic then led to a job with their helicopter skiing company. Next came the best job yet, 30 years with the CFD, retiring as a Captain in 2009. Wonderful years spent on the Elk River with Spencer and Jenna growing up, also friend Bill Barden, who shared most of Nick’s zany ideas of how the universe works. Now a cabin on the mighty Rosebud River, and a cabin at the foot of Chief Mountain. The adventure continues…

Words from Spencer Moar, Nick’s son:

No matter what my dad had on his plate, he never shied away from a chance to help others in their own lives, for instance, writing his obituary in his final days to save me “a lot of work.” I look back fondly at a lifetime of memories with my dad, reflecting on our adventures which include setting up an airstream trailer on our property in Fernie, BC, where he shared with me with his love of motorcycles. In summers, we would ride together along the trails by the river with Jenna sitting behind him and me following closely behind, and in the winters my dad would tow us on toboggans behind his snowmobile. Throughout his life, I saw the joy, trust, and friendship my dad built with so many people. His sense of humour was unwavering. In his final days, my dad shared stories that had everyone laughing and as he departed, made sure to include one final joke for his brothers at the CFD. I am so proud of the man my dad was and I find solace in the irreplaceable memories he made with all that were a part of his life. Rest easy, Dad.

Nick wished not for a funeral, but for a celebration of life, closer to the summer with family and friends. Details will follow from the family in the coming months. 

Arrangements entrusted to Larry Slywka, Funeral Director

Cochrane Country Funeral Home – cochrane@piersons.ca – 403-932-1039

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  1. On 22/04/2022 at 5:04 pm Charlie J Veillon Said:

    My deepest condolences to Jenna and Spencer, the Moar family and all extended family. I have such fond memories of Nick and will forever cherish them. Nick will be very much missed but never forgotten. It was an honour to be Nick’s friend.

  2. On 23/04/2022 at 7:20 am Chris Moar Said:

    You had a good life brother despite your pain in later years. We had adventures that people could only dream of. Met and played with incredible people. We lived in a time where if you weren’t enjoying where you were, you could just pack up and head to some place new. When you finally ended up in the Calgary Fire Department, you found your destiny. You loved your job and you loved the people you worked with. You were a lucky man. Give Mom and Dad hugs for me and special a special hug to Cindy – but not to special, I will be coming. Love you brother.

  3. On 23/04/2022 at 12:02 pm Duncan McKenna Said:

    As a recent and new addition to the Moar family, I got my first opportunity to meet my future wife’s very beloved Uncle Nick during his visit East in the summer of 2017. The three Moar sisters spoke of him like a child would speak of their favorite kids’ TV show host. They had years of great memories and stories to speak of and so his visits were a big event. As I got the chance to know him, the person sized up to the legend I had heard about. He had an instantly soothing energy, piercing and friendly eyes and fantastic stories that flowed easily on any topic. He had great tales of traveling wide and crossing oceans in near stowaway-like circumstances on cargo ships.

    Having worked closely with firefighters I had gotten to understand what it took to be a good one. As a former firefighting Captain, Nick would have had to have put everyone else before himself. He would have been the first one into the burning building and would have required the leadership abilities to inspire others to follow behind. Even though his motor skills faded, you could tell he had a warrior’s will when it came to physical conditioning. He would have had to have good social graces and likability given the pack animal way of life found in fire stations. He prided himself on being the cook in his fire hall which added a maternal-like qualities to this great man. Having not known him in those days, it was easy to tell who was and had been.

    He was a great family man who would lose himself in his daughter’s interests and would send quirky gifts and birthday & holiday wishes from afar like a grandmother would. He defied the limits of his disability in the gym, in his homelife and dangerously on the road with his motorcycle. This great adventurer did not give in to MS without a stubborn fight.

    The pandemic led me to turn inwards and focus on my own little world around the same time that it would have made Nick’s world even smaller. I regret to say I fell out of touch during this time and would have loved to have got to know him further. I hope that this will be the last time that I regret reaching out to some who could appreciate a check-in. All that I can say is that I hope to one day attain “Uncle Nick” status in my one nieces’ eyes. What an incredible human being he was. He will be missed but will continue to inspire.

    Duncan McKenna

  4. On 23/04/2022 at 4:05 pm Calgary Fire Department Pensioners Association Said:

    Our sincere condolences to the Moar Family on the passing of “Brother” Nick who loved his job as a firefighter.

  5. On 23/04/2022 at 4:56 pm Paul Jeffery Said:

    Condolences to Nicks family. Nick was just a good guy. Always had time for a smile and to listen.

  6. On 23/04/2022 at 7:35 pm Ted Heynen Said:

    We are very saddened to hear of Nick’s passing. Along with his unique sense of humour, he was an all around wonderful man with kindness in his heart. Our sincere condolences go out to his family at this most difficult time for a man who left them much too young.

    Ted Heynen, Creston, B.C.

