With sadness and profound admiration, we announce that our father passed away peacefully Tuesday, January 17th, 2017 with family at his side.
Dad was born in 1927 on the Posey Farm in Gull Lake Saskatchewan. The family moved to Banff in the 1930’s where Dad spent formative years developing a love of Banff that lasted his lifetime and was instilled in his children. A second love emerged when his family moved to Vancouver Island in the 1940’s. For Dad it was “God’s Country” and there was no better place to live on this earth. He attended St. Louis College in Victoria, loved cars, loved sports and was a talented hockey player. Then a girl, Shirley Davidson from Rossland, training to become a Teacher caught his eye and captured his heart. Dad had many interests, business, hockey and flying but Mom was the love of his life and forever topped the list. Gordon and Shirley married in 1947 building a strong life together over 53 years and raised a family of 5 bustling kids. Dad had been working part time at Victoria Tire and often buying/selling a car. He was smart, personable and knew how to make money and get ahead. His big break came in 1955 when Joe Drennan (original owner of Joe’s Tire) offered to sell the business to Dad and Frank Cotton. It was a large risk for a young man with a family of 3 kids already, but Dad persuaded a reluctant Shirley to move to the outback of Duncan.
Dad was a passionate and kind man…he could occasionally bluster like the wind, but he always had a joke or story and he always remembered your name. Never in doubt was his love for family, pride in his children, pride in the Posey Farm with roads renamed Posey Corners, pride in that latest new car and never prouder than in 1975 when his son Ken bought Joe’s Tire allowing Dad’s continued involvement in the business to age 81.
When Dad committed to something it was for life; Mom, children, business, community, his Mother (who he took out shopping and to dinner every Thursday for over 50 years). He had wanted to fly from an early age. At 16 he tried to sign up during the Second World War to become a pilot… being under age his Mom put a STOP to that. However, that desire to fly never waned and he got his pilot’s license during the 1960’s – eventually owning a Cessna Skylane 182 which he flew home from Toronto. The experiences we had flying through the Rockies to Banff, to the United States and around Vancouver Island were simply magic and wonderful.
Loss came hard to Dad: His own Father in 1944 when he was 17, Walter Johnston and Andy Van Dorsten in Banff, his son Brian in 1994, his Mom in 1999. Saddest of all his wife Shirley passed away suddenly in May 2001. After 53 years of marriage Dad was heartbroken. He slowly recovered with the support of family and friends, continued to work at Joe’s Tire and to enjoy grandkids and friendships.
In 2008 a new era began with a fall and broken hip and Cairnsmore became Dad’s home. A Special thank you has to go the Staff at Cairnsmore and friends who caringly and positively engaged Dad’s never ending humour and manner looking out for his comfort to the final moments and sharing in heart felt good byes. Ron, Heather, Dawn, Stacie, Scotty 😉 and Dr. Gilbert you have our deep appreciation and respect.
From our Family, thanks especially to our brother Glen. His dedication to Dad allowed him a quality of life not all Seniors get to enjoy. Dad continued to share in family dinners and celebrations until his final days.
Dad will be greatly missed by his children Ken (Heather), David, Glen (Lila) and Kathy (Robert). Sister in Law Andrea Paul, many Grandchildren, Great Grandchildren,
Nieces, Nephews and friends.
Dad lived life on his terms with Shirley (Mom), the love of his life at his side. Camping trips, bacon and eggs over an open fire, annual vacations to Banff, help getting that 1st car, building a wall or painting it, family dinners…it was Dad.
We hope that Mom’s strong faith and life-long devotion brings them together again.
Memorial Service to be held at the Duncan Senior Citizen Centre beside Joe’s Tire Hospital on May 7th, 2017 1pm
In lieu of flowers Donations to the Canadian Diabetes Association. Condolences may be offered at www.telfordsladysmith.com