DAVID ANDREW GASS On Friday, March 19, 2021, David Andrew Gass died in Halifax, Nova Scotia from injuries sustained by a pedestrian-vehicle accident. David's large family loved him dearly. Partner in life and heart to Cathy Cervin, cherished father to Heather Gass (Lisa Lachance), Susan Gass (Craig Brown) and Ian Gass, loving and dependable grandfather to Jason and Keira-Jill Gass-Lachance, Jessica and Gemma Brown, role model and stepfather to Zander and Tom Brosky. He is predeceased by his parents (George and Alice Gass) and also survived by his brother Charles Gass (Carol), his niece Gillian, nephew Donald, his sister Anne Wadleigh (James) and his nephews Benjamin and Timothy. David touched all who knew him and transformed the lives of the countless people he mentored and taught. David was born April 29, 1945, in London Ontario to George and Alice (Bell) Gass. He married Louise Gass (Moore) in London Ontario in 1970 and they raised their children in Halifax, Nova Scotia. He graduated from Mount Allison University in 1967, attended Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar in 1969, and graduated from Dalhousie Medical School in 1973. Family Medicine was the bedrock of David's long, impactful, professional career. He was dedicated to the worth and value of compassionate, patient and relationship centred care. An avid reader and original thinker, he embraced narrative medicine, the deep understanding of the person with their unique story, beliefs and values, as the path to healing in the day to day work of family doctors. 'The universe is made not of atoms, but of stories.' He began practice in Fredericton, NB, in 1973, and joined the Department of Family Medicine at Dalhousie University in 1978 as a leader in continuing medical education, and care of the elderly. Although he held many other posts, he kept his Dalhousie faculty appointment the rest of his life. As Professor and Head of Dalhousie Family Medicine from 1987 - 1995, he led and taught through understanding and gentle challenge - his motto 'When we tell a person something, we remove their chance to discover it themselves'. He asked astute questions, encouraged and supported people to discover their own answers. Kind, humble and patient, he delighted in the achievements of those he mentored. A timeless sense of duty, instilled by his parents, shaped his approach to life and work. David was always ready to lend a hand and most happy when he felt he was contributing. His commitment to making a difference moved him to lead many influential committees at the College of Family Physicians of Canada, take on the role of hospital chief of staff in Cumberland County, lead primary care reform and create a health human resource plan for Nova Scotia. When Dalhousie Family Medicine needed him, he came back from retirement to be Interim Head from 2017 - 2020. David embraced life fully, traveling widely with his partner Cathy Cervin - their favorite place is Gros Morne in Newfoundland. But David belonged in the Maritimes and when Heather and Sue moved back to Halifax to raise their children, his life was complete. He loved being Grandad and with Cathy (Gran) they hosted family Sunday suppers at their Halifax home. Children, stepchildren, partners, and grandchildren gathered weekly at a table of conversation, one-pot meals, David's signature salad and pie. A highlight of his week, the supper kept the family close and everyone felt the love in the meals he cooked. We are devastated by his sudden death, wondering how we will live long years without his warmth, humour and love in our lives. And we cherish the strength he has given us to be the best of ourselves and continue his work in the world. Thank you to Dave, Kendra, Katie, and all the other kind and caring nurses in the QEII ICU and Drs. Rasmussen, Thana and Carter for their skilled, empathetic care. 'For those who love with their heart and soul there is no separation' Rumi A private memorial celebration will be held Saturday, March 27 from 1 - 4 p.m. ADT. Please contact us at email@example.com for the livestream link. In lieu of flowers please send memories and stories to firstname.lastname@example.org
Published in The Globe and Mail from Mar. 24 to Mar. 28, 2021.