Obituary of David Ross Harkness
David Ross Harkness, 47, passed away at his home in Nepean on Saturday, September 3rd. Dearly loved by his family, friends, and colleagues who are devastated by the loss, he leaves behind his wife Anastasia Syarkina, mother Fran Harkness and step father David Cameron, siblings Kate Harkness (Mark Sabbagh), Chris Harkness (Kristen Gamble), nieces and nephews Xyla, Ruby, Ozrick, and Pablo, aunt Tish and aunt Sue, and his many cousins across Canada. Also grieving his loss are his step siblings Gordon Cameron (Lexie), Randall Cameron (Elizabeth), Cathie Williams (David), and the Cameron family (Steve and Margie, Satah, Lisa, Martin, and the children, Craig, Charlie, James, Gemma, and baby Elias). Also grieving his loss is his very large group of friends from his time in Kingston, Toronto, and Ottawa who admired ‘Hark’ deeply for his generosity, creativity, humour, and kindness.
David was born in Evanston, Illinois, youngest child of Fran and Jon Harkness (1941-2004). He spent most of his childhood in Kingston, Ontario, attending Kingston Collegiate and Vocational Institute, making music, and taking full advantage of his reputation as a teen heartthrob. David's wide-ranging interests led him to a bachelor’s degree in Archaeology at the University of Toronto (Victoria College) during which he took many trips to the Canadian Arctic and developed a deep passion for the history and prehistory of the Indigenous and Inuit people. David realized his ambitions with a Master’s degree in Museum Science at U of T, after which he applied his knowledge at the Dominion Institute documenting the stories of hundreds of WWI and II veterans. He then landed his dream job at the Museum of History and later moved up to a government position as Program Manager at Canadian Heritage. It was during his time at Canadian Heritage that he was asked to consult with a scholar in Vladivostok. Despite the 10,000 kms and 14 time zones that separated them, their love blossomed. David and Anastasia married in 2013. With great enthusiasm, he learned the language and culture of Anastasia’s country and was deeply loved by her family.
David’s other love was music. He studied classical piano and choral singing, and taught himself to play the guitar, banjo, and mandolin. He loved all genres of music, from classical to bluegrass to metal to K-Pop, and he generously shared this deep knowledge and appreciation with his family and friends. He played in several bands in his youth and continued to enjoy jamming whenever there was an instrument in reach. He loved cooking and impressed his family with delicious recipes. He was interested in everything, he was kind, generous, and loving, and most of all, he was taken from us way too soon.
David was cremated on September 11th. A celebration of life will be held at a later date to allow his family and friends time to travel to Kingston to honour Dave and share treasured memories.