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Announcements > Remembering Old Wulfrunians > Anthony Sharp, known as Tony (OW 1949)

Anthony Sharp, known as Tony (OW 1949)

Anthony Sharp, known as Tony (OW 1949) sadly passed away on 20 April 2023, aged 90.

Anthony (Tony) was born in Wolverhampton in 1932 and attended Wolverhampton Grammar School during the war years. He enjoyed his time at WGS, and often spoke about his time there. He credits his Chemistry teacher for instilling in him a lifelong fascination with Chemistry and Physics, as well as influencing him to go into Physics at Birmingham University. He always felt that his Chemistry teacher at WGS had an enormous impact on his life.

Tony attended his first year at Birmingham University on a full scholarship, which he promptly lost after spending too much time partying and socializing, and which caused his studies to suffer. Having to earn his way thereafter, he learned to ‘buck his ideas up’ and always worked hard on his subjects. He graduated in 1955 with a BSc Pure Science.

After University and during his time in National Service, Tony’s dream was to become a pilot with the Fleet Air Arm of the Royal Navy. Unfortunately, he didn’t pass the Physical because he was colourblind and couldn’t determine the difference between the red and green ground marshalling signals. So instead, he joined the Fleet Air Arm as an Electrical officer in the Electrical Branch. While serving at Yeovilton Royal Naval Air Station, as a young Sub Lieutenant, Tony met the love of his life, Beryle, who was a Signal WREN at Yeovilton, whom he married in 1957.

Having completed his National Service, Tony took jobs at GEC in Coventry, and then Plessey Company Plc, a British electronics, defence, and telecommunications firm, where he worked during the early years of his married life.

Being an adventurer at heart, after a few years at Plessey, Tony decided to accept a job and uproot his wife and three young children (all under 5) to move to Gauhati, Northeast India, which was a move they never regretted. There, he worked on an automation project for Assam Oil and Burma Oil, to modernize and install a 750 mile oil pipeline.

Following several years in India, Tony decided that Canada was the best place to settle his young family. Once in Canada, Tony transferred to the Canadian Naval reserve and became commodore of the sailing club at HMCS York in Toronto. He also remained a lifelong member of the RNVR Yacht Club. He obtained his Professional Engineering designation and earned a Master of Engineering from the University of Toronto. He was in his 40s and working full time with KELK Electronics at the time. During his career as a development engineer and as owner of a design business he was involved in many varied projects and was granted 11 US patents.

Outside of his professional accomplishments, first and foremost Tony was a true gentleman. He was always good natured, rarely got angry, and when he did, had a very, very long fuse. Anyone who knew him, will remember him laughing and chuckling. Monty Python and Fawlty Towers were some of his favourite TV shows. He loved Gary Larson comics and he’d read all of Bill Bryson’s books. He chuckled when he found something amusing, but also when he was uncomfortable, and even when he didn’t want to discuss something, he would just chuckle it off. He would never even think of being rude to anybody, regardless of how frustrated he might be with them.

He had many varied interests; Tony loved to travel, and has been all over the world, either on business or for leisure with his wife, Beryle. He was passionate about photography and even took Beryle on a mid-winter trip to a remote location north of Yellowknife, Canada, in order to photograph the aurora borealis. He was fascinated by mushrooms, and knew which ones were edible and which weren’t, as well as how to cook them. He loved birdwatching, which wasn’t restricted to their lovely garden, but went all over the world to watch birds with Beryle, including many trips to the southern United States as well as Australia and New Zealand. Closer to home were annual trips to watch the bird migrations at Point Pelee National Park, Ontario.

He was an avid sailor and would tinker for hours on his beloved CS 33 sailboat, Toofani, which he raced on Georgian Bay out of Meaford, Ontario. Due to his modifications, it was quite a fast boat, and much to his chagrin, was always assigned a handicap because he would win all the races otherwise. He would voraciously read any book related to tales of the sea.

He loved being outdoors, especially hiking and mountain climbing, and would go for long walks with a backpack full of heavy rocks in order to condition himself for an upcoming climb in the Canadian Rockies with his son, Jonathan. 

And finally, he had a lifelong passion for science, and especially his work. He loved his work so much that he refused to retire until just last year when he was 90! He did try to retire once, but that lasted only 2 weeks before he decided he was bored and had to go back to work. He had boundless energy, and even until 6 months before he died, would take the stairs 2 at a time as he ran upstairs. He had unstoppable vim and vigor.

Tony loved his family, which included Beryle, his wife of 60 years, his daughters Louise (deceased) and Emma (Tony), son Jonathan (Noreen), his grandchildren Sarah (Dave), Meghan, Tasha, Rachel, Amanda, and Melissa, as well as his great-grandchildren Charlotte and Grayson.

He died peacefully at Meaford Hospital, in Meaford, Ontario, Canada, on April 20, 2023 after a long and courageous battle with Prostate Cancer. He is and will always be greatly missed.

By Emma Sharp (daughter)

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