RICK GUNN
{ "" }
Share
Share RICK's life story with friends and family
Send an Email
Or Copy this URL to Share
RICK GUNN After a life lived to the hilt, Rick Gunn passed away peacefully from the effects of multiple myeloma at Southlake Regional Health Centre, Newmarket on Monday, March 25, 2013 as his children held his hands and Jimi Hendrix blasted "Voodoo Child" from an iPhone on his pillow. A guitarist of jaw-dropping technique and endless emotional power, Rick was a professional musician for nearly forty of his fifty-six years. Prodigiously talented, rigorously ethical, and almost dangerously mischievous, he exuded charisma, cool, and a wicked sense of humour from every pore. A dedicated father to his children and a caring friend to dozens and dozens of people, Rick was as well known in the world of Harley-Davidson as in music, rebuilding vintage bikes and making overnight runs to Montreal for a dose of Lafleur's or The Main. A near-graduate of Beaconsfield High School, where his charm enabled him to establish a school commission record for "Last Chances Granted", he grew to become a savvy social and cultural critic as well as a great artist. His passing leaves an enormous void among his family and friends. Rick Gunn is survived by his deeply-loved children Lisa (Lyle Mason) and Kyle; their mother Kathy, his sister Debby, and his mother Evelyn, along with a host of friends and a long list of fellow musicians grateful for the chance to play with him. Our special thanks go to Doctor Matt Cheung, John Covello, and everyone on the Hematological Oncology team at Sunnybrook Hospital for their tremendous support and concern over the past twenty months. The funeral will be held at R.S. Kane Funeral Home, 6150 Yonge St. (at Goulding south of Steeles) on Thursday, April 4, 2013 at 1:00 p.m., with visitation from noon. A memorial concert for Rick follows that same night, Thursday April 4th, at 7:00 p.m. at the Revival Bar, 783 College St. (at Shaw St.). In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to The Rick Gunn Memorial Fund, www.kapipal.com/ rickgunnmemorialfund Condolences www.rskane.ca



To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in Toronto Star from Mar. 31 to Apr. 3, 2013.
MEMORIAL EVENTS
No memorial events are currently scheduled. To offer your sympathy during this difficult time, you can now have memorial trees planted in a National Forest in memory of your loved one.
Memories & Condolences
Not sure what to say?
47 entries
March 25, 2019
Thinking fondly of all the good times we had thanks Rick. I talk about you to new people in my life to keep your spirit alive.
John White
Friend
April 25, 2013
I just watched the fantastic tribute that Rick's son-in-law put together...what a KEEPSAKE for all, especially his children which he loved wholeheartedly(and grand babies to come). Thank you for this most wonderful montage of his work....
anon
April 10, 2013
The way I will remember him
I met Rick a few years back when he played for us at the Molson Brewery Patio Party. He had a very special personality, but him and I also had something else in common Harleys and Molson's Beer, we could just go on and on about them forever, but once he started playing guitar you knew he was in his zone, incredibly great is how I would explain it, mesmerizing, and hypnotic just plain the best I have ever heard, one of his last concerts he played for us, I realized he was in pain, but still came out to perform. That was Rick committed, and a man of his word. One day years later I bumped into him at Sunnybrook Hospital while I was there with my Mom and he briefly told me what he was there for but didn't make it sound like he wanted me to feel to concerned about him, that it was just another day, I found out later from other friends how ill he really was. That was Rick, Live for the moment and enjoy it as much as you can. I will miss you Rick but will listen for your guitar in the sky when you start playing again for all of us. My condolences to Rick's Family and friends.
President of the Molson Coors Toronto Brewery Social Club
Nick Cina
Nick Cina
April 8, 2013
Such a talented and amazing man, Rick you will be missed by all!
Elena Vescio
April 7, 2013
To quote the words of The Righteous Brothers, "If there's a rock and roll heaven, well you know they've got a hell of a band."

Rick, you're a new band member, and you'll be in good company with the likes of Hendrix, Joplin and Morrison.
...and when you need a break from all the jamming, you can hit the road on your Heavenly Harley.

Deepest sympathies to Evelyn, Debbie, Kathy and to the children Kyle and Lisa.
Jennie & Frank Reda
April 5, 2013
Ricky,

Thank you for the laughs, the hugs, the music and most of all, for being my friend.

Deep peace of the running wave to you.
Deep peace of the flowing air to you.
Deep peace of the quiet earth to you.
Deep peace of the shining stars to you.

