July 5, 1926 – July 2, 2016
Gordon English passed away on July 2, 2016 in White Rock, BC, with family by his side, just a few days shy of his 90th birthday. Gordon was born in Vancouver in 1926, the youngest of four siblings (Fred, Margaret and Beryl). Early on, Gordon discovered a love for radio and communications and parlayed that into a career that would take him across B.C., Canada and around the world.
Gordon served briefly in the Canadian Army at the end of World War II, working in the Signals Section. Quick to learn and eager to succeed, he returned to civilian life and started his career in radio, working at CJOR, before venturing into sales. The lure of more advanced technical work saw him take on jobs with the B.C. Forest Service and then B.C. Rail. His love of challenges and ability to grasp opportunities led Gordon to found Westronic Engineering Sales Ltd. During his years at Westronic, Gordon also served as a Regional Director for the IEEE Canada. Gordon retired to Salt Spring Island in the 1980s with his second wife Sandra (Skinner).
On Salt Spring, Gordon didn’t slow down and volunteered his time and talents for many years, serving on the Board of Directors of the Lady Minto Gulf Islands Hospital, chairing the Southern Gulf Islands Community Health Council, the Gulf Islands Seniors Residence Association and the Salt Spring Island Golf and Country Club’s President’s Golf Academy. Through his leadership over five years, Gordon oversaw the fundraising campaign and construction of Meadowbrook Seniors Residence, where he and Sandra spent their last few years on Salt Spring.
Gordon was most at home in his workshop, whether designing and building an electric car or crafting beautiful, original furniture and boxes out of local wood. He also loved being on and near the water. From summers on Indian Arm at Woodlands to boating on the Banook, he was never far from the ocean. On Salt Spring, you could often find Sandra and Gordon playing golf and tennis and socializing with their many friends, where he was often at the centre of lively conversations. His family loved visiting the island and will remember him for his sage advice, unwavering support, his beautiful whistling and fantastic sense of humour. Dad, as a professional, volunteer, friend, father, grandfather and great-grandfather, you taught us how to succeed and how to be caring people.
Gordon is survived by his wife of nearly 43 years, Sandra, his five children Elizabeth (Peter Smith), Susan (Mark Bullock), Geoffrey, Janet (Bruce McMorland) and Diane (Rick Phillips) and his first wife Margaret (Peggy) English (Fennell). He was a cherished grandfather to Angela, Craig, Kyle, Colleen (Jason Riggs) and Evan, and great-grandfather to Kyle B. and Bethanee.
In lieu of flowers, consider a donation in Gordon’s name to The Canadian Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation, The Gulf Islands Seniors Residence Association or the charity of your choice.
A Celebration of Life will be held at 2 pm on September 17 at the Salt Spring Island Golf and Country Club. For details, please contact daughter Janet McMorland at 778-458-2303. Information will also be available at www.mckenziefuneralservices.com.