It is with great sadness that the family of Gordon Ash announces his passing, with his loved ones at his side, on Thursday, Aug. 31, 2017 at La Verendrye Hospital in Fort Frances, Ont.
Gordon was born on June 3, 1959 in Fort Frances to Patricia and Morris Ash. He attended Fort Frances High School and worked at the Fort Frances mill during the summer months.
Following his graduation, Gordon headed west to Alberta, where he secured a job in construction. Unfortunately, Gordon was involved in a serious car accident at the age of 20, leaving him with an acquired brain injury and a physical disability.
Despite this setback, Gordon remained extremely resilient and positive; working hard for years towards rehabilitation. He eventually was able to move into his own apartment at Front Street Manor, where he resided for decades, making many lifelong friends.
Gordon lived a happy life but regrettably developed an unexpected illness in 2016, which left him hospitalized until his passing.
Gordon volunteered at the Fort Frances Nursery School for many years. He loved working there and had a wonderful way with children. He was kind, funny, and tolerant of any mischief so all the children loved him.
Gordon also worked part-time at Nova Body Shop for Mark Faragher, answering the phone and helping out where he could.
Gordon had a great passion for any type of sports but especially basketball. He could name every player of every team from every year and all of the stats. He may have struggled with his short-term memory but his long-term memory was well intact.
He was on the Muskie basketball team during his high school years and was a great player, helping to carry his team to OFSAA. He was proud of the awards he won while on the Muskies but most importantly, he loved his team and he loved the game.
Following his accident, Gordon participated in the Special Olympics, receiving three gold medals in weight-lifting at the Windsor Games.
Gordon was a true sportsman. He had a heart of gold but would not tolerate anyone interfering or even going near his remote when he was watching his game on TV.
Gordon enjoyed travelling and was able to go to Hawaii, San Francisco, Vancouver Expo, Las Vegas, and Chicago with family or friends. In addition, he took many road trips with his mother and father over the years. They usually stopped at a casino or two, where Gordon would head straight to the bar in his scooter to watch a game or enjoy the band.
He also loved going on rides on his scooter and often could be seen wandering along the river enjoying a summer day.
Gordon William Gilbert Ash (or Long-Head as his friends often called him) had a unique sense of humour. He generally was a quiet man who would just listen, storing it up for the right moment. When you weren't expecting it, Gordon would come up with just the right witty remark at the perfect time, causing an uproar of laughter.
He was an extremely positive person who rarely, if ever, complained about his situation. He took things in stride and seemed to be grateful for each day despite the many challenges that life handed him.
In his later years, Gordon was welcomed into the Church of the Holy Spirit, where he attended whenever he could. He treasured his church family and all the friendship and love they bestowed upon him.
Gordon was predeceased by his father, Morris Ash, in 2007.
He will be greatly missed by his loving mother, Patricia Ash; sister, Mary Ellen Chapman (Brent) and their children, Adrian, Nathan, Daniel, and Laney; brother, Ray Ash (Cathy) and their children, Billy and Jessica; and brother, Bob Ash (Arlene) and his daughter, Leah.
He also will be greatly missed by his best friend Mark Faragher (Andrea); uncles and aunts, Allan and Lonita Robertson, Dennis and Annette Ash, Ellen Watson, and Bonnie Watson; and numerous great-nieces and great-nephews, along with many cousins and friends.
A celebration of Gordon's life will be held Thursday, Sept. 7, 2017 at 1 p.m. at Green's Funeral Home in Fort Frances, with Diane Clifford officiating.
A luncheon will follow at the Royal Canadian Legion in Fort Frances.
If friends so desire, in memoriam donations may be made to Riverside Health Care Facilities, Inc. in recognition of their dedication and commitment towards patient care.
Online condolences may be offered at www.greenfuneralhomefortfrances.com
"Don't grieve for me, for now I'm free.
I'm following the path God made for me.
I took his hand. I heard him call
Then turned and bid farewell to all."