Adieu mon cher ami, a plus tard!
Yvonne Way
April 5, 2013
So long,it's been good to know ya.
April 4, 2013
I hadn't known Rick long but he immediately "struck a note" with me and that constituted quite a few one on one conversations that will be remembered because I was told it was hard to get Rick to crack a smile but we had quite a few laughs together. I am very fortunate to have been able to play live with Rick on stage. The last gig being a night at Sticky Fingers in Barrie with Rikki Capek and Steve Billings and the last great momemt was at the first benefit at Revival in Toronto in 2011. Being a Harley rider myself, I only wished that I could have rode with him at some point. Rick's music and abilities to express himself through his guitar the way that he did will live on in our hearts forever. RIP Rick. You're in a better place now.
It was a wonderful service.
My best to Rick's family.
Handel Eccleston
April 4, 2013
James & Jonah Peters
I remember the last time I saw you....you were in conversation with your son Kyle and you both looked so happy to be in each others presence . Kyle face always lit up when he spoke of you. You will be deeply missed.
Your family is the fruit of your life well lived.
Much love, the Peter's family (James, Christine, Jonah and Naomi
CHRISTINE PETERS
April 4, 2013
I met Rick when we were young. He was the coolest father ever. Music, Lisa and Kyle, those were his passions. He loved his music, and he loved his children. Rick was all about faith, love and loyalty.
Much love,
Nora
April 4, 2013
The World will be a lot sadder without his smile his music and his presence. He will be missed. My sympathy to his family and friends.
Rick, rest in peace but give 'em Hell in Rock N Roll Heaven!
Rick (Critter) Davis
April 3, 2013
Beautifully written and a true capture of Rick Gunn as i knew him. Rest in Peace Rick, and my deepest condolences to his family and close friends. We honour the loss of these extraordinary people by living with kindness and grace as he did.
gina burry
April 3, 2013
Rick,

I felt that you could see me more clearly than I could see myself. It sometimes made me feel a bit insecure, but mostly it made me feel honored that you seemed to truly dig me.

I've never met anyone like you. I will miss you greatly and think of you always.

I have a feeling Heaven has just become a better place.

Love to your family

Lori Alter
Lori Alter
April 3, 2013
It's odd how the passing of someone you've known all your life but really haven't stayed in touch with can affect you. Rick and I played our first gig together in grade 7. I wasn't very serious about music; he certainly was. It was a joy to hear him work through a song he had just heard on the radio. At first it was just a random search for the melody but before long, he had it down perfectly. Although we went in different professional directions, I always admired his skill and commitment - and he was a funny guy.

Got a chance to play drums again with him at the all-BHS reunion band, way the hell back in 2003. Still remember the look he gave me when I wasn't finishing a song when he expected me to. Ten years. Can't believe that was the last time I saw him. Can't believe we won't have a chance to do a retirees BHS reunion, would suck without him. Wouldn't happen without him, frankly.

Condolences to his mum, kids and sister.
Peter Wright
April 3, 2013
Evelyn, I am sorry to hear about the loss of your son. I remember you and Jim and the fun curling days.
Eleanor Mayne
April 3, 2013
God bless you Rick, on your journey. Thank you for all those screaming (yet always melodic) solos, every one of them so dynamic and spellbinding. I've never known or heard anyone better. Talent like yours does not come along very often, other mortal musicians were always left in awe. Rick made playing lead guitar look easy, but it's not easy.
HE IS THE BEST!

