(28 July 1925 – 6 April 2014)
Brian Sampson Chudleigh Healey, 88, Cornishman, a founder and president of the Healey Drivers Club and former sales executive of the Donald Healey Motor Company, died of pneumonia at the Community Hospital of St. Austell, Cornwall, England on 6 April, 2014. He passed away peacefully with his family at his side, including his beloved Miniature Schnauzer, Phoebe.
Brian S.C. Healey was born in Perranporth, Cornwall, England, on July 28, 1925. He was the second son of Ivy James and Donald Mitchell Healey.
Mr. Healey, along with his older brother Geoffrey and later, younger brother John, spent his first ten years in Perranporth, a small village on the seacoast of northern Cornwall. There the brothers and their mother enjoyed the outdoor life, and together the boys explored the caves and sand dunes and caught fish in the tidal rock pools along the beaches.
It was in his very early years that Mr. Healey earned the sobriquet, “Bic.” He loved cookies, or biscuits, and called for them from his pram: “Bic, bic.”
As Mr. Healey was growing up in Perranporth, his father was often away, busy driving rally cars throughout Europe. His mother, Ivy, often would take him and his brothers a few miles outside the village to wait for the exhaust note of Donald’s car as he returned home from a competition.
In 1934, the family moved to Warwick, the center of the British motor industry, in the Midlands; his father, Donald, had joined the Triumph Company as Chief Engineer. There Mr. Healey attended the Emscote Lawn Preparatory School. Mr. Healey, who loved animals, dreamed of becoming a veterinarian. He also made and hung many model airplanes from his bedroom ceiling.
At the outbreak of war in 1939, Donald and Ivy, fearing heavy bombing by the Nazis in the industrial Midlands, moved the family back to Cornwall. There Mr. Healey’s education continued, and back in Warwickshire as well, when the family returned there late in 1940.
In 1943, Mr. Healey was accepted for training as a Royal Air Force pilot, but he soon discovered that employment was impossible to attain for someone likely to be called to war. Instead, at age 17, he enlisted in the Royal Navy, where he served as an able seaman aboard the HMS Vindex, an escort carrier. Mr. Healey saw escort duty in the North Atlantic for convoys to Russia. Just at the end of World War II, Vindex and crew spent 15 months in the Pacific, where duties included returning ex-prisoners of war and civilian internees back to Australia for repatriation. He recalled his naval service as being “a valuable experience, an extension of my education.”
Demobilized following his navy years, Mr. Healey returned to the U.K. in 1947 and resettled in Cornwall, where in 1950 he married Mary Kempton.