  7. On 23/04/2022 at 9:55 pm Darcy and Donna Morgan Said:

    One of the first things a rookie firefighter learns is ‘right tighty, lefty loosey’, a mnemonic relating to the threads on the coupling of a fire hose. Nick was an excellent firefighter no doubt. Not that a Paramedic would know – I was never on fire and he never extinguished me. But he made Captain, so he must have done the job well. When it came to Nick’s view of everything else, he was all ‘righty lefty, loosey tighty’. He saw things differently from the rest of us. He had a perspective that was a unique combination of the pragmatic, the artistic, and the quirky. I think Nick might have become good friends with the comedian Stephen Wright had they met. Nick was just as funny, plus he was a better painter. When we renovated my Dalhousie house, Nick and Dave Blackwood kept Donna and I in stitches while they worked. And they did excellent work. I was about to trash the kitchen cabinets, but Nick intervened. He was loathe to waste anything. He pitched me on painting them with an odd-ball finish that involved something like fish fertilizer. Or at least it smelled like it. Donna was freaked. I calmed her by saying ‘trust Nick, I do. He is a pro’. I wasn’t so confident myself, but I knew he’d be disappointed if we objected. In the end, it was brilliant. Everyone who saw the cabinets gushed compliments. When we sold the house, the realtor remarked that the buyer was ‘in the bag’ when she saw the kitchen. Later, when I convinced Donna that we should rescue a 100 year-old house (it was a dump), Nick teamed up with Al and Keith Humphries to rescue me. Once again, Nick’s creativity helped to turn the old place into something really special. To this day we say that our house has a very happy karma. I think at least some of that came from Nick. Between the house projects, Donna and I were married. Nick was there, of course. At the party he brought the house down with stories of the shenanigans we got up to in the firehall. People were laughing tears. He was that funny. Of the few regrets we have in life – not spending more time with Nick now rises to the top. Nick invited us to take a share in his Fernie property. What a dumb-ass move to pass that up – it would have been decades of laughs.
    To Jenna, Spencer, and all of your family – we hope the space Nick leaves behind is filled each day with sweet memories and happy thoughts of your special man.
    We’ll miss you Nick.
    Darcy and Donna.

  8. On 24/04/2022 at 7:41 am robert meek Said:

    I am sure all firefighters from A Platoon have a special memory of Nick in their heart..he was a glow in the firehall- RIP Nick!

  9. On 24/04/2022 at 9:27 am Darrell Stewart Said:

    My dear friend Nick. What can I say that hasn’t already been said about you? I could say that I’ll never forget how you were one of the first guys in my rookie hall to take me under your wing and ‘give me the straight goods’ about how things worked in a fire hall. Walking that perfect balance of how to be a competent fire fighter, and at the same time not get stressed out by the little things. Watching you set up elaborate practical jokes on your buddies, only to laugh even harder when you were double crossed and ended up being the brunt of the gag, taught me how to be strong enough to laugh at yourself. Not an easy task for many. Your tales of traveling with your brother always left me wanting to hear more. I was so envious of those stories. What a life you led. I remember laughing so hard we couldn’t breathe when we doused the captain in his bunk with water, only to have him come into our dorm and bucket the senior man in revenge, who knew nothing about it. It was never solved and our bond of secrecy endured haha. Thank you Nick for showing me the ropes house painting and the ‘Moar 2 coat’ method. I’ll keep it a secret. I was thankful to end up with you once again at old 5 station when you had made it to Captain. As always, you still wanted to be in on preparing meals as you had your entire career. You never lost being grounded and remembering ‘where you came from’. It’s was an example I never forgot when I finally got my chance. I’m thankful we got to take that weekend motorcycle trip together and get out to your beloved Rosebud cabin. Good times buddy. Good times. But one of the things I’ll remember most is your dedication to your children. Spencer, it’s clear you know what a gift you were given to have him as a dad It was so wonderful when you would bring Jenna over to play with my girls. I hope I can catch up with her soon. I would love to get one of her famous hugs again, if for no other reason than to somehow feel like I get to say goodbye to you Nick. I wish I could have had just one more laugh with you. Where ever you are Nick, I know you’ll be grabbing the PA and announcing, ‘Lunch is up boys!’ I’ll never forget you buddy.

    Your pal, Darrell

  10. On 25/04/2022 at 6:13 am Jaime Moar Said:

    As you all know my uncle Nick was one special guy. I have many memories of my visits with him. One being when he decided to come out to Quebec by motorcycle (I would say about 5 years) only to end up in the Saint-Jean hospital. There were no serious injuries, but he sure did send me on an adventure! I got the call as I was just about to take some friends on a tour of Brome Lake, where his brother Gerry (my dad) owns a Marina. I sent my friends off, got in my dad’s truck and made the hour + trip to the hospital. Feeling quite nervous as I didn’t really know what happened to him, I arrive at the front desk say I’m looking for Nick Moar and they see he’s checked in (I guess as you would at a hotel?). Fast forward to me searching the hospital for about an hour and a half only to get a message from my sister back in Knowlton to say that he hopped in a taxi and made his way himself. Boy oh boy did he not want to be a bother to anyone.
    My other favourite memories are of our time together in the Badlands. I helped him build an outdoor shower which I don’t think lasted very long. And I helped him fill the holes so the mice wouldn’t get in. Turns out those mice are smarter than us because as I went to bed in the loft above and tried to sleep to the sounds of Nick snoring and the fire making the place about a hundred degrees the mice were having a dance party in the kitchen just below me. It was a restless night to say the least, but I wouldn’t take it back for a second.
    I know the memories will last. I know the life lessons I picked up from him will stick. And as my husband Duncan mentioned, I can’t help but wish I put in more of an effort in during the final years. But what a great reminder to reach out to those we love.
    So thanks for that Nick. Love you lots.
    And Spencer and Jenna, I love you both lots too!

    I plan on coming back to this page often to read these beautiful messages and memories.

    Jaime

  11. On 29/04/2022 at 7:48 am John schofield Said:

    My condolences to Nick’s family I got the pleasure to meet Nick about six years ago and what a fantastic gentleman he was. we had some good times, he always had some good stories he always had you laughing you’ll be missed rest easy buddy.

  12. On 03/05/2022 at 8:24 am Austin, and Molly Jo Moran Said:

    Our condolences go out to Nick’s family. I have great memories working with Nick for many years at the CFD, also we both belonged to the Calgary fire department Cappy Smart Concert Band and again great memories RIP Nick