∼October 13, 1976 – September 10, 2016∼
Our family is reeling from the tragic death of our much loved “Little Cecil”. We seek to make sense of how this happened to our treasured boy! Trying to understand as a wife, mother, father and brother. Our sadness and pain is tremendous. But through this overwhelming grief we must treasure the gifts Cecil has brought to our lives.
Cecil Ryan Mah III was born October 13, 1976 to Cecil and Donna Mah in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario.
Cecil was an adored child. He was a vivacious and bright boy full of life and wonder. As a little boy he charmed, entertained and “terrorized” the staff and patrons of the Purple Lantern.
He grew up close to many friends whom he treasured dearly “His Buddies”. “Cheemo” (as his Buddies referred to him) loved the outdoors and had a passion for fishing and hunting at Oba Lake and his camp. He loved tormenting his younger brother “Chrissy” and teasing him all the time. He was Christopher’s “Hard Joy”.
He was spirited and challenging to all his teachers. He loved to be active and was a talented competitive swimmer for many years. He always needed excitement, wanted that adrenaline rush. Cecil had a silly sense of humour and quick wit. He loved listening to his loud music while playing in the garage or driving fast in his truck or snow machine.
Cecil found his career path at the P.U.C., with his colleagues whom he referred to as his “brothers”. Those young men he loved and considered his second family.
In his mid 20’s he dated Catherine Buchan, a long time teenage friend. Cecil adored Catherine! She was the love of his life. He married her January 27th, 2007. A very happy day for our family, a treasured moment, we now had a daughter-in-law. And the joy continued…. March 16th, 2008… the gift Catherine gave to Cecil was our brilliant little Fiona! Our little girl “FiFi”… brought so much happiness to Cecil.
We thought at that point in our lives we could feel no greater joy until April 9th, 2012… when Zoey arrived, Cecil’s second child, she was his twin, the spitting image of him. He loved being a dad to his girls. He would do all kinds of things with his girls like fishing, riding snow machines and he even bought them a dirt bike. Daddy time included playing girly things like painting his nails, much to his chagrin. Fiona and Zoey were his world. Cecil treasured all 3 of his girls and he loved them profoundly. Catherine, Fiona and Zoey were his light. He was a devoted husband and an amazing father.
It was an honour and a privilege to be touched by Cecil. He lived his life on his own terms and relished in its joy. Cecil walked to the beat of his own drum. So many people are devastated by this horrific loss. His wife Catherine will carry forward from this loss because Cecil was a man nobody could replace in her heart. They were married almost 10 years and together 17. There union gave life to two perfect daughters, a true blessing and together they made a family. Catherine was Cecil’s strength and lives within her heart forever!
Cecil and Donna are suffering and were not prepared for the loss of our “Little Cecil”. We mourn the future hopes and dreams we will never share with him again. The grief and anguish we feel are acute and everlasting. The pain is unbearable. We are confused and tormented, wondering how we are all going to carry on.
Christopher, the rock and strength of our family, struggles with how this happened. He doesn’t understand why, he always “fixed” everything for his brother. Chrissy was devoted to Little Cecil, he loved him so much. This one time, and this one time only Chrissy just can’t fix it for Cecil… Christopher is devastated, and wondering how we got to this point.
Jackie, Chrissy’s beautiful wife was Cecil’s much loved sister-in-law. She has fond memories of her and Cecil bartering for a family excursion in the Dominican Republic and of course, Cecil later taking all of the credit. Jackie and Chrissy’s beautiful daughter Jessica still giggles when she called Cecil her crazy step uncle and he would always smirk. She even forgave him when he dumped her off the back of the golf cart while trying to 2 wheel it around a corner. Her constant reminder is the gravel still embedded in her back.
His brothers-in-law Travis and Michael, he loved and felt were his family. They shared his passion of the outdoors or just having a beer! Christine was the sister he never had and he adored her. Auntie “Teen” to Fiona and Zoey. Cecil was loved by his extended family!
He was a son-in-law, nephew, cousin and brother-in-law to many. He could always make them smile with his silly sense of humour. Cecil will always be cherished.
He was so loved and this is a true tragedy and we all wonder how we will recover. Cecil has left us only in body. Cecil’s spirit, his soul and his amazing ability to give is still within us. He will live on in the stories people will share of how he touched their lives, in the love that is visible in the eyes of his family and friends and in the glow of his daughters. Things will never be the same for us, but the world is better, for the years our “Little Cecil” lived. He was our gift! And we loved him!
Friends may call at the Arthur Funeral Home & Cremation Centre on Friday, September 16, 2016 from 4 until 8 pm for a Memorial visitation.
Memorial contributions to Fiona and Zoey’s Education Fund.
Expressions of sympathy may be offered at www.arthurfuneralhome.com