Geoffrey GOWAN

Obituary
8 entries
  • "Quiet, serene, measured, wry sense of humour- dear Geoff..."
    - Joy Harrison
  • "My deepest condolences to the Gowan family. I had the great..."
    - Janet LeBlanc
  • "My deepest sympathy to Geoff's family. I worked with Geoff..."
    - Cheryl Fitzpatrick (Taylor)
  • "Simon and Susan, as I recall and celebrate a little portion..."
    - John Meyer, Ph.D
  • "To Susan, Simon and family: I offer my deepest condolences..."
    - Suzanne Mason
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GOWAN, Geoffrey Russell C.M., Ph.D
1929 - 2013
Halifax, Nova Scotia, passed away Friday, May 17, at Drummond Hall, Halifax. Born in Ravenglass, Cumbria, England, November 2, 1929. Son of the late Joseph and Elizabeth (Pattinson) Gowan and husband of the late Rhoda (Tyson) Gowan. He will be lovingly remembered and greatly missed by his daughter, Susan (Leonard Preyra); son, Simon (Kim); grandchildren, Erica and Andrew Paletz, and Mackenzie and Shelby Gowan. He is also survived by many nieces and nephews.
Dr. Geoff Gowan had a great love of sport and excelled as a track and field athlete, teacher, coach, technical specialist, planner, administrator and leader. In his youth, in England, he competed in the long jump and triple jump at both county and university levels. As a coach, his athletes won medals on the track in Olympic, Commonwealth, European and World Student Games.
After graduating from Loughborough College of Education, England, Geoff taught physical education at high school before joining the faculty at Loughborough. He first came to Canada in 1964 as a clinician for the Royal Canadian Legion Sports Training Plan. In 1965 he left England for the USA where he obtained an MSc. from Purdue University and a Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin. In 1968, he joined McMaster University in Hamilton as a professor and athletics coach.
Geoff joined the Coaching Association of Canada in 1972, serving as technical director and later President until 1996. During his 25 years with the Coaching Association he changed the face of athletics in Canada. Known for his integrity, energy and enthusiasm, he was the prime mover in developing a comprehensive national coaching program and in setting the standards and tone for Canada's international sport programs. Geoff was influential in the training of more than 800,000 coaches and was the chief architect of Canada's internationally renowned National Coaching Certification Program.
Geoff was an early proponent of "fair play" and ethical behaviour in sport. He was instrumental in the development of the Fair Play code of behaviour for athletes and coaches and played a major role in the opening of the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport.
He is probably best known to the general public for his longtime work with CBC sports. He was a commentator for national and international competitions in track and field, soccer and rugby football at Olympic Games, World Championships, Commonwealth Games, Pan American Games, World Cup Marathon, World Cross Country Championships and World Cup Soccer. As an analyst, he provided incisive comments with concise perfection.
Geoff was invested as a Member of the Order of Canada and received other accolades including induction into the CBC Sports Hall of Fame, Canadian Sports Hall of Fame and Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame.
Visitation at Cruikshanks Funeral Home, 2666 Windsor Street, Halifax on Tuesday, May 21 from 7-9 pm. A funeral service will be held at The Cathedral Church of All Saints, on Wednesday May 22, 2013 at 11 am. Cremation and private interment at a later date. Family flowers only. Donations in Geoff's memory may be made to the Parkinson's Society of Canada, www.parkinson.ca or Kidsport Canada, www.kidsportcanada.ca /index.php

Published in The Ottawa Citizen on May 18, 2013
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