November 30, 1932 – January 16, 2023
After having lived a long, rich and fulfilling life, Gord passed away at Wexford Creek Seniors Community, Nanaimo, B.C. (where he moved in 2022 from his home in Mill Bay) with family at his side.
Born in Saskatoon to Daniel and Alvina (nee Gregor) Thomas, Gord met the love of his life Mary Ellen McKee Allan and wed in Calgary on June 18, 1955. Gord first met Mary in Regina where she worked at the Royal Bank. Gord’s insurance sales job took him to Calgary where they met again. That was all it took. Before long they had 4 children in tow.
Despite his success in sales, and with a small inheritance from his Aunt Maude, Gord took a leap of faith and went back to school completing his undergraduate Commerce degree at the University of Alberta in 1964. Gord continued with a MBA at the University of California, Berkley and a Ph.D. from Michigan State University. Gord was especially proud of his academic accomplishments as a mature student with a growing family.
Gord began his teaching career, his true vocation, in Commerce at the University of Manitoba. He loved teaching. Gord was an active student supporter on the U of M Senate and loved helping others in the community. He coached hockey in south Winnipeg for many years. On a teaching sabbatical at Cranfield Institute of Technology in England, he was an assistant hockey coach for a London team. He helped get the Fort Richmond Community Centre and indoor ice rink built. He had a big impact on the communities he lived in through his volunteerism. Gord and Mary made many lifelong friends at this time with Bridge and Gourmet Dinner nights a focus.
Gord was always happiest with a group of people. After retiring to Mill Bay, B.C. on Vancouver Island in 1994, he took on leadership roles in the Keparo Water Society and the local Probus club. With his passion for bridge, he began teaching others. Later in life, Gord dealt with prostate cancer which led him to an active role in supporting people with prostate cancer across the Island. With retirement came an endless opportunity to travel around the world seeking a new destination each year. Gord will be remembered by the many people he crossed paths with.
Gord leaves his beloved wife of 67 years, Mary; children Donna, Dan (Lyla), Heather, Jeff (Norlaine); grandchildren Tara, Gordie (Anita), Laura (Graham), Heather, Dallas (Hannah), Tyler (Saki), Garnet (Michelle), Kate (Tyberius); great-grandchildren Isabelle, Daniel, Micah, Luke, Sofia; as well as numerous relatives.
Gord is predeceased by his sister Doreen (Ivan Church). Gord valued the relationship he had with his sister and visited all his many relatives often. It was good company shared throughout his life.
A Celebration of Life will be held on March 25th at Arbutus Ridge Golf Club in Cobble Hill, B.C. from 2 – 4 p.m. RSVP to email@example.com
An Endowed Bursary to assist mature students with children in completing their studies at the University of Manitoba has been created in Gord’s name. http://give.umanitoba.ca/GordonDanielThomasBursaryManagement.
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