Mark Shankland Conliffe, at the age of 85, passed away peacefully in his sleep on February 2, 2019, surrounded by family.
To send flowers in memory of Mark S. Conliffe, please visit our Heartfelt Sympathies Store.
Mark was born in Bridgetown, Barbados on January 26th, 1934, the fourth of the Rev. Clement and Marjorie Conliffeâ€™s eleven children, and the fourth of them to leave Barbados for Canada, which he did in 1954. In 1957 he began his formal training for the ministry in the Faculty of Divinity, McGill University, at Montreal Diocesan Theological College. A student at Dio until 1960, Mark spent his summer months working at jobs in Montreal, in Wawa, and in Fort Vermilion. In 1957, Mark met Ena Johnston, who had only recently moved to Canada from Northern Ireland. She was living in Wawa with her parents and brother, and working there as one of the Wawaâ€™s phone operators. In 1961 Mark and Ena were married in St Paulâ€™s Anglican Church, Wawa.
Early in 1960 Mark was ordained Deacon in the Diocese of Ottawa, and in February 1961 he was ordained Priest in the Diocese of Algoma. His first appointment was as Assistant Curate at St Johnâ€™s Anglican Church, Port Arthur, and shortly after Mark and Ena moved to the Parish of West Thunder Bay, which included five churches. In these years Mark James, Michael, and Caroline were born.
Mark and Ena moved to St Michael and All Angels in 1968, and Mark retired as its rector in 2001. In these thirty-three years he received a canonry (1983) and was appointed Archdeacon of Thunder Bay (1987), an appointment he held until his retirement in 2001. In that same year, Mark was honoured with the degree of Doctorate of Sacred Theology (honoris causa) at Thorneloe University in recognition of his support of theological education, his advocacy on behalf of refugees, and his devotion to the work of world relief.
In addition to his parish work, Mark was actively involved with many organizations in the community. In the late 1960s and 1970s he spent ten summers as Director of Camp Gitchigomee, the Anglican Church Camp at Sandstone Lake, and through the late 1970s and early 1980s, Mark directed the Naval Reserves Summer Youth Employment Program at HMCS Griffon. He served as Chaplain for the Royal Canadian Legion Kakabeka Falls Branch No. 225 (1964-82) and for Port Arthur Branch No. 5; the Thunder Bay Firefighters; the St John Ambulance; the Order of St Lazarus of Jerusalem (Thunder Bay Chapter); and the International Shipmasters Association. He was Padre and achieved the rank of Commander at HMCS Griffon from 1967-90, and Senior Protestant Naval Reserve Chaplain in Canada.
Mark is survived by his loving wife of 57 years Ena, son Mark, daughter Caroline, grandchildren Matthew, Ella, and Claire, sisters Mary, ThĂ©rĂ¨se, Eve, and Lucie, and brothers David and Timothy. He was predeceased by his son Michael, daughter Belinda Frances in infancy, sisters Gloria, Ingrid, and Jeannette, and brother Christopher.
Funeral eucharist will be celebrated by the Most Reverend Anne Germond on Wednesday, February 6, 2019 at 10:30 am in St Michael & All Angels Anglican Church. Visitation for family and friends will be held on Tuesday evening from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm, with prayers led by Archbishop Anne Germond at 6:30 pm, in the Sargent & Son Funeral Chapel, 21 N. Court Street. Should friends desire, donations to the Canadian Hemophilia Society- Ontario Chapter, the Creutzfeldt Jakobs Foundation or the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Foundation. On-line condolences may be made at www.sargentandson.com.