SYMONS, G. Gordon
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September 7, 1921 - November 22, 2012
G. Gordon Symons passed away in Caledon, Ontario on Thursday, November 22, 2012 shortly after he celebrated his 91st birthday. Holding the title: Lord of Whitehouses, Nottinghamshire, UK. Gordon Symons was born in Lachine, Quebec on September 7, 1921, one of three sons born to Nelly Shaw Howarth and Wilfred Gerald Symons. Gordon is survived by his wife of 67 years Norma, his children Alan (Terri), Bob (Trish), Kirk (Patti), Doug (Renae), Karen, and Elizabeth, 20 grandchildren, six great-grandchildren. His older brother John, passed away four years ago leaving his loving wife Gail and their three children. He is survived by his younger brother Arthur, his loving wife Yvonne and their three children.
A natural born athlete, Gordon played soccer, tennis, hockey and rowed with his brothers for the Lachine Rowing Club, participating in Canadian Regattas. Gordon was a Quebec Provincial junior tennis champion. The Second World War interrupted his semi-pro hockey career in Montreal where he played against a lifelong friend, Herb Carnegie. The three brothers joined the war becoming flying officers with RCAF Coastal Command, flying twin engine fighter bombers, "Beaufighters and Mosquitoes." Gordon was stationed with RAF 143 squadron. After the war, Gordon restarted his hockey career and began working in the insurance industry. He married Norma McElligott one of five sisters from Lachine.
Playing out of the Montreal Amateur Athletic Association, Gordon became a three time Canadian Doubles Squash Champion with his partner John Martin. Golf was his summer passion, winning amongst many tournaments the Quebec Provincial Senior's Golf Championship. Gordon was a member of golf clubs in Montreal, Toronto, Bermuda and Florida. Obtaining his 1st hole in one at age 80. "The team" of Gordon, his two sons Alan and Doug and Clarence Campbell playing out of the Royal Montreal Curling Club won the Club Championship several times and many other tournaments in Canada and USA, including three time winners of the Stockton Tournament, Massachusetts. Gordon and Norma scored a perfect 8 ender in a mixed bonspiel at the Alpine Curling Club, they competed successfully at the Seigniory Club and Montreal arenas.
Gordon became a prominent businessman in the insurance industry. Gordon joined with Stewart Smith and then Morgan Insurance Agency, eventually starting G. Gordon Symons Company Ltd. With his sons, Alan and Douglas, they built Goran Capital, Inc. into an international insurance group with offices in Canada, USA and Bermuda, employing over 1,000 people. Gordon was one of the founding supporters of the Lakeshore General Hospital and a gracious supporter of the Montreal General Hospital. He helped his friend Herb Carnegie's The Future Aces Foundation, a major supporter of young people in need of a helping hand.
A true Renaissance man, Gordon also enjoyed the arts; his oil paintings are hanging in many homes of his friends and family. He loved to sing, garden, and built model wooden sailing ships. Gordon wrote and published a book about his experience during the war, "The Boys of Spring" and a movie is in the process of being produced.
His son Bob brought Gordon into his home for the last year of his life for which he and his siblings are forever grateful. His children and grandchildren spent many hours with Gordon helping him in his last days. The family would like to thank all of the caregivers and friends who helped look after Gordon as his illness progressed over the last two years.
Visitation will be from 5 to 8 p.m. on Friday, November 30 at Egan Funeral Home 203 Queen Street South Bolton, Ontario L7E 2C6.
The Funeral Service will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, December 1, at Palgrave United Church 34 Pine Ave., Palgrave, Ontario L7E 0L9.
In lieu of flowers, a donation to Herbert H. Carnegie Future Aces Foundation, 7170 Warden Avenue Unit 2 Markham Ontario L3R 8B2, 905-947-9131, www.futureaces.com
Published in Vancouver Sun and/or The Province on Nov. 28, 2012