September 1, 1934 – March 11, 2020
Pierre Malcolm Stevens – always known to his friends as “Trapper” or “Trap” – died on Wednesday March 11, in Ottawa, after suffering a heart attack.
Trapper was born in Ile Siscoe (Val d’Or), Quebec on September 1, 1934. His father, AndreÃŒ, was a Belgian who came to Canada as a mining engineer. With Trapper’s mother, Sarah, and his brother, Gerry, he eventually settled in Nelson, B.C. After graduating from high school there, Trapper enlisted in the Canadian Army. He served first in the Canadian Intelligence Corps, but was then commissioned as an officer, joining the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry (PPCLI). He spent time with the regiment in Edmonton and Victoria, and then in Germany – where he was always especially proud of his men’s participation in the Nijmegen Marches. In 1959 his life found a new direction, when he was accepted for training as a pilot, first on fixed-winged aircraft (the Chipmunk and L-19) and then helicopters (the CH-112). In this role, he closed out his service in the military, but continued to fly in New Zealand and Southeast Asia, and for the rest of his life always considered himself first and foremost a flier.
Trapper was a great traveller, or, as he would say, a “road runner”. He journeyed overland from Europe to Afghanistan and India, he was peeped at by a young Dali Lama in Tibet, motored and bussed around southern Africa. He knew Russia, China and lived in Japan, he island-hopped through Oceania. This fascination with the world and its people eventually led him to a new career in the National Museum of Man, and then the National Archives where he specialized in archival films, especially touching on military history and anthropology.
Trap Stevens was a big man, with a big heart, who lived an outsize life.
Interment will be private. A memorial will be held at a later date. Donations to the Ottawa Humane Society would be appreciated.
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