In Loving Memory…
Gordon K. Martin passed away peacefully on December 29, 2018 in Burlington, Ontario.
An only child, Gord married Dorothy Lorraine Reed in 1949. He completed his medical degree in 1948 (University of Toronto) at age 22 and earned his Diploma in Public Health (DPH) in 1949. In 1950, he became the first Medical Officer of Health (MOH) for Muskoka District. They started their family in Bracebridge, moving to Richmond Hill when he began working for the Ontario Department of Health. In 1963 they moved to Willowdale, their home for 37 years. In 2000 they moved to Burlington.
Gord played a significant role in the modernization of Ontario’s public health system. As executive director of public health programs and then as Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, Gord and his team consolidated local health units, built modern public laboratories, started the under-serviced area physician program, and oversaw stronger home care, anti-smoking and immunization programs. He was particularly proud of being awarded the Canadian Public Health Association’s Honorary Life Membership in 1980 and seeing the Health Protection and Promotion Act enacted in 1983. He ended his professional career as MOH for the City of North York from 1982 to 1990.
Gord was active in the church, from his youth at Fairlawn United Church and continuing at Oriole-York Mills in North York. He was a life-long Rotarian; he served as president, Don Valley Club, was twice Rotarian of the Year and was named a Paul Harris Fellow. He was an early and long-time volunteer at the Toronto Distress Centre and later with Burlington Telecare.
Gord and Dorothy loved to travel, starting with camping trips with their young family. They travelled throughout Canada, the USA and to more than 20 other countries, including trips to west China, led by Dorothy. Gord was a talented musician. He paid his way through medical school as a church organist and was an accomplished flute and piccolo player in many concert bands. He also sang in the church choir. His favourite way to unwind, however, was to spend time at the family cottage on Twelve Mile Bay in Georgian Bay, which he loved.
Predeceased by Dorothy, Gord is survived by his five children: David (Elizabeth), Bruce (Moni Fricke), Anne Wilcox (Wayne), Cathy Fairley (Craig) and Keith (Jackie Hatherly). Gord will be missed by his 16 grandchildren and their partners: Jennifer Martin (Lewis), Ian Wilcox (Mary), Christopher Flavelle (Laura), Kathleen Martin, Scott Fairley (Alissa), Andrew Martin, Michael Wilcox (Ashley), Brianne Evans (Blair), Jared Wilcox, Matt Fairley (Abby), Jessica Myers (Tim), Jon Fairley (Carly), Lindsay Gingrich-Martin (Trevor), Emily Martin, Alexander Martin and Stefanie Martin. He was the proud great-grandfather to Hannah, Leo, and Benjamin Flavelle; Morgan and Annika Fairley; Aubrey and Ellis Evans; River Myers; and Stella Wilcox.
Special thanks to the caring staff at Burloak Long Term Care and Gord’s “Dream Team” of caregivers.
A celebration of Gordon Martin’s life will be held at Dodsworth and Brown Funeral Home, 2241 New Street, Burlington, on Saturday, January 5 at 5:00, with visitation at 4:00. Reception to follow. Private interment at Prospect Cemetery to be held at a later date. Donations in Gord’s name to the Georgian Bay Land Trust (gblt.org) or Distress Centres (torontodistresscentre.com) would be greatly appreciated.
Nos plus sincères sympathies à la famille et aux amis de Gordon Kenneth Martin 2018.