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Obituary of Ian Robert Coristine
Ian Coristine, aged 71, passed away peacefully on February 15th 2020 surrounded by his family at home in Brockville, after a brief but intense battle with pancreatic and liver cancer. Ian died as he lived; on his own terms with an unwavering appreciation of all that life has to offer.
He was born in Montreal on the 27th of January 1949, with just two items on his bucket list: racing cars and flying airplanes. Cars came first, between 1967 and 1973, the last five years of which were as an underfunded professional, racing serious cars against more experienced and far better funded professional teams. When he retired at the end of the ’73 season, Gilles Villeneuve was selected to replace Ian, succeeding in becoming the first Canadian “to break out”.
The resulting accumulated debt required seven years running an early video sales company to pay off. The week it was finally paid, he instantly began flying planes, initially intensively with gliders and later in a career that spanned three decades, many aircraft, but primarily focused on marketing Challenger aircraft across Canada.
On a chance flight in 1992, he discovered the 1000 Islands – a moment that changed the course of his life. He found an abandoned cottage on an overgrown Canadian island that turned out to be the only island amongst 1865 with a natural harbor and ramp that allowed taxiing the plane onto terra firma, protected from occasional blows and storms. Ian’s love for the River and its history led him to introduce, advocate for, and elevate the 1000 Islands by immortalizing his passion in seven books of photography of the River.
Ian will be lovingly remembered by his wife (Lyne Roberge), his children, Hayley (Ben Mitchinson) and Scotty (Angela Stratigakis), their mother Mary, as well as his step children Audrey and Roy, nieces, nephew and countless friends.
A Celebration of Life will take place once the River reopens. In lieu of flowers, donations to the Pancreatic Cancer Canada Research would be appreciated.