Love You,

David Armstrong, Ottawa
David Armstrong
April 3, 2013
Too soon, Rick. Our days as a guitar team in the early 80's will always be a special memory, a time of strong musical rapport and great humour. After your move to Toronto, I looked forward to our annual reunions at "The Moon In June" in Bowmanville. An outstanding musician and, even more, an outstanding guy. You will be sorely missed.
Bruce Allen
April 3, 2013
Can't believe you're gone, Rick - too young, too young.....
I met Rick and his family on 2 YMCA trips to Europe in the 60's. I was ahead of him at BHS - in the same year as Debbie. I remember him as a teenager practising Hendrix ENDLESSLY in his room at the top of the stairs. I count myself lucky to have reconnected recently via Facebook where his laconic sense of humour shone through in his postings and chats. Sure will miss you man!
Brian Hugessen
April 2, 2013
Rick Gunn...about a year ago I met this man of wit & charm. I looked forward to the next time I saw him as he always put a smile on my face, the way he said things got me laughing.Then I saw the strengh & courage of Rick Gunn fighting the beast (cancer).
My respect grew more & more for Rick. I am greatful to be able to put in words here how much it means to me to have had that year to get to know Rick.. I did not see or hear Rick play guitar.
I did get to see the endless amount of love Rick showed Kyle & Lisa.I feel blessed for that year..
Thank-you Rick.
April 2, 2013
Too soon gone. Thanks for the memories and inspiration to carry on when the road ahead seems too hard to bear. The word "genuine" seems to sum things up. Rest peacefully, Gunnman.
Gord Byrd
April 2, 2013
I will miss you dearly my friend but one day we will meet again RIP.
ELAINA PRING
April 2, 2013
Rick was ,and will always be remembered as, a unique fellow. Wish he had more time to share himself with all of us. He sure touched a whole lot of people.
Jeff Read
April 2, 2013
Rick was taken to young but has left long lasting memories for his family and many of his friends.Guest book entries show he has left a void in many hearts. I only re met him a few years ago at a high school reunion and enjoyed a catching up chat we had, surrounded by many classmates.
Diane Howman-Forte
April 1, 2013
I knew Rick way back in the BHS days. He was in many of my classes throughout school and I remember him always making me laugh. Rick was a great friend to many and an amazing musician. The BHS reunions have given us all a chance to get together since high school and we all had good times when we reunited at those reunions. I had the opportunity to have coffee with Rick last fall, and in spite of his health challenges, he remained positive, always keeping that sense of humour. Rick was extremely close to all his family and very proud of his children. Rest in peace Rick. Heaven will be a beautiful and musical place with you there. My sincerest sympathies to all your family. Nancy Anderson
Nancy Anderson
April 1, 2013
U will be missed. I am glad Iwas able to get know u.
Heather Belviso
April 1, 2013
You are an inspiration to many people and you will be remembered for ever
Jody Farr
April 1, 2013
If you ever looked up the word genuine, you would see Rick's picture. He dressed like Rick Gunn, he talked like Rick Gunn, he walked like Rick Gunn and he played like Rick Gunn. Right or wrong, he never tried to be or act like anyone else. Rick was Rick, RIP. Mike McWhaw
April 1, 2013
Rick on stage with a big smile. I miss you but will forever have your music playing in my life..
Cindy Reid
April 1, 2013
Rick, although we haven't been in contact really since high school - we did have a brief facebook encounter that I continue to talk about. Based on that I know you will be truly missed.
Brian Eamer
April 1, 2013
Rick, we miss you deeply. Our daily late night calls became such a ritual and now they are no more. Saturday night dinner and movies will never be the same
It was amazing to watch you fight with such positive determination. You treated the sleepless nights, and the horrors of your disease as just matter of fact. You never gave up, a life lesson we will never forget.
Your music and your wonderful memories live on in our hearts forever.
Rest now. Until we meet again
Janet and Norm
April 1, 2013
Rick and I went to school together over 40 years ago, and even had a (short-lived) power trio devoted to ..... Hendrix (of course). We were reacquainted at a school reunion in 2003 and became e-friends. He frequently invited me to this gig or that with an enthusiastic "You could sit in". Such kindness and generosity...
Hearing of his passing with Hendrix' Voodoo Chile playing, brought back an instant vivid memory of a 14 year old bent over a Strat, standing in front of his Marshall,face obscured by long straight hair, Adidas clad feet under elephant pants bell-bottoms, working a Vox wah-wah, as we rehearsed ... Voodoo Chile....
His life was so tragically cut short and yet, what a long road we've traveled.
Deepest condolences to his kids Kyle and Lisa, his family, and his friends.

Paul van der Vliet
March 31, 2013
You were a unique man and a very special friend to me, GB. I loved you very much and will miss our 'Timmies tea', our late night phone calls and your sick sense of humour. We could talk for hours about anything and everthing. You gave great hugs! We frequently talked about sharing a place when you 'got back on your feet', living together as 'old geeze' friends with benefits. LOLOL We joked about sitting in our rocking chairs on
our porch talking about all of the good memories and some of the not so good ones. I promised to be your friend even when you were old, grumpy, stubborn and crochety. You said that as long as I was cool with the fact that you take off for days and sometimes weeks at a time and would continue to do so as an 'old geeze' we would get along just fine. LOL
I am sad that will never happen, angry that you will no longer be able to do what you have loved all of your life and that you are unable to complete your journey. I am angry that your Mother must live without her son, Debbie has lost her brother, that Lisa and Kyle have lost their Papa too soon, all of the people who love you have lost a good friend and the musicians who have shared the stage with you and those who had the pleasure of listening to you play have lost a great guitarist. I will miss that elusive smile. I will miss listening to you play. I will miss our special friendship. I will miss my GB......the bad boy, the good man! I am so happy that I had the privilege of knowing you and being someone that you cared about and for always being there for me. My heart is broken and I will never forget you, GB! You fought so hard but your struggle is over and I hope that you are in a better place and no longer in pain. I hope that there is a heaven. If there is, I know you will be there with your Dad and jamming with Jimi and all the musicians who inspired you. It is not often that a person can touch the lives of so many and be loved as you have been. Even though I am writing this, it still hasn't totally sunk in that I will never see you again. It is going to take a while before I don't expect a call saying you are on your way to visit your Mom and will stop in on your way home. We talked very briefly last Wednesday and although you said you were not doing well, I kept hoping that you had more time. I am so happy that I had the chance to tell you I love you one last time.
Donna Aird
March 31, 2013
Rick you were a good friend of mine and I'll miss you greatly.

Thank you for the time we spent together talking (and laughing) about bikes, music and life and everything in between.

Through you I met your family and friends and your appreciation of Cadilac's and for that I am greatful. Your humour was one of a kind - Gotta Go Bye -
John "Johnny" White
March 31, 2013
I have to say whoever wrote this Obit did an amazing job.If a measure of a mans life is what they write about you when you die, then i think this says it all.
I guess the thing I always found striking about Rick apart from his talent, and God given cool, was his kindness. We will seriously miss him.
March 31, 2013
Rick was a unique and gifted person as well as a SUPREME guitarist. He was often compared to Jimi Hendrix or Frank Marino.His style was so fresh,so different..HE DEFINITELY created his own wonderful sound.
Too bad the world did not get a chance to hear him play.
To his children (Lisa & Kyle)I admire you. You were with your Dad all the way.
anon
March 31, 2013
You will missed Rick. It was a real please knowing you. We really enjoyed sharing our Thanksgivings with you. I love your Mum as much as you did and you were like a brother to me. I'm so glad I had the pleasure having you in my life. Love Penny n Phil
Penny Belviso
March 31, 2013
I was his buddy soooo long ago
I always called him Ricky.
Ricky, Fab Friend,You will be forever missed.
Robyn McNicoll
March 31, 2013
I've known Rick for decades through our mutual friend Bill Laurin. Rick was always the essence of cool, and it was always a privilege to hear him work his musical magic. My heartfelt condolences go out to his family and his wide circle of friends, all of whom feel this sad loss.
Jeremy Freedman
March 31, 2013
Very sad to hear of Rick's passing. The band 'upstairs' just got their dream guitar player. Proud to have had the chance to play with you Rick. You will be missed.
Andrew Lockington
March 31, 2013
We will miss you so dearly. Can't imagine not wondering when the next time my buzzer goes, if it is you or not. Those great random visits that always put a smile on my face. Or every time I make Portuguese beef over rice, I will be thinking of you.......as we all know that was your favorite meal. You have touched so many people's hearts with your charming ways. That I know in my heart that you "Rick ( boogie man) Gunn" will never be forgotten!!!!!
Rest in peace, our dear friend.
Wendy and Mario Arruda
March 31, 2013
My dearest uncle,we never got a chance to know one an other,but threw your music,i am the Lucky one ,for your legacy lives on. Keep on rocking uncle Rick your niece Cindy Chislett xxx
March 31, 2013
I will miss your amazing hugs, almost more than your guitar playing, Ricky G.:) Can't think of you and not smile. I think that's a good thing. You left us with some pretty cool memories. Hugs to Lisa and Kyle and rest of the family. xo
Karen (Tink) Bell
March 31, 2013
i met rick a long time ago when i was 17 yrs old working at a place called " doonuts" he was always nice to me ,he had a great sense of humour...till this day i still remember that. may he rest in peace and my thoughts and prayers go to his kids ....
lee brosseau
March 31, 2013
Goodbye my good friend,it was beyond a pleasure being on stage with you,riding Harley's with you,talking on the phone for hours with you,listening to music with you,and simply spending time with you.I love you and will miss you...Till we Jam again....
Bruce Morrison
March 31, 2013
I HAD AN OPPORTUNITY TO SEE RICK IN THE SUMMER OF LAST YEAR AND KEPT IN CONTACT THRU E-MAIL..I HADN'T SEEN HIM SINCE THE LAST BHS REUNION 5 YEARS AGO..WE HAD A VERY NICE VISIT LOOKING BACK WHEN WE WERE KIDS. HE WILL BE REMEMBERED VERY FONDLY, I WAS PROUD TO CALL HIM MY FRIEND AND I AM GLAD I HAD THE CHANCE TO TELL HIM SO...
J B
March 31, 2013
I'm not sayin goodbye but, I'm sayin see you later. We'll meet again someday in the heavens or lingering as free spirits haunting people for the fun of the thrill, Until that day I know I have a strong guardian angel watchin over me
Melissa Chislett
March 30, 2013
I am completely shocked...yes I knew Rick was sick BUT never ever thought he would not get well.I'll always remember you from our days at good old Beaconsfield High School. I hope you have many Strats with you so that you and Jimmy can jam.
caroline kampitsis taylor
Invite others to add memories
Share to let others add their own memories and condolences