Robert Andrew Gordon ‘Gord’ McGee
Celebration of Life Service
Friday, August 23, 2019
St. John’s Vancouver Anglican Church
5350 Baillie Street, Vancouver, BC
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Friday, August 23, 2019
Royal Vancouver Yacht Club
3811 Point Grey Road, Vancouver, BC
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Obituary for Robert Andrew Gordon ‘Gord’ McGee
May 25, 1954 – August 1, 2019
Gord died peacefully after a short but courageous battle with cancer. Son of D’Arcy and Norah, pre-deceased by sister Kathleen and brother Michael. He leaves behind his son Gord Jr. and Gord’s mother Rebecca Fairbairn, and brother D’Arcy (Leslie), sister Margot (Jeremy) and brother Tim (Mary) as well as many loving nieces and nephews.
Gord lived his life with a passionate sense of adventure, an abiding love of family and friends and a deep Christian faith. Growing up on the ocean in Victoria, Gord developed a lifelong love for all things maritime. By an early age he was a skilled sailor and experienced boater, spending endless summers exploring local waters and islands with his mates. Gord’s abilities as a powerful, natural athlete soon emerged as he set records in track and cross country, tore up black diamond ski runs, and water skied with such force that the tow boats would groan almost to a stop when he carved a turn.
Gord made friends easily; he had a wonderful inclusive personality and for all his high energy and striking physique he was a gentle and caring spirit. He had a huge heart. After attending Glenlyon School in Victoria and boarding school at Bishop’s College School in Quebec, Gord attended UVIC and Loyola in Montreal, ultimately earning his BA at Western in London. From there Gord pursued a career in real estate development in Vancouver. It was in pursuit of that calling that Gord’s life changed forever – while driving to an exciting new position in Edmonton he hit black ice near Kamloops and broke his back. At age 23 he started life over in a wheelchair.
Gord and Becca married in 1978 and Gord Jr. was born soon thereafter. In the ensuing 41 years Gord faced every challenge with his legendary physical strength and indomitable spirit. There were remarkable successes; through sheer force of will he swam, boated, explored, travelled and drove everywhere, attracting an army of admiring friends, helpers and supporters from all walks of life. But there were also many frustrations and disappointments born of his disability including his attempts to relaunch his career in commercial real estate and to become a teacher after earning his certificate in education at UBC. After a period of mounting self-doubt and self-recrimination, Gord found peace and inspiration in his Christian faith, which helped to strengthen and guide him for the rest of his life. Gord Jr. was the love of his life, his pride and joy, and the two of them had many legendary adventures together on sea and land.
Gord rarely met a stranger without reaching out to connect with them and to start up a conversation. Gord was an insatiable war history, travel and nostalgia buff and, being also very tech savvy, he loved to share that passion with his appreciative, albeit sometimes overwhelmed, YouTube distribution group.
Gord faced mounting health and mobility challenges in the final years of his life which he fought with the help of beloved friends and caregivers and with his typical silent courage, determination and good humour. If he felt sorry for himself, he kept it to himself. His positive, appreciative attitude towards others, especially his caregivers, was inspirational. One of Gord’s favourite simple pleasures was to head out rain or shine for a “push” down by the river usually interspersed with a few FaceTime calls to chat with friends and family. This he did as recently as the week before he died. Dear Gord, loving father, husband, brother and uncle, gentle giant and man of faith, never stop going for that “push” or, better still, a run. Know that we will always be at your side. God Bless.
Special thanks to caregivers Tina and Mary and to Gord’s incredibly generous circle of friends – you know who you are – the family is forever grateful to you. A service celebrating Gord’s life will be held on Friday, August 23, 2019 at 10:30 a.m. at St. John’s Vancouver, 5350 Baillie Street, Vancouver with a reception to follow at Noon at The Royal Vancouver Yacht Club, 3811 Point Grey Road, Vancouver.
Our most sincere sympathies to the family and friends of Robert Andrew Gordon ‘Gord’ McGee..
Death notice for the town of: Vancouver, Province: Colombie